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Thread: New to this...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    New to this...


    I am new to the whole Car PC thing, but am very interested in building my own. I have built desktop computers before and am fairly computer-savvy. I am thinking about building the system custom using an Intel board with an Atom processor (more specifically the D945GCLF2D board w/ integrated processor.) I have a few basic questions to start off:

    1) The mini-ITX case that I am looking at comes with an AC power supply. I want to have this computer come on and shutdown when I turn my car on/off. Therefore, I am considering using a DC-DC power supply such as the M3 or M4-ATX. My question is, I would assume this is not mounted inside the case as the AC power supply is. Would I have to build a custom area to mount this power supply?

    2) Also, I was wondering how tolerant regular HDDs are to the bumps and shocks from driving. Would it be a better idea to use SSD drives instead?

    Thank you in advance,


    PS: Sorry for any bad English, as it is not my native language.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    i know that a case is offered for the m4, but not sure how 'mountable' the case is though.

    as long as the hdd is secured properly, and does not use any vibration reducing mounts(which, ironically, can cause more vibration on the drive), any hdd selection is fine. there are some debates on this in the environmental section--some have had 3.5" drives outlast 2-3 wrecks that have totaled the cars...

    the biggest difference, that i have seen could be boot times. ssd is the winner, but at the cost of higher-per-gb-price drives.

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Why would you need an M4-ATX? That's way overkill for an Atom system. An M2 is more than enough. I've heard the M3 isn't compatible with that motherboard (it doesn't supply enough power on the 5V line), so I wouldn't use it with that motherbaord. The M2 fits in cases such as the case, the VoomPC case, and the Morex 5677 case. Those are Mini-ITX cases. It should fit in any Micro-ATX or larger case.

    For the hard drive, they survive just fine, as long as they are solidly mounted. No bungee cord harddrive suspension system, please! Mount it solidly to the computer case, and securely bolt the computer case to the car, and the car's suspension system is all you need. I've heard laptop hard drives have higher shock resistance than desktop hard drives, but I don't have any data to back that up.


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