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Thread: Laptop vs. Desktop PC

  1. #1
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    Laptop vs. Desktop PC

    I am ready to start planning my system. For now, I just want a basic system to play mp3's. Can anyone tell me the advantages using a Laptop vs. a desktop, and vice versa in a car?

  2. #2
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    PC= more power hungry but easier to automatically start up/shutdown
    Laptop = less power hungry, easier to power (cig adapter), but harder to automatically start up and shut down

    And for what its worth, i would not plan on building a car PC "for now". If there's ANY chance for expansion later down the road then plan for that. What you plan for now may limit what you can do in the future.
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  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    PC= more power hungry but easier to automatically start up/shutdown
    Laptop = less power hungry, easier to power (cig adapter), but harder to automatically start up and shut down
    This is all EXTREMELY generalized.
    You can build a low-power desktop with readily available components just like you can spec out a high-power laptop.

    Personally, I would look into the lower-power desktop components such as the Intel Atom 330. It has more than enough computing horsepower for the typical tasks that you'll perform on a PC in your ride.
    If you want a bump in graphic capability for smooth media playback or 3D visualizations, the nVidia ION chipset coupled w/ an Atom 330 is just the ticket.

    Granted, the Atom is not the only option for a low power system. There are mobile CPUs from both AMD and Intel available that seriously outperform the Atom. These tend to be more expensive, so keep your budget in mind when shopping.


    I agree 100% on the automatic shutdown factor. Desktop hardware and an "intelligent" DC-DC PSU makes this far easier to implement than it is for a laptop, especially if you want to retain the portability of the laptop.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    ......

    Personally, I would look into the lower-power desktop components such as the Intel Atom 330. It has more than enough computing horsepower for the typical tasks that you'll perform on a PC in your ride.
    If you want a bump in graphic capability for smooth media playback or 3D visualizations, the nVidia ION chipset coupled w/ an Atom 330 is just the ticket.


    ..........
    The newest is the D510 atom that I believe has the same performance as the 330 but uses less power. The intel mobo with embedded D510 is D510MO. Like $80. There are ION variants that have better video and cost more.
    . Rather than a more expensive processor, many people are better of with an SSD like this Western Digital.
    If a huge amount of media needs to be stored, as spinning USB drive can be used. It will be spun down automatically except when the media is used. The USB would work well on either a laptop or purpose built system.

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    I was leaning towards a laptop, because of space issues. Unless, somebody gives me a good reason not to go that route. I think that I can work around the start up and shut down issues. I am not afraid to take the case apart, and solder some wires on the pc board where the start button is. I would run the wires to the dash, and basically have a clone of the start button on my dash. Does anyone have any ideas for shutdown with a laptop? I was actually just gonna pick up an older laptop on craigslist for maybe $50-$100. Is there anything that I should stay away from, when it comes to a laptop?

  6. #6
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    Dell's have a charging chip that make it expensive to replace the power brick or go dc-dc with. No aftermarket chargers would work.

    For shutdown, I'm using a program from a user on here called shut control. When the battery is unplugged it picks up the event and you can choose when and what to do. Mine waits 10 seconds and hibernates. With a relay to the ignition it starts with the car.
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    If you go the laptop route, you can use the Carnetix p1900 to power most models. The Dell and HP 'smart' pin has been covered. Check my worklog for my HP work-around. I also reference the Dell work-around in there too that Gecko came up with.

    The other alternative is to use a relay to signal the startup, and shutdown button on the laptop. Then you just need to tell the laptop what to do when the power button is pressed.
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    Lind Electronics makes DC to DC chargers for Dells that are no more expensive than getting a power supply for a desktop. I got both of mine on eBay for less than $20 each.

    I use a docking station with my Dell M60 that makes it very easy to remove and take into the house for updates and other uses. My connections are all on the docking station.

    I also use Shut Control for power down, and have a relay to start the laptop with the ignition
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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i prefer a custom built pc to a laptop solution simply because i can replace individual parts that fail easier, upgrade certain parts easier, and because they are open components already, i don't need to hack anything to work.

  10. #10
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    I would love to be able to use the PCI sound and video cards that I already own. But, I have a small car with not a lot of space to spare. Do they make specific PC cases for cars that are smaller than normal cases?

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