Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake

Keljian

Active Member
Sep 9, 2015
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Melbourne Australia
Hello,

I'm trying to find a genuine i350 quad port for the best possible price (aren't we all?). Have seen quite a few Dell OEM ones out there (pulls, new, etc.) but with the previous post here talking about Dell disabling SR-IOV on their 9YD6K product, I am hesitant to consider any Dell OEM ones at all. SR-IOV is one of the main reasons I want an i350 T4, along with PCI v2.1 and good Linux driver support.

Can anyone out there by chance give a "success story" of buying a Dell OEM of these that had SR-IOV *enabled*?

Also, does anyone know of OEM part numbers for i350T4V2's (the ones with updated power up current draw)?

Thanks,
gig-e-nator
Why not get a 10 gig card and use sr-iov?
 

gig-e-nator

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Jun 29, 2016
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I'm looking for 4 gigabit ethernet ports. Specific need, specific use case.

This is for a server at home (like the forums name...)

If anyone happens to know of any Dell OEM part #'s that do NOT have SR-IOV (or other...?) features of the i350 chipset lobotomized via firmware please share those part numbers.

Or for that matter, any other OEM versions that you have seen that definitely have SR-IOV support would be great. V2 of the NIC isn't as important to me as getting one with SR-IOV fully functional.

I'll be continuing to look myself as well, so if I find anything solid I'll post a followup with details. I did see one vendor on ebay selling what they're calling intel i350T4 V2's brand new with both slot brackets for ~$150 and the picture shows a legit card - but it looks a bit like a stock photo. Seemed too good to be true, even with their very high rating and # of transactions. I have seen vendors with pictures of definitely-fake NIC's with very high ratings and # of transactions too, so since this one hasn't answered me back in days on my "genuine intel?" inquiry I'll just "skip on, brother" and keep searching.



Thanks
 
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gig-e-nator

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Evidently the helpful folks have long since moved on from this thread.

1 reply "advising" me to buy 10 gig nics. I don't have a 10 gig network here at home and do not NEED a 10 gig network at home. I have neither the interest in nor the budget to buy a 10 gig switch. So why buy 10 gig NIC's until 10 gig switches are inexpensive enough that I can afford one? You have to question why someone would jump on to a topic dedicated to helping people find genuine Intel i350 multi-port gigabit NIC adapters - and spot the differences between the real ones and the fake ones - with a post suggesting to buy a 10 gigabit NIC.

Another nebulous reply basically saying to just go find some cheap ones and start selling them for money. Conveniently, with a link to more fake ones.

"Nevermind". I'm sorry I asked.

I would like to thank the folks who collaborated to come up with the OEM part numbers and also the people who took the time to take the close-up photos, etc. so that it would be possible to avoid buying fake ones, knock-offs, etc.

Armed with those helpful people's contributions I will go find one myself.

Adios.
 

Keljian

Active Member
Sep 9, 2015
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Melbourne Australia
How rude- talk about a dummy spit! if you had bothered to do some research of your own you would have found a thread on the pfsense forums about it, but hey we're unhelpful..

As for pricing on 10gigabit, you can get switches with 4 10 gig ports (LB6M) for about $90USD, so price isn't a reason to avoid it.
 
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gig-e-nator

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Ah and now the fan club comes out. "Yeah, you tell 'em bucko!" "Whoa, you really set him straight!" "rah rah rah"

Get off your high horse Keljian. The simple fact of the matter is, I do not NEED 10 gigabit.

You can call me rude and I don't care if every member of this forum puts on cheerleading outfits and grabs pink and purple pom-poms to jump up and down behind you, but I came here where the topic of this thread is "Comparison: Intel i350-T4 Genuine vs Fake" looking for further information on what THIS topic is about.

Is it not RUDE to insult someone for not following your "advice", which is telling them to buy a 10 gigabit network card they don't need, oh and now a 4-port 10 gigabit switch they don't need either, in a forum topic that is 100% specific to what I came here to ask about?

How does buying a 10 gig NIC and a $90 4-port 10 gig switch help me? You DO realize that you need other 10 gigabit hosts on your network to get any benefit out of putting a 10 gig card in one box, don't you? How many 10 gig cards would you like me to buy so you are happy that I followed your advice? Buying just a 4-port 10 gigabit switch makes absolutely zero sense when I came here looking for a 4-port card to put in one machine. If I was even remotely interested in buying a 10 gig switch I would need a lot more than 4 ports and I don't buy cheap junk switches.

Pro Tip: If the switch costs less than the network adapter, it is cheap junk.

I didn't come here looking for advice on how cheaply I can upgrade my network (or even a segment of it) to 10 gigabit. Do you get it now?

Why do I feel like I am at Best Buy?

All I'm looking for is a genuine Intel i350 4 port GIGABIT network card. Not that it's any of your business but I need more gigabit network interfaces on my firewall. The card will probably move to our virt host in the not-too-distant future so I am killing 2 birds with one stone by making sure the 4-port card I buy doesn't have the SR-IOV features disabled, because I will want to use those features if/when the card moves to the virt host.

Those are the only 2 factors in this equation. I don't have >1 gigabit internet service, and there is nothing we do here even on my virt host that warrants more bandwidth than a couple of bonded gigabit interfaces on a real network switch provides. We do not need a 10 gigabit network. So I'm sorry if it bores you or doesn't measure up to whatever shop talk silliness the "cool club" calls standards around here, but all I'm on the market for is one genuine 4-port Intel i350 T4 and that is all the money I am going to throw at this problem.

I HAVE bothered to do my own research. I'm sorry if it hurts anyone's feelings that I did not bother to dig through every single post that comes up in these forums when you search for intel i350 T4's. I did read a lot of them, but since I do not run a BSD firewall, pfsense would not have been among my search arguments. This is not the only website on the internet I have been reading at, but the signal to noise ratio just ain't what it used to be. (Even adding pfsense to the searches here doesn't help narrow it down much...)

The question(s) I posted here were on topic for this thread. The answers were not.
 
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Keljian

Active Member
Sep 9, 2015
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Melbourne Australia
I'm out.. I have better things to do than banter with you

[edit] Meh I'm bored, I'll engage.. [/edit]

Info re i350-T4 (Fake vs Real)
FYI Those cheap Chinese i350-T4/AM4 nics on ebay work!
Quad port Gigabit NICs
Investigating fake Intel i350 network adapters
Heads-up: Fake Intel i350 GbE adapters in the wild | FreeNAS Community

Info about Quanta LB4M (Far from cheap rubbish):
Quanta LB4M 48-Port Gigabit Switch Discussion

Cheap (known good) 10gbit cards:
Cheap 10Gb SFP+ $19 Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN Cards
Chelsio dual port 10g NIC $19.72 with free shipping

The chances of getting a "fake" vs a real i350 are high, which is why I recommend NOT going for one, vs a 10 gig nic (which will have SR-IOV) which is unlikely to be a fake.

Further, 10gigabit Nics have a purpose in mixed networks, where you need >1gigabit and don't want to break the bank. Much cheaper to manage a single cable run also vs multiple for trunking. I personally have 10gigabit (chelsio t420) feeding 6x1 gigabit links, it is never overloaded. It also runs sriov, multiple vlans and other stuff quite happily. For reference I run a Mikrotik CRS226 (which is a 24x1 gigabit and 2x10gig switch- my desktop and server are on 10gigabit, all the other clients are on 1gigabit)

There are very very few things you would that favour a 4 port 1gig card over a single 10gigabit card if both are options

This is my final reply to you gig-e-nator - If you don't like my answer, please don't reply specifically to me, I really don't appreciate your tone.
 
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gig-e-nator

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Thanks. That is good info in a general sense that would probably be useful for someone, and I totally "get" the difficulty in finding genuine intel i350 T4's with the flood of fakes and knockoffs out there - especially if you aren't wanting to pay full price for a new one.

This was why I really appreciated the photos and discussion that was in this thread, to help you get the real McCoy's.

If I was building a new virt server that was going to be doing anything truly important performance-wise, and could justify dropping some coin (or even had the coin to drop if I *COULD* justify it) to start buying 10 gig equipment, the advice definitely makes sense.

However first and foremost I needed more interfaces on my firewall box. I am simply thinking ahead - on a very limited budget mind you - with the desire for the card to have functional SR-IOV, what I would do with the card if I ended up building a new firewall machine later.

Can't waste money on stuff I don't need and won't have a use for later. That's all.

Peace out.
 

gig-e-nator

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I ended up buying a new one (I350T4V2BLK) from Provantage yesterday, an authorized Intel Platinum technology provider, for $271 plus shipping.

I had bought a "reconditioned" Lenovo 0C19507 (OEM i350 T4) from a certain server parts supply operation for ~$150. It was the real deal - genuine Delta chips and everything else shown here to positively ID a genuine one. But it was also genuinely damaged before it ever got sent out to me.

One of the four ports had the metal trim bent OUTWARDS around the RJ45 release tab, and the black plastic housing inside the port was cracked in the corners. This is the kind of damage that would happen if somebody just yanked a network cable out of the port by sheer force, rather than unplugging the cable the right way. No way that any cable plugged back into this port would be reliable. Fortunately I saw it before I broke the seal on the "reconditioned" anti-static bag it came in, took pictures, and contacted them to arrange for a refund and return shipping label on their dime. Evidently this outfit buys used parts salvaged from "quick in and out" decomm operations where speed is king. I dunno, and I'm glad they are (apparently) going to issue a full refund without further hassle, but I will not be rolling the dice with them again. "Fool me once..." and so forth.

It's a shame I had to buy a new one, but at least I know what I'll be getting now.
 
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dicecca112

Active Member
Feb 10, 2016
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Just want to thank neo for posting this. Went out looking for a legit NIC on eBay and was able to find one without issue thanks to this comprehensive post.
 

RobstarUSA

Active Member
Sep 15, 2016
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Hey guys, I found this $93 i350-am4 based card at Amazon (ships from & sold by Amazon). I'd like to avoid fakes and have genuine intel chips.

Thoughts? I asked a Q on it about sr-iov & someone responded that it worked fine.
 

RobstarUSA

Active Member
Sep 15, 2016
214
93
28
I'm out.. I have better things to do than banter with you

[edit] Meh I'm bored, I'll engage.. [/edit]

Info re i350-T4 (Fake vs Real)
FYI Those cheap Chinese i350-T4/AM4 nics on ebay work!
Quad port Gigabit NICs
Investigating fake Intel i350 network adapters
Heads-up: Fake Intel i350 GbE adapters in the wild | FreeNAS Community

Info about Quanta LB4M (Far from cheap rubbish):
Quanta LB4M 48-Port Gigabit Switch Discussion

Cheap (known good) 10gbit cards:
Cheap 10Gb SFP+ $19 Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN Cards
Chelsio dual port 10g NIC $19.72 with free shipping

The chances of getting a "fake" vs a real i350 are high, which is why I recommend NOT going for one, vs a 10 gig nic (which will have SR-IOV) which is unlikely to be a fake.

Further, 10gigabit Nics have a purpose in mixed networks, where you need >1gigabit and don't want to break the bank. Much cheaper to manage a single cable run also vs multiple for trunking. I personally have 10gigabit (chelsio t420) feeding 6x1 gigabit links, it is never overloaded. It also runs sriov, multiple vlans and other stuff quite happily. For reference I run a Mikrotik CRS226 (which is a 24x1 gigabit and 2x10gig switch- my desktop and server are on 10gigabit, all the other clients are on 1gigabit)

There are very very few things you would that favour a 4 port 1gig card over a single 10gigabit card if both are options

This is my final reply to you gig-e-nator - If you don't like my answer, please don't reply specifically to me, I really don't appreciate your tone.
I have a connect-x2 and under linux, in the pci-e "capabilities" it does not show SR-IOV. I think you may need a specific OEM version or a connectx-3 for that.
 

Cipher

Member
Aug 8, 2014
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I was doing some research tonight on my Dell I350-T4 (9YD6K) card and came across this thread which allowed me to confirm that mine is a genuine adaptor (bought awhile back via Amazon). Thanks neo!

One of the interesting pieces of information that stood out was there being references to SR-IOV not working on some of the Dell cards, especially 9YD6K versions, as it had been purposefully disabled in firmware by Dell. I'd also come across some posts from 2012-2013 on support forums raising this exact same issue. However, when I check the SR-IOV capabilities of my card using the Powershell command GetNetAdapterSriov, all 4 ports of this card show a value of Supported for the SriovSupport parameter. My Supermicro board also contains an embedded version of this NIC and all 4 of those ports show a value of MissingAcs for the SriovSupport parameter.

I haven't had a chance to do much testing on this with my Hyper-V install, but I plan to this week and will report back in case any others with this card come across this thread and are hoping their Dell cards support this feature. I suspect this feature may have been added in a later Firmware update as mine is running version 16.5.20 (latest is 17.5.10) and I noticed the following release notes from earlier firmware versions:

15.0.28 - Added SR-IOV support on 1G (I350 based adapters)
15.0.27 - Added SR-IOV support on 1G (I350 based adapters)

Those two firmware updates were release in the Summer of 2014 and the online posts I read discussing SR-IOV being disabled in these Dell nics were before those dates.
 
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Knight

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Jan 21, 2017
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Hi!

I recently got the HP version of the I340-T4 off eBay from a US seller and I compared it to my know real Intel I340-T4 I have been using for years.

Both cards, my known real and the supposedly HP card I bought use Delta ethernet transformers with the Delta embossed on them.

The heatsink looks essentially identical on both cards.

The know good Intel card has a TXC crystal while the supposedly HP variant has what appears to be a stylized italic "N" inside a square (which I assume is the logo of the company who made it and "25.0" (Mhz?) and "1686".

The inductors on the known good Intel card are of the same form factor but with a different look than the supposedly HP card and the real and fake card picture posted in the first post.

On the supposedly HP card they look more like the fake card but only because of similarities in the code printed on them.

To me it seems like the differences between both cards are because they used what was available at the time from their suppliers but it doesn't look like they tried to use cheapear parts...

- The Delta transformers look genuine.
- The crystal is not TXC branded but doesn't appear to be a no-name cheap part since it actually seems to be branded.
- Heatsink looks identical.

The only thing that stands out are the inductors and if I base myself solely on that my known good Intel card would be considered a possible fake since its inductors have a similar form fact but much different look.

Is it normal that new I340-T4 cards are still available now even though it was replaced by the I350-T4 (AFAIK) many years ago or does this actually suggest that the card might be fake and not actually by an HP branded version of an Intel card?

Oh, I forgot to mention that under the miniature HP sticker put where the Intel logo normally is there is an Intel logo and the plate of the slot is nearly identical to the Intel card except that it has HP embossed on it.

Any idea?

Thank you and have a nice day!

Nick
 

BadTux

New Member
Jan 30, 2017
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Hi!

I recently got the HP version of the I340-T4 off eBay from a US seller and I compared it to my know real Intel I340-T4 I have been using for years.

Both cards, my known real and the supposedly HP card I bought use Delta ethernet transformers with the Delta embossed on them.

The heatsink looks essentially identical on both cards.

The know good Intel card has a TXC crystal while the supposedly HP variant has what appears to be a stylized italic "N" inside a square (which I assume is the logo of the company who made it and "25.0" (Mhz?) and "1686".
I have a couple of real I340's here, OEM pulls from systems built in the late 2011 timeframe for a now-defunct storage company (basically Supermicro bones built into storage systems at OEM manufacturer Avnet). They both have the Yotamark holograms on them, as well as the embossed Delta transformers and TXC crystal. So at least *some* of the OEM cards have the Yotamark on them. So if an eBay seller has the Yotamark hologram on his picture, it *might* be a real one, rather than the fake. No, I'm not selling my real I340's :).
 

WhosTheBosch

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Dec 20, 2016
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After having read this very interesting thread I have the following question I'm hoping someone can answer:


1) What is the difference between I350-AM4 and I350-T4V2? There is a huge listed price difference. The consensus in the thread seemed to be the AM4 models were sold by resellers?

ARK | Compare Intel® Products

2) Is it worth paying more for the T4v2 versus the original T4?

3) Has anyone heard of Addonics ie AOK? They have cards that are considerably cheaper than Intel but still have the same parts. I'm wondering why that would be.

AddOn - Network Upgrades I350T4-AOK Network Adapter 1 Gbps PCI-Express 1000Base-TX x 4
 

Nom

Member
Oct 5, 2015
35
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3) Has anyone heard of Addonics ie AOK? They have cards that are considerably cheaper than Intel but still have the same parts. I'm wondering why that would be.

AddOn - Network Upgrades I350T4-AOK Network Adapter 1 Gbps PCI-Express 1000Base-TX x 4
This whole thread is about "cards that are considerably cheaper than Intel but still have the same parts".

This issue is, that some of the none-Intel cards are better than others - if you choose a card using crappy transceivers etc. then it may last less time than a genuine Intel card. But it also costs significantly less.

All the cards use an actual Intel chip in the centre - this is how all the none-Intel cards can still use the Intel driver packs.

That Addonics card comes with a normal warranty, and it will work with the Intel drivers - there's no reason not to consider it unless for some reason you really want a card that's actually made by Intel.