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Thread: Epia vs. Regular Motherboard

  1. #11
    Maximum Bitrate tom2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Sharon, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by jnusaira
    ok i tried searching for my answer, but havent seen it.

    So ... is there a REALLLY big value going with Epia??

    I am asuming the advantage is that it consumes a LOT less power and is a lot more compact, however probably less powerful for the price?

    Thats what i am assuming from what i have seen. (since as u know cpu speed is often relative)

    So basically what i want to do u really think i should go for the Epia over a Regular compact anthalon board ???


    In case you haven't figured it out, everyone has an opinion on the subject. The reason for that is that this choice has a lot of factors. And a lot of those factors are dependent on individual needs. So, everyone is different.

    To make a long story short, it all depends on what you want out of your CarPC and how much you have to spend.

    The three big factors are:
    Space - where are you putting it?
    Power - how're you powering it?
    Money - how much can you spend?

    In short, the EPIA systems (not just the board) tend to be more expensive, smaller and lower power. The P4 or Athlon systems tend to be power hungry, bigger, and less expensive. Keep in mind those are generalities. Anyone can put together a dozen systems that prove me wrong. My point is to be general to give you an idea of what motivated most people to choose one or the other.

    The people going the Via EPIA route are usually looking for low power solutions with a small foot print. That's the EPIA's sweet spot. However, the EPIA is no power house in the performance category. That doesn't mean that you can't do GPS, DVD's, MP3's, and ODBII stuff - all at once even. It does fine on all that. You're not going to be playing Quake III Arena on it though.

    Another downside to the EPIA is the cost. The cost of the board is probably cheaper than a good P4 board and CPU, but most EPIA users spend more because they add on all kinds of higher cost - low power or space saving devices. If you go with a P4 or Athlon you're already blowing low-power and space-saving out of the picture, so why spend more on a low power or space-saving DVD-ROM or HDD?

    The P4 or Athlon systems draw significantly more power than the EPIA's. They also make more heat. If you're planning to put this baby in your trunk, then who cares how hot it is? Put a fan in the case and call it a day. If you're planning to integrate the unit in your dashboard, then you've got some space and ventilation problems to solve.

    Power is another issue altogether. Obviously power contributes to heat as well, so it is doubly important. Also, if you're power requirements exceed the Opus 150 watt power supply's output, then you've got to design your own power setup. The Opus is pricey but it takes care of a lot of issues, including power during engine crank - a big issue for most non-Opus users. Most non-Opus users have power inverters. They can be expensive, depending on how much power you need. If you go the power inverter route you usually end up working on tank circuits and all kinds of other electronics that I don't know much about. So I'll let someone else talk about that.

    From my tag-line you can tell which route I went. Mine's not better or worse than anyone else's system. It's mine and I made it with me in mind. You have to prioritize your goals (Cost, Power, Space) and make your own descisions. I hope this helps.

    So far:
    M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate RX7FDTT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    This battery will last me about 20 seconds just enough to shut the CPU down

  3. #13
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Victoria, Texas
    EPIA or not to EPIA.. i do not know

    I currently have a ECS K7S5A+ mobo with a 1700+
    I am getting a Opus to run it. I know it can handle it with ease. But my concern is the heat.

    Living in Texas, when summer comes its gonna be HOT! I dont know how to deal with the heat issues that i think will come up. Sometimes in the summer it gets up to 120ish F inside your car from sittin out. So what should I do for the heat issues. I really don't want to get a EPIA and spend another $120 since I already have a workable setup, however idk if a regular mobo will work with the heat conditions around here.

  4. #14
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    Thanks :)

    Well i am going to probably put it in the hatch.

    I have a 99 camaro ... so under the seat is out of the question ... and i i haev noquams wiring to the hatch ... although the computer will then be exposed to direct sunlight ... but i can probably put something over it with no hassle.

    with a celeron lets say ... whats the max u can hook up to it?
    1999 Camaro z28
    -- Computer installed :) Phase 1
    -- z28 302hp dynoed :( WAHH!!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    first of all, the power inverter is rated to put out 600watts, in reality it would probably put out between 100 to 250watts depending on usage, secondly i'm running dual batteries , the rear battery powers teh pc and stereo completely independant, that battery is a powercel 70ah, weight 27kg i recall, an opus would be good, however for the cost of me to get one into aust, is by far more han double the cost i got my 600 watt power inverter for hence the reason i chose that. i did have a athlon 1200 running in there previously, was good however it wants the processing power of a p4, which is why its a p4 2.6 now. i first connected my pc thinking i'd be lucky to hit 1 hour with the inverter, however using the multimeter i found that i was quite wrong in saying just 1 hour, till the amp cut out or pc starts to shut down would probably be in the area of 5-8 hours depending on how hard u push the pc

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