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Thread: A master with Desktops, complete noob with Carputers.

  1. #1
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    A master with Desktops, complete noob with Carputers.

    Ok, so this is what I want to run, I want to know if its unrealistic, if its going to totaly drain my battery, or if it is doable.

    I have a spare P4 2.4 w/ HT, and an asus P4P-800VM Mobo, 512 MB DDr 400, and a GeForce 4 Ti4800 gfx card, WiFi and a DVD / CDRW combo. Aditionaly I want to run a Sound Blaster Xetigy, 40 gig Laptop HD, 7 inch touch screen and an FM Tuner, possibly a rear webcam.

    I know its overkill for DVD's and MP3's, but it would also be nice to let ppl play Doom 3, or Far Cry while driving. Is this realistic, or am I dreaming.

    What type of PSU will I need, without an inverter, and is it possible to put the system into hibernate mode over night, while the car is off so I dont need to wory about powering it up fully every day.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate egeekial's Avatar
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    That Geforce4 is really going to suck up some juice...

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    Quote Originally Posted by egeekial
    That Geforce4 is really going to suck up some juice...
    What do you suggest than, that will perform. I dont realy care about having "The best gfx quality" as its going to be running on an LCD screen, so its basicly just to prevent choppyness.

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    i'm using a pci radeon 9200SE. not to high on the power sucking meter

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    i will be using onboard video. the last thing i want is my passengers playing video games on it, then tehy will constantly nag you to install more games, and that stuff REALLY makes me mad, i got a really bad temper and a short fuse

    plus the onboard video uses alot less power

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    Ok, so I'm gonna downgrade to an ATI 9200, how about the rest of the options Ive listed. What type of a PSU should I use, without going to an inverter?

  7. #7
    FLAC ppgt94's Avatar
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    An Opus 150 can most likely handle that...and then some. You won't kill you battery if you start your car once a week.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate mushin's Avatar
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    sapper, (can I call you sapper? ) you can certainly do it, even with a more powerful video card. The whole thing is going to be sucking up a fair amount of juice though, and for that there's two areas you need to make sure is covered:

    1) It's not battery you should be worried about, but your alternator. Make sure your alternator can put out the current necessary for your rig, plus whatever the rest of your car (headlights, HVAC, etc) takes up. When you calculate your system draw, don't forget that's it's not what your system draws from the PSU (what we're usually concerned about) but what your PSU draws while supplying that system.

    2) PSU. Avoiding an inverter and going DC-DC has the upside of being fair bit more efficient, and will lower the load on the alternator. The problem is, I'm not sure many DC-DC PSUs are made in the output levels you're likely to need. The popular ones used around here max out at around 200W. You may be able to find large ones out there (though not likely made for cars, which means you'll need a good sized regulator for the whole thing), or, rigging up multiple PSUs might work.

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    Mushin, thanks for the info, and yeah sapper is cool....

    SO if I were to say, forget the P4, and move to an AMD Mobile processor, drawing less current, and perhaps a smaller mobo, (Does that matter with power draw, never thought of it that way, its always MORE POWER!) that would obvously lessen the stress on the alt. not by much, but its a start. And lets say, drop the Extigy, as that reqires a 12V DC connection as well, so theres more free power. I can make due perfectly fine with an Audigy card instead.

    How about Laptop DVD / CDRW drives, do they draw less current then desktop models? If so, I can shuffle that way.... man I'm basibly building a laptop, to be put into a desktop case in a car.... lol good times.

    Does that sound any better?

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate mushin's Avatar
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    Building laptops, yeah, I think a lot of us do that

    Yes, if you go to an AMD mobile (You can get an AMD mobile on a desktop platform?), and do all the rest, you should have no problems with power.

    Of course, if you want to build a monster in you car, have your passengers play Doom3, what have you, you can still do it, managing power just becomes tricker. If what you're going for is mp3/gps like most people, you really don't need much power.

    Laptop CD/DVD drives will draw less power than desktop models (mostly b/c they spin slower.) It depends on the speed, but a desktop drive can draw 30W peak. I think laptop drives are about half that.

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