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Lenovo Thinkcentre/ThinkStation Tiny (Project TinyMiniMicro) Reference Thread

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Helzy

Active Member
Oct 19, 2017
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I wanted to believe the right answer was a TB4 card and an external enclosure, but I absolutely cannot find the requisite TB card. :(
Agreed I have a DIY M910x with an M600c cover and a 4bay sata enclosure. the Marvell sata controller works just not in Windows Server it seems so I figured I would use a pci-e card
 

bobbysteel

Member
Nov 20, 2022
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I wanted to believe the right answer was a TB4 card and an external enclosure, but I absolutely cannot find the requisite TB card. :(
Fwiw I could never get tb4 really working with ubuntu despite having the right card and riser. At best it was identified for a bit but even then egpu would never be detected. Gave up eventually.
 

Sealside

Active Member
May 10, 2019
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Stockholm/Sweden
Hi!

I'm running an M920Q with a Mellanox Connectx-3 Pro 10G Dual SFP card.
I was worried temperatures will be a problem in the summer, so I modified the M920Q today with an additional 40x40x10mm Noctua fan.
This is how I did it:
Needed parts
- Noctua 40x40x10 USB Powered fan NF-A4x10 5V PWM
- P330 / M920Q Top Cover (MECH_ASM Top Assy of Ty5 P330 1L,AVC) Lenovo Computer Parts | Genuine Replacement Parts | Lenovo Support SE (Partnr: 01MN896)
- Small black zip-ties

I attached the fan on the inside of cover, so It is not as visible on the outside
Screenshot from 2023-09-18 18-54-25.png

Running cable through Mellanox NIC:

Screenshot from 2023-09-18 18-54-54.png

Backside
Screenshot from 2023-09-18 18-55-25.png]

End result
Screenshot from 2023-09-18 18-56-10.png

Close up on vent holes
Screenshot from 2023-09-18 18-56-33.png

- You really need to put the fan at the bottom edge, otherwise you won't be able to fit the cover. see pictures
- I oriented the fan blowing out the out air out of the unit, I guess you could pull fresh air into the unit as well, have not compared the two.
- I didn't bother ripping out the fine nylon mesh net on the inside (for catching dust), I just let it be.

If this turns out to not be enough, my plan will be to get a larger fan and use a hole-saw, possible attach the fan on the outside.
 
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rekd0514

Member
May 11, 2015
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Just curious what people are using these 10GB SFP cards for? Higher than 1GB internet speeds for a router?
 

Helzy

Active Member
Oct 19, 2017
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Home labs, home network stuff. You're right though really no external application without symmetrical faster than 1gbps fiber
 

Sealside

Active Member
May 10, 2019
134
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Stockholm/Sweden
Where i live you can get up to 10G
Internet speed.


I'm still on 1G but planning ahead. Internally I'm running 10, but I do handle that directly in the switch.
 
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Leonsio

New Member
May 8, 2023
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Hello.

Has anyone tried successfully to install a network card via the PCIe x1 NVME A+E slot? But not an A+E Realtek but via an adapter to B+M-Slot and then an Intel m.2 network card?

Something like:

with adapter:

I have tried this combination. But without success. Only an NVME SSD is recognised via the adapter. But not the network card :/
For my VMware setup I need a intel based network card :/
 
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Helzy

Active Member
Oct 19, 2017
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I think the problem is the A+E slot itself and the wiring connectors on the 2.5g ethernet adapter. PCIe x2 but only 1 lane on the A+E slot I think and it may be that even though theoretically the intel card could use pcie x2 with one lane, it probably wants two. one tr one rx so no duplexing on the same lane, whereas the realtek will duplex on the single lane.

If I'm completely wrong someone here will give a better explanation than that. Ultimately though, I was looking at B or M adapters for RAID yesterday and realized the A+E slot was going to be a problem.
 

Leonsio

New Member
May 8, 2023
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Hi the number of lines should not be a problem. A pure 2.5G A+E card works perfectly. Unfortunately, these are only available from Realtek.
Either it is the intermediate adapter or something else.
 

Xandr

New Member
Jan 28, 2023
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Hi the number of lines should not be a problem. A pure 2.5G A+E card works perfectly. Unfortunately, these are only available from Realtek.
Either it is the intermediate adapter or something else.
Not quite true. There's an A+E card with a 2.5G Intel chip, but I haven't found it available on consumer retail only via B2B sellers as mentioned here.

If it doesn't have to be 2.5G, there are plenty of i210AT-based A+E cards available on Ali and Amazon.
 

Leonsio

New Member
May 8, 2023
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Thank you for the answers. I know the module. Unfortunately, it is not available anywhere. At least not at acceptable prices.
I also wanted to install a specific module.
I have already installed a 2x10bit card and wanted to install an additional 2.5G.
With a certain card, nothing can be installed quite aesthetically in the front.
If I change to a different module, I now have to painstakingly take apart the pins to fit an alternative connector.

 

ExtremeMakeshift

New Member
Sep 23, 2023
1
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3
Hello all!

I'd like to share my journey with the tinies. I've built a small HCI cluster for home use out of 3 m720q with 2 port Mellanox 10G cards for inter cluster network (storage etc). The nodes are connected in full mesh. No 10G switch.

With the help of a lot of fine information from this thread adding the Mellanox cards was a piece of cake. I've made the brackets out of the original brackets. Few minutes with an angle grinder and they fit perfectly:

l1.jpg
l2.jpg

Painted and assembled:

l3.jpg

But the temperatures of the Mellanox cards packed into the tinies were making me nervous. Measured with mget_temp utility I was able to see temperatures about 90 - 100° C (summer), which in my opinion is too high for continuous operation. And the additional cable spaghetti made me look for another solution. So I packed everything into a Sharkoon QB One ITX case.

I've stripped the internals of the case and made some 'shelves', to be able to remove any node from running cluster for maintenance:

l4.jpg

l5.jpg

All network cables connected.

l6.jpg

Other side packed with the power supplies and the junction box for the power cords (white).

l7.jpg

Running without the front cover. The holes around the fan blocked for better airflow. The fan is Arctic P12 Silent although it makes no difference from the fan that came with the case. For the record - it is not completely silent but 'silent' enough for me.

l8.jpg

Finished. Only two cables coming out of the case - the power cable and the network cable.

l9.jpg

Now the temperatures are like these (3 nodes each: CPU temp/fan rpm/Mellanox card temp in C) - 5 virtual machines running.

t1.png:
 

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legit

Member
Dec 24, 2021
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Finally got around to swapping out the Super Micro AOC-STGN-i2S for the Trendnet TEG-10GECSFP in a P350. Works out of the box with Proxmox 8.04 and more importantly at least at low traffic it doesn't cause the case to heat up beyond the ambient. If you can get by with a single 10gb SFP+ port this seems like a good option for this form factor without jury rigging a fan.

Code:
# lspci
Ethernet controller: Aquantia Corp. AQC100 10G Ethernet MAC controller [AQtion] (rev 02)
IMG_3443.jpeg

Showing the two cards side by side - the Trendnet is much smaller and allows more space for a SATA drive.

IMG_3445.jpeg

It'd held in place with sufficient friction with the head of an M3 screw screwed into the original 4x1GBe baffle.
 

aruffell

New Member
Sep 22, 2023
5
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1
I have 2 x m920q with Mellanox CX322A and 3D printed brackets. I just purchased a P360 Tiny and am having trouble finding suitable brackets or card/bracket combo for a dual SFP+ NIC. Suggestions?

Edit: @adman_c I read in this thread you might have a 10GBE + baffle solution for the P360? I was hoping to use the Mellanox CX322A as I already have 2 x m902q running with those with a 3D printed baffle... but if that won't work, I am interested in alternative solutions. I am considering modifying the baffle made for the 4 DP T1000 GPU but it is a $20 part so before I do I want to explore options.
 
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aruffell

New Member
Sep 22, 2023
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0
1
I was worried temperatures will be a problem in the summer, so I modified the M920Q today with an additional 40x40x10mm Noctua fan.
Have you tried a thermal pad between the NIC's heatsink and the top cover? I forget in which Unifi switch models I saw it, but it came like that from Ubiquiti and it helped cool the heatsink passively by transferring heat to the cover of the switch. Main issue I see, is that if you assemble/disassemble the cover many times, you may damage and need to replace the pad... but I am not sure this is actually the case. I will likely give it a try as my Mellanox CX322A is a bit toasty in there.
 

kangfat

New Member
Nov 26, 2022
10
9
3
I just recently installed a MCX314A-BCCT (yes it's a 40GBe card, it's what I had on hand) in my m920q along with this 3D printed shroud. It is working great and has knocked the card's temps down from about 81C to about 53C. Definitely worth it if you want if you want extra cooling. Unlike the shroud's creator I didn't solder on a new pin header. I just got 5V fans and solder on a USB connector.