Question What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards?

May 12, 2023
3
0
10
Hi everyone, I'm planning to install a computer in an off-road car, and I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions and vibrations. I'm looking for recommendations on the best motherboards and components to use for this purpose, with a specific requirement for a 3090 GPU. What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards that can handle off-road driving, and that can accommodate a 3090 GPU? And what other factors should I consider when building a computer for use in a vehicle? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks​
 
Solution
Hi everyone, I'm planning to install a computer in an off-road car, and I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions and vibrations. I'm looking for recommendations on the best motherboards and components to use for this purpose, with a specific requirement for a 3090 GPU. What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards that can handle off-road driving, and that can accommodate a 3090 GPU? And what other factors should I consider when building a computer for use in a vehicle? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks​
I'd suggest looking for industrial motherboards. I'm not really sure there is such a thing as industrial GPU's...

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions
Make sure that all intakes are filtered.

Though your endeavor isn't exactly practical, IMHO. You could look into a small form factor build but with a RTX3090 in there, you might be pushing your options for a portable rig.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Armin_K99

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
So unfortunately this just plain doesn't exist. PC motherboards are not made for an offroad and/or high vibration environment. Even with a board made for harsh environments, whatever 3090 you get isn't going to survive very long.

There are many camera systems on the market that can do this in 4k already, for a fraction of the cost of this idea. Why are you motivated to reinvent the wheel?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Armin_K99

Maxsupertweaker

Distinguished
May 29, 2014
76
3
18,645
He asked for a mothboard recommendation. Depending on his budget giving the least expensive brand name motherboard choices is a starting point. However he decides to cushion and protect his cases is already planned in his mind.

You really should read the entire OP before commenting.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
He asked for a mothboard recommendation. Depending on his budget giving the least expensive brand name motherboard choices is a starting point. However he decides to cushion and protect his cases is already planned in his mind.

You really should read the entire OP before commenting.
Yes, I did read it. In detail.
Did you?

The question asked:
"What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards"
"I'm planning to install a computer in an off-road car, and I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions and vibrations"

What makes those specific motherboards applicable to this requirement?
'least expensive' was never mentioned.
 

Maxsupertweaker

Distinguished
May 29, 2014
76
3
18,645
You have a sense of "forum ownership" though you're a member just like me. I highly suggest you stop trolling other member's posts. Recommendations are fine but being an "absolutist" does not impress anyone.

This is my final post in this topic.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
@RetiredEarly.

@USAFRet is indeed a member but he is not "just like you".

He is a very knowledgeable, experienced, reliable, and long time participant in this Forum.

And certainly not a troll.

I agree that your last post should be your final post with respect to the topic at hand.

And I will add the suggestion that you review the Forum rules regarding courtesy and decorum in general.

If the rules are not acceptable to you then, as another suggestion, consider making that final post your final post within this Forum.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Well, if I had to stick with desktop components I would hard mount an ITX motherboard to something in the car and connect the GPU to motherboard using a riser cable. Then separately mount the GPU nearby. SFX power supply would get the same treatment (or you could look into running some heavy duty DC to DC converters off the battery and eliminate the DC-AC-DC conversion step, check out Vicor DC-DC converters on ebay)

Now to avoid stress on the boards I might consider water cooling. CPU AIO would have most of its weight mounted elsewhere, and a GPU waterblock would remove most of the movement of the heatsink bouncing up and down and loosening the thermal paste/pads.

EK has some decent pricing on 30 series blocks. Not really sure how a pump would fair, but you could always go automotive grade. Prius pumps are readily available...Just add fittings and a radiator somewhere.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Oh I should add that there are 12V only motherboards out there. Both the 12VO ATX standard and those that will run on a barrel jack plug for more industrial uses.

AsRock also has the slightly smaller DTX standard they sometimes makes boards for.

There are also companies that sell 12V input ATX power supplies, pretty pricey though.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
Well, if I had to stick with desktop components I would hard mount an ITX motherboard to something in the car and connect the GPU to motherboard using a riser cable. Then separately mount the GPU nearby. SFX power supply would get the same treatment (or you could look into running some heavy duty DC to DC converters off the battery and eliminate the DC-AC-DC conversion step, check out Vicor DC-DC converters on ebay)

Now to avoid stress on the boards I might consider water cooling. CPU AIO would have most of its weight mounted elsewhere, and a GPU waterblock would remove most of the movement of the heatsink bouncing up and down and loosening the thermal paste/pads.

EK has some decent pricing on 30 series blocks. Not really sure how a pump would fair, but you could always go automotive grade. Prius pumps are readily available...Just add fittings and a radiator somewhere.

Again though, this is a problem that can be solved for $450 by this camera


Eliminating every single possible problem while performing better in every way. The path of doing this with a PC should never be encouraged.
 
Hi everyone, I'm planning to install a computer in an off-road car, and I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions and vibrations. I'm looking for recommendations on the best motherboards and components to use for this purpose, with a specific requirement for a 3090 GPU. What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards that can handle off-road driving, and that can accommodate a 3090 GPU? And what other factors should I consider when building a computer for use in a vehicle? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks​
I'd suggest looking for industrial motherboards. I'm not really sure there is such a thing as industrial GPU's:

Typically they use derated components, that's about it, in a simplified design. It's really going to be how you assemble the system that makes it "rugged". After initial assembly and test out, I'd stake all heavy components on the motherboard and in the GPU with an appropriate epoxy adhesve (3M 2216 b/a is perfect for this).

Probably fabricate some support frames for mounting and supporting the GPU connected with a PCie extender cable. CPU cooling can be a problem since coolers also have to be properly shock supported; you don't want them bouncing around on top of the CPU as you go down the road. Also give the chassis some really good cooling air flow, with filtration using something like an automotive intake air filter, not typical PC chassis filters, to keep road dust out. I'd also derate the CPU and GPU clocks so they run cooler, if you can.

I'd also be very concerned about the PSU you use; I'm really not sure I've seen any ruggedized PSU's so you may have to get inside and stake the crap out of everything with that 2216 b/a. Cars move and vibrate incessantly, shocks and vibrations tear up delicate electronics. Heavy parts don't like to stop when the car stops or hits bumps so it tears at solder joints with time. Do that sort of thing accompanied with vibrations and thermal cycles and they crack. That's why you have to stake parts to the PWB or you'll soon be chasing gremlins.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Armin_K99
Solution
I'd suggest looking for industrial motherboards. I'm not really sure there is such a thing as industrial GPU's:

Typically they use derated components, that's about it, in a simplified design. It's really going to be how you assemble the system that makes it "rugged". After initial assembly and test out, I'd stake all heavy components on the motherboard and in the GPU with an appropriate epoxy adhesve (3M 2216 b/a is perfect for this).

Probably fabricate some support frames for mounting and supporting the GPU connected with a PCie extender cable. CPU cooling can be a problem since coolers also have to be properly shock supported; you don't want them bouncing around on top of the CPU as you go down the road. Also give the chassis some really good cooling air flow, with filtration using something like an automotive intake air filter, not typical PC chassis filters, to keep road dust out. I'd also derate the CPU and GPU clocks so they run cooler, if you can.

I'd also be very concerned about the PSU you use; I'm really not sure I've seen any ruggedized PSU's so you may have to get inside and stake the crap out of everything with that 2216 b/a. Cars move and vibrate incessantly, shocks and vibrations tear up delicate electronics. Heavy parts don't like to stop when the car stops or hits bumps so it tears at solder joints with time. Do that sort of thing accompanied with vibrations and thermal cycles and they crack. That's why you have to stake parts to the PWB or you'll soon be chasing gremlins.
Sorry to have to say it like this, but this is literally among some of the worst ideas I've read on this forum. Especially when a FAR, FAR better solution has already been offered that completely eliminates ALL of the potential problems with a project like this, was suggested by somebody who ACTUALLY DOES THIS KIND OF THING SEMI-PROFESSIONALLY and therefore might know a couple of things about it, and most importantly, above all else, is realistic, whereas the idea of desktop level hardware in a moving vehicle that will be run in harsh environments and subjected to all manner of bumps, vibrations and other environmental factors (Not least of which will certainly be a level of dust, dirt and moisture that no amount of filtration is going to solve) is completely unrealistic.

Sure, it might work for a few weeks. Or a day. Or the first major bump you hit. But even if it lasts for six months of the kind of "rugged" use imagined here, there is little to no chance it will last beyond that and most probably no where near that long, at a cost that is MUCH higher than other options. Hell, even a military grade ruggedized, hardened laptop would be a far better choice than this idea. But you know, sometimes some people have to watch their money burn before they will believe ALL of the experts who advised against it, despite the fact that they didn't know enough about it that they had to come and ask those experts for advice.

And for the record, there are no "industrial motherboards" that are intended for this kind of use with consumer level hardware in a "rugged offroad environment" that I am aware of. Or that anybody else here seems to be aware of either, which is funny, since most of them are current or ex military with extensive involvement in the kinds of operations that might call for hardware that could be used for such a thing. And if there was, it would almost 100% certainly be limited to use by specific groups, branches and organizations, ONLY, by contract with the manufacturer of said equipment. Purpose built computer systems used in military and specialized vehicles is a far cry from consumer or industrial hardware intended for use in stationary chassis, which even then, tend to rather too often see failures anyhow.

And as far as Maxsupertweakers comments are concerned, you're extremely lucky that none of the four moderators participating in this discussion decided to simply kick you off the island, because that is exactly what SHOULD have happened. As mentioned, civility is REQUIRED. It is NOT an "option" on this forum. You've been here since 2014 and you have zero excuse for not knowing, and abiding by that.
 
Last edited:

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
I'd suggest looking for industrial motherboards. I'm not really sure there is such a thing as industrial GPU's:

Typically they use derated components, that's about it, in a simplified design. It's really going to be how you assemble the system that makes it "rugged". After initial assembly and test out, I'd stake all heavy components on the motherboard and in the GPU with an appropriate epoxy adhesve (3M 2216 b/a is perfect for this).

Probably fabricate some support frames for mounting and supporting the GPU connected with a PCie extender cable. CPU cooling can be a problem since coolers also have to be properly shock supported; you don't want them bouncing around on top of the CPU as you go down the road. Also give the chassis some really good cooling air flow, with filtration using something like an automotive intake air filter, not typical PC chassis filters, to keep road dust out. I'd also derate the CPU and GPU clocks so they run cooler, if you can.

I'd also be very concerned about the PSU you use; I'm really not sure I've seen any ruggedized PSU's so you may have to get inside and stake the crap out of everything with that 2216 b/a. Cars move and vibrate incessantly, shocks and vibrations tear up delicate electronics. Heavy parts don't like to stop when the car stops or hits bumps so it tears at solder joints with time. Do that sort of thing accompanied with vibrations and thermal cycles and they crack. That's why you have to stake parts to the PWB or you'll soon be chasing gremlins.

I'm sorry but I have to say this. We should not be encouraging people to spend money on what WILL turn out to be a disaster.

@Armin_K99 please do yourself a favor and DO NOT follow this path or any other that follows using PC hardware for this situation. There are cameras made foor this exact application as I have linked. Or in a WORST case use a toughbook laptop (which is still a massively overpriced and inferior solution).
 
Sorry to have to say it like this, but this is literally among some of the worst ideas I've read on this forum. Especially when a FAR, FAR better solution has already been offered that completely eliminates ALL of the potential problems with a project like this, was suggested by somebody who ACTUALLY DOES THIS KIND OF THING SEMI-PROFESSIONALLY and therefore might know a couple of things about it, and most importantly, above all else, is realistic, whereas the idea of desktop level hardware in a moving vehicle that will be run in harsh environments and subjected to all manner of bumps, vibrations and other environmental factors (Not least of which will certainly be a level of dust, dirt and moisture that no amount of filtration is going to solve) is completely unrealistic.
...
I was a manufacturing engineer for a company that built military and aerospace hardware, I did this PROFESSIONALY and under some of the strictest quality control and performance testing regimes you can imagine. A few of our contracts were to build components that went into Army communications vans using COTS hardware....Commercial Off The Shelf. And that's exactly what we did, when we did anything: stake heavy components to boards, stiffen boards and mount heavy parts using fabricated bracing. About the only thing I didn't cover was to stiffen the computer case and mounting to the vehicle using shock and vibration mounts for maximum protection. But I seem to remember him stating he had the mounting sorted...and he was getting plenty enough advice already with none that seemed to directly answer the original question.
 
Last edited:
Hi everyone, I'm planning to install a computer in an off-road car, and I want to make sure it can withstand the harsh environmental conditions and vibrations. I'm looking for recommendations on the best motherboards and components to use for this purpose, with a specific requirement for a 3090 GPU. What are some good options for rugged and durable motherboards that can handle off-road driving, and that can accommodate a 3090 GPU? And what other factors should I consider when building a computer for use in a vehicle? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks​
When we did high vibration custom mounts were created. Metal platforms with spring supports. And beneath were soft rubber stoppers called snubbers for really hard jolts. During shipping when transportation was involved the platform would be bolted down tightly until needed...because shippers and riggers make a mess of things moving them. Everything was reinforced.

Most cars with ac seats have a small vent beneath the seat that leads toward the AC system. Remove the seat, tap the vent and feed that to your PC. But only run it when it's cold.
 
I was a manufacturing engineer for a company that built military and aerospace hardware, I did this PROFESSIONALY and under some of the strictest quality control and performance testing regimes you can imagine.
In which case, you should have been one of the first people lining up to discourage this avenue for somebody who is NOT a military or aerospace client and does NOT (And almost certainly never will) have access to those kinds of purpose built parts. You know damn well this guy won't ever have access to those kinds of extremely high end purpose built parts NOR the types of supporting hardware and frameworks required to make them last under those kinds of conditions. Not unless they are a millionaire with inside contacts at exactly the kinds of companies you are talking about, but MORE importantly, even if they did, it's still a ridiculous endeavor because the cost will be astronomical and you can do the same thing with a different solution that

1. Requires none of that

2. Costs 99% less.