Some information about HP T620 Plus Flexible Thin Client machines for network appliance builds...

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
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I ask the sellers if the t620 has a mSATA and if not:

I will put the HDD outside the case and want to use a mSATA to SATA adapter:
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Would be nice to know what revision the mini PCIe has and how many lane's.
It's PCIe 2.0 - x1 for the miniPCIe, and the x16 slot is really an x4...
What are you planning to do with it (that would require a 6-8TB drive hanging off the side)?
You sure you don't want to consider something like an 80 dollar HP 290 instead?
 

MrGlasspoole

New Member
Jan 17, 2020
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I need something with really low power consumption because power is expensive here in Germany.

It will be a Tvheadend server and small NAS.
At the moment i have Tvheadend running on my bigger machine in Hyper-V and a Raspberry PI as SAT-IP server with USB DVB-S2 tuners connected.
The RPi is needed because in Hyper-V you can't pass through USB.
It works but i don't like that TV is not working if something goes wrong and i don't like the additional SAT to IP conversion.

I need Windows and Intel Quick Sync on the bigger machine because of the surveillance cam software.
So Linux is not an option.
 

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
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I need something with really low power consumption because power is expensive here in Germany.

It will be a Tvheadend server and small NAS.
At the moment i have Tvheadend running on my bigger machine in Hyper-V and a Raspberry PI as SAT-IP server with USB DVB-S2 tuners connected.
The RPi is needed because in Hyper-V you can't pass through USB.
It works but i don't like that TV is not working if something goes wrong and i don't like the additional SAT to IP conversion.

I need Windows and Intel Quick Sync on the bigger machine because of the surveillance cam software.
So Linux is not an option.
Eh, you don't plan to do any transcoding on the future tvheadend box, right? The t620 Plus runs off UVD4.0/VCE 1.0, which means that it doesn't do h264/265 and VP9 encoding, and only partial h264 decoding support (I am not even sure AMD VCE support is present in Linux). Just remember that the quadcore Jaguar is only efficient if it's mostly idle - whether it is...depends on whether you are pulling SD, HD or 4k content, and whether you plan to transcode it for consumption later.

For use as a tvheadend box, I would personally prefer grabbing a fanless industrial PC (something Airmont or above with HEVC hardware support on Quicksync, which is supported in Linux) and write the actual files to a NAS somewhere else (having a single high capacity drive run 24/7 without a moving airstream to cool it seems...less than ideal, but then, you can just plug a bog standard external USB3 drive to it and not go through all the messiness of hacking SATA...which depends on the potential t620 Plus seller knowing/caring whether the board is Revision A or B).

You can also get a t630 with similar CPU firepower and less power usage, and you might pay less (but that would depend on your local hardware availability, of course).
 

MrGlasspoole

New Member
Jan 17, 2020
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No transcoding needet...

Another NAS is another device that is drawing power.
I was locking at Odroid HC1/HC2 but they are expensive and why not just use the Tvheadend box that is running 24/7 anyways.

The 6TB drive is not running 24/7? If you don't access files your drives go to sleep?
I have a Windows PC with StableBit DrivePool and multiple drives where i have all the movies and backups.
There the drives sleep and i only power it up if i watch a movie because of power consumption.
And airflow: Just mount a fan or use a HDD case with one.

This one is just for music, music videos, eBooks and stuff like that.
I'm not a fan of USB connected HDDs (beside portable). Its another unnecessary layer if you have SATA ports.
I have Raspberry Pi's, a Banana Pi and Odroid's and none of this devices are really useful as a NAS in my opinion.
The seller did open one t620 and it has mSATA. So i can tell him to make sure to send me one with mSATA.

Only efficient if mostly idle? I thought they do not pull more than 11 to 15W if under full load?
Since the GPU is not used here, TV watching is only ~4 hours a day and serving files is also not that much...

A t630 costs 4 to 6 times more (~$300) here in Germany.
Also the HP QuickSpecs says for the 630 "11.5 W" and for the 620 "8.99 W".
I don't get this HP idle specs anyways. If you search around people say they have 5 watts.
 
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arglebargle

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Jul 15, 2018
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Watch out for mSATA voltage too; in theory the slot supplies 3.3V and your 2.5" drives are going to want 5V.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Watch out for mSATA voltage too; in theory the slot supplies 3.3V and your 2.5" drives are going to want 5V.
Well, you could spring for a USB to SATA power converter...but from what I remember, those need 2 USB ports and it only works for 2.5" Drives.
Actually, dude, now to think about it - doesn't 3.5" Drives require a 12v power rail as well? Does that exist in mSATA? My guess...a dedicated external power brick just to power 3/5/12v, like the ones that came with SATA/PATA to USB adapters? That doesn't seem very power efficient to me.
 
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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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No transcoding needet...

Another NAS is another device that is drawing power.
I was locking at Odroid HC1/HC2 but they are expensive and why not just use the Tvheadend box that is running 24/7 anyways.

The 6TB drive is not running 24/7? If you don't access files your drives go to sleep?
I have a Windows PC with StableBit DrivePool and multiple drives where i have all the movies and backups.
There the drives sleep and i only power it up if i watch a movie because of power consumption.
And airflow: Just mount a fan or use a HDD case with one.

This one is just for music, music videos, eBooks and stuff like that.
I'm not a fan of USB connected HDDs (beside portable). Its another unnecessary layer if you have SATA ports.
I have Raspberry Pi's, a Banana Pi and Odroid's and none of this devices are really useful as a NAS in my opinion.
The seller did open one t620 and it has mSATA. So i can tell him to make sure to send me one with mSATA.

Only efficient if mostly idle? I thought they do not pull more than 11 to 15W if under full load?
Since the GPU is not used here, TV watching is only ~4 hours a day and serving files is also not that much...

A t630 costs 4 to 6 times more (~$300) here in Germany.
Also the HP QuickSpecs says for the 630 "11.5 W" and for the 620 "8.99 W".
I don't get this HP idle specs anyways. If you search around people say they have 5 watts.
Yeah, but do you only measure power on the APU? On the power lead? Or off the outlet (which is what I do)? It's not just the APU, it's the APU, the RAM (some difference between DDR3 and DDR3L and whether you opt for large RAM units or stick with the default 2GB DIMMs), the fan, the power conversion logic, the M.2 SATA boot drive (the default, is, what, 16GB?), the power draw from the USB ports (if anything is plugged into it), the NIC, the audio (unless you specifically compile it out) and whatever is being consumed by the power brick, offset by whatever C and P states your APU is being set to, and whether idle/deep sleep policy.

The HP numbers are a bit optimistic (in my opinion) - and it also depends one whether you are looking at the quoted figures for the dualcore t620, the quadcore t620, or the quadcore t620 plus.

if you look at their quoted numbers for a t730 (a more powerful machine) they'll quote about 20 Watts idle with a video card + a fiber NIC - looking at the numbers on my Elekcity Voltson smart plug, it's drawing nearly 40 watts off the taps. Either the enclosed 90w power brick eats an extra 6W and my smart plug is being pessimistic and adds a few watts (could be...?), ESXi is being especially power hungry, or HP are quoting numbers off the lead plugging into the device after the power brick...who knows.

Either ways, I will take those numbers with a grain of salt.
 
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MrGlasspoole

New Member
Jan 17, 2020
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Since the PSU has 19.5V it's no problem to get 12V.

30 watts would be a lot.
My Haswell i5 with Tvheadend, pfSense and freeSwitch running in Hyper-V jumps between 17 to 25W if doing nothing.
It also has a PCIe Intel dual NIC (4 NICs in totall) and two 2.5" and one 3.5" drive.
Watching two HD stations its not more. Running a internet speed test it goes to max 42W (120 mbps connection).
 
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epicurean

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Sep 29, 2014
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What is the recommended "easy to replace and reconfig" pfsense setup for this machine (T620 plus)? My unit is the B version without a msata connection, and 2 X serial ports
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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What is the recommended "easy to replace and reconfig" pfsense setup for this machine (T620 plus)? My unit is the B version without a msata connection, and 2 X serial ports
Probably an Intel i340-T4 card in the PCIe slot, pfsense installed on the 16GB m.2 SATA SSD. Otherwise, config to your liking. Unless your machine was sold without RAM/storage it's ready for installation as-is.
 

epicurean

Active Member
Sep 29, 2014
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Thanks @WANg. My T620 plus came with a 64GB m.2 sata with Win 7 embedded. Is it worthwhile to keep that and put it aside, or just reformat and use for pfsense? Is there any value in say, putting a mini pci converter (that breaks out into 2 sata ports) and use ZFS install for pfsense?
 

WANg

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2018
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Thanks @WANg. My T620 plus came with a 64GB m.2 sata with Win 7 embedded. Is it worthwhile to keep that and put it aside, or just reformat and use for pfsense? Is there any value in say, putting a mini pci converter (that breaks out into 2 sata ports) and use ZFS install for pfsense?
It's a freebie - might as well use it. Never really messed with the MiniPCe to dual SATA board (my devices are m.2 based anyways), but if it's still dependent on a single splitter it's not much redundancy to speak of - all it adds is an extra layer of complication.
 

Brendan

New Member
Feb 3, 2011
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Quad-Core T620s (non-plus) are now like $30 on eBay now, has anyone tried using a mini-PCIe Ethernet card in one for a router? I’m thinking the extra Ethernet could be run out through the VGA/serial port hole. It’d be all Realtek NICs, but the price is right.
I ended up doing this, it ended up being a bigger project than I expected.

I bought this mini-PCIe Realtek Ethernet card from Amazon: Amazon.com: CERRXIAN Mini PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express Network Card NIC 10/100 / 1000Mbps with Low Profile Bracket: Computers & Accessories
Electrically it worked great, but both boards had connectors sticking straight up and I wasn't able to close the side panel.

I used a soldering iron to remove the headers and replace them with right-angle headers on both boards.
At first the port was only negotiating at 100 Mbps, but after adding more solder (really should've used liquid flux) it's stable at 1 Gbps.
I was able to trap the port onto the edge of the motherboard, and align it correctly to be usable through the VGA/serial(/fiber) hole in the rear metal port cover. I can't use the plastic port cover though. There's some cardboard and double-sided tape on the bottom to insulate it and keep it in place, disconnecting the cable has to be done carefully though.
It's a tight fit but the side panel closes!

The downside is no space for a serial port, also I don't have the cable (mine came with VGA). Also of course, these are Realtek and not Intel NICs, iperf shows them good for at least 500 Mbps which is enough for me.

I put it into service yesterday running OpenBSD, and so far so good. Power usage was 10-12 watts I think.

IMG_4433 (1).jpg

IMG_4439.jpg
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
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Just ordered my new in box T620 Plus from a German seller on Ebay.
I have a Supermicro board with the same CPU, but also quite loud fan on the CPU and in the case.
Plus the case does not allow for a PCI-E card to use with my fiber internet line.

Since the PCI-E slot is only 4x I ordered a dual port 1Gbit card with SFP ports using a Intel 350 chipset.
It's from a Chine seller on Ebay so no clue whether it will even work or if it does, for how long...

Card should arrive between late October and late November.

Currently I use my Ubiquiti switch as a media converter. Would be nice to have it in the router too.
 

dreamsin

Active Member
Oct 31, 2018
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Sorry for not scrolling through all of the thread.
Would 4gb of ram on T620 plus be enough for Pfsense?
Also would using a usb stick be enough, or should I be looking for a different boot disk.
 

weust

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Aug 15, 2014
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4GB RAM is enough for most things, but if you want to use certain features those might need more memory and disk space.
I would not recommend using a USB stick. Just an internal disk.
 
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erik_m

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Mar 15, 2021
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I just wanted to add some info in case it's useful. I've been trying to install Debian on a T620 on the mSATA drive. I created a bootable usb with rufus using debian-10.8.0-amd64-netinst.iso and GPT partition scheme default other settings. The T620 booted off the usb fine and it seemed to install fine but then said there was no boot disk when I tried to boot it off the internal mSATA. After a lot of googling, I found Boot Repair Boot-Repair - Community Help Wiki . I installed the boot repair iso on a usb with Rufus using the same settings and booted off that then used the "Recommended Repair" button and now its booting ok!
Interestingly, I had tried installing Lubuntu 20.04.2 earlier with similar problems, but then read there should've been an "erase disk" option in the partition setup, and if it's missing, it means a swap partition on the disk is mounted. the command sudo swapoff -a unmounts it. The erase disk option was then available, and partitioning using that let the T620 boot off the drive also.
 

mhome9

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
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Hello all.
I purchased a HP T620 plus to use with Pfsense.
Now I'm looking for a Intel quad nic to go with it, but there seems to exist some problems with these thin clients and (some?) Intel nic cards ( https://www.reddit.com/r/PFSENSE/comments/mo3u21 ).

My questions are:
1-Are there anyone here using the HP T620 plus with a Intel nic, using the latest Pfsense ?
2-If the answer is affirmative, could you please tell me the card you are using?

Thank you all.

PS:
I'm on EU.
 
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weust

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Aug 15, 2014
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I do not use pfSense, I use OPNsense, but I do usse a dual port Intel card. 350 chipset.
It's a dual port 1GbE SFFP card I got from Ebay. No brand as it's from China.
But it's been working great for months now.
 
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mhome9

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Apr 14, 2021
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I do not use pfSense, I use OPNsense, but I do usse a dual port Intel card. 350 chipset.
It's a dual port 1GbE SFFP card I got from Ebay. No brand as it's from China.
But it's been working great for months now.
Hello :)
I'm looking around for (intel) nic cards and I may end up getting a (regular) I350-T4 card for a decent price, from a reputable seller (EU based), as these I350 cards seem to be trouble free on HP thin clients.
Thank you very much for sharing your experience :)

If someone else wants to share it's experiences with HP T620 plus + Intel cards (I340 or I350) on the latest releases of Pfsense/OPNsense, please don't be shy ;)