HP EliteDesk 800 G2

HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux – Week 1

Last Updated on May 5, 2021


We’ll run inxi, an open source command-line system information tool, to interrogate the system.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi C

Our HP EliteDesk is supplied with an Intel Core i5-6500T, a quad-core desktop processor without hyperthreading. This is a sixth generation i5, launched in 2015. It’s a desktop processor with a low TDP 1 of 35W. The HP EliteDesk can take an Intel i7-6500 processor.

The processor has a base frequency of 2.50 GHz, rising to a maximum of 3.10 GHz. The i5-6500T has a PassMark of 4798 (faster than the i5-4590T housed in our Lenovo M93’s PassMark of 4038 and significantly faster than the 2750 PassMark of the Celeron J4115 (AWOW AK41). This bodes well for our benchmarking tests.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi G

There are very few ultra small desktop PCs that offer a dedicated graphics cards. Instead the vast majority of mini PCs rely on the basic-grade graphics acceleration built into the CPU to power their video outputs.

That’s the case with the HP EliteDesk. Graphics is handled by the Intel HD Graphics 530 onboard. As it doesn’t have any dedicated graphics memory, it accesses the main memory via the processor. The onboard graphics is newer technology than the Lenovo M93 but older technology than the AK41’s UHD Graphics 600. But newer doesn’t necessarily mean faster.

You’ll notice we’re running X.org as our X server. Manjaro (GNOME) runs Wayland by default, but we still use programs that have issues under Wayland.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi m

The HP machine has, in total, 16GB of DDR4 SODIMM RAM running at transfer rates of 2133 MT/s. The RAM populates both slots. We consider that 16GB is ample for the vast majority of use cases running Linux as a desktop machine. To upgrade the machine to 32GB the existing RAM will have to be replaced, but this is infinitely preferable to mini PCs where the RAM cannot be upgraded at all (such as the AWOW AK41).

RAM is showing as 15.52 GB because the onboard graphics shares some of the 16GB RAM.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi d

The HP PC came supplied with a Samsung SM961 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. This 256GB NVMe SSD has read speeds of up to 3100 MB/s and write speeds up to 1400 MB/s. The Lenovo M93 cannot take this newer NVMe technology. We’ll see what performance gains offered by the NVMe offers when we run our series of benchmarks in the next article.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi n

We’ve only tested the machine so far with the Gigabit LAN ethernet port.

Besides the M.2 2280 SSD slot, the motherboard has a slot for a M.2 WLAN module slot. Our unit did not come with a WiFi module. In the corporate sector, it was common for these PCs not to include the WiFi module.

The network information is also showing there’s a SteelSeries Arctis 7 transmitter attached. That’s for a gaming headset. The transmitter/headset obviously wasn’t supplied with the HP. But we’ve been testing a variety of USB devices on the machine. This one, like the others we’ve tested, works immediately without any messing about with drivers. The virtue of good USB support under Linux.

HP EliteDesk 800 inxi s

The final image shows the system temperature with the HP under light load. The reported is higher than the idle temperature of the Lenovo but lower than the AWOW (29.8C and 44C respectively). When fully taking all 4 cores of the GPU, CPU temperature peaks at 73C (70C for the Lenovo).

Neither the HP nor the Lenovo are silent machines, as both machines have a processor fan. The Lenovo is whisper quiet under light load, whereas the HP is still very quiet. Under heavy load, the HP is quieter than the Lenovo.

The HP BIOS doesn’t have the fiddle factor offered by the AWOW’s BIOS. But there’s still a good range of options although its graphical interface only makes actions slower.

1 Thermal Design Power (TDP) represents the average power, in watts, the processor dissipates when operating at Base Frequency with all cores active under an Intel-defined, high-complexity workload.

Next page: Page 3 – Installing Manjaro

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – Specifications
Page 3 – Installing Manjaro

Complete list of articles in this series:

HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC
Week 6Lightweight gaming on the HP EliteDesk
Week 5Multiple operating systems running on the HP EliteDesk
Week 4Hardware graphics acceleration when watching videos in Firefox
Week 3Multimedia on the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 USFF PC
Week 2Benchmarking the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 USFF PC with other machines
Week 1Introduction to the series including wiping Windows and installing Manjaro

This blog is written on the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC.

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David Gunter
David Gunter
2 years ago

The HP looks like a good machine for a newbie to Linux. If they find Linux isn’t suitable for them, they have the fallback of a Windows 10 Pro license.

2 years ago

I run a home lab/dev setup on 4 of these machines and a couple of M73’s and I’ve got to say they’re great. The only problem I found with the HP’s were regular power supply failures but found some reliable unbranded supplies that work better than the official ones.

My main ‘workstation’ is an M73 with an i5-4590T and I’ve not come across anything that encourages an upgrade. The only frustration with both Lenovo and HP being the cooling fan creating a noticeable ‘throbbing’ effect. This was curable on the Lenovo by ramping the fan speed up in BIOS but wasn’t something adjustable in the HP.

It doesn’t seem to matter which distros I throw at these things, everything just works straight away. Unfortunately, in the UK at least, the USFF units are going up in price on eBay rather than coming down.

2 years ago
Reply to  Adamskiec

My Lenovo M93 USFF is almost silent. I’ve never had any throbbing effect.

G Jones
G Jones
1 year ago

Got a couple of these as barebones, but using known-working HP laptop power supplies (65W & 90W) they act “dead” (no POST activity at all).

Do these units use some kind of proprietary power supply compared to HP laptops?


Craig L
Craig L
1 year ago
Reply to  G Jones

I’ve using a regular HP AC 90W power adapter. You can buy them for about 20 euros. If you cant test your current HP power supplies on known working hardware, probably best to spend the 20 euros.

1 year ago

I have had an issue running Debian on a NVMe in a ProDesk 400 G2. It appears there is a firmware update when running Windows and Ubuntu runs fine. Anyone else come across this?

Andy Turfer
Andy Turfer
6 months ago

I just bought one of these for £107. I intend to use it as a home server (gitolite, Samba, LAMP stack, etc…). I usually use Raspberry Pi 4B units, but these are impossible to buy now. I love the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 form factor, and boy does this unit feel great to hold. Will see how it goes running as a home server…

Craig Summers
Craig Summers
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy Turfer

The EliteDesk 800 G2 is a much better home server than a RPI4. My EliteDesk uses about 4Wh when running headless, that’s about the same as a RPI4. But it’s way more powerful. And it’s a blessing not having to deal with ARM issues, have access to any of the 1000+ distros, has a lot more RAM, proper NVMe etc etc. You get the picture!

15 days ago

Does anyone know if installing Linux (PopOS or Fedora) will work on the G3 (i5)?