What do I buy?

Another question that is often asked by those newcomers to the MP3Car.com community is “What all do I need to make a CarPC work in my application?”

While we cannot possibly tell you exactly everything you will want for your implementation, we can give you a decent list of the basics that you need to get your rolling:


  • Motherboard – keep size and power consumption in mind when purchasing.
  • Processor – as with the motherboard, size and power are a concern.
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some of the smaller VIA boards have imbedded processors. This means that you might not need to buy a seperate processor. You will need to research this further depending on the motherboard you are purchasing.
  • Memory – keep in mind that the more memory you have the longer your boot up times, however, the less memory you have the slower you computer can run. Also, please take note of the kind of memory your motherboard requires: DDR or DDRII (DDR2)
  • Hard Drive – people have had success with both laptop drives as well as full size drives in this community. Laptop drives consume less power but are generally slower and have less capacity while full size drives consume a bit more power but are generally faster and have more capacity. You will have to decide which one is right for your application. Both have proven to handle the harsh environment of in car use quite well, withstanding the bumps and jars that will present themselves from in car use.
    If you would like to read more about this very discussion, please see this thread.
  • Power Supply – Follow the FAQ located here and another one here to help determine the proper power supply size.
  • Display – remember, a computer uses a VGA input, not a composite input.
  • Optical Drives – for regular CD use and for loading software and the like.


There are many things you can add on to your CarPC. Some of those options are as follows:



If you’re looking for some suggestions, you might also try this thread started by Bugyte: System Recommendations.

Article written by RedGTiVR6.