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Thread: ONE PCI Slot - Accommodate it with Sound or Video ?

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    ONE PCI Slot - Accommodate it with Sound or Video ?

    Hi guys,

    Looking at Motherboard options, a good deal of the mini-ATX units feature just One PCI slot (to keep them compact).
    So whats the norm for filling this slot? - or does it come down to ones individual requirements?

    For example add a dedicated PCI graphics card, to make your Windows (or Linux) based frontend menu system faster and more efficient.
    Or, add a Sound Card, that provides alot more scope for great sound clarity + outputs for multi-component sound.

    Suppose you *could* instead get a decent external USB soundcard, leaving the PCI slot available for Video anyway. Having the best of both worlds.

    All feedback welcomed.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    leave it empty..

    graphic's wise, pc's are getting quite powerful even with the most 'basic' chipsets(i believe intel-integrated graphics will do HD material without issue), and there are always alternatives like the ion chipset, or in my case the geforce 9300 chipset(zotac 9300/wifi board)..

    sound wise, unless you have specific audio needs that require a fancy card, there is really no reason to install one of those either.. overall, many are happy to use either onboard, or usb soundcards that suit most listening tastes..


    and the last issue with anything installed in that slot is vibration--which most cars have a lot of, so it might require some creative installation techniques to keep the card fully seated even on the roughest of roads..

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    Thankyou for your feedback Soundman, adding no additional Sound / Video card will certainly save money in buying all the components for my CarPC! Plus as you say, reduces the complications of vibration etc - also without a PCI card positioned vertically to the motherboard, helps keep the overall system thin too.

    I read in another thread someone likes a 2.1 Sound setup - ie: powering just the Two primary front speakers + a Sub for bass (a 'Stage' sound setup). Do you also see this as adequate?

    I plan to install better speaker cable through the car too, from the CarPC to the front speakers, still leaving the original car speaker wires in place but disconnected (should I sell the car and put everything back to standard - original stereo / no CarPC).

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    Low Bitrate cmcd2820's Avatar
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    I used a wifi/bluetooth pci card. The onboard sound and video are more than adequate for car use, and my motherboard uses mini-pci, so there is a holder to keep it from vibrating loose if I recall. That freed up two usb slots and makes for a more compact setup.

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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanSI View Post
    I read in another thread someone likes a 2.1 Sound setup - ie: powering just the Two primary front speakers + a Sub for bass (a 'Stage' sound setup). Do you also see this as adequate?
    'adequate' is in the mind of the installer.. the entire reason for me even installing a carpc was so that i could run a full active setup--where i can manipulate what audio signal goes to what speaker-- 2 tweeters, 2 mids, and a sub channel in real time.. that is 'adequate' to me....

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