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Lenovo Thinkcentre/ThinkStation Tiny (Project TinyMiniMicro) Reference Thread

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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Oh what are those random brands and does increase in size results into more heat I was thinking to install 1tb but not sure sata, nvme gen 3 or nvme gen 4
Shouldn't be anything to worry about, remember the m.2 slots are on the other side of the motherboard anyway so they don't contribute directly to the temperature inside the main chassis. I wouldn't put anything super high performance in there though (like a FireCuda 530) and anyway I think for most purposes even a PCIe 3.0 NVME should be just fine. I have both m.2 slots used in my P350s - the 256GB PCIe 4.0 NVME it came with and a PCIe 3.0 1TB drive (2x Corsair MP510s, 1x Crucial P2, 1x Sabrent Rocket) and it doesn't get particularly hot as far as I can tell (fan is silent).

If you intend to use ESXi at any point in the future, though, note that it's pretty cranky about consumer NVMe drives (there are some notes in the original post in the ESXi section).
 
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Parallax

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Does anyone know where to buy the little blue plastic retaining clip that's used in lieu of a screw for the M.2 drive on the underside of the M720q (possibly other units as well)? I accidentally broke one of mine in the process of trying to get it open. Lenovo's part number for this is 01EF751 but all the prices I've seen for this part are outrageous - I'm not paying $35USD for that little clip! There must be a reasonable way to get one of these (maybe even 3D printing?) or another solution that could be used?
That $35/£25 seems to be their default spares price for the smallest items, the rear chassis screw is the same...! Agreed, it's bonkers.

Have a look for m.2 retention clips on Google and/or eBay. I see generic ones come up every so often for ~$10 - still outrageous, but less than $35. Or there's no reason you can't use an m.2 screw (2mm thread) with a matching m.2 standoff - some more terms to search for.
 

Numbernine

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That $35/£25 seems to be their default spares price for the smallest items, the rear chassis screw is the same...! Agreed, it's bonkers.

Have a look for m.2 retention clips on Google and/or eBay. I see generic ones come up every so often for ~$10 - still outrageous, but less than $35. Or there's no reason you can't use an m.2 screw (2mm thread) with a matching m.2 standoff - some more terms to search for.
Thanks Parallax - that seems like a good idea. I'm not sure if there's anything for the standoff to screw into though, is there? Or are there m.2 standoffs that you can buy that also have a matching washer/nut that can attach to the backside of the motherboard?
 

Parallax

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Thanks Parallax - that seems like a good idea. I'm not sure if there's anything for the standoff to screw into though, is there? Or are there m.2 standoffs that you can buy that also have a matching washer/nut that can attach to the backside of the motherboard?
Well, once you get the remains of the plastic clip out it's just a hole in the motherboard you're dealing with. I've seen solutions where you push a screw in from the opposite side and hold it there, then you position the NVME drive in the slot, slightly raised at the end, and screw the standoff post down - it has a groove that holds the end of the NVME drive, which you've pushed down a little to engage with it as you screw it down. So essentially you're clamping the standoff to the board with the screw. If finding the right sized standoff is too hard, I suppose you could get a longer screw, push it through, then pile a few small rubber or silicone washers on it to get to the right height. Then put the NVME in, add one more washer to protect it, then a small nut.

I had a couple of goes to try to write this in a way that doesn't end up sounding suggestive, but ... :confused:
 

Phenic

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Mar 17, 2015
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Managed to snag a cheap i9-9900T "ES" on taobao for around $130ish and put it into a M720Q for fun. Runs perfectly fine although it thermal throttles so I've ordered the copper heatsink to see if that helps. If you don't have access to taobao, you can get the cpu on ebay for $160 or so.

8c/16t, 1.7ghz base and turbos up to 3.7ghz for the i9-9900T "ES". Something worth looking into for those looking for an upgrade.
 

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joeribl

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Managed to snag a cheap i9-9900T "ES" on taobao for around $130ish and put it into a M720Q for fun. Runs perfectly fine although it thermal throttles so I've ordered the copper heatsink to see if that helps. If you don't have access to taobao, you can get the cpu on ebay for $160 or so.

8c/16t, 1.7ghz base and turbos up to 3.7ghz for the i9-9900T "ES". Something worth looking into for those looking for an upgrade.
Wouldn't you need a top cover with the holes in it, as well? My M920x has both.
 

poulpor

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Managed to snag a cheap i9-9900T "ES" on taobao for around $130ish and put it into a M720Q for fun. Runs perfectly fine although it thermal throttles so I've ordered the copper heatsink to see if that helps. If you don't have access to taobao, you can get the cpu on ebay for $160 or so.

8c/16t, 1.7ghz base and turbos up to 3.7ghz for the i9-9900T "ES". Something worth looking into for those looking for an upgrade.
Interesting, I put an i9 9900 "ES" in mine, together with the copper heatsink you mentioned. Multiplier is x44 so it's like a "real" i9900T and reaches 4.40GHz in single core. But It's a 65W cpu and runs hot, even if the copper heatsink is made for such power dissipation. Undervolting helps a lot (-139mV cpu voltage offset) plus a 120x120x25 fan in an extension case I 3D Printed and fixed it on the tiny cover (cut a large window in it).
Now the CPU temp is 35/40°C at idle (Chrome with lots of tabs) in MacOS Monterey, for example, but can go up to 80/82°C, depending on the workload.
This way, it never thermal throttle, always under 100°C even in Windows benchmarks.
 
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Phenic

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Interesting, I put a i9 9900 "ES" in mine, together with the copper heatsink you mentioned. Multiplier is x44 so it's like a "real" i9900T and reaches 4.40GHz in single core. But It's a 65W cpu and runs hot, even if the copper heatsink is made for such power dissipation. Undervolting helps a lot (-139mV cpu voltage offset) plus a 120x120x25 fan in an extension case I 3D Printed and fixed it on the tiny cover (cut a large window in it). Now the CPU temp is 35/40°C at idle (Chrome with lots of tabs) in MacOS Monterey, for example, but can go up to 80/82°C, depending on the workload.
This way, it never thermal throttle, always under 100°C even in Windows benchmarks.
Did you get the "QS" version? I've been waiting for one to pop up but haven't seen any. I'll hate to expand on the case so I'll like to keep my cluster as small as possible.
 

a5ian300zx

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Aug 26, 2012
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Oh what are those random brands and does increase in size results into more heat I was thinking to install 1tb but not sure sata, nvme gen 3 or nvme gen 4
You can go for which ever brand that meets your budget, I would recommend a pcie 4.0 nvme as you have m90q gen 3 you will make the most out of it. Get the one without the heatsink otherwise it will not fit.

I have in my p360 the western digital black sn850x 1TB which I had I my older model m720q first.


Attached is the same WD SN850X 1TB in a m720q pcie 3.0 vs p360 pcie 4.0 and you can see the speed difference.

Please note pcie 4 nvme drives are backward compatible.
 

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a5ian300zx

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Aug 26, 2012
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I am was struggling to use Taoboa (created an account but kept saying to me to login even though I was already logged in) and then Superbuy.

I have a P360 Tiny and wanted a PCie riser card and also Thunderbolt 4 add on card. - plan is to install my 10Gbe adaptor which i already have.

could some one post the links from TaoBoa so i can add them to Superbuy.

I did find one PCIe Riser card in the UK from the below link.

Lenovo 5C50W00909 CARDPOP BLD Tiny8 PCIex4 5C50W00909
OK, so bit of an update on my riser card.

Firstly big thanks to @Parallax for the very informative first post.

As I was in the UK and had trouble trying to use taoboa via superbuy (have used it before when I order my M720Q riser cards) but found it more diffult this time.

I ended up finding a UK supplier YourITDelivered for a 5C50W00909 for around £47 delivered with a pre order so I ended up ordering, but then I can across lenovo offical site where you can order parts direct and cost me half the price. So. I ended up cancelling the order with YourITDelivered as it was on pre order with not ETA and ordered with lenovo direct and within 2 days I already have my item.

Lenovo support

For UK I went to below and registers and paid with my credit card.

I also order the full pcie bracket so still awaiting delivery on that one,bit at least I know the price was rrp and it was a genuine product.

Hope this information helps others, as I know I have struggles with FRU parts and sku numbers.
 

poulpor

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Jul 1, 2022
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Other option is to reduce PL1/PL2
Most of the time you'll do both, but you have to know the undervolting feature is locked in M720q/M920Q/P330 Bios (and I suppose any other "tiny" model). To be able to undervolt and change PL1/PL2, you'll have to change the hidden setting Overclocking_Lock to 0x00. I don't know how to do so on latest models because the Bios format has changed, last time I tried to extract m90q bios, I wasn't able to find this Overclocking_Lock feature in it... I'm curious to know if it's already unlocked, someone could try to give a go to Throttlestop on it to be sure?

@Phenic, I really don't know, I suppose it's an ES but if you're aware of a way to know for sure, please tell me and I'll check. ( perhaps good old CPU-Z?).
 
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Phenic

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Mar 17, 2015
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Most of the time you'll do both, but you have to know the undervolting feature is locked in M720q/M920Q/P330 Bios (and I suppose any other "tiny" model). To be able to undervolt and change PL1/PL2, you'll have to change the hidden setting Overclocking_Lock to 0x00. I don't know how to do so on latest models because the Bios format has changed, last time I tried to extract m90q bios, I wasn't able to find this Overclocking_Lock feature in it... I'm curious to know if it's already unlocked, someone could try to give a go to Throttlestop on it to be sure?

@Phenic, I really don't know, I suppose it's an ES but if you're aware of a way to know for sure, please tell me and I'll check. ( perhaps good old CPU-Z?).
Thanks for the heads up. I'll take a look at the bios when I have time.

There should be a designation on the cpu itself. Mine says ES (engineering sample) while QS (qualification sample) is close to the production model which is why yours is hitting frequencies the same as the retail cpu.
 

poulpor

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Jul 1, 2022
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Thanks for the heads up. I'll take a look at the bios when I have time.

There should be a designation on the cpu itself. Mine says ES (engineering sample) while QS (qualification sample) is close to the production model which is why yours is hitting frequencies the same as the retail cpu.
OK, I think there's a misunderstanding, mine is an i9 9900, not the "T" version, that's why its multiplier is x44 (x50 for the retail i9 9900)! Sorry, I should have insisted on that point earlier.
 

tinfoil3d

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May 11, 2020
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To be able to undervolt and change PL1/PL2, you'll have to change the hidden setting Overclocking_Lock to 0x00. I don't know how to do so on latest models because the Bios format has changed, last time I tried to extract m90q bios, I wasn't able to find this Overclocking_Lock feature in it... I'm curious to know if it's already unlocked, someone could try to give a go to Throttlestop on it to be sure?
How would you normally do that? What software/tools do you use? How do I locate and change that "setting"/value?