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Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by BLinux, Jul 2, 2018.
Whoa! next time you need to wear a GoPro to capture such moments!
I don't know a lot, but when you pointed me to these things, I noticed the product lines after the T620 split their numbering system. The T630 is only the "slim" version, while the T730 is the "thicker" version, so there is no longer a "Plus" naming. And it does have a low profile PCI-E slot from the photos I've seen.
that listing throws me off a little bit. the photos make the unit look too thin, like maybe it is the thinner T630. Also, the "right angle" of the power plug looks more like the 60W PSU for the thinner T630, which at least between the T620 and T620PLUS of the previous generation, is not compatible. Finally, the "stand" for the T620PLUS was more "square" and that one seems a bit narrow, like it is for the "thinner" version. Too many indicators that listing might be wrong and what they are really selling is the thin version...
Also, when you are getting into that price range, you might be better off getting a SFF Dell 7020 / 9020 or HP Elitedesk 600 / 800 G1 with an I5( for AES-NI) $150 range. Granted more power draw and bigger in size but gives you lot more flexibility and bang for the buck. .. my 2¢
Ok you've got me thinking @BLinux but I'm going to offer this HP t730 Desktop Cloud Clients | HP® Official Site
If you look at the internal photo there's a big LP card installed. Perhaps the T730 didn't have a slim edition.
Data sheet seems to confirm. Only thick. Energy star short idle is 10W long idle 9W.
no, HP changed the product naming... so the "thin" version would be T630. The T730 is the new generation of what use to be called the T620Plus.
However, based on the photos in your link, it does look like the T730 does have a narrower stand... so who knows? maybe that listing is a T730?
Maybe I should clarify - the 10GbE cards I have on-hand are dual ports (Chelsio Terminator 4s, Solarflare 5/6/7s, etc) and is primarily used to do multipath iSCSI, and that's why the PCIe X4 slot on the t620 Plus is a no-no for me.
Okay, here's where things get a little tricky -
The t630 uses the GX420GI based on the AMD Brown Falcon platform - it's not on the official 3rd generation G-series embedded APU specs (and I suspect is a "special" only shipped to volume customers like HP). It uses AMD Excavator cores.
The t730 uses the RX427BB based on the AMD Bald Eagle platform - it's well documented on AMD press releases, and are in fact marketed towards arcade/casino gaming machine manufacturers (Like Sega , Bally, EGT or IGT) to replace legacy arcade boxes (like the Sega RingEdge2). It uses the older AMD Piledriver cores.
The t630 uses DDR4 Notebook RAM, while the t730 uses DDR3L Notebook RAM (so not interchangeable). Even though the t630 is technically newer, the t730s are actually faster (bigger cache, higher base CPU frequency, more TDP wiggle room), so keep that in mind.
Hmmm, looking at the code on the bag (P3S24AA#ABA), that looks like a legit HP part # for a t730, a model that comes with the optional FirePro W2100 graphics card (so you'll have a total of 6 DisplayPort video outputs instead of the 4 built-in). As for the power supply, like I said before, they share the same PSU lines as their laptop models, so as long as the wattage is correct it should fire up - I had mine running for a while on a 90w power supply off an HP EliteBook VB041AA docking station while doing testing, and during the RadioShack liquidation I picked up one of their generic 90w PSUs with swappable barrel tips for a song...pretty sure that should work as well. The right angle connector PSU should be a G6H43AA used on HP13s and Envy machines. As long as it's an HP original and not some Chinese knockoff, it should work just fine.
Back on topic... Anyone know if the T620 Plus m.2 slot supports NVMe? Booting or as secondary storage? I think the included SanDisk m.2 is only SATA
It's only SATA - when this thing was designed back in 2012 the NVMe specs barely passed v1.0, and I doubt that either AMD or HP is planning for its end users to hammer the I/O on its SoC to warrant NVMe support. The M.2 storage port on those thin clients are really only meant to populate a cheap, low capacity SSD. In fact, HP ThinPro (one of the T620's OS choices based on Ubuntu Linux) implements its filesystem as RAM based COW (copy-on-write), so that SSD module isn't really expected to get much writes out of it. I would stick to something cheap but middle-of-the-road storage-wise if the plan is to run RouterOS or pfsense on it - hell, you can buy a cheap USB 3.0 thumb drive for its interior port and it'll do just fine.
Okay, suggestions on a m.2 2280 SATA that could be used for a few VMs? Hopefully 500GB+ Or I guess it could be mSATA. I have a micron M550 (I think) 240GB mSATA, but not sure it’d be large enough, and it would be a pain to move from an existing system. I’d prefer m.2 since that is obviously going to be more portable to future systems.
Crucial MX500. It's not NVMe but it has decent performance, and you can't beat pricing like that. Also, if you have a T620 Plus and are planning to run VMs on it, your hypervisor performance will be about on-par with the Opteron X3216s on the HP MicroServer Gen 10s. This goes to show you how weak the CPU on that HP money-grab just so happen to be.
It seems Opteron X3216 has double single thread performance of GX-420CA (HP T620 Plus) and almost triple single thread performance of G-T56N (HP T610). So for X3216, it's a huge improvement over these years AMD has been struggling, from a simple passmark comparison point of view IMO.
I've just got myself an HP T610 with G-T56N for a cheap money and i used some time during the weekend to play with it as well as comparing it to Dell Optiplex 790 USFF, which despite being Sandy Bridge (i5-2400s), idles at almost the same W as the T610. I've seen down to ~13W with just OS (CentOS 7) on an SATA DOM 4GB. When all 4 cores are fully loaded, i see the W in the 55W range.
Ofc, i'm not trying to say there are directly comparable in terms of TDP, power they pack, form factor etc, but some times these are much easier to source and when you need it, has a good amount of CPU power. Also, expanding RAM is way cheaper than looking for expensive SODIMMs for the thin clients.
But installing in UEFI mode has been challenging on both 790 and T610! I managed to finally install CentOS 7 on T610 in UEFI mode, while Ubuntu 18.04 is even more challenging. Being a RHEL/CentOS/Fedora guy my attempt to get UEFI Ubuntu on these boxes has been a nightmare. Last night i got it to finish the installer after fiddling with the BIOS to get it to boot and come past the "moklistrt out of resources" error, but now drops out to grub at the start on 790.
What a difference installing CentOS vs Ubuntu, but could be me ofc who as used to RHEL/CentOS distro..
My thoughts are:
- If you don't need the PCIe expansion of e.g T620/T730 Plus and don't run all cores fully loaded, but mostly simple tasks, one can simply go with cheaper solutions such as the older Dell Optiplex 790 which can be had for very low price. It supports 2.5" SATA as well as CD-ROM which might be changed for a 2.5" adapter, perhaps.
The Optiplex 790 goes for around $60-$130 here.
- No need to worry about extra cooling really, it's all built in the case. My T610 get really really hot during load of these poor 2 cores. At some point, one of the SSD i had installed inside was very very hot, i guess by feeling around 70C at least. I wouldn't put any expensive SSD inside there anymore!
- Easier to get Dell/HP SFF and similar for a reasonable price us here in Europe
Sorry for some off-topic text, but just wanted to share my opinion with others
Well, the X3216 is a very weak processor. Sure it has double the single thread performance of the GX420CA and is better in every conceivable way, but then the CPU has only two cores, while the GX420CA has 4, so their performance in most real world applications are about the same.
As for the RAM on the thin clients...it's just standard DDR3L 240 Pin laptop RAM, so it's not rare whatsoever. The same can be said about M.2 SATA. A T620 is probably okay for another 2-3 years both in terms of age and viability (it's M.2 SATA versus standard SATA on the 790 USFFs), while the T730 is still a good little box for another 4-5 (it's essentially an AMD Haswell and uses practically the same accessories), and frankly, given how much faster thin clients tend to depreciate over time, they are still a good source of cheap firepower for tinkerers and home networkers.
While yes, you can buy an Optiplex 790 USFF for about ~90 USD, one has to ask whether that's cost effective anymore - an Optiplex 7040 Mini is 2 CPU generations ahead (Haswell) and goes for about 250 USD (distorted pricing probably due to exhausted supply), while the HP EliteDesk 800G2 Mini is 300 USD and is 5 generations ahead (Coffee Lake) - you jump 5 generations for only 3x the price, and it'll be viable for longer.
Main site post is up https://www.servethehome.com/hp-t620-plus-thin-client-and-firewall-vpn-appliance/
Including the 2.5" drive test fit.
Hey @Patrick, the connector that is only present on the Jamestown Rev. As are MicroSATA - I believe you mentioned on the write-up that they are MiniPCIe.
It's a fairly crappy day outside so I spent some time looking at the hardware write-ups - something about those fiber NICs on the t610/620s caught my eye - the card underneath that suspiciously SATA drive-cagey-like thing is the actual NIC - does it actually match 2.5" SATA drive dimensions? The M.2 Key E adapter simply runs continuity to the card. Not exactly efficient design-wise.
Here's the AT27Mini-EA (the 100Mbit model)
And here's the AT29MINI-EA Gigabit NIC model.
It looks like Allied Telesis took a normal PCIe network card (you can still see the PCIe connectors on it?!), tilted the optical transceiver 90 degrees , ran an optical pigtail to it so it'll accept SC cables, fitted it into an HP Notebook SATA drive cage so it'll mount on the t620 chassis, and called it a day. Quite a sloppy job. I bet that if you unscrew that AT27/29Mini within and stick it into a standard PCIe x1 slot it'll work just fine. I wonder where that cage came from? Maybe an EliteBook 84x0? I don't think HP custom designed this one.
I had a look at the t620 recycling/disassembly guide...they mentioned that the WiFI antennas are sourced from 2 firms -
速碼波 (Smart Approach) or 啟碁 (Wistron). My guess is that the t620 is a Wistron assembled design.
Anyways, can you wire that desktop SSD up to the mSATA? Probably - my guess is you'll need one of these. Not sure as I don't have a t620 Plus...yet.
just updated OP with information about the T730 PSU working on a T620. It is rated 85W vs 90W, and has a right angle connector instead of straight. Just another option should one need to shop for a PSU for their T620.
Yeah, but just remember that any HP laptop/docking station AC adapter with the proper wattage ratings will work as well. Pretty sure that even the unit off my old gt7725 Plus will work on both.