Is the HP 290 the leading low power beauty right now?

Is the HP 290 the leading low power beauty right now?

My first post - I am in construction but have been learning about technology on my own and from online classes - loving it. The key is to find good honest people who enjoy teaching and I see lots of them here!

I am looking for a power-efficient x86 platform that I could use for (in decreasing priority):

  1. “NAS like” behavior (RAID not needed) - essentially a few SSD/HDD plugged in and accessible over network - I prefer WebDAV. I am OK having them plugged in over USB3 - I have lots of these adapters and I can load most of my content into the onboard 1TB SSD I’ll be putting in. I really dont need a NAS - not yet . When I do, I’ll look into the NAS Killer

  2. heavy traffic over ethernet/ethernet only. I do have a dual band USB3 adapter if that’s ever needed

  3. if possible, host some lean docker containers (the primary focus is to host docker volumes on the drives attached to this device - the docker daemon can run elsewhere with this partition mounted over the network)

  4. BONUS POINTS if I can run a router + firewall (openwrt or pfsense) - this would offset ~10W I now incur for my custom openwrt setup (that I can now decommission).

The switching fabric would probably be a 4 port GiB LAN like the intel i350-t4?

Needless to say, not interested in the super-popular T620-Plus/T730 are $130+ - PRETTY expensive if you ask me! I would love everything to be < $100.

The focus really is on power efficiency and AFAIK, this peaks at 50W and idles mostly at 10W, which is EXCACTLY what I’m looking for!

Why such a focus on power efficiency - electricity’s $0.5/kWh where I am at. Ideally, I would really liked this to have been < 20W peak if possible but this is good enough.


i. Would any hp 290 do or only the hp 290-p0043w specifically has the low power great performance characteristics?
ii. I am absolutely OK running Ubuntu server (headless) but has anyone here tried running Proxmox on it? I’m thinking I can run 1 - 4 above as docker containers
iii. Is asking to be able to run all 1 - 4 above too much off this?
iv. If not, and this thing has capacity to spare, how realistic would it be to expect to run Plex on this? I don’t really consume much media and being able to just read files off the network would be more than enough for me, but I’m wondering

If any of you here, have other power efficient platforms in your mind that would be a good fit here (AMD Ryzen 5 Mini PCs?), please go ahead!

The hp 290 being referenced here is one and the same as the 290-p0043w with the caveat that there are various similar models in both Intel and AMD platforms. In the use-case presented on this forum you would want to stay away from the AMD versions. HP also has a 590 which I’m waiting to come in and probably several other iterations. These are considered low spec units that have a good deal of upgrade potential.

You seem to be all over the map with questions and I would recommend that you read the owners thread for the 290 as I think you will find most of your questions are answered in that thread.

Another source you might look into is on youtube there is a channel @ServeTheHome where the gentlemen has a series of small form factor pc videos with it’s focus on just what you are asking about. Many of those models he features haven’t really come down in price and the ones being mentioned on this forum essentially do many of the same things at much less expense.

5 cents a kWh seems pretty cheap to me…I think we are at like 13 cents after all the b.s. fees and taxes. I’ll let you do the math…716 KWH and billed at $96.18 is my most recent bill.

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Appreciate your input!

Apologies I did not make it easy to read, but I wrote $0.5/kWh, i.e. 50 cents a kWh.

the b.s. fees and taxes ride on top of that and scale with the kWh tier.

That’s not good. I need to make it easy for people to help me and understand me - I am very new to this, so can you suggest how I can frame my questions better?

My usecase is really to primarily have a JBOD setup over gigabit ethernet.
If the HP290 would be underutilized in that application, I would then, like to move over router + firewall (likely by running openwrt in a docker container) to it as well. I dont mess around with my firewall configuration much so the chances of network compromise is low. I also am behind a CGNAT from the ISP and it’s impossible to reach me directly from the internet.

This is all to say that I am not too worried about running a “NAS” on my edge (router + firewall) device.

Are these the videos you meant or something else entirely?

yes those are the videos

50 cents…now I feel better

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Ah, a case of the schadenfreude!

Part of the appeal of the 290-0043w is that it has an 8th gen Intel CPU with Quicksync, which makes it an excellent choice for anything involving video transcoding, like a Plex server. If you only plan to serve files, an older Intel CPU or an AMD CPU is fine, with the caveat that newer is likely more performance for the power used.