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Thread: After reading the FAQ, have some questions - what would you recommend?

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate ABTsportsline's Avatar
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    After reading the FAQ, have some questions - what would you recommend?

    The FAQs here are great, but are pretty much for if you already know what you want/need.

    I will get either a laptop or one of those cappuccino (or here) pc's... the problem is i don't have experience using them so maybe if i tell you what i will mainly be using it for, can you recommend which to go with? then i can run from there and go through the FAQs about install....

    I mainly want it to store a large Mp3 collection on, and store some movies and video clips (standard avi, wmv, mpeg, etc).... and to play DVDs.

    I'd appreciate faster bootup (which makes laptops attractive), but size and where to put it are both important to me as well.

    how much ram do you think i'd need for doing this comfortably? what processor speed? what front end do you guys recommend i use for this? i know some people just use winamp, but given i may want to watch movies and dvd's, is there another one to use? would i be better off running linux? would i be better off with a laptop or cappuccino pc deal?

    also the dash in my civic has a double-din opening.... i was going to get the 8" touchscreen... i notcied the lilliput is half the price of the xenarc.. is the xenarc really THAT good or are you just paying more for the name? given i want to do some DVD watching, which screen would you recommend?

    thanks so much for your time, sorry for all the questions - these were all the questions i had after reading through the FAQs that were not answered.

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    mostly it depends. For the easiest cheapest carputer with only the most basic of functions,(IE dvd/mp3 ect) any mini-itx motherboard sold should have that capbility. Mostly anything would work really. My old 233mhz computer with 32 megs of ram running windows 98 could play mp3's and watch dvd's just as good as any p4 running 2.ghz+ can. Just look at regular used computers. Virtally any desktop make in the last 5-10 years can do it. Basically look around. There are people with 800mhz laptops, and there are people with 533 mhz mini-itx. There are also people running pentium 4's.

  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABTsportsline
    The FAQs here are great, but are pretty much for if you already know what you want/need.

    I will get either a laptop or one of those cappuccino (or here) pc's... the problem is i don't have experience using them so maybe if i tell you what i will mainly be using it for, can you recommend which to go with? then i can run from there and go through the FAQs about install....
    Mostly, it's a matter of personal taste. The *simplest* route is to get a pre-made PC like what is sold int he store here at mp3car. However, those units are based on the VIA EDEN processor. Sure, they are low-power, making them ideal for an in-car environment. Sure they don't have heat problems for the most part. Sure they are nice and svelte. But they are limited to 1.3Ghz CPU and they aren't the most powerful PC in the world. A Pentium III-based setup with the same clock speed, same amount of RAM, etc. will outpace an EPIA setup.
    There are other options, though. Some people like the Athlon XP-Mobile CPU, but those aren't being produced anymore, so the CPUs are getting harder to find. (Good thing mine is in transit!) There is also the Pentium M CPU. Those are more powerful CPUs (both in clock speeds and feature sets and FSB speed), as well as low-power.

    how much ram do you think i'd need for doing this comfortably? what processor speed? what front end do you guys recommend i use for this? i know some people just use winamp, but given i may want to watch movies and dvd's, is there another one to use? would i be better off running linux? would i be better off with a laptop or cappuccino pc deal?
    512MB is typical. I'm likely going to have 1GB of RAM, since my seetup's onboard video uses shared RAM and I want to have a big chunk of RAM available for video, since it's got two VGA-outs.
    Linux doesn't have as much software readily available to do what is typically wanted in a vehicle computer. There's no reason you couldn't run Linux, though.
    You can also use a Cappuccino as well. Another member is using one in their setup. Personally, it's not my cup of tea.

    also the dash in my civic has a double-din opening.... i was going to get the 8" touchscreen... i notcied the lilliput is half the price of the xenarc.. is the xenarc really THAT good or are you just paying more for the name? given i want to do some DVD watching, which screen would you recommend?
    Lilliput screens (particularly the earlier 7" ones) have been notorious for quality issues. The LCD panels themselves are used and pulled from slot and pachinko machines. Some have even reported seeing ghostly images of some game burned into their LCD.
    Is the image quality better on one or the other? A little, yeah. Xenarcs tend to be more reliable from what I have read from others. (It's worth stating that I don't have a screen for in-car use yet, so I am definitely not an authority!) There is a side-by-side comparison of Lilliput vs Xenarc over at DigitalWW.

    Good luck, brother.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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