The HP GT7725 thin client is really a pretty good AMD laptop in a mini-desktop form factor. However, HP doesn’t provide you drivers for a generic OS like Windows XP or Windows 7 as they assume you will use their XPe provided OS. But, the computer is so powerful that it can easily function as desktop replacement with a little tweaking. Additionally, it can work with Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 using the OS streaming feature so you can harness the full power of the unit without any internal storage. Great for high security environments.
Whether you buy a large PATA SSD for internal storage, or stream the OS via Citrix XenDesktop, you will need hardware drivers. After some research via PCI vendor IDs, I tracked down all the needed drivers. Windows 7 actually recognized all of the hardware, but I prefer to get the vendor enhanced video drivers for best performance.
If you are wondering what SSDs I am testing, after a lot of research I’ve narrowed it down to two devices: 32GB Super Talent 44H2 or the 32GB Mtron Mobi 3000 PATA. Technically you can also use the 32GB Mtron 1.8″ ZIF series, but finding a good PATA ZIF to 44-pin IDE adaptor is a bit tricky. The Addonics AAT18ZIF25 does the trick, though (when used with a 44-pin laptop IDE cable).
The goal of the project is to allow the HP GT7725 to function in various roles 1) Traditional fat client with local storage 2) Streaming OS via Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 3) “Typical” thin client with XPe used in conjunction with Citrix XenDesktop using ‘hosted’ VDI solution.
I am still in the process of performing benchmarks and comprehensive testing, but when that is completed and I have a solution I’m feel is enterprise ready, I’ll post an update.