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Introduction to the HP t740 Thin client - the little box that could but better

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Helzy

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Oct 19, 2017
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Just checked mine visually, Slot 1 is labelled emmc/nvme and slot 2 is labelled sata. Double checked the maintenance and service manual, it says the same thing.
 
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Helzy

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Oct 19, 2017
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so weird, no option in this BIOS to enable the second m.2 slot, I'm running M42 v01.15 BIOS and the model SKU is 618U1UP#ABA if you get a chance think you might be able to check your BIOS rev for me?
 
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Originalus

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Dec 22, 2020
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please check in Device security:
Device Security Allows you to set Device Available/Device Hidden (default is Device Available’) for: ● System audio ● Network controller ● M.2 Storage0 ● M.2 Storage1
 
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Helzy

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@ Originalus

Thank you, yes both M.2 Storage slots are set as enabled. Either I have a faulty lemony mobo or 4 different dead SSD's lol.
 
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nas-builder11759

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May 8, 2022
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I searched and it seems that this CPU only support AES but not AES-NI. Is this a concern for AMD cpu? I want to use this with pfsense so AES-NI would be important but I can't find a definitive answer... any suggestion?

Ryzen Embedded V1756B - AMD Supported x86 Extensions and Processor Features Figure 1.png
 
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WANg

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I searched and it seems that this CPU only support AES but not AES-NI. Is this a concern for AMD cpu? I want to use this with pfsense so AES-NI would be important but I can't find a definitive answer... any suggestion?

View attachment 30792

Same thing. AES-NI has been around for so long (since 2010 with the Nehalems on the Intel side, and Jaguar/Puma/15h on the AMD side) that no one would call it "AES New Instructions" (what AESNI stands for). Unless you are on Via Nano (which in 2023 is very unlikely, and it does have its own implementation called Padlock) you will have AES instructions baked in. Considering that the predecessor for the t740 (which would be the t730) has AES support....yeah, it's there, and pfsense/opnsense is working on both machines.

 

nas-builder11759

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May 8, 2022
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Same thing. AES-NI has been around for so long (since 2010 with the Nehalems on the Intel side, and Jaguar/Puma/15h on the AMD side) that no one would call it "AES New Instructions" (what AESNI stands for). Unless you are on Via Nano (which in 2023 is very unlikely, and it does have its own implementation called Padlock) you will have AES instructions baked in. Considering that the predecessor for the t740 (which would be the t730) has AES support....yeah, it's there, and pfsense/opnsense is working on both machines.

Great! that's the explanation I need. Thank you! :)
 
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nas-builder11759

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May 8, 2022
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Same thing. AES-NI has been around for so long (since 2010 with the Nehalems on the Intel side, and Jaguar/Puma/15h on the AMD side) that no one would call it "AES New Instructions" (what AESNI stands for). Unless you are on Via Nano (which in 2023 is very unlikely, and it does have its own implementation called Padlock) you will have AES instructions baked in. Considering that the predecessor for the t740 (which would be the t730) has AES support....yeah, it's there, and pfsense/opnsense is working on both machines.

Thank you for the explanation! Learned something new!
 
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Helzy

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Oct 19, 2017
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want to buy one at ebay. is the the one? here is the listing:

This is the link I bought my latest at, I made an offer that was accepted. Pretty good deal.
 
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Helzy

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Oct 19, 2017
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Curious, installed two new drives, both WD RED 1 TB drives, one NVMe and one NVMe SSD. Neither recognized by the machine. So odd. Anyone else see this kind of behaviour?
 
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st96

New Member
Oct 24, 2023
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Hello,

Got excited reading about the HP T740 unit here and ordered one from ebay.

Wanted to use it as a proxmox host with pfsense, but now having second thoughts after reading about power usage.

Any ideas on how much this device will consume if used for proxmox/pfsense duty?

If it is too high, i will return the item.

Thanks!
 
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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Hello,

Got excited reading about the HP T740 unit here and ordered one from ebay.

Wanted to use it as a proxmox host with pfsense, but now having second thoughts after reading about power usage.

Any ideas on how much this device will consume if used for proxmox/pfsense duty?

If it is too high, i will return the item.

Thanks!
Keep in mind that the power usage I posted pre-supposes:

a) 64GB of DDR4-2666 (2x32GB SODIMMs)
b) Using an onboard Mothim SD7 32GB card as your boot media (or a Micron P1 512GB NVMe drive)
c) A Mellanox/nVidia ConnectX-3 VPI 40GbE/IB card (MCX354A-FCBT) with both ports lit and connected via passive QSFP DACs to my 4 bay NAS (which is an HP Microserver G7/N40L running TrueNAS Core)
d) Proxmox VE 5.2 (which is the most version that I used back in 2020...3 years ago)
e) no cpufreq governors used, no kernel tunables set on powertop, not much was done to minimize power usage
f) BIOS 1.06 (I think?)

By tuning the above 6 factors (use less RAM, use a different storage media...you can choose NVMe or SATA, a different NIC, a different OS, tune various settings in your machine, newer BIOS with different pre-baked settings) you might be able to tune power usage down.

I should also mention that when I wrote up the guide in April 2020 Raven Ridge Ryzens and its embedded flavors are still somewhat relevant. In October 2023, its price/performance ratio is way past its prime. The V1756B is esesentially the same as the Ryzen 5 2600H but with PRO management functionality baked in. it's a Zen1 based so Win 11 will not support it.

I am pretty sure that by the time Win11 LTSC rolls around (early Q2 '24) this model will be dropped, and HP will replace it with the HP Elite 755 thin client, which will have the Zen2 based Ryzen Embedded V2546 inside (Ah, Igel and their over-eager engineers yet again - googlewhacking TCO certification showed it for one or 2 entries added recently...which suggests product announcement around the corner). How does the V2546 behave? It's roughly the same as the Ryzen 5 4600H, and close to an Alder Lake i3-1220P. Does it have a PCIe 3x8 slot? No flipping idea, but if its just a drop-in replacement for the t740, it probably does. Does it burn less power and/or give you a perf uplift? It should...it's 7nm TSMC fab instead of Globalfoundry 14nm. Is it better than the later Zen3/4 APUs like Lucienne, Rembrandt or Phoenix or Intel e-core equivalents like the N200/300 series? Hell no. Are there other devices that gives you PCIe in chassis at a reasonably small package? Probably not.

Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 11.36.01 PM.png

If you want a power sipping machine with external PCIe, there's the Dell Wyse 5070. Weaker but lower power consumption. Or if you want something with lower idle and acceptance performance? You can always pick up a t640 and juryrig it to use an i350-T2 MiniPCIe card for opnsense. Hell, my t730 with 32GB of DDR3L is still filtering packets at Gigabit line speeds via a quadport Broadcom Tigon, chewing 17w all day.
 
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st96

New Member
Oct 24, 2023
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Keep in mind that the power usage I posted pre-supposes:

a) 64GB of DDR4-2666 (2x32GB SODIMMs)
b) Using an onboard Mothim SD7 32GB card as your boot media (or a Micron P1 512GB NVMe drive)
c) A Mellanox/nVidia ConnectX-3 VPI 40GbE/IB card (MCX354A-FCBT) with both ports lit and connected via passive QSFP DACs to my 4 bay NAS (which is an HP Microserver G7/N40L running TrueNAS Core)
d) Proxmox VE 5.2 (which is the most version that I used back in 2020...3 years ago)
e) no cpufreq governors used, no kernel tunables set on powertop, not much was done to minimize power usage
f) BIOS 1.06 (I think?)

By tuning the above 6 factors (use less RAM, use a different storage media...you can choose NVMe or SATA, a different NIC, a different OS, tune various settings in your machine, newer BIOS with different pre-baked settings) you might be able to tune power usage down.

I should also mention that when I wrote up the guide in April 2020 Raven Ridge Ryzens and its embedded flavors are still somewhat relevant. In October 2023, its price/performance ratio is way past its prime. The V1756B is esesentially the same as the Ryzen 5 2600H but with PRO management functionality baked in. it's a Zen1 based so Win 11 will not support it.

I am pretty sure that by the time Win11 LTSC rolls around (early Q2 '24) this model will be dropped, and HP will replace it with the HP Elite 755 thin client, which will have the Zen2 based Ryzen Embedded V2546 inside (Ah, Igel and their over-eager engineers yet again - googlewhacking TCO certification showed it for one or 2 entries added recently...which suggests product announcement around the corner). How does the V2546 behave? It's roughly the same as the Ryzen 5 4600H, and close to an Alder Lake i3-1220P. Does it have a PCIe 3x8 slot? No flipping idea, but if its just a drop-in replacement for the t740, it probably does. Does it burn less power and/or give you a perf uplift? It should...it's 7nm TSMC fab instead of Globalfoundry 14nm. Is it better than the later Zen3/4 APUs like Lucienne, Rembrandt or Phoenix or Intel e-core equivalents like the N200/300 series? Hell no. Are there other devices that gives you PCIe in chassis at a reasonably small package? Probably not.

View attachment 32439

If you want a power sipping machine with external PCIe, there's the Dell Wyse 5070. Weaker but lower power consumption. Or if you want something with lower idle and acceptance performance? You can always pick up a t640 and juryrig it to use an i350-T2 MiniPCIe card for opnsense. Hell, my t730 with 32GB of DDR3L is still filtering packets at Gigabit line speeds via a quadport Broadcom Tigon, chewing 17w all day.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for your insights! really appreciated.

Because of all the reasons you mentioned above, T740 is a unique combination and I had a hard time making a decision to keep it or return.

At the end I returned it just because what it would have cost me to either get it operational as intended or as a backup windows/emulation machine.

The unit cost was $200, needs I350 or I340 module which may have cost another $30, thus approaching $230 for a machine whose intended purpose(proxmox/pfsense) can easily be met by a dell wyse 5070 thin client.

Now T740 is powerful enough for a decent emulator/windows desktop but again it needed a windows 10 license($30-50 ebay), dp to hdmi converter etc which again adds to to cost and there seems better alternatives available now in 2023.
 
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physx

New Member
Feb 23, 2022
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Hello,

Got excited reading about the HP T740 unit here and ordered one from ebay.

Wanted to use it as a proxmox host with pfsense, but now having second thoughts after reading about power usage.

Any ideas on how much this device will consume if used for proxmox/pfsense duty?

If it is too high, i will return the item.

Thanks!
Mine pulls about 20W with a ConnectX-3 and pfSense.
 
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EBRAddict

Member
Jun 16, 2023
30
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8
Mine was pulling 20W at idle with linux and a ConnectX-3 10G connection. For comparison my i5-12400 with a ConnectX-4 at 25G was around 30W. With the built-in 1G it was 17W.
 
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Da_Techie

New Member
Mar 11, 2022
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Any body know what the maximum length of the card the pcie slot/chassis can take? I looked through HP docs and did not find it listed.

I was thinking of adding a quad pcie nvme adapter and use the T740 as a storage server.