Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake

neo

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Mar 18, 2015
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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.


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



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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.


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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




Counterfeit



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

Genuine



Counterfeit



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The inductors are also different.

Genuine



Counterfeit




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Another difference in the type of a large inductor used.

Genuine:



Counterfeit



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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)
 
Last edited:

canta

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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).
 
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Alfa147x

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Feb 7, 2014
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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.
 

RTM

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Jan 26, 2014
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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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neo

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Mar 18, 2015
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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.
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.

I have a very different looking card with a very different layout, and different components. Looks like the one in this auction: Intel I350 AM4 Quad Port Gigabit PCI E X4 Network Server Adapter 1000M I350 T4 M | eBay

Hasn't missed a beat in two years.

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

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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
 

neo

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Mar 18, 2015
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You are probably right, there seems to be 2 variants. However, this comparison is for the T4 variant.
 

canta

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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
the question on counterfeit: how stresfull are you putting on the card to reveal the truth of cheap/rejected components..
 
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Dec 3, 2013
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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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neo

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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.
 

canta

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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.
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"
 
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Keljian

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

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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
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.