HP T730 8GB RAM 32GB Storage Thin Client

arglebargle

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Jul 15, 2018
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Thanks for pointing these out, I pulled the trigger on one earlier today to replace my unreliable dual realtek pfsense machine.

HP t730 ThinClient AMD RX-427BB 2.70GHz 4GB 16GB Flash Radeon R7 No OS Installed | eBay

Seller accepted a BO of $170 plus the ~$20 shipping. I could have waited for a cheap listing but I need a replacement machine sooner than later, the realtek drivers are struggling to cope with gigabit fiber internet.
 

WANg

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Thanks for pointing these out, I pulled the trigger on one earlier today to replace my unreliable dual realtek pfsense machine.

HP t730 ThinClient AMD RX-427BB 2.70GHz 4GB 16GB Flash Radeon R7 No OS Installed | eBay

Seller accepted a BO of $170 plus the ~$20 shipping. I could have waited for a cheap listing but I need a replacement machine sooner than later, the realtek drivers are struggling to cope with gigabit fiber internet.
Uh...I am pretty sure that the onboard NIC is a Realtek as well (RTL8111), - that being said, you can populate the t730's Fiber NIC slot (M.2 Type E) with a Allied Telesis AT29M2 - the SC version is going for $25 including Shipping on eBay. Not sure if it'll be better when it comes to CPU utilization - I do know that some Realtek models can be real CPU hogs.
 

arglebargle

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Jul 15, 2018
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Uh...I am pretty sure that the onboard NIC is a Realtek as well (RTL8111), - that being said, you can populate the t730's Fiber NIC slot (M.2 Type E) with a Allied Telesis AT29M2 - the SC version is going for $25 including Shipping on eBay. Not sure if it'll be better when it comes to CPU utilization - I do know that some Realtek models can be real CPU hogs.
I'm going to drop a 10GbE card in and use it as a virtualized router on a stick. If I do anything with the onboard lan it'll be use it as a management interface for the hypervisor.

Something is causing the realtek driver in my current mini PC to become unstable under load. It's bad enough now that running an iperf client on the router to my Centos box over 1GbE can lock the interface entirely. The current pfsense machine is a Qotom dual port J1900 box, the T730 is a huge step up.
 

WANg

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I'm going to drop a 10GbE card in and use it as a virtualized router on a stick. If I do anything with the onboard lan it'll be use it as a management interface for the hypervisor.

Something is causing the realtek driver in my current mini PC to become unstable under load. It's bad enough now that running an iperf client on the router to my Centos box over 1GbE can lock the interface entirely. The current pfsense machine is a Qotom dual port J1900 box, the T730 is a huge step up.
If you are using it as a virtualized router with a 10GbE card, can you do me a favor and see if you can enable/use DMAR for single root I/O virtualization? I have a SolarFlare SFN5122 on mine, but since I am on VMWare ESXi I never got around to playing around with PCI Express VFs on the card (I don't see VMotion support for it on 6.5) - it should be a stock Linux kernel feature in CentOS and/or Debian. I don't see a specific BIOS option to enable it, but then the CPU should support it. Not sure whether the onboard I/O controller will play ball in this case...
 

arglebargle

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If you are using it as a virtualized router with a 10GbE card, can you do me a favor and see if you can enable/use DMAR for single root I/O virtualization? I have a SolarFlare SFN5122 on mine, but since I am on VMWare ESXi I never got around to playing around with PCI Express VFs on the card (I don't see VMotion support for it on 6.5) - it should be a stock Linux kernel feature in CentOS and/or Debian. I don't see a specific BIOS option to enable it, but then the CPU should support it. Not sure whether the onboard I/O controller will play ball in this case...
Sure, I'd be happy to investigate. I don't know if the connect-x2s I have left support SR IOV, but I've got a couple of i350 cards on hand that I'm pretty sure do.
 

arglebargle

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Quick questions re: RAM and SSD support on these:
  • Is the m.2 slot SATA or NVME?
  • Would you expect any issues with 2R SODIMMs? I have the option to pick up 8Gb modules for $30/ea, but they're 2 rank.
@WANg: It looks like C-X2 cards support SR-IOV unofficially, I'll run some tests for you when my machine arrives.
 

WANg

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Quick questions re: RAM and SSD support on these:
  • Is the m.2 slot SATA or NVME?
  • Would you expect any issues with 2R SODIMMs? I have the option to pick up 8Gb modules for $30/ea, but they're 2 rank.
@WANg: It looks like C-X2 cards support SR-IOV unofficially, I'll run some tests for you when my machine arrives.
The M2 slot is strictly SATA - I don't think NVMe can run on M.2 Key B+M (it's only the functional equivalent of PCIe 3.0 x2), and I certainly don't see AMD revising their silicon or drivers to support it. Like I've said before, the AMD Bald Eagle platform (which the t730 is a part of) is only meant for stuff like slot machines, arcade games and multi-segment displays...big I/O is not really where the designer targeted it.

As for the RAM...I don't see any guidance from HP or AMD regarding what the RAM geometry should look like. It is after all meant for a maximum of two DDR3L Laptop DIMM modules. That being said, I did have a look at the underlying architecture...the RX-427BB APU is based on the Steamroller, or Family 15h 30-3fh cores, so their northbridge/RAM controller should be the same...and as far as I can tell, Quad rank DIMMs are not supported, but dual rank should be okay. I use a pair of G-Skill Ripjaw F3-1600C9-8GRSL DIMMs in mine, and it works just fine.
 

arglebargle

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The M2 slot is strictly SATA - I don't think NVMe can run on M.2 Key B+M (it's only the functional equivalent of PCIe 3.0 x2), and I certainly don't see AMD revising their silicon or drivers to support it. Like I've said before, the AMD Bald Eagle platform (which the t730 is a part of) is only meant for stuff like slot machines, arcade games and multi-segment displays...big I/O is not really where the designer targeted it.

As for the RAM...I don't see any guidance from HP or AMD regarding what the RAM geometry should look like. It is after all meant for a maximum of two DDR3L Laptop DIMM modules. That being said, I did have a look at the underlying architecture...the RX-427BB APU is based on the Steamroller, or Family 15h 30-3fh cores, so their northbridge/RAM controller should be the same...and as far as I can tell, Quad rank DIMMs are not supported, but dual rank should be okay. I use a pair of G-Skill Ripjaw F3-1600C9-8GRSL DIMMs in mine, and it works just fine.
Thanks, I went ahead and picked up one 8Gb module and a cheap $25 SSD on eBay. This is going to be a fun build, there's ample compute power in this box to run a pair of pfsense VMs and a few other services. I'm sort of curious what kind of speed I can get out of wireguard on the same box too.
 

BLinux

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well, i really didn't need a T730, but I was curious to see what it can do, with the PCI-E 3.0 and faster CPU, etc. I'm also curious to see how well it does power management seeing that the T620PLUS was really good. so, I just received my order from this seller:

HP t730 ThinClient AMD RX-427BB 2.70GHz 4GB 16GB Flash Radeon R7 No OS Installed | eBay

They accepted BO of $170. The unit is basically brand new. Even the clear plastic protection is on the machine still on all sides; keyboard, mouse, CDs (why do people still include these?), all the various useless papers, the stand, etc.

IMG_20180814_113833.jpg
 

WANg

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HP t730 ThinClient AMD RX-427BB 2.70GHz 4GB 16GB Flash Radeon R7 No OS Installed | eBay

They accepted BO of $170. The unit is basically brand new. Even the clear plastic protection is on the machine still on all sides; keyboard, mouse, CDs (why do people still include these?), all the various useless papers, the stand, etc.

View attachment 9033
Yeah, that's how it's shipped from HP - most of the time it's excess inventory for a large lessor for doing enterprise support (think QualxServe supporting JP Morgan Chase's trading floor in Chicago or something like that) and keeping inventory for spares dispatch. Remember what I said about them having insane depreciation curves? It's good value and at least you'll get a few more years of use out of them.
 

BLinux

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Yeah, that's how it's shipped from HP - most of the time it's probably either excess inventory for a large lessor for doing enterprise support (think QualxServe supporting JP Morgan Chase or something like that) and keeping inventory for spares dispatch. Remember what I said about them having insane depreciation curves? At least you'll get a few more years of use out of them.
just "few" more years? you don't know me i guess... i'm the dude who kept a Dell Optiplex Pentium II 350Mhz machine as a firewall for 15 years. LOL until I replaced it with a Jetway N2930 that failed on me in 2 yrs, and now switched to a T620PLUS for my firewall. It better last me another 10 yrs. As for the T730, I don't know what to do with it yet, I was just curious. Worst case, I guess this could make a nice little vulnerability scanner box I can send to clients for conducting internal network scans.
 

WANg

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If anyone else is looking: this looks to be a t730 plus (photos clearly show t730 as the model) for $150+$30 shipping and accepting BOs:

3KL08UP#ABA HP t530 ThinPro AMD RX-427bb 2.7GHz 32GB SSD 4GB(1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 T | eBay

It's probably worth asking the seller to confirm that the unit for sale is the unit pictured, etc, etc.
No, the MPN (3KLO8UP#ABA) is a t730 SKU - there's no such thing as a t730 Plus, since the entire series is a "Plus" version of the t630. The t530 is much smaller and has a GX215JJ (Excavator core, so similar to the HP t630), so not much better than the t620 (but the power consumption will be good, though)
 

arglebargle

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Sorry, I spent too much time looking at the 620s. In any event that listing looks to be a t730 at t530 prices.

It's really tempting to pick another up and run an HA proxmox cluster on them.
 

WANg

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just "few" more years? you don't know me i guess... i'm the dude who kept a Dell Optiplex Pentium II 350Mhz machine as a firewall for 15 years. LOL until I replaced it with a Jetway N2930 that failed on me in 2 yrs, and now switched to a T620PLUS for my firewall. It better last me another 10 yrs. As for the T730, I don't know what to do with it yet, I was just curious. Worst case, I guess this could make a nice little vulnerability scanner box I can send to clients for conducting internal network scans.
...Well, there's nothing wrong per-se with running old hardware, but you do have to recognize that there is an opportunity cost involved with old hardware. There are simply certain skills that you cannot pick up with an old Pentium II. Just think of this T730 as your gateway to newer things. If you can get AMDVi/DMAR working on the t730 via a recent 10GbE card (Like a SolarFlare or Mellanox with PCI Virtual Functions/SR-IOV support), you can conceivably run multiple virtual routers in near line-speeds (since you won't need the hypervisor to flip bits between VM contexts for you) in that little box - that's how Cisco or Juniper implement virtual firewalls in large corporate campuses.

Note: I have no idea whether DMAR/AMDv-i works on the t730 or not - it doesn't seem to work on ESXi 6.5, but that can be due to other issues.
 
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BLinux

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FYI guys... I played around with my T730 over the weekend and found that it idled around 15.8W as measured by a Kill-A-Watt. This is significantly higher than the T620PLUS, which was about 6.9W. If the T730 were to be used as a network appliance with an add-on NIC, my guess is that it would be close to 20W. So, although T730 is more powerful than T620PLUS, if you aren't going to make use of the extra compute power, the T620PLUS seems like the better choice as far as network appliance goes.
 
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WANg

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FYI guys... I played around with my T730 over the weekend and found that it idled around 15.8W as measured by a Kill-A-Watt. This is significantly higher than the T620PLUS, which was about 6.9W. If the T730 were to be used as a network appliance with an add-on NIC, my guess is that it would be close to 20W. So, although T730 is more powerful than T620PLUS, if you aren't going to make use of the extra compute power, the T620PLUS seems like the better choice as far as network appliance goes.
My guess is more than 20W, especially if the PCIe x8 slot is populated with a 10GbE or even 40GbE card. I threw a SolarFlare Flareon in mine and the power draw was so bad that it locked the machine up in Win10 IoT (although it could also be heat build-up. Jesus, that Flareon PTP card was a beast). Not sure if the situation will be significantly better in Linux.

If it's chasing watts for a firewall (say, with a quadport card), the t620 Plus with the Jaguar cores will be more efficient - that being said, how much of that idle watt consumption can be attributed to the Radeon R7 GPU, and is it possible to throttle the CPUs/GPUs down, either in Linux or on BIOS? I might have to do another downtime window and look at what tricks can be done on the t730 side to reduce power consumption.

Of course, if this little monster can do SR-IOV, it might change the equation entirely, since if it's possible for Proxmox to pass PCI virtual functions into multiple pfsense VMs talking to multiple VLANs, you can then run multiple firewall instances at close-to-wire speeds on the same physical device...
 
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