[Official] HP 290-p0043w Owner's Thread

I’m looking to build a low power plex transcoder with a decent amount of storage for the time being. I’ll be building out my NAS soon enough. I found this thread and it’s been incredibly helpful. I was able to snag a 290 locally for $80 practically brand new. What I am looking for is what all I need to add to it. I’d like to max it out storage wise as well add any other necessary options. It currently has a G4930, 4GB of Ram and a 500GB drive. Any suggestions for drives, ram or any other items is appreciated. I have already ordered a dummy plug.

Well if you’re just using it as a transcoder, there’s no reason to have onboard storage aside from the boot SSD where Plex metadata is also stored.

For optimal performance, I’d recommend a 256GB NVMe (unless you have a large library, then I’d go 512GB) and adding an additional 8GB of RAM to the 4GB that you already have.

@bashNinja, here is a detailed list of what I added and removed from my HP 290:

  • Ubuntu 20 dual boot with Windows 10 (separate partitions)
  • Intel® Core™ i5-8500T Processor with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut Thermal Paste
  • Intel 665p Series M.2 2280 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 3D3, QLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDPEKNW010T9X1
  • Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) SR x8 DIMM 288-Pin Memory - CT2K8G4DFS824A
  • HDMI Dummy Plug Headless Ghost Display Emulator (Fit Headless-1920x1080 New Generation@60Hz)-3Pack
  • M.2 Screw Kit,NVMe Screw m.2 SSD Mounting Kit

I have disconnected or removed the following hardware that came with the system:

  • 500GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
  • M.2 AC-WiFi + BT 4.2
  • DVD-RW slim drive
  • 4GB DDR4

Hope this helps.

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That 8500T is key here and designed to be lower powered. I’m running the same processor on one of my headless builds with Ubuntu 20.04.1 server that stays on 24x7 along with the hdmi dummy plug.

I had posted this in another thread, but this setup is running at 4 watts idle. Before I upgraded to the 8500T, I thought for sure I’d be up over 40 watts idle. I’m glad I was wrong in that previous assessment.


HP 290 pre-owned price is now at $129

Hi everyone. I’m having trouble with my Plex server not being able to properly transcode HVEC files for remote watching. My server currently runs an i7 3770k procesor, wich I’ve been told can’t decode the files. I just found this thread and from what I gather, I could build another server with a cheap 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th gen Dual Core Celeron procesor and get rid of my problem… is that right? At the most, I need it to be able to direct play 2 files locally, while transcoding a 3rd one remotely. I could get a Celeron G4930 for a very good price if needed.

Thanks in advance! This thread is awesome.

Yep, that’s correct!

Check out the chart here, Kaby lake and above support HEVC.

Thanks for the quick reply! I have one more question if you don’t mind me asking. I always thought one had to check the CPU passmark benchmark to assess each CPUs ability to handle any number of streams… The G4900 that you tested has a very “poor” rating there compared to even my i7 3770. Is that a benchmark I shouldn’t be looking at anymore?

The passmark has very little to do with the iGPU’s ability to transcode! That is mostly generational, and the G4900 is 5+ generations newer than the i7-3770.

If you start small with the G4900, you can always upgrade the processor later.


Price changed:
$119 for the Used (Grade B).
$129 for the Refurbished (Grade A).

For anyone who set one up with PFSense and dual-port cards: Is the default Realtek NIC recognized as well?

Yes, it will show up as another interface, unless you disable it in the BIOS. Before you think about using it, make sure you update the driver following the directions in this thread. The included drivers aren’t the best, and can cause stability issues under heavy load.

I should have grabbed one last night, they are sold out now.

@ckeltner, I think you can still pick one up off their main site for the same ebay prices.

I think they will end up coming back on ebay soon. Their ebay stock usually lags behind a bitt.

If they’re out of stock at vipoutlet.com as well now, what’s the likelihood they’ll get new stock any time soon? Failed to pull the trigger in time and kicking myself now.

Back on VIP outlet linked above with a coupon code 15cyber for another 15% off - showing right at $101 before tax.


You guys ever check out the “HP Elitedesk G5 800 SFF” ? I got one off ebay for 300$ seems to be about the same size as the 290 and faster.

We’ve had some pretty killer deals pop up on the Prodesk 400 G4, but nothing on that specific machine.