Chinese intel i350 adapters?

Darkytoo

Member
Jan 2, 2014
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i've seen i350 cards on ebay for $95 from china and was wondering if anyone had experience with them? brand name? quality?
 

Entz

Active Member
Apr 25, 2013
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Canada Eh?
I have a Winyao WYI350-T4 sitting on my desk, was going to install it this weekend. Quality seems decent. Not expecting much in the way of issues (not much too them) but can report back after.
 

mrpeaches

New Member
Aug 23, 2014
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I purchased 2 of these on eBay to install on my supermicro X10 board. No brand name came on them. They were listed as "Intel OEM i350-t4" but suspiciously "intel" appeared nowhere on the board, leading me to believe that they were knock-offs as opposed to officially sanctioned intel OEM boards. If you look closely on the Lenovo or Dell (for example) branded i350-T4 boards, they still come with "intel" silkscreened on the pcb somewhere, normally near the ethernet ports.

Also, the chips on the boards were of a different brand and type than the Dell OEM i350-T4 that I purchased later. The Dell OEM (Dell part: THGMP) had two Delta Electronics "LFE9219C-R" chips, while the generic eBay on had two chips labeled "MR-MACOM" and two different identifying numbers, neither of which yielded any results in a Google search. I did not lift up the heat sink in order to see if there was a difference between the two boards in what lay underneath.

The two boards worked ok in their role of light hyper-v service for about 2 weeks, then they started having issues in Windows Server 2012 R2. The boards started dropping in an out in their connections to my HP 1810-24G v2 switch. Then, Windows device manager started reporting "code 10" and "code 43" errors from the cards and dropping them offline. If I tried to uninstall or re-enable the cards after this, Windows device manager would hang, necessitating a reboot of the server. Different machines and different pcie ports would produce the same error. The supermicro x10 board's pcie ports worked just fine with other cards, leading me to determine that the generic i350-T4 cards themselves were at fault.

I returned the cards for refund for not working and for being possible counterfeit intel i350-T4 boards.
 

Darkytoo

Member
Jan 2, 2014
106
2
18
I had made an offer on one of them, but checking ebay just now there was an OEM dell with "intel" stamped on it for $29 more. So after reading above i thought i would jump on that. I've got two HP nc350ts in there and it's they're pulling about 25-30 watts while the i350 is supposed to only pull 4.4.
 

Pri

Active Member
Jul 30, 2014
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I recently bought one of these adapters on ebay for $80 USD ~ £51.

Works great. I did remove the heatsink because I was interested in knowing what is really under the heatsink and it does appear to be a genuine Intel ASIC. All the hardware information checks out in the OS too. Normal Intel Drivers work. Intel's own hardware test also verifies the cards legitimacy. The performance is also what you'd expect from Intel.

All the features I tested worked properly including the LED lights on the back of the card for port location, vlans, receive offload, interrupt coalescing, network cable length and quality determinations were also accurate.

Visually inspecting the card the only thing that seems to differ from the real card is it uses the MR-MACOM ethernet controls. From what I can find online from the real card the Delta electronics versions are intended to handle Ethernet noise, signal amplification and general things like that while the main Intel chip actually handles all the packet level stuff. As far as I can gather the MR-MACOM chips are a copy of the Deltas. Probably unauthorised but who knows? - What I do know is everything else on the board matches the real deal from a visual standpoint. PCB thickness, copper inside the PCB, positions, printing, all the tiny power regulators look the same etc

considering the retail price of these cards is about £250-£350 I think £51 for a 99.9% replica with the same Intel chip at the heart is pretty good. I'll be running mine 24.7 in a PFSense setup so I'll report back if I found anything unusual at a later date.
 

Entz

Active Member
Apr 25, 2013
269
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Canada Eh?
Forgot about this thread, I used a Winyao WYI350-T4 in my "Edge/ISR" ESXi box (RouterOS x86 / Squid / Snort / FreePBX) for a time. Worked great. Everything pointed to a genuine card (drivers/PCI-Id etc). The only difference I can find, is the use of Lanktron LG-2402P, which is likely just a cheaper sourced component.
 

Pri

Active Member
Jul 30, 2014
122
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Thought I'd update this thread, I've had my card in my PFSense build for 8 months. Over the past few weeks it began to incur errors, eventually 8,000 packets a day were being dropped by the adapter. That was within the last week. I took the adapter out and replaced it with a retail Intel 1000 CT Pro. Problems gone, no more errors.

So it would appear that these Chinese cards aren't that durable, it sat in that PFSense box powered on 24.7 for 8 months only being power cycled for the occasional PFSense softare update and it seems to have just died out slowly.

I think in future I'll stick to the retail ones these cheap cards aren't worth the hassle.
 
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MMacD

New Member
Nov 29, 2015
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Massachusetts USA
My rule of thumb is that if it's from China, it's either a counterfeit or a real one that failed QA.

I tried to buy an Intel gigabit card via Amazon (but not from Amazon) and got a board from Wing Fong's Noodle Factory And Board Fab (my name for the source of no-name Chinese hardware), and then on a second try from a supposedly-different vendor, a card that appeared to be an Intel one that had failed QA. In the end I drove up to Boston and bought a real Intel card from Micro Center.

Given that a lot of US discards go to China where very desperate people spend their lives pulling and re-selling the fatigued chips, I decided I'll never again try to buy any hardware direct from China, or from a US seller who offers inticing prices but can't show a current invoice from a distributor / the manufacturer. It just isn't worth it.
 
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Jerry Renwick

Active Member
Aug 7, 2014
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Yes, I have purchased Dell i350 cards on ebay from China, the quality is good and price is low.
A nice purchasing experience!