[Official] HP 290-p0043w Owner's Thread

Came across a 290-p0046. The only difference I notice in specs is a i3-8100. I can assume I’d be able to follow any exact uses that the 290-p0043w builds provide?

Yeah, you don’t need to change a thing to use the i3-8100 system instead.

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Since there’s one NVMe slot and two SATA- is it possible to do Pfsense and Plex transcoding on the same unit? I.e. 16gb NVMe for Pfsense, then one SSD SATA & HDD for Plex storage and transcoding? Or would I need two seperate units to accomplish?

Don’t do this. Your router should be its own thing.


question are these boxes available for a reasonable cost again?

my googlefu might suck but I was having a hard time getting one at reasonable cost (150 or less for a 4 core)

eBay search links for good-to-go quicksync boxes:


My stock machine has served me well for about 2 years as a Plex server. Growing family so I have a few more users now and would like a little more cpu overhead. The i5-9500t is a little larger step than I’d like but should provide plenty of headroom, I think. Would like to run it by you guys first - it’s LGA1151 - but I’m finding mixed results on whether it’d be a straight swap. If not this, what has been tried?

Both the i5-8500t and the i5-9500t work great in the HP290. I have one of each and have had no issues. HP290s are great.

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You should have no problem with the stock CPU unless you’ve taken it upon yourself to do other things on your HP 290 besides plex.

I recently put in an i5-8600 so that I can transcode 4K for local (wifi) playback. Also started a local Minecraft server on the same machine with this cpu. No problems!

Why would you transcode 4K locally?

Wifi TV’s couldn’t play 4K in Plex.

I don’t have wired connections to all my TV’s, and the HP 290 Pentium can’t transcode the 4k down to 1080p for Wifi purposes. Direct play didn’t work.

It was something that limited me for the past 3 years, to the point I had a separate 4K library that I had to avoid on wifi devices. With the i5, I don’t need a separate library because the 290 can transcode if needed.

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@Kong can the 8600T handle 4k transcodes? One or multiple? I’m thinking of upgrading, especially after realizing that the stock cpu can only handle one 1080p H265 transcode as well, so I could run into issues soon.

Ideally what I’m after is a low-cost, low-power solution that can handle a couple 4k + some H265 transcodes

Edit: decided to just go for it, got an i5-8500T on ebay. 6 cores/6t and reports say 4W or less at idle. Even if it doesn’t transcode really demanding stuff, it’ll still be an upgrade allowing me to consolidate some more plex-related apps on my box.

Sorry, but I don’t have 4k video to test. The 8500t is a beast at transcoding. Lately I haven’t even been transcoding as I have sufficient bandwidth to just allow my guests to direct play.

Hey! I’m looking at upgrading my CPU in my HP 290 as well but am relatively new at swapping out processors. Is the i5 - 8500/8600 compatible with the stock motherboard that has the Celeron processor currently? Do I need to purchase additional heatsinks/fan? The machine is dedicated to Plex only but looking for better 4k transcoding performance. Thanks in advance!

Yes. Ive used an i5-8500 in a 290 with no other mods and it worked fine. Stock heat sink worked decent enough.

The stock heatsink will be adequate, however I might recommend making some cheap upgrades by replacing the fan and thermal paste.


Thermal paste:

Thank you! Is this to replace the existing fan? Any resources you’d recommend on installing these?

i5-8600 works perfect with stock cooler. 70-72C at high load.

Yes, this would replace the existing fan. Both are pretty straightforward once you open it up.