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Thread: Too Much power for car

  1. #1
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    Too Much power for car

    ok well im trying to run a micro ATX computer. Its in a slimline form, and it has a asus mobo w/ 6100 Geforce built in. It is using a AMD X2 4200 Dual core processor, but that processor is only 65 watts. I am buying a 200 DC-DC Small PSU for the case. My question is will my car battery be able to handle up to 200 Watts of power from this system??? not to mention the screen will be pluged in a cigarette lighter port. ??? Or do i need to find a way to go mini ITX, because those use like 20 WAtts of power total and are much smaller. I just think a 1.2 or a 1.o GHZ computer with DDr is slower than a 2.2 Dual core processor and the dual core processor method is cheaper than the itx ??? So... is this possible/

  2. #2
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    Yeah you can do it, 200w should be plenty.

    EDIT: Note, 200w via the cig lighter might be pushing it though.
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  3. #3
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    lower power = lower heat. There is no need for anything more then a 1.2ghz cpu for a car.
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    Maximum Bitrate tn6478's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiGGy View Post
    lower power = lower heat. There is no need for anything more then a 1.2ghz cpu for a car.
    Need more then that when trying to run with videos for user in the back. 1.2 is just pushing it. You want i to run smooth. If you using your system for Mp3 and GPS yeah 1.2 is good enough

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambush276 View Post
    ok well im trying to run a micro ATX computer. Its in a slimline form, and it has a asus mobo w/ 6100 Geforce built in. It is using a AMD X2 4200 Dual core processor, but that processor is only 65 watts. I am buying a 200 DC-DC Small PSU for the case. My question is will my car battery be able to handle up to 200 Watts of power from this system??? not to mention the screen will be pluged in a cigarette lighter port. ??? Or do i need to find a way to go mini ITX, because those use like 20 WAtts of power total and are much smaller. I just think a 1.2 or a 1.o GHZ computer with DDr is slower than a 2.2 Dual core processor and the dual core processor method is cheaper than the itx ??? So... is this possible/
    It sounds like you think a 200 watt PSU always draws 200 watts whether it is supplying a 65 watt unit or a 150 watt unit. If so, that is not the case.

    Also, it is not your battery that is the issue in this case. Remember that the battery in an automobile is designed to get the engine started. That's it. Once the engine starts, the alternator recharges the battery, which should only be drained slightly from the start. It is the alternator that supplies the power to your car when running.

    If you are drawing too much power from your electrical system, then the battery will contribute until it is drained. However, that would be an extreme case with massive amplifiers and your car PC added on top of that.

    If you are concerned about the draw, find out how many amps your alternator can supply. Then divide the total wattage of your system by 14 volts (generally the voltage your alternator puts out) to figure out the number of amps your system will require. That will be the additional load on the alternator.

    If you pull the entire 200 watts, that equation will give you about 15 amps you'll need from the alternator. If you have a 100 amp alternator, this probably won't be an issue, but you may want to estimate the power draw on your system of headlights, dash lights, radio/amplifier, then add in 30% or so as a buffer for unknown electrical stuff. Use whatever numbers you feel comfortable with.

    You can also look at other installs in the show off your project section that use your car and see if they have been successful. I can tell you that I can't recall anyone who has worn out their alternator with a car PC. Perhaps there have been, but I haven't read about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  6. #6
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    My entire carputer system with monitor uses less than 40 watts...

  7. #7
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    200 watts sound like a lot, but if the PC is the only heavy power drawing equipment in the car, and that is nothing. There are many people who had amplifier that are in 500+ watts and using stock alternator. Most newer car has at least 100Amps alternator. You can take a look at the the ALT (alternator) fuse in the fuse box in the engine bay to see how many Amps that fuse is rating.

    Also, 200W PC isnt' going to draw 200W continuously.
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