Project TinyMiniMicro: Reviving Small Corporate Desktops

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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I'm selling two Tinys at the moment on a well known auction site since I'm upgrading. They should still sell for the same price I bought them at two years ago.

On eBay UK you can pretty consistently get gen 8/9 Tinys for the equivalent of €250-300, you just need a seller willing to ship to you.
 
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Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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Yes, most forums don't like you promoting your eBay sales so I thought I would respect that here.
Yep I get that and I didn’t think your reference would be missed, then wondered since I am based in asia could I be assuming wrong. I was assuming correctly though.
 
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siwyboy

New Member
Jan 17, 2022
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I will test it next week at the office. Maybe I will prepare the Ubuntu live USB and some other distro.

Also next week I will get my hands on Dell 5070 Micro i5-9500T. Colleague has one and will borrow it for couple of days so I can perform tests with my own SSD.

I will update this thread once I see the results on my own eyes ;-)
Just as an update

I played with three DELL systems for the whole past week:
Dell 5070 Micro / i5-9500T / 16GB RAM DDR4
Dell 3050 Micro / i5-7400T / 16GB RAM DDR4
Dell 7040 Micro / i5-6500T / 16GB RAM DDR4

Monitor: AOC U3277FWQ (4K 60Hz).
The same cable for all systems.
The same WD Red 256GB SSD with Win10 Pro installed.

The difference between i5-9500T and i5-6500T is just unbelievable!

During a normal office work the i5-6500T acts like some frames were skipped, the CPU was constantly using around 50-70%. GPU used around 20% all the time, but when I was moving windows around the desktop, it went up to around 90%.
When I opened around 10 MS Edge windows and one Citrix desktop, I was not able to work comfortably.

Then I tested i5-7400T. The experience was not bad. I was able to work with no lags, but when I started moving windows around it looked like I was playing game in 20fps :p

The i5-9500T just crashed all other CPUs :O I thought I was working on a standard size desktop machine. At the end I even tried to connect 11 mailboxes in Outlook, two Citrix desktops and around 50 MS Edge windows. The experience was really smooth and I did not experience the "lower fps" feeling.
 
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miken

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Jun 11, 2022
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...The i5-9500T just crashed all other CPUs :O I thought I was working on a standard size desktop machine. At the end I even tried to connect 11 mailboxes in Outlook, two Citrix desktops and around 50 MS Edge windows. The experience was really smooth and I did not experience the "lower fps" feeling.
(new forum member, just saw this old thread) I'm sure the later/latest Intel TMM boxes can handle your use case, but why no consideration for AMD in the thread? AMD integrated graphics have always been leaps and bounds ahead of Intel's, that's why I don't even consider Intel for machines that won't have discrete graphics, if there is a choice. I'm sure even older generation Ryzen TMM's can run rings around similar-age Intel TMMs'. Not to mention lower power draw & heat/noise generation for the same CPU performance. I just acquired a Ryzen 5350GE (35W) HP Prodesk TMM myself and it seems pretty awesome all around (STH has upcoming review but the prev gen of this TMM is Patrick's favorite TMM to date).
 

EngChiSTH

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Jun 27, 2018
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(new forum member, just saw this old thread) I'm sure the later/latest Intel TMM boxes can handle your use case, but why no consideration for AMD in the thread? AMD integrated graphics have always been leaps and bounds ahead of Intel's, that's why I don't even consider Intel for machines that won't have discrete graphics, if there is a choice. I'm sure even older generation Ryzen TMM's can run rings around similar-age Intel TMMs'. Not to mention lower power draw & heat/noise generation for the same CPU performance. I just acquired a Ryzen 5350GE (35W) HP Prodesk TMM myself and it seems pretty awesome all around (STH has upcoming review but the prev gen of this TMM is Patrick's favorite TMM to date).
it is less about CPU choice and more about what is actually available at the time person builds their machine/cluster.
i.e. when i was looking last fall Walmart in USA happen to rotate inventory and was throwing away (selling at $74 a full, complete, new , under warranty system) based on intel CPUs . Add to it an upgrade from local Microcenter that is selling 8c16T CPU for $220 and I have a full system with 16 threads of processing, SFF for $300.

If similar options were available at AMD, I would look at them - however 5600G and other systems were at least twice as much.
 
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miken

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Jun 11, 2022
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That's a great deal, but the OP seemed to be referring to a corporate / bulk buy, which would likely be placed as an enterprise sale with Dell, Lenovo, or HP, a very different situation. I know the Zen 3 HP's (like mine) have been in short supply, but the previous gen Zen 2+ 4000-series TMMs are almost as good. I had to wait an extra month for my delivery due to supply chain issues, but you can actually get even the Zen 3 models today. I don't know what the Zen 2+ availability was in 2021, but even with a month delay it's worth it IMO, especially for a non-urgent office upgrade.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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(new forum member, just saw this old thread) I'm sure the later/latest Intel TMM boxes can handle your use case, but why no consideration for AMD in the thread? AMD integrated graphics have always been leaps and bounds ahead of Intel's, that's why I don't even consider Intel for machines that won't have discrete graphics, if there is a choice. I'm sure even older generation Ryzen TMM's can run rings around similar-age Intel TMMs'. Not to mention lower power draw & heat/noise generation for the same CPU performance. I just acquired a Ryzen 5350GE (35W) HP Prodesk TMM myself and it seems pretty awesome all around (STH has upcoming review but the prev gen of this TMM is Patrick's favorite TMM to date).
Well, the OG Skylakes/kaby Lakes are usually gimped by the Spectre patches, while they also have the older Gen9 graphics. The later Coffee/Comet Lake machines have Gen9.5 graphics, which is faster.

The Vega 3/8/11s used on the first gen Ryzens are either slightly slower, or slightly faster than your run-of-the-mill nVidia GT1030 (the 3 is definitely slower, but the difference between the 8 and 11 is fairly narrow and based on power/heat management). The Vega5/6/7s used on the Zen2/2+ based Ryzen 4000/5000s are about 10-15% faster than that. Decent, but the Xe graphics on the newer Tiger/Rocket Lakes can beat them (depends on which SKU, though), and then that would be beaten in turn by the Radeon 660/680m used in the newest 6000 series Zen3/RDNA2 APUs. Do keep in mind that AMD integrated graphics don’t really transcode all that well (VCE/VCN encoding support is often broken versus Quicksync being usually well supported) and they don’t do GPU partitioning in a hypervisor either (something that Intel touts as being a working feature)
 

siwyboy

New Member
Jan 17, 2022
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Poland
(new forum member, just saw this old thread) I'm sure the later/latest Intel TMM boxes can handle your use case, but why no consideration for AMD in the thread? AMD integrated graphics have always been leaps and bounds ahead of Intel's, that's why I don't even consider Intel for machines that won't have discrete graphics, if there is a choice. I'm sure even older generation Ryzen TMM's can run rings around similar-age Intel TMMs'. Not to mention lower power draw & heat/noise generation for the same CPU performance. I just acquired a Ryzen 5350GE (35W) HP Prodesk TMM myself and it seems pretty awesome all around (STH has upcoming review but the prev gen of this TMM is Patrick's favorite TMM to date).
I was looking for a similar AMD system, but there was nothing on the used market, and there is nothing now... I also have no possibility of testing one of those AMD mini PCs.
I found a couple of new AMD systems from HP, but the prices are simply crazy! I could buy at least two used Dells with 11th gen Intel and 16GB of RAM for the price of one HP Ryzen 7 PRO 4750GE 8GB.

BTW
I'm from Poland and the used market here is 90% Intel.
 

miken

New Member
Jun 11, 2022
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For the past 1-3 months or so HP had a big sale, at least on their US site, 46% off on their G8 line. I bought two AMD models during this sale, a 4-core (cheapest) and 8-core (fastest). I opted for no OS, minimal RAM, minimal storage, no peripherals, etc., as I added or upgraded all of those myself. On sale the 4-core could be bought for $503.82 with free shipping, the 8-core $663.12, both before local tax, if any. These are really good prices IMO. Unfortunately the sale seems to have just ended, so now they are back to their extremely high prices I would never pay. Maybe people realized how good they are and demand spiked, and / or supply chain issues. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Hopefully these boxes will come down in price when the next gen (G9?) comes out / they hit the used market.
 
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Kelvarr

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Sep 1, 2022
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I have :
1x Lenovo M720q (Intel i5-8400T 6C/6T) with 16GB RAM, 256GB NVMe, added 4 port NIC ("Clacks")

If you're interested in the process of adding a 4 port NIC to the M720q, I did a build report on that with plenty of photos over on, uhm, another forum which focuses on Small Form Factor. I bought the special bracket and riser from China through Superbuy (I include links in the referenced post) and a generic Intel 4 port NIC off eBay, luckily whitelisted by the Lenovo BIOS. Mine runs OPNsense on 2 (out of 6) cores and with everything switched on (Sensei, Suricata etc) it's happy looking after my 500/80Mbit home Internet connection. The remaining cores and RAM are earmarked to run TPot (a package of honeypot servers in Docker containers) but that's on my to-do list for now.
I found your post on the "other forum", and am intrigued. Do you happen to know what kind of idle/running draw you get with Clacks and pfSense? I'm debating if it is worth spending the extra on a M720q/M920q/M70q/M90q and adding a 4-port card, or getting a cheaper device (half the price) like a M900 and adding this: For Intel RTL8125B Gigabit Ethernet M.2 A+E 2500M Network Card RJ45 LAN Adapter | eBay

I've also possibly looked into a R220, but that draws a bit more power, in the 35W-50W range.
 

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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I found your post on the "other forum", and am intrigued. Do you happen to know what kind of idle/running draw you get with Clacks and pfSense? I'm debating if it is worth spending the extra on a M720q/M920q/M70q/M90q and adding a 4-port card, or getting a cheaper device (half the price) like a M900 and adding this: For Intel RTL8125B Gigabit Ethernet M.2 A+E 2500M Network Card RJ45 LAN Adapter | eBay

I've also possibly looked into a R220, but that draws a bit more power, in the 35W-50W range.
Sorry for the delay in responding.

I've no longer got Clacks (don't worry, the eBay buyer got an unsolicited handover note that explained the server's name, told them of its devoted service, and asked them to take good care of it - no doubt they thought I was certifiable) but from memory total power consumption was around 17-19W. This was with a 700-900Mbit connection, 3 LAN ports out of 4 consumed on the card, and the built in one used as a management port. IDS on, IPS off, running under Proxmox.

I've since moved to a Firewalla Purple, which uses even less power (5-7W) and has a superb mobile app, but it won't give you lots of LAN ports. I chose to do anything fancy at my switch (a Brocade 7150) where I can mirror or span ports into a security VM; I'm evaluating which I like most at the moment.

Note that you may recall some negative feedback on Firewalla a while ago and this was largely to do with their use of ARP poisoning on the lower end boxes, which I don't like either; the Purple and Gold operate as standard inline router/firewalls instead and are much better in that respect.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Sorry for the delay in responding.

I've no longer got Clacks (don't worry, the eBay buyer got an unsolicited handover note that explained the server's name, told them of its devoted service, and asked them to take good care of it - no doubt they thought I was certifiable) but from memory total power consumption was around 17-19W. This was with a 700-900Mbit connection, 3 LAN ports out of 4 consumed on the card, and the built in one used as a management port. IDS on, IPS off, running under Proxmox.

I've since moved to a Firewalla Purple, which uses even less power (5-7W) and has a superb mobile app, but it won't give you lots of LAN ports. I chose to do anything fancy at my switch (a Brocade 7150) where I can mirror or span ports into a security VM; I'm evaluating which I like most at the moment.

Note that you may recall some negative feedback on Firewalla a while ago and this was largely to do with their use of ARP poisoning on the lower end boxes, which I don't like either; the Purple and Gold operate as standard inline router/firewalls instead and are much better in that respect.
Yeah - I was playing with Firewalla Blue, which was the one-port, double NATing ARP poisoning gizmo that kicks off IDS alerts...Well, more accurately, I got a NanoPi Neo2 and their firmware....can't say I am too happy with it. The purple and gold probably run on similar hardware but with multiple ports.
 

Kelvarr

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Sep 1, 2022
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Sorry for the delay in responding.

I've no longer got Clacks (don't worry, the eBay buyer got an unsolicited handover note that explained the server's name, told them of its devoted service, and asked them to take good care of it - no doubt they thought I was certifiable) but from memory total power consumption was around 17-19W. This was with a 700-900Mbit connection, 3 LAN ports out of 4 consumed on the card, and the built in one used as a management port. IDS on, IPS off, running under Proxmox.

I've since moved to a Firewalla Purple, which uses even less power (5-7W) and has a superb mobile app, but it won't give you lots of LAN ports. I chose to do anything fancy at my switch (a Brocade 7150) where I can mirror or span ports into a security VM; I'm evaluating which I like most at the moment.

Note that you may recall some negative feedback on Firewalla a while ago and this was largely to do with their use of ARP poisoning on the lower end boxes, which I don't like either; the Purple and Gold operate as standard inline router/firewalls instead and are much better in that respect.
I've looked at the Firewalla. I think I'm going to start with pfSense/OPNsense and go from there.

My big decision now is can I "get by" with something like a Lenovo m900/Dell 7040/HP 800 for ~$100, and add a 2nd NIC via A+E Wireless PCIe....
-OR-
Spend ~$215 and get a m720q/m920q and pop a 4-port PCIe card in it.

Both machines (i5-6500t/8GB and i5-8500T/8GB) are way overkill for what I need, but it would allow me to perhaps repurpose them down the road if needbe. I don't imagine SATA vs NVME for the SSD really makes a difference, nor does DDR3 vs DDR4.
 

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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Yeah - I was playing with Firewalla Blue, which was the one-port, double NATing ARP poisoning gizmo that kicks off IDS alerts...Well, more accurately, I got a NanoPi Neo2 and their firmware....can't say I am too happy with it. The purple and gold probably run on similar hardware but with multiple ports.
Well no. The Blue+ (which I wouldn't recommend) has a similar 4 core ARM CPU, the Purple has a 6 core ARM, and the Gold is a 4 core x86 of some variety.

I'm very happy with my Purple but wouldn't buy Blue or Red. The Purple (and Gold) is a proper firewall/router and has pretty much every feature you could reasonably need. It's also lower power than running a virtual firewall and it doesn't throw your whole network in the bin when you reboot it.

I replaced a virtualized Opnsense instance - which I liked very much - with it and it took away a steady drip of admin overhead while giving me nearly all the same features.

Disclaimer : just a satisfied customer.
 

newabc

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Jan 20, 2019
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May I ask a question on the tinyminimicro machines with Proxmox?
Do they need a dummy plug for their video ports to prevent them from freezing or stoping?
I have never met such an issue on Wyse 5070 and HP T730 thin clients. But I guess my HP 705 g4 mini got this issue.
 
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Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
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London, UK
May I ask a question on the tinyminimicro machines with Proxmox?
Do they need a dummy plug for their video ports to prevent them from freezing or stoping?
I have never met such an issue on Wyse 5070 and HP T730 thin clients. But I guess my HP 705 g4 mini got this issue.
I've not had this issue with Lenovo Tinys.
 

Occamsrazor

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Feb 23, 2018
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I'm looking at the following models for sale in the country I'm in... HP EliteDesk 800 G6 mini i5-10500t /8gb/256gb. They also have HP ProDesk 600 G6 mini i5-10500t /8gb/256gb. I've been studying online specs but can't see any real difference between these models... any idea?
Also can anyone tell me if the vPro functionality in these is useable from Mac OSX, either via client application or web interface? I know nothing at all about vPro, and have an all-Mac environment.
Intention is to use it as some kind of server or virtualization machine maybe with Proxmox.
Thanks
 
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