Low power consumption, good performance build

I am starting to put together a system to be used on a ocean going SAILBOAT.

Any advise much appreciated on a low power consumption , with good performance system.


* low power draw
* run everyday business applications
* remote mounting of main enclosure in a dry location
* external dvd burner
* external usb "expansion" ports
* Good enough speed to convert video files, and burn to dvd
* I don't do any gaming, but some light CAD use
* will be using a 20" external monitor
* cheap (under 800.00)
* reasonable amount of storage

Have been looking at the car PC systems, like the VOOMPC and they seem perhaps too slow to process video?

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  1. Thanks, but not looking for a laptop. Too vulnerable to splashes. Need to house the guts in a safe place.
  2. Right, so take the laptop body, and build a box around it. You could take the screen off and use the body as a tower with the peripherals coming off of it.
  3. Wow that sounds like a deal! 59 bucks! I def like the price.

    @amw1011 how do you extend the ribbon data cable for a laptop display? Seems like you would need to solder it to a serial connector at some point? Maybe not really an extensioin, just cut the ribbon and make a connector at the display side, run vga cable from the video out port on the laptop base to the new connector and done.
  4. For that matter, maybe buying a laptop with a dead display may be the best price. Just plug in an external monitor, bluetooth kbrd and mouse and rock on.
  5. I would just forget the display and get a cheap one that is decent and use the HDMI connector.

    The problem is that laptop processors are made for low power, that laptop likely won't use more than 75w by itself.

    Here is another option though, even if I think that i7 720qm is good for your future proofing:







    This way you have a low power SSD for the programs and applications, but you can use the external hard drive for storage which will give you the ability to unplug it.

    Or you can look for cheap laptops on ebay, preferably with an i5 or i7 processor.
  6. Looks like what I need!

    Maybe with 12 volt power supply:

    A tiny case:

    and an external DVD:

    I like the SSD, should run cool in that case.

    Perhaps running windows 7?
  7. sorry about the links
  8. Nice catch on the PSU, I was thinking that you would convert it outside the box, never thought to look for a 12v unit.

    Yeah Windows 7 will run great on that system, it should be real fast and 4GB of RAM is more than enough.
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