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Thread: Noob here - Critique my system

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    Noob here - Critique my system

    OK, been lurking here for a couple weeks and planning this carputer for a while. Will start to assemble and install as soon as my last parts arrive. Most of this is built on the cheap from stuff I already have.

    Motherboard - P4 Intel 845 chipset. Bit of a risk here, as it's coming from HK and I'm not sure of the manufacturer, mini-bird.com is the seller. I liked this MB because I can use any processor I want, and it has a lot of video out options for the integrated video.


    CPU - Intel Mobile Pentium 4 538 3.2 GHz. Terrible choice, I know, but I'm hoping to use a SpeedStep control program to keep it running at 1.86 GHz in battery-optimized mode (1.15V). Maximum power dissipation in battery-optimized mode is 47.78W, which shouldn't be too bad. I have a few other processors I could toss in instead if this doesn't work out power-wise and heat-wise.

    Hard Drive - 4GB Seagate CF microdrive. Should help to keep the power requirements down and have more than enough room for the OS and a few hours of MP3s for now. Future plans are to add a laptop hard drive one the main system is sorted. This motherboard already has a 44pin laptop ATA header. I have a self-powered external USB2 hard drive and iPod to use in the meantime.


    Case - For now it's all getting mounted in an old surplus .50 cal ammo box. Not original, but cheap, easy to access and transport and has more than enough room. Should look cool too. Ultimately I want to use a Voom2 enclosure, but that will again depend on power and thermal requirements. Here is a little inspiration:


    OS - Tiny or N-lighted XP and Road Runner.

    Power - This is where I'm undecided. I'd like to go with the M2-ATX, but I've been reading the Prescott P4 I've chosen will kill it, so I'm still searching what to do here. Suggestions? I will not be running an inverter. Maybe a basic 200W DC-DC power supply with a relay to energize the circuit after the vehicle is already started? Then I don't have to worry about crank survival, correct? Not worried about sleep/hibernate either.

    CD/DVD - None. Will hook one up temporarily for the OS install. I encode all my CDs to MP3 right away, and all DVDs will be ripped. File transfer over wireless.

    Screen - Will be a Lilliput 7" flip out touchscreen that I have yet to acquire.

    Other - Once the above is together, I will add the 802.11G wireless (USB, PCI or miniPCI with adaptor) and GPS (USB or Bluetooth) to the system. Already have a few BT dongles.

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovecraft View Post
    Case - For now it's all getting mounted in an old surplus .50 cal ammo box. Not original, but cheap, easy to access and transport and has more than enough room. Should look cool too. Ultimately I want to use a Voom2 enclosure, but that will again depend on power and thermal requirements.
    The mmo box kicks butt. I love it.
    Even more so because it's for tracer rounds.

    Power - This is where I'm undecided. I'd like to go with the M2-ATX, but I've been reading the Prescott P4 I've chosen will kill it, so I'm still searching what to do here. Suggestions? I will not be running an inverter. Maybe a basic 200W DC-DC power supply with a relay to energize the circuit after the vehicle is already started? Then I don't have to worry about crank survival, correct? Not worried about sleep/hibernate either.
    Here ya go: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advf...iew&advfaqid=6
    Yeah, you're definitely pushing it power-wise with an M2. You might look into a DSATX or Opus 320w.
    That or choose a less power-hungry CPU.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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    Thanks for the link. I read that before, but I just re-read and I think combined with the rest of my research I've got a better idea of what I need. In my post I was thinking an unregulated power supply would be fine while the vehicle is running, but I forgot that a car will put out a bit above 14V while running.

    According to http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm my CPU will need 88W max Which works out (88/12) to 7.4A. CPU-World Says my chip only needs 39W in battery-optimized mode. Now, if I run the mobile CPU at it's lower voltage and speed using a software SpeedStep control program, the amperage requirement goes down a lot. This might even be able to be set in the BIOS.

    So, if I err on the side of caution, it looks like The Opus250 (and up), and the DSATX are what I need. The M2-ATX will be pretty much maxed out to it's 8A limit, though this is below my MAX expected draw and I've no plans to run at that level.

    Hmmm...

    Anyone know if the Opus250 or DSATX will fit in a Voom2?

  4. #4
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Neither of them will.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    Neither of them will.
    Good to know, thanks.

    Alright then, today I picked up my ammo box. It's a .30cal/M80 box instead. It's much smaller than the one I posted above, since I'm building an all ITX car system. No tracer rounds, but M80 rounds should still be good for some cool points.

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    Still waiting for the mobo to arrive, so I've been planning and ordering some parts. Ordered the heatsink for the CPU yesterday. It's the Thermalright XP-90 P4/K8 Heatpipe.



    Lightweight, and only 63mm tall. May or may not run a fan on it if I can get good airflow through the box.

    Have also decided to use a dual ball bearing 50mm fan as the exhaust fan. The ball bearings keep it quiet, and I'll have it on a rheostat so I can turn it up/down as needed for quietness/cooling. So, going to have to cut a hole in the box for the exhaust. For air intake, I've decided to try to get some louvers cut, like you see on old cars and hotrods. 4-5 louvers at one end and the fan at the other should still look nice and military.

    Have also collected various switches, lights and LEDs to finish off the top panel.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate galvitron's Avatar
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    I like that heatsink and I think its a nice system, but man-o-man did you choose the hungriest CPU out there...
    2006 Lancer Evolution IX MR In-Dash PC Project - WIP

    Planning:
    [----------] 100%
    Purchasing:
    [----------] 90%
    Installation/Fab/Assembly (Revised v2):
    [----------] 90%


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by galvitron View Post
    I like that heatsink and I think its a nice system, but man-o-man did you choose the hungriest CPU out there...
    Yeah, I know. It'll be like running a 50-80W lightbulb in the box. Still, I believe the SpeedStep control is going to work, and if not I have a few P4 Northwoods and Celerons kicking around if need be.

    Remember, this is a 3.2Ghz mobile P4 chip, not a P4-Prescott I'm using.

  9. #9
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    Motherboard finally arrived on Monday. That took a while. Looks good, still have to test it. One problem is it's going to be too big for the ammo box I bought. I'll have to go up to the larger size.

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate Coldfusionpower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galvitron View Post
    I like that heatsink and I think its a nice system, but man-o-man did you choose the hungriest CPU out there...
    haha .. sorry TS.. had to agree with him ... run awayyyyy
    First 3 Version DONE ...but sold ..with the car .. now .. building another one for the new car .

    Coming Soon : CarPC 2.0 .. 40%

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