The HP S01 is the successor to the insanely popular HP290. Why they didn’t call it the HP 300, we’ll probably never know. Despite the very similar exterior, many substantial changes have been made.
- HP S01
- Intel Celeron G5900 (2C/2T, 10th-gen QuickSync)
- 4GB DDR4 RAM
- 1TB SATA HDD
- 3 SATA ports (DVD drive, one for 2.5" SATA, one for 3.5" SATA)
- 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA
- 2 x low profile PCIe slots (x16, x1)
- M.2 NVMe 2242/2280 support (does not support M.2 SATA)
- Realtek GbE NIC (add an Intel dual or quad port for pfSense)
- ~7W idle power consumption
- about 2U wide
- 1x80mm fan (quiet)
Shipping & Packaging
VIP Outlet is simply the best. The HP S01 was shipped in an extremely oversized box with ample bubble wrapping. The S01 arrived undamaged and in a timely manner.
While it wasn’t noted in the ebay listing, VIP Outlet included a standard HP mouse, keyboard, and power cord. Note that the mouse and keyboard are the same as the HP 290’s offerings, they are not the current generation of HP peripherals. It’s not a big deal, these will work just fine.
This particular S01 was listed by VIP Outlet as “Grade B refurbished”. A lesser seller would have listed it as “Grade A”. From what I can see, there are only two exterior blemishes, and they are minor. There’s one on the front, and one on the back.
I really like the 3D cube pattern on the front, it adds a bit of class to what would be an otherwise plain fascia. The front I/O consists of 4 USB 3.0 ports, a SD card reader, and a combo headset jack.
The vent is a little smaller than the HP 290’s.
The rear I/O is similar to the HP 290 as well, with HDMI, VGA, 4 USB 3.0, and gigabit ethernet.
Disassembly and Internal Overview
HP really loves their Torx T15. Every screw removed in this guide is a T15.
There’s one at the rear holding the side panel in. This one is captive, so you won’t have to worry about losing it.
Slide the panel rearward, and lift off.
Inside, it looks really similar to the HP 290, but upon closer inspection there are some significant changes.
Let’s take a look at the power supply - again, very similar to the HP 290. It’s an 80 PLUS GOLD rated unit, but this time it’s 180 watts instead of 250 watts.
The first thing I noticed was that the x16 PCIe slot is on the bottom instead of the top now. I use a passively cooled (2 slot thick) EVGA GT 1030 in my HP 290, where the x16 is at the top. It definitely won’t fit in here. You will be limited to single slot width PCIe cards, unfortunately.
The HDD caddy is on the right of this picture, at the front of the chassis. Looks like the heatsink and cooling shroud is in a similar configuration as well.
Just like the HP 290, we have to remove the DVD drive before continuing on. The green tab will allow you to slide it forward slightly so that the power and data cables can be unplugged.
I had a bit of a time trying to slide mine forward. Looks like there’s a disc stuck in the drive!
There’s fingerprints and dirt all over this thing. Odd.
You’ll need to salvage this green rail if you want to replace the DVD drive with a 2.5" SSD/HDD caddy.
A quick power up and eject… treasure!
Anyway, back to disassembly. There are 3 tabs on the top of the face plate that need to be released. Careful not to break them, they are only ABS plastic.
Wow, what a surprise. This is MUCH better than the HP 290 already. There’s no wires attaching the front panel to the chassis.
Next we need to remove the HDD cage. Unplug the 3.5" HDD using this window in the top.
Push this metal tab and lift up.
Again, even better than the HP 290. There’s no screws holding the HDD cage in place, and the whole front of the case doesn’t come off with it. The S01 is so much easier to work with.
Here we can see all of the ports on the motherboard: 3 SATA, NVMe, Wi-FI/BT, fan headers, etc.
Note: The NVMe 2242 uses a standard (smaller) M.2 screw, while the 2280 appears to use a larger one. I have no clue why HP decided to do this.
Here’s the HDD caddy flipped upside-down. There’s a section below the 3.5" HDD where a 2.5" SSD/HDD can be mounted - a very welcome addition.
Here’s a better look at the front of the motherboard.
WiFi/BT card: HP part number 915620-001. Notice that the antenna goes towards the front of the chassis.
The location of the antenna is better for 2 reasons.
- It’s generally better to have the Wi-Fi at the front, where signal is likely to be better
- The antenna itself is protected by the front panel. It was a somewhat common issue where the HP 290s would have broken antennas.
Remove the 3.5" HDD with 4 Torx T15 screws.
Western Digital WD10EZEX HDD. Nothing special.
The RAM is installed in the correct slot, believe it or not. The primary slot is farthest from the CPU.
Basically the same memory you’ll see in any standard DDR4 desktop. Samsung PC4-2666
Let’s remove the CPU shroud next. The 4 pin power cable doesn’t need to be unplugged, but it needs to be removed from the shroud.
Pull it out of the way.
There are 2 tabs next to the fan that need to be released, and then the shroud can be removed.
It’s starting to look a little barren in here!
4 Torx T15 screws are used to secure the CPU heatsink.
Don’t forget to unplug the 4 pin PWM fan connector for the CPU heatsink.
Let’s clean off the CPU and see what’s inside: the Celeron G5900.
Repasting with Gelid GC Extreme, per usual.
Simply retrace your steps and you’ll be able to reassemble the S01 without any issues.
The PCIe retention system is pretty simple. Lift where the arrow is and then you can install your expansion cards.
It’s a shame that it doesn’t have USB-C, although there is a spot for it at the front.
- Small QuickSync box
- pfSense router
- Dedicated NZB unpack box
- Dedicated Torrent seed box
- Physical “VM” for whatever you want
- use multiple with Docker Swarm
- Use a dual port 10GbE adapter
- Use a 9201-8e for NAS/DAS
- [Guide] Hardware Transcoding: The JDM way! QuickSync and NVENC
- HP Documentation
- [Official] NVMe FAQ & Info - M.2, U.2, heatsinks, and more!
- HP S01-pf1013w on ebay
- NVMe FAQ - Adapters: [Official] NVMe FAQ & Info - M.2, U.2, heatsinks, and more!
- Add 8GB RAM or 8GB RAM (pick whichever is cheaper)
- Add 2x 10GbE ports - Intel X520 T2 (this serves no purpose on pfSense or Plex unless your external connection is >1Gb)
The HP S01 is largely more of the same from HP, which is a good thing considering the success of the HP 290. It’s interesting that so much attention to detail has been placed on such a low-tier consumer PC. It’s extremely easy to take apart, and packs an astounding amount of expansion for such a small unit. While the new upgrades didn’t come without downsides (particularly the single slot only GPU issue), if you can overlook them - there’s no reason not to favor the S01 over the 290.
And who knows, maybe you’ll get a “Dire Straits” CD to give to your old man.