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Thread: Looking to build a carputer

  1. #1
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    Red face Looking to build a carputer

    Hey Glad to join these forums and hope Im here a long time.

    Im looking to build and mount a carputer on my (future) car. What Im looking for from my capture:

    - A touchscreen
    - Expandability (USB, serial, etc)
    - Radio
    - Over-the-air TV
    - DVD playback
    - MP3 playback
    - HDD storage for media
    - Statistics (speed, gas usage, distance, power, etc)
    - GPS
    - Hands free Bluetooth (which goes thru the car's audio speakers)
    - Control my audio thru carputer (software equalizer, volume, etc)
    - Windows based (I perfer this but alternatives welcomed)
    - Car control (Example: Eletronically sacrifice power for more speed; This I know is difficult and expensive so)
    - Wifi/WiMax support


    I know its pretty expensive but Im just trying to get a idea of what I can do or can't do. Thanks alot!

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Anything you can do with a computer on your desk or in a laboratory, you can do with a computer in your car.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    Anything you can do with a computer on your desk or in a laboratory, you can do with a computer in your car.
    Yes but Im asking what kinda specs I should look for, SFF boxes, etc....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    Anything you can do with a computer on your desk or in a laboratory, you can do with a computer in your car.
    Yes I know but Im asking about what software should I use, specs, PSU, etc for this.

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    You never specified that in your post.
    As far as hardware specs, I suggest looking at other users' specs and see what they are running.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    You never specified that in your post.
    As far as hardware specs, I suggest looking at other users' specs and see what they are running.
    You aren't helping too much....Im asking for specific things.

    Example: "A P4 or a Core 2 Duo should be enough". Things like that.

    I mean your basically telling me to look somewhere else and that anything is enough....

  7. #7
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    You seem like a mildly intelligent person, so that fact that your coming off as a little rude is a surprise for me.

    He was just saying you need to research a little bit about how much power your going to need for 'your' needs. He can't recommend the right amount of specs simply because it varies from person to person depending on what they plan to use the carputer for.

    If your serious about this, take the time to vest some research into the project.

  8. #8
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riahc3 View Post
    I mean your basically telling me to look somewhere else and that anything is enough....
    Not necessarily "somewhere else". Users have their specs listed eithger in signatures or in the nifty sidebar to the left.

    And for what you want, yeah. Pretty much anything is enough. Obviously if you go with a faster processor, everything will operate more smoothly. But many users have gotten all that functionality out of a crappy 1Ghz Via C3 processor.

    I'm not going to make hardware recommendations for you. It's up to you to figure out what hardware would be suitable for the functions you want in your PC.
    Understand this: You're not going to be utilizing all those functions at the same time, so the uber-1337 fastest quad-core CPU on the block isn't going to be necessary.
    Look at the task that will tax the system the most, and use that as a basis for your decision.

    Here's my input:
    Give up on over-the-air TV. Reception will suck while you're rolling. If you've got hte coin to invest in engine tuning software, you can drop the coin on mobile satellite TV.

    Don't try to be "cutting edge" and use Vista. XP is far more stable and compatible with apps out there.

    Go with HD Radio. Quality hardware for HD Radio is actually less expensive than a quality AM/FM tuner for the PC. And you get the added benefit of HD Radio.


    Lastly, I suggest looking around the Front End forums. There are three major front ends, all with their pros & cons. A front-end will make all the functions easily accessible to the driver and give you a pretty interface.
    They all have pretty much the same functionality, but different methodologies. The ones that aren't free have free trials so you can experiment with them before you drop the coin.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  9. #9
    Newbie dvsdimsum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riahc3 View Post
    You aren't helping too much....Im asking for specific things.

    Example: "A P4 or a Core 2 Duo should be enough". Things like that.

    I mean your basically telling me to look somewhere else and that anything is enough....
    FYI, we're actually being really helpful in saving you the headaches that come with projects like building a functional computer that works inside an automotive environment. Being spoonfed usually leads to ignorant newbies than end up spending more money than necessary, owning equipment that they don't need, and eventually dropping the hobby out of frustration.

    To address your question/example, we aren't able to provide you a qualitative assessment ("X is sufficient, Y is necessary") because we aren't informed as to what you demand from this vehicle. The same goes for computers in general: my old Dell is a 700mhz Celeron with integrated video, more than capable for what I intend it to do. If I were to go and try going on a Crysis gaming-marathon, it'd be a HORRIBLE choice. Likewise, your needs will likely dictate what hardware you'll be looking to implement.

    To get you started however, a P4 platform is likely to run warmer and be less power-efficient than many newer platforms. Do your own cost-versus-benefits analysis, and you should see where you stand. As another example, I started off with an old battery-dead P3 laptop and an automotive power adapter, and have since moved on to a D945GCLF2 powered by an M2-ATX. The first was a quick-and-dirty assessment as to what I actually do with a computer in the car. The second is a long-term plan slowly coming to fruition.

    Since you're planning without the vehicle, I suggest you postpone until you acquire the car itself. It's tough enough working around a car and measuring things (measure twice, cut once), it's significantly more difficult planning without having the car in front of you to peek around in and lining things up. This way, you'll be able to see the existing wiring and available space to route/store the carputer.

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