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Thread: Budget Computer Setup

  1. #1
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    Budget Computer Setup

    I am currently using my dell laptop to run my carputer, but I would like to get something more permanent. I would also like to keep it under $300. I would like to have:
    -The HD with 30 or more GB's
    -At least 512K Ram
    -A good sound card or I would get a soundblaster live
    -wireless internet
    -Bluetooth
    -Slimdrive to mount it the front of the car
    -A decent enough processor to run alot of music, gps, etc.
    These are some options that i have come with already.
    1. Compaq evo $150-200 + whatever to get it into specs
    2. Laptop with a broken LCD
    3. Mini-itx (dont know much about them)

    Can you guys please help me out. I am not sure if i should look for a cheaper evo or mini computer and buy the additional accessories or buy one with everything already in spec.
    Thanks
    I already know this forum has a wealth of Info.
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    Carputer: Lilliput 619, GPS= LT-20 Receiver, IGuidance 3 & Streets & Atlas 2K6, RR Front End, Removable Dell Inspiron Laptop, More to come........

  2. #2
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    anyone???
    CLICK ME FOR BMW CARPUTERS

    95 Avus M3
    Mods: ;-)
    Carputer: Lilliput 619, GPS= LT-20 Receiver, IGuidance 3 & Streets & Atlas 2K6, RR Front End, Removable Dell Inspiron Laptop, More to come........

  3. #3
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    Laptop has advantages, but you must not be afraid to hack into it. You will need to for the power button. Also make sure it has "Power ON after Power Failure" as an option in the BIOS or else you will be manually starting it or rigging up some circuit. Also USB can be an issue. You don't have that many ports on a laptop. Usually 4. So if you will be powering wuite a bit of stuff, you will probably need a powered hub. To power it, you will need a 5v supply. That means a full circuit for just 5v. Between $10 if you build it yourself, to $40 for some cheaper ones that get really hot to over $80. And the Power supply for the laptop is pretty expensive too. (DC-DC). Inverter is a no-no.
    Benefits would be it can run on its own battery, sort of like a built in tank circuit. Also low power. And broken LCD laptops can be had for pretty cheap on ebay.

    mini-itx is just like a full motherboard except only 7" by 7". nano-itx is even smaller. 5"x5" I believe?! Don't quote me on the last one though. Usually embedded processors running between 800Mhz fanless and 1.5Ghz fanned. Most common are 1Ghz and 1.2Ghz. They have all the juice neccessary for a CarPC and are used for setups where space is needed or low power is wanted. For instance my M10k uses less than 25W full. My itx board was under $100 on eBay. You can also get itx boards that have a core duo socket on them. They are close to $300 just for the board, and the CPU is extra again.

    Compaq evo? You mean just a regular computer? Well make sure that if you want to go that route than a P4 is going to be too hungry for your budget. A DSATX or Opus250 is 2/3rds your budget right there.

    Honestly, for $300, you cannot do a carputer unless you are very resourceful or a theif. Because a cheap lilliput screen on ebay is $200. So $100 left for RAM, HD, Mobo, PSU, wires, adapters, GPS unit, 4ch amp for the speakers, is just not going to cut it.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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  4. #4
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    Thanks awesome post.
    ABout the budget, I already have a lilliput 619, GPS, and VGA and USB cable galore.
    Thats why i was thinking $150-200 for the evo plus a power supply.
    About the "Power ON after Power Failure", how would i know if a laptop has this if i buy one online?
    Also, for the stuff i want to do, music, videos, gps, flash skins, etc, what minimum specs do you recommend?
    THanks
    Edit: check my sig for pics
    CLICK ME FOR BMW CARPUTERS

    95 Avus M3
    Mods: ;-)
    Carputer: Lilliput 619, GPS= LT-20 Receiver, IGuidance 3 & Streets & Atlas 2K6, RR Front End, Removable Dell Inspiron Laptop, More to come........

  5. #5
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmeracer View Post
    Thanks awesome post.
    ABout the budget, I already have a lilliput 619, GPS, and VGA and USB cable galore.
    Thats why i was thinking $150-200 for the evo plus a power supply.
    About the "Power ON after Power Failure", how would i know if a laptop has this if i buy one online?
    Also, for the stuff i want to do, music, videos, gps, flash skins, etc, what minimum specs do you recommend?
    THanks
    Edit: check my sig for pics
    You wont know about the power on feature until you mess with it. I suggest going to a local shop and see if it is there, then order that make/model online. Only way to know.

    Everything except flash skins can be done on a P3 500Mhz. Minimal flash is ok with a M10k. Heavy flash and you will have to count out the via boards. Probably a mobile version of a amd or intel chip, so might as well go laptop. It will be cheaper.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  6. #6
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    I wouldnt run any heavy flash skins, just the basic ones like flashdeck.
    I have a few more questions about the laptop;
    First, dc-dc is the best way to power it?
    dont most dc-dc power units allow you to turn the laptop on-n-off?
    I have one of those usb things that gives me an additional 5 usb ports. Is there anything wrong with using this one considering that it does not require any additional power?
    CLICK ME FOR BMW CARPUTERS

    95 Avus M3
    Mods: ;-)
    Carputer: Lilliput 619, GPS= LT-20 Receiver, IGuidance 3 & Streets & Atlas 2K6, RR Front End, Removable Dell Inspiron Laptop, More to come........

  7. #7
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    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F5L003-.../dp/B000OH1QWU

    dc to dc laptop power for 20 dollars. got to go dc to dc or u waste power to heat with a power brick and inverter.

    if u are using a usb hub u should make sure you got the power to supply it. usb 2.0 will provide about 1 amp of power. usb 1.1 is more like 250 ma at best. most things you plug in will simply work or not work... but if you are on the edge you might end up burning out the connection. its best to use a powered hub and power it with the 5v output from your power supply(if u wind up building your own computer).

  8. #8
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxlifeusa View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-F5L003-.../dp/B000OH1QWU

    dc to dc laptop power for 20 dollars. got to go dc to dc or u waste power to heat with a power brick and inverter.

    if u are using a usb hub u should make sure you got the power to supply it. usb 2.0 will provide about 1 amp of power. usb 1.1 is more like 250 ma at best. most things you plug in will simply work or not work... but if you are on the edge you might end up burning out the connection. its best to use a powered hub and power it with the 5v output from your power supply(if u wind up building your own computer).
    That dc-dc has no smart power on/off features.

    Also your USB power information is 100% invalid. USB, doesnt matter what version, supplies 100mA maximum when you plug something in. Once the device enumerates itself it can then request up to 500mA. So in general, each port can supply 500mA maximum.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  9. #9
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    oops. thanks for the correction. just trying to help, i guess.

  10. #10
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    boxlifeusa, one question: how come you keep bumping posts that are several years old?

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