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Lenovo Thinkcentre/ThinkStation Tiny (Project TinyMiniMicro) Reference Thread

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Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
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London, UK
Any insights as to which Lenovo Tiny's can run ESXi 8.0 cleanly? @damex mentioned they had ESXi 8 running on a m920q.

(I know, run Proxmox. :) I already have a Topton 4 x 2.5G box running Proxmox, but want to migrate back to ESXi since I use it in enterprise environments.)

I'm currently looking at the M920q / M920x / P330, M90q / P340, or M90q Gen 2 / P350, because I'm looking for vPro for Remote Management, a PCIe slot for a 10GbE Adapter, and want to reuse 64GB of DDR4 3200 SO-DIMMs I have.

Regarding the 10GbE adapters, is it better to go with an SFP+ (X710-DA2 or X520-DA2) or a RJ45 (X540-T2 or X550-T2) to decrease heat load on the Lenovo Tiny? My switch has space for either uplinks SFP+ or RJ45, and I can use SFP+ DAC (Twinax) or SFP+ SR modules.

I'll probably also add the i210 M2 AKey Lan card to get one more GbE NIC. Looks like the i210 is on the ESXi 8.0 HCL.

Thanks for everyone's great input on this thread and @Parallax for creating the reference thread.
I've run ESXi (but 7.x) on Mx20q Tinys and also M90q Gen 1s. I don't see any reason that 8 shouldn't work although note the ESXi bit in the original post, where as I said there's some limitations on consumer NVMe support you should check on - see if any issues come up with a quick Google.

In terms of heat, much better to use SFPs than RJ45. DACs will also run very slightly, but probably unnoticeably, cooler than fibre SFP+ modules. They're also cheaper.
 
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zer0sum

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2013
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Any insights as to which Lenovo Tiny's can run ESXi 8.0 cleanly? @damex mentioned they had ESXi 8 running on a m920q.

(I know, run Proxmox. :) I already have a Topton 4 x 2.5G box running Proxmox, but want to migrate back to ESXi since I use it in enterprise environments.)

I'm currently looking at the M920q / M920x / P330, M90q / P340, or M90q Gen 2 / P350, because I'm looking for vPro for Remote Management, a PCIe slot for a 10GbE Adapter, and want to reuse 64GB of DDR4 3200 SO-DIMMs I have.

Regarding the 10GbE adapters, is it better to go with an SFP+ (X710-DA2 or X520-DA2) or a RJ45 (X540-T2 or X550-T2) to decrease heat load on the Lenovo Tiny? My switch has space for either uplinks SFP+ or RJ45, and I can use SFP+ DAC (Twinax) or SFP+ SR modules.

I'll probably also add the i210 M2 AKey Lan card to get one more GbE NIC. Looks like the i210 is on the ESXi 8.0 HCL.

Thanks for everyone's great input on this thread and @Parallax for creating the reference thread.
I had ESXi v8 working flawlessly on an M920q and also an M90q gen 2. For about half a day before switching back to Proxmox :D

Why not just run it nested under Proxmox if you really need it? :cool:
 
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986box

Active Member
Oct 14, 2017
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Update on M720Q mod attempt -- this should work same way like for M920Q, difference - only 1 resistor for PCH needs to be soldered differently. Git instructions updated.
I can not test nor confirm yet if this is 100% working solution for M720Q, just because I dont have this board on my hands.
I looked at M720Q board detailed pictures shared by friendly Redditor user and compared with M920X schematics -- mod should work just fine, someone will have to do testing & confirm back. Cheers!

edit:
Just to add some clarity - M720q mod is same as for M920q, with just one difference:
For M920q -- solder all components and move R105 resistor.
For M720q -- solder all components and move R151 resistor (because R105 does not exist on this board).

@Parallax
@badger707
Do you think it’s possible to mod m75q gen to to add PCIe slot?
 

Benji99

New Member
May 30, 2023
4
1
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Hi guys,
I'm running at the moment ESXi v8 on a m920q and it's unable to access the temperature and fan details because of a lack of an IPMI driver and from what I'm reading, there doesn't seem to be a way around it.

I'm looking for a way to access/see the fan, temperature and voltage sensors remotely since it seemed unlikely to get them from ESXi

I just set up AMT/vPro and was surprised at the IPMI-like capabilties such as the KVM but to my surprise, I don't seem to be able see/access the temperature, fan and voltage sensors.

Anyway to solve this?
 

animefans

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
23
5
3
thank you everyone for sharing these thinkstation info!
I plan to get my first tiny, and like to get some suggestion which one would fit my needs

I will run either proxmox or just libvirt for VMs
i would like to have a dGPU for virtualize jellyfin (Quadro p620/p1000/t1000)
I would like to share GPU to other VM. does this mean i need something that support SR-IOV?
I need vpro for remote management
I like to have a tiny that support 2 m2 drives

woud any of the P3x0 (330/340/350/360) fit my need?

Thans!
 

axotopia

New Member
May 14, 2023
20
7
3
thank you everyone for sharing these thinkstation info!
I plan to get my first tiny, and like to get some suggestion which one would fit my needs

I will run either proxmox or just libvirt for VMs
i would like to have a dGPU for virtualize jellyfin (Quadro p620/p1000/t1000)
I would like to share GPU to other VM. does this mean i need something that support SR-IOV?
I need vpro for remote management
I like to have a tiny that support 2 m2 drives

woud any of the P3x0 (330/340/350/360) fit my need?

Thans!
i recently added a Nvidia Tesla P4 to my M920q. it's a pass-through GPU positioned for servers with both WDDM TCC mode, so may work for your application. Performance of the P4 to date, at least for my image processing application with Topaz AI, is running between a GTX1080ti and RTX2080Super against desktops on i9-9900k and i9-13900k respectively.

The Tesla P4 is surprisingly powerful, so does run hot as it is meant to be installed in a server case ... some case mod or active cooling will be required if you want to stress and squeeze some juice out out it.

Nvidia has some info on virtualizing for the Teslas, so you may want to look at it to see if it works for your application.

FYI, just word a of caution... the P4 is recognized by Win11 as a 2nd GPU as a pass-through on all my systems... runs amazing on my M920q, however just sits like deadweight on my desktops .. no idea why or if i am doing wrong.
 

diode

New Member
Mar 13, 2023
16
4
3
Has anyone had a bad riser card for their M90Q? I purchased this 01AJ940 from eBay which seems to be the only thing which has fried two motherboards.

I installed the riser and a PCIe adapter card for the first go-around a few months back. As soon as I plugged the unit in I saw a puff of smoke from the motherboard and then the unit failed to start.

I replaced the motherboard and went to go install just the riser card the second time and THE EXACT SAME THING happened. Plugged in the unit and puff, a small amount of smoke came out of the motherboard again.

The only thing which is removed from the M90Q during the riser install is a USBC port.

This is the second riser card which I've bought from this seller and there are no obvious flaws with the riser itself. I haven't pinned out the contacts, but I plan on doing that to see if there's a short somewhere.

Are there known bad riser cards out there? I tried looking and couldn't find anything.
 

animefans

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
23
5
3
i recently added a Nvidia Tesla P4 to my M920q. it's a pass-through GPU positioned for servers with both WDDM TCC mode, so may work for your application. Performance of the P4 to date, at least for my image processing application with Topaz AI, is running between a GTX1080ti and RTX2080Super against desktops on i9-9900k and i9-13900k respectively.

The Tesla P4 is surprisingly powerful, so does run hot as it is meant to be installed in a server case ... some case mod or active cooling will be required if you want to stress and squeeze some juice out out it.

Nvidia has some info on virtualizing for the Teslas, so you may want to look at it to see if it works for your application.

FYI, just word a of caution... the P4 is recognized by Win11 as a 2nd GPU as a pass-through on all my systems... runs amazing on my M920q, however just sits like deadweight on my desktops .. no idea why or if i am doing wrong.
hum... let me look into the P4
 

Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
417
210
43
London, UK
Are there known bad riser cards out there? I tried looking and couldn't find anything.
That's really terrible.

However looking at the listing it seems like you used the wrong riser, that one's for the Tiny5 series, not Tiny6 like your M90q. You should be using 5C50W00877. There is a table in the first post ...

To be fair to it, the listing even states that.
 

Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
417
210
43
London, UK
woud any of the P3x0 (330/340/350/360) fit my need?
I think any of those would work fine. There's a list of possible add-in graphics cards in the first post, but it doesn't tell you if they support SR-IOV I'm afraid - you might have to do your own research.

For Jellyfin or Plex purposes, if video transcoding is all you really need - why not just use the built in QuickSync? Anything Gen 10 and later (P340 or later, or M90q any gen) is going to be pretty performant for almost everything you'd want, and Gen 8/9 (P330, M720q (no vPro), M920q) pretty good as well. It's much easier to allocate to a VM or container than a pass through PCI card.
 

oOHiggsOo

New Member
Mar 7, 2023
2
0
1
Hello,

I can't get my M90q Gen3 to run with Proxmox. Installation and accessibility via untagged port works. As soon as I configure VLANs, I can no longer reach the Proxmox via the tagged port. I have the AOC-STGN-I2S as network card, the VLAN configuration does not work with the onboard port either...

Here is my network configuration:


auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

iface enp1s0f1 inet manual

iface eno1 inet manual

iface enp1s0f0 inet manual

auto vmbr0
iface vmbr0 inet static
address 172.16.223.197/29
gateway 172.16.223.193
bridge-ports enp1s0f1
bridge-stp off
bridge-fd 0

auto vmbr1
iface vmbr1 inet manual
bridge-ports enp1s0f0
bridge-stp off
bridge-fd 0
bridge-vlan-aware yes
bridge-vids 2-4094

auto vmbr1.223
iface vmbr1.223 inet static
address 172.16.223.198/29
The configuration worked on my old Proxmox server, am I missing something or is there a trick?
 

scoobdriver

New Member
Nov 16, 2021
1
0
1
Hey all been following a while.
I have a m70q gen 2. It only has one m.2 drive however everything on the board looks like it is just the slot missing for a second.
has anyone been brave enough to try adding one ?
 

diode

New Member
Mar 13, 2023
16
4
3
That's really terrible.

However looking at the listing it seems like you used the wrong riser, that one's for the Tiny5 series, not Tiny6 like your M90q. You should be using 5C50W00877. There is a table in the first post ...

To be fair to it, the listing even states that.
Sigh....Thanks for pointing out the obvious and for not flaming me. :)

I should have paid more attention on the first page and not assume that it was the same for as my M720Q!

That does make me feel more confident on getting this up and running if I can swap the board out again.
 
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namike

Member
Sep 2, 2014
70
18
8
43
Hello,

I can't get my M90q Gen3 to run with Proxmox. Installation and accessibility via untagged port works. As soon as I configure VLANs, I can no longer reach the Proxmox via the tagged port. I have the AOC-STGN-I2S as network card, the VLAN configuration does not work with the onboard port either...

Here is my network configuration:




The configuration worked on my old Proxmox server, am I missing something or is there a trick?
It looks like you are missing the gateway for your sub-interface? This is my working config on my M90q with Proxmox.

Code:
root@pve1:~# cat /etc/network/interfaces
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

iface eno2 inet manual

auto vmbr0
iface vmbr0 inet manual
        bridge-ports eno2
        bridge-stp off
        bridge-fd 0
        bridge-VLAN-aware yes
        bridge-vids 2-4094


auto vmbr0.255
iface vmbr0.255 inet static
        address 10.200.255.200/24
        gateway 10.200.255.1 <-------------------

iface wlo1 inet manual
 
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zer0sum

Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2013
849
474
63
Has anyone had a bad riser card for their M90Q? I purchased this 01AJ940 from eBay which seems to be the only thing which has fried two motherboards.

I installed the riser and a PCIe adapter card for the first go-around a few months back. As soon as I plugged the unit in I saw a puff of smoke from the motherboard and then the unit failed to start.

I replaced the motherboard and went to go install just the riser card the second time and THE EXACT SAME THING happened. Plugged in the unit and puff, a small amount of smoke came out of the motherboard again.

The only thing which is removed from the M90Q during the riser install is a USBC port.

This is the second riser card which I've bought from this seller and there are no obvious flaws with the riser itself. I haven't pinned out the contacts, but I plan on doing that to see if there's a short somewhere.

Are there known bad riser cards out there? I tried looking and couldn't find anything.
From my own very sad experience...you have used the wrong riser and now that m90q is dead :(
Hopefully not, but that is what happened to me a while back
 
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Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
417
210
43
London, UK
Hey all been following a while.
I have a m70q gen 2. It only has one m.2 drive however everything on the board looks like it is just the slot missing for a second.
has anyone been brave enough to try adding one ?
In the "model upgrades" section on the first post there's a link to someone who did so in the M920q and perhaps M720q, might be worth taking a look?

Also as noted near there you can just buy a replacement motherboard for an M90q Gen 2 to get the 2nd m.2 (and PCIE slot!) and that's sometimes cheaper than you'd expect.
 
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axotopia

New Member
May 14, 2023
20
7
3
Re: m93p i7 K CPU question

Wondering if it is possible to stick a gen4 K processor (88w) into a m93p?
Just decommissioned my big honking old workstation and trying to give the i7-4790k processor a 2nd life in a small form factor setup. Don't mind modding for cooling, just wondering if the mobo will accept the cpu.
Thanks.
 

diode

New Member
Mar 13, 2023
16
4
3
From my own very sad experience...you have used the wrong riser and now that m90q is dead :(
Hopefully not, but that is what happened to me a while back
Yeah, this one is not coming back. The magic smoke has been let out. :( It lived such a short life.

Seems like these are getting more popular and therefore more expensive on eBay. Maybe I'll get lucky and score another one in the future.
 

animefans

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
23
5
3
I think any of those would work fine. There's a list of possible add-in graphics cards in the first post, but it doesn't tell you if they support SR-IOV I'm afraid - you might have to do your own research.

For Jellyfin or Plex purposes, if video transcoding is all you really need - why not just use the built in QuickSync? Anything Gen 10 and later (P340 or later, or M90q any gen) is going to be pretty performant for almost everything you'd want, and Gen 8/9 (P330, M720q (no vPro), M920q) pretty good as well. It's much easier to allocate to a VM or container than a pass through PCI card.
I am looking at quadro mainly for the nvenc encoder
I do plan on using it for encoding videos
software encode just take too much time. Time means $$$, and my electric bill aint cheap sadly....

At a point I did look into intel igpu up to gen 9 since it supports sr-iov, but i am gonna drop this idea due to nvenc encoder...