HP T730 8GB RAM 32GB Storage Thin Client

WANg

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Just for curiosity, where do you guys use these clients? I've experimented with these in the past but they seem to have fallen out of practicality compared to NUCs' form factor and the amount of free software you cannot run when running virtualised Windows Server.
Eh, see my thread about using the t730 as an ESXi hypervisor (mine currently have at least 2 WinS16 VM instances at home and at least 3 Debian VMs).

It's actually more practical than a NUC since:
a) It can support more than one NIC (the Broadcom fiber and the Realtek)
b) It has a PCIe x8 slot (so mine drives 40GbE to the NAS)
c) It has as much horsepower as a Skylake i5 NUC (it's basically the embedded version of the AMD fx7600p APU found in gaming laptops) and a cousin of its APU (RX421BD, based on Excavator instead of Steamroller) can be found on the relatively new QNAP TVS-x73 storage appliances.

That being said, I am waiting for my t740 to ship.
 
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Fireworm

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I wanted to make it known: the HP power supply with these is special. It has a Smart Pin in the center, which has voltage on it (which is nonstandard). You can bypass this to use any psu by jumping the connection inside the case, on the jack itself. A small piece of wire connecting the pin lead to the "inside" lead (right next to the pin lead) will fix it. Since it's a small wire, no soldering, it's also easily reversible.

It's definitely hacky, but works. No idea if it is silently damaging stuff, but no smoke yet. Finding original HP power bricks seems to be harder for these older machines....
 

nthu9280

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Ebay search

(519330-001,463955-001) -(generic)

should find you the HP 90w power supplies for <$15. Not sure if the T730 are different. There are HP 135W and 230W PS if needed. They are also fairly inexpensive.
 
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WANg

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I wanted to make it known: the HP power supply with these is special. It has a Smart Pin in the center, which has voltage on it (which is nonstandard). You can bypass this to use any psu by jumping the connection inside the case, on the jack itself. A small piece of wire connecting the pin lead to the "inside" lead (right next to the pin lead) will fix it. Since it's a small wire, no soldering, it's also easily reversible.

It's definitely hacky, but works. No idea if it is silently damaging stuff, but no smoke yet. Finding original HP power bricks seems to be harder for these older machines....
Eh, they are not special at all - any mid-size IT shop supporting a fleet of HP ProBook/Elite laptops and docking stations will have compatible power bricks (7.4mm "black ring tip" )with them that will work on the t730 - I can certainly vouch for this. Hell, my t730 has been using the 120w power brick (645156-001) from my HP 2012 Advanced docking station (A7E36AA#ABA - which is less than 30 USD on eBay and used with my HP laptop to drive 2 Displayport LCDs) with no issues whatsoever, and it even runs on my 90w universal laptop power brick from iGo (30 dollar purchase from the Radio shack liquidation) just fine. I am pretty sure that I can have it working on my 65w HP Elitebook 2560p power adapter as well. The big benefit to the 90w adapter I am using now on the t730 (HP part 042519-11) is the 90 degree barrel jack so when my cats climb up to the server cabinet they won't use it as a step. Otherwise, just look for a genuine HP 90w power brick compatible with HP EliteBooks from the numerous hardware liquidators on eBay.
 
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Fireworm

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Eh, they are not special at all - any mid-size IT shop supporting a fleet of HP ProBook/Elite laptops and docking stations will have compatible power bricks with them that will work on the t730 - I can certainly vouch for this. Hell, my t730 has been using the 120w power brick (645156-001) from my HP 2012 Advanced docking station (A7E36AA#ABA - which is less than 30 USD on eBay and used with my HP laptop to drive 2 Displayport LCDs) with no issues whatsoever, and it even runs on my 90w universal laptop power brick from iGo (30 dollar purchase from the Radio shack liquidation) just fine. I am pretty sure that I can have it working on my 65w HP Elitebook 2560p power adapter as well. The big benefit to the 90w adapter I am using now on the t730 (HP part 042519-11) is the 90 degree barrel jack so when my cats climb up to the server cabinet they won't use it as a step. Otherwise, just look for a genuine HP 90w power brick compatible with HP EliteBooks from the numerous hardware liquidators on eBay.
Yep, my point is: you cannot use just *any* power supply. It has to be hp, because it it needs the power on the center pin.
 
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WANg

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Yep, my point is: you cannot use just *any* power supply. It has to be hp, because it it needs the power on the center pin.
Yeah, and my point is "finding original HP power bricks is not that hard at all, since anything HP Elite based will work right off the bat". And no, it doesn't have to be HP, as long as it's HP compatible. Hence the mention of the iGo brick. The genuine authentic HP model simply makes it a little less risky to use since it's less likely to be made with bad materials and poor build quality.
 
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grotto

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Hello everyone! I'm a new user, starting to build a little hypervisor using a T730. I'm running into a little issue during the ESXi install. I installed ESXi from a USB key onto another USB key installed into the internal USB A port. The install went fine after I enabled hardware virtualization in the BIOS. However, I'm unable to boot from the internal USB port. I tried playing with the BIOS settings to confirm that USB boot is enabled and it is, but no matter what I do I can't get the system to boot from the internal USB.

Has anyone been able to get this to work?
 
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mimino

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Hello everyone! I'm a new user, starting to build a little hypervisor using a T730. I'm running into a little issue during the ESXi install. I installed ESXi from a USB key onto another USB key installed into the internal USB A port. The install went fine after I enabled hardware virtualization in the BIOS. However, I'm unable to boot from the internal USB port. I tried playing with the BIOS settings to confirm that USB boot is enabled and it is, but no matter what I do I can't get the system to boot from the internal USB.

Has anyone been able to get this to work?
Can't really help with the issue, but installing hypervisor on a flash drive probably isn't a great idea, at least not for production use. You will kill it in no time. I saw this happen with proxmox some time ago when experimenting with it.
 
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rivet

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Hello everyone! I'm a new user, starting to build a little hypervisor using a T730. I'm running into a little issue during the ESXi install. I installed ESXi from a USB key onto another USB key installed into the internal USB A port. The install went fine after I enabled hardware virtualization in the BIOS. However, I'm unable to boot from the internal USB port. I tried playing with the BIOS settings to confirm that USB boot is enabled and it is, but no matter what I do I can't get the system to boot from the internal USB.

Has anyone been able to get this to work?
It doesn't seem possible to boot from the internal USB port, as confirmed by a couple of posters. It's puzzling, and makes me wonder what the internal port was intended for.
 
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grotto

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It doesn't seem possible to boot from the internal USB port, as confirmed by a couple of posters. It's puzzling, and makes me wonder what the internal port was intended for.
Do you know if it's possible to have an internal USB drive mounted by ESXi? I'm struggling with this, despite the ESXi installer being able to see the internal USB drive.
 
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Cookie1990

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I'll have to test this one out once the t740 arrives.
Any new informations about the t740?
I would like to buy a 730 or 740 for pfsense and would like to see some troughput benchmarks with cpu utilisation and power consumption if you dont mind :D.
cheers
 
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WANg

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Any new informations about the t740?
I would like to buy a 730 or 740 for pfsense and would like to see some troughput benchmarks with cpu utilisation and power consumption if you dont mind :D.
cheers
Eh, you know that I have an entire thread dedicated to the t740, right? The t740 is a very different beast from the t730, up to 3x more powerful, and since it can do limited SRIOV, it's more useful as well.

As for pfsense - are you looking for numbers with it running bare metal or virtualized? My only pfsense instance is running as a VM within Proxmox 6.1.8 (don't run ESXi, it's not great for low wattage consumer home labs - I am pretty much giving up on VSphere at this point) with 2 Mellanox 40GbE VFs assigned to it via SRIOV. Since my Arista 7050QX-32s is back in my office (and NYC is not fully coming out of quarantine until July), I can't tell you how much throughput I am getting out of it on the 40GbE VF side. I would not be surprised if the Ryzen can sustain 40GbE bandwidth - of course, I would have to setup something in my house to consume 40GbE for testing. iperf3 between pfsense and the hypervisor itself using the built-in NIC via virtio (paravirtualized NICh is 2.5GBps, and it's 1GBps to the NAS on the other side of my living room (which runs on Gigabit fiber/copper anyways).

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 7.08.03 PM.png

As for numbers, let's see, I just upgraded the Elekcity Voltson smart plugs in the house, and I can only take screenshots on my iPhone, but here's the rough numbers read from the Voltson smartplug on "what you see is what you use off the wall" mode.

t740 Thin client, 8GB of RAM, 256GB Intel SATA SSD, Proxmox 6.1.8, Mellanox MCX353A-FCBT (ConnectX3 VPI), 6 VFs active on boot - Only thing connected is the power lead and Gigabit ethernet.

Screen Shot 2020-05-23 at 6.31.11 PM.png

2 minutes after startup: 20w
4 VMs started (3 Linux, 768MB RAM each, 1 pfsense, 2GB RAM, ~5GB RAM in total allocated) , 3 grabbing 2 VFs each, idle - 24w
4 VMs (2 running stress -c 3, 1 idle, 1 pfsense) - 27w
4 VMs (2 running stress -c 3, 1 idle, 1 pfsense) + stress -c 6 -m 2 --vm-bytes 1G on Proxmox itself - 31w

I have no idea why the wattage is so low - my suspicion is that it's thermally limited since the temp reading is around 98 C, and return-to-idle is roughly the same usage (25w, 1w from the fan cooling the system down). It might also have to do with the fact that the Vega 8 GPU Is not being used whatsoever. The Vega 8 can be a power hog when pushed hard. Note that most of the VCE magic only works on Windows.

That doesn't seem like much - but going with the notes since I booted it earlier to Windows 10 IoT 64 to do efficiency testing for HTPC competitiveness:

t740 Thin client, 8GB of RAM, 64GB eMMC+256GB Intel SATA SSD, Intel X520-DA2 10GbE adapter on but not used, DP->HDMI connected to 4k TV (running 1080p), USB mouse/keyboard combo, Gigabit ethernet
On boot: 41w (everything powered up)
2 minutes after stabilized boot: 25w (GPU on and displaying on HDMI, CPU idle)
Dolphin NGC/Wii emulator + Super Mario Galaxy, 2x native resolution @ 98%: 41w (45% CPU load, 85% GPU load avg)
Dolphin NGC/Wii emulator + Auto Modellista, 3x native resolution @ 100%: 28w (35% CPU load, 75% GPU load avg.)
PCSX2 PS2 Emulator/Star Wars battlefront 2: 27w (15% CPU load, 45% GPU load avg.)
Playing 1080p H264 - 30w (VCN half engaged)
Playing 4k H265 - 33w (VCN fully engaged)
Playing 4k VP9 via Google Chrome (Youtube UHD content) - 44w (VCN1 does not have 4k accelerated playback for VP9)
Transcoding 4k H265 to 1080p H264 via Handbrake - 83w (the CPU and GPU are both hammered due to VCE not being all that efficient)

Oh yeah, and here's the equivalent numbers for the t730 - that t730 does have 32GB of DDR3 RAM and no secondary SSD. The t740 is much more power efficient as a server. But as an HTPC? Hmm...I'll need to compare it to something like a Skylake NUC, especially for VP9/H265 and Quicksync transcoding. It's not really fair comparing it to the t730 since it's a GCN4.2 GPU that barely accelerates modern video codecs.
 
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Cookie1990

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Nov 4, 2017
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Thanks for the fast answer!
But if your system draws that much energy, I go with smt else.
For the Money of a T740 I could get so much other stuff here in germany...
 
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WANg

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Thanks for the fast answer!
But if your system draws that much energy, I go with smt else.
For the Money of a T740 I could get so much other stuff here in germany...
Yeah, but what exactly are you targeting for in terms of price and performance-per-watt? For the t740 the performance is like a 2018 MacMini base model (coffee lake i3-8100B performs slightly lower than the V1756B...which is like a Ryzen 5 2400GE but with Vega 8 instead of 11) but with the benefit of a low form factor PCIe slot (like a NUC9 but not at their 900 USD listed price).

The t740 pricing in the US were from secondary sales and are significantly below retail. I got mine for 400 USD (including shipping and applicable taxes), and certain forum members paid around 300-320 due to a recent CDW clearance sale. Given that price level (300-400 for a complete system) it compares very well against buying your own APU+RAM+SSD+system board+chassis. I certainly do not advise anyone paying 600 USD retail "new" pricing for the t740 as you are better off with an HP Microserver G10 Plus (the Xeon-E2K spec) or something similar. Of course, I have no idea how the pricing differs in Germany.

The numbers I got in Proxmox were based on 8GB RAM, a PCIe slot populated with a Mellanox CX3 VPI (ASPM disabled) and 256GB of SATA M.2 SSD. The 31w total power usage there assumes 4 VMs, 3 with CX3 virtual functions assigned, 2 of the VMs were maxed out (via stress-ng) and the hypervisor itself also pegged out. If you compare that to similar conditions on the t730 (32GB of RAM, Solarflare 10GbE/iSCSI, no VFs defined, 5 VMs each pegging their vCPUs, 54w) it does represent some significant savings and much better performance throughput - the very idea of being able to handle 40GbE wirespeed on a VM via SRIOV hosted out of a thin client is rather compelling.

Ultimately, it depends on what you plan to do, how you plan to do, and how much shelf space you are willing to give up. The t640s were known to be sold at around 150, the t730s are at 90, the t630 are at 70 and the t620 plus are even lower at 50-60 stateside. There are also other NUCs and corporate NUCs out there. If you are willing to give up space for savings there are also off-lease SFF desktops with PCIe slots that are cheaper.
 
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Cookie1990

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I dont know, but if you put 30Watts in perspective with 500€ - 700€ to buy this with the hassle of a used product or import or the fact that it is "just an thin client".. It's no worth it anymore for me.

I think I buy a Zotac ZBOX CA621, maybe the Shuttle XPC slim DS10U3 as micro Hypervisor, a Fritzbox as Modem and Acces Point and keep my EdgerouterX.

I'm aware that it will use maybe 33% more power, but it will cost only 350€ (used Fritzbox or rented with DSL), and for 65€ I can add 2x2,5GB USB Networkadapters and still have pocketmoney left in comparison for the HP t740.
 
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WANg

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I dont know, but if you put 30Watts in perspective with 500€ - 700€ to buy this with the hassle of a used product or import or the fact that it is "just an thin client".. It's no worth it anymore for me.

I think I buy a Zotac ZBOX CA621, maybe the Shuttle XPC slim DS10U3 as micro Hypervisor, a Fritzbox as Modem and Acces Point and keep my EdgerouterX.

I'm aware that it will use maybe 33% more power, but it will cost only 350€ (used Fritzbox or rented with DSL), and for 65€ I can add 2x2,5GB USB Networkadapters and still have pocketmoney left in comparison for the HP t740.
Okay, so once again, this depends on your specific usage case, and how the systems are valued in your geography. It also depend on local economic conditions. For example, the rumor on the street about the t640/t740s being tossed onto US secondary markets so early in their lifecycle had to do with retail chains undergoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy re-org during the COVID pandemic (involving store closures) and having to terminate long term equipment lease contracts - whomever is the counter-party on the lease now has a whole bunch of thin clients (many of which, despite pre-allocated and sold as "used", were likely never deployed, like this t740 I have here) that they cannot easily re-sell eating up warehouse space.
Those thin clients have not much residual value (at least from the standpoint of a hardware liquidator trying to get unfamiliar hardware off the shelves).

If you are US or Canada based and you are paying attention, you're pleased as punch that you just got yourself a decent mini-hypervisor that's less than the price of building one. While yes, it is “just a thin client”, but tell me about the other PCIex16 equipped Ryzen embedded thin client (or ITX mini system) supported by a major vendor that is mispriced by US based liquidators for a decent deal...
 
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WANg

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Spotted these just released, idk whether they are good for anything.
CAPA13RPH4G-V1605B w/fan3.5” SBC with AMD RYZEN APU V1605B DisplayPort/2 HDMI/LVDS and 4 Gigabit LANs with fan
$620​
Uh, that probably deserves its own thread - the CAPA13R series from Axiometic is a Raspberry Pi 4 sized SBC with one RAM slot and everything integrated...but then, you'll have a RAM ceiling of 16 (or possibly 32, untested) GB, and the embedded NIC is Realtek based. I personally would lean more towards the Udoo Bolt V8 (assuming that you want something small form factor). Of course, neither one is what I would consider cheap by a long country mile. You can probably buy a t640 for 200, or a Ryzen corporate NUC for 250-300 stateside (depending on your luck).
 
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