Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake

Discussion in 'Networking' started by neo, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    I recently got ahold of a new in box Intel i350-T4 (quad port) NIC from China - the box even included a Intel driver CD.. I found this a good opportunity to compare it to my genuine card which was pulled from a Dell server. The Intel i350-T4 NICs coming out of Dell severs have varying Dell part numbers on the stickers, I currently know of 3: K9CR1, THGMP and 9YD6K - there might be more. I am not comparing any stickers.

    The counterfeit cards work fine but after a few months they start to fail.


    Genuine card on the left - counterfeit card on the right.
    [​IMG]

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    Genuine card on the left - counterfeit card on the right.
    [​IMG]


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    Genuine card on the left - counterfeit card on the right.

    The biggest visual cue to differentiate is the small heatsink on the counterfeit.
    [​IMG]

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    The genuine cards use authentic Delta ethernet transformers. The word "Delta" is embossed into the chip and you can feel it with your fingernail. The font and color are also different.

    Genuine

    [​IMG]


    Counterfeit
    [​IMG]


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    The crystal on the genuine card is branded TXC while the counterfeit has no brand.

    Genuine
    [​IMG]


    Counterfeit
    [​IMG]


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    The inductors are also different.

    Genuine
    [​IMG]


    Counterfeit
    [​IMG]



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    Another difference in the type of a large inductor used.

    Genuine:
    [​IMG]


    Counterfeit
    [​IMG]


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    These are the most easiest to spot visually. There are additional differences in various smaller chips that I did not attempt to photograph without a better macro lens.

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    Update:
    (copied from post #36)

    Upon my research for the EOL (end-of-life) status of the i350-T4 (and T2) which are based upon the Stony Lake DT codename, gave me some interesting information. "The Last Product Discontinuance Order Date" was ´┐╝"Feb 14, 2015" which is an important date to keep in mind when looking at the date code on the chips, as I previously mentioned. What replaced the i350-T4 is a i350-T4V2 which have the AUX Power component changes that will result in a decrease of in-rush current during power supply start-up. No need to worry, as "Intel anticipates no impact to the customer." Intel ARK comparison here. Here is the official Product Change Notification (PCN113232 - 01) This new product has the Powerville codename. If you are shopping for a i350 card, it might be a good idea to purchase the newer V2 version.

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    Update:

    Additional Contributors: Alfa147x, canta and RTM

    Genuine OEM i350 part numbers:

    • Cisco
      • UCSC-PCIE-IRJ45 (Quad i350)
    • Dell
      • K9CR1 (Quad i350)
      • THGMP (Quad i350)
      • 9YD6K (Quad i350)
      • XP0NY (Dual i350)
      • 7MJH5 (Dual i350)
      • YG4N3 (Dual i350)
    • Fujitsu
      • D3045 (Quad i350)
    • HP
      • NC361T (Dual i350)
    • IBM Lenovo
      • 00D1998 (Quad i350)
      • 00AG510 (Dual i350)
      • 00AG520 (Quad i350)
      • 0C19506 (Dual i350)
      • 4XC0F28731 (Quad i350)
    • Sun Oracle
      • 7100477 (Quad i350)
      • 7100479 (Quad i350)
    • Supermicro
      • AOC-SGP-I4 (Quad i350)
      • AOC-SGP-I2 (Dual i350)

    Unknown authenticity and/or quality i350 part numbers:

    • Silicom
      • PE2G4i35 (Quad i350)
    • StarTech
      • ST4000SPEXI (Quad i350)
    • Sedna
      • SE-PCIE-LAN-1Gx4-INT-LP (Quad i350)
     
    #1
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  2. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    @neo +1 for the great post. How many have you seen fail?
     
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  3. canta

    canta Active Member

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    Thanks Neo!


    the most important part is :
    the world "Delta" is embossed into the chip and you can feel it with your fingernail. The font and color are also different.

    I remember that we had discussion on fake/counterfeit on original/OEM: Make sure transformer/balloon chipset is embossed Delta, since counterfeit always use the cheapest parts (cheap clones).
     
    #3
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  4. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    I only have experience with 2 counterfeit cards and they both failed within 10 months or so.
     
    #4
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  5. Alfa147x

    Alfa147x Member

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    Any idea what fails on the fake NIC? I currently have the 2 port version in my firewall with greater than recommended airflow with no issues. I was considering picking up the quad port version for a new build but now I'm hesitant.
     
    #5
  6. acmcool

    acmcool Banned

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    Feel good that I spent the money on Genuine 4 port card..
     
    #6
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  7. archangel.dmitry

    archangel.dmitry Active Member

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    I guess, I've got a counterfeit.:mad: I got it for $60, so it is no surprise there.
     
    #7
  8. RTM

    RTM Active Member

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    Nice post !

    I wonder if the same quality issues can be found on some of the chinese i350 cards that are not Intel knockoffs.
     
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  9. Keljian

    Keljian Active Member

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    #9
  10. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    This card was purchased from a Chinese eBay seller. If it is an Intel i350-T4 being sold in large quantities for a low price from China, chances are they are counterfeit.


    That is an i350-AM4, which is a different card. T4 is a PCI2.1 card while the AM4 is PCIe2.0
     
    #10
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  11. Keljian

    Keljian Active Member

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    Actually the AM4 is the chip used on the i350, which is identical to the one on the "t4" the only difference is that it is sold to OEMs for them to build cards around afaict. The card supports all the i350 functions and just works.

    The 2.0 vs 2.1 business is just an error in ark
     
    #11
  12. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    If you do not believe me, have a look for yourself. ARK | Compare Intel® Products
     
    #12
  13. Keljian

    Keljian Active Member

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    See above- I put a fair bit of time into researching before I made the call to get one.
     
    #13
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  14. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    You are probably right, there seems to be 2 variants. However, this comparison is for the T4 variant.
     
    #14
  15. canta

    canta Active Member

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    the question on counterfeit: how stresfull are you putting on the card to reveal the truth of cheap/rejected components..
     
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  16. abstractalgebra

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    Great post neo! I wonder why Intel does not take action against the counterfeit cards? They have so many different sellers on ebay.
    Anyone ever try to flag ebay sellers and/or contact Intel?
     
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  17. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    I also closely inspected the counterfeit card and there seems to be a few cold solder spots. Nothing majorly bad, but it could be improved. You can slightly see it on the crystal photo.
     
    #17
  18. canta

    canta Active Member

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    those are very common on cheap ebay stuffs

    I bough many DIY electronics, Arduino, ESp8266, componets on ebay; yes cheap!!! that I can not to argue.
    some are clones:D but stated as the original one haha.
    most soldering is not good but I can fix those :D.

    buying HBA card, nic card, server components or even cpu from CHina is No No on my list hahah.

    I was giggling when saw SAS2 expander card (with bogus lenovo part number) has "expender" hihihih from ebay seller from China.

    I assume ebay does not care for those counterfeiting, which I need to be careful!! when buying on ebay.

    the best is using common sense when dealing chinese seller since 99% are only resellers,
    I request some data, most of them point to the link site or saying " we are just reseller and do no know"
     
    #18
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  19. Keljian

    Keljian Active Member

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    While mine isn't a "counterfeit" I have been putting my entire home network bandwidth across it for the entire time I have had it. This doesn't always stress the card, but it does have peaks of activity which do.

    Still I wouldn't use it as a critical infrastructure part for business. Would rather a genuine article for that
     
    #19
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  20. canta

    canta Active Member

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    counterfeit or "New" from china is mostly identical quality since cheap components are on the board.

    if you buy original AM4.. this is good for long term.

    I always pick Used or OEM NIC card for home or others.
     
    #20
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