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Introduction to the HP t640 Thin client - your cheap little AMD NUC7 alternative

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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WANg submitted a new resource:

Introduction to the HP t640 Thin client - your cheap little AMD NUC7 alternative - Why buy a used corporate NUC for 400 dollars when you can get a similar performing AMD one for less?

Welcome to the short and succint guide to the HP t640 thin client

(Also known by HP internal codename Tranquill)

So why should you care (as a home labber)?


It's a small-ish thin client, roughly in the dimensions of (196mm W x 196mm H x 35 mm D * 1/1000000 (1 million milliliters in a liter)), ~1.35 Cubic Liters, released in Q3 2019, general availability in Q2 2020.

The HP t-series thin clients are about as close as AMD got to releasing an intel NUC competitor, and until the...
Read more about this resource...
 
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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Thanks! I figure someone would read them and get some ideas.

I would like to eventually expand these guides to include info that were not talked about in the official Quickspecs, like power converter locations (for tapping power to run stuff not intended by the manufacturer), alternative/unofficial upgrade paths, actual power consumption figures and the like.
 

Dave Corder

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Dec 21, 2015
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Thanks for putting this together. I snagged one on eBay for $150 with best offer after seeing this guide. Plan is to use it as a silent HTPC for 4K playback and probably Zooming/Skyping with distant family from the living room.

One thing I noticed: According to the QuickSpecs (https://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/getpdf.aspx/c06392258.pdf), the storage M.2 slot appears to support SATA and NVMe drives:

STORAGE
Type: NAND flash memory; non-volatile
Number of Sockets: (1) M.2
Capacities: 16 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
32 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
64 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
128 GB M.2 SATA flash module
256 GB M.2 NVMe flash module
512 GB M.2 NVMe flash module

I went with a SATA M.2 SSD before noticing this. Not that it'll make much difference for my use case, but maybe I could have saved a couple bucks or two going with an NVMe SSD.
 

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
662
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Thanks for putting this together. I snagged one on eBay for $150 with best offer after seeing this guide. Plan is to use it as a silent HTPC for 4K playback and probably Zooming/Skyping with distant family from the living room.

One thing I noticed: According to the QuickSpecs (https://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/getpdf.aspx/c06392258.pdf), the storage M.2 slot appears to support SATA and NVMe drives:

STORAGE
Type: NAND flash memory; non-volatile
Number of Sockets: (1) M.2
Capacities: 16 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
32 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
64 GB M.2 eMMC flash module
128 GB M.2 SATA flash module
256 GB M.2 NVMe flash module
512 GB M.2 NVMe flash module

I went with a SATA M.2 SSD before noticing this. Not that it'll make much difference for my use case, but maybe I could have saved a couple bucks or two going with an NVMe SSD.
HP has a known history of copy-pasting text between quickspecs manuals on their products lines and getting details wrong - that's why I am a little hesitant stating whether it's definitely M.2 SATA or not based on that. The same text appeared as well on the t740 Quickspecs (the t740 has 2 storage slots, one eMMC/NVMe and one SATA).

I don't have one in front of me, my vendor couldn’t ID them, and the disassembly guide diagrams are too blurry for me to tell for sure. I don't see why HP will spring for more expensive NVMe on the t640s.
 
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Dave Corder

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Dec 21, 2015
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Gotcha. I don't have any NVMe drives to test, but if you'd like I can take better photos of the connector for you to inspect or gather any other info you want before I put my T640 into service.
 

snclawson

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Feb 7, 2013
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A note about the `Upgrade Compatability with the t630' section:

The t630 uses DDR4 memory, not DDR3 like the t730. It only supports DDR4-1866, the unit's I've had came with DDR4-2133 SODIMMs.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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A note about the `Upgrade Compatability with the t630' section:

The t630 uses DDR4 memory, not DDR3 like the t730. It only supports DDR4-1866, the unit's I've had came with DDR4-2133 SODIMMs.
eeeh, yeah. I forgot that the t630 is based on the newer Excavator cores (which runs on DDR4). Does the t630 only take DDR4-1866?
 

snclawson

Member
Feb 7, 2013
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eeeh, yeah. I forgot that the t630 is based on the newer Excavator cores (which runs on DDR4). Does the t630 only take DDR4-1866?
The AMD GX-420GI APU "Brown Falcon" core only supports speeds up to DDR4-1866 from the specs and that's as fast as the t630 would recognize, even with the faster RAM that HP provides as stock.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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The AMD GX-420GI APU "Brown Falcon" core only supports speeds up to DDR4-1866 from the specs and that's as fast as the t630 would recognize, even with the faster RAM that HP provides as stock.
Oh. So it takes faster RAM but will downclock them to 1866? Alright, good to know.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Do any of these SFF things support 32gb or even better 64gb of ram?
Yes. My t730 already has 32GB (2x16GB DIMMs) of RAM, and people here have tested the t620s with 16GB DIMMs (so they can take 32GB as well). The Ryzen embedded are tested and certified to 32GB (2x16GB DIMMs), but since they are Raven Ridge based, there's no reason why they cannot take 32GB DIMMs (64GB of RAM in total). The real issue is that the price of the DIMMs might exceed the price of the thin clients themselves.
 

Dave Corder

Member
Dec 21, 2015
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HP has a known history of copy-pasting text between quickspecs manuals on their products lines and getting details wrong - that's why I am a little hesitant stating whether it's definitely M.2 SATA or not based on that. The same text appeared as well on the t740 Quickspecs (the t740 has 2 storage slots, one eMMC/NVMe and one SATA).

I don't have one in front of me, my vendor couldn’t ID them, and the disassembly guide diagrams are too blurry for me to tell for sure. I don't see why HP will spring for more expensive NVMe on the t640s.
Well it does appear that the T640 supports NVMe drives. Here's a couple photos of the slot and motherboard of mine that arrived today. It's clearly labeled "SATA or NVMe/PCIe/eMMC". I don't have an NVMe drive to confirm 100%, though.



 

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
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Well it does appear that the T640 supports NVMe drives. Here's a couple photos of the slot and motherboard of mine that arrived today. It's clearly labeled "SATA or NVMe/PCIe/eMMC". I don't have an NVMe drive to confirm 100%, though.



Hah - interesting, I didn't know that there are M.2 slots that can support NVMe/SATA/eMMC - SATA works reliably, though, right? NVMe is kinda expensive so I didn't really want to mess around with the write-up too much until I am 100% sure.