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Lenovo Thinkcentre Tiny (Project TinyMiniMicro) Reference Thread

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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Really where these Tinys are intended to live is under someone's desk, probably in or near the cable tray, covered by lots of thick electrical wires, turned on 24/7. So while I'd be (a bit?) alarmed if this was my personal desktop temperature I think you shouldn't be too concerned.

Another option, and I have not had any experience of this myself, is just to buy what Lenovo insists on calling the "base chassis" or "base assy" for the M920x or P330 but which is what you and I would call the top cover. You have an M720q, right? I think the FRU is either 02CW461 or 02CW663 and it has a grille over the CPU heatsink fan which should keep everything a bit cooler. For ~£28 delivered (in the UK) it's probably cheaper than you buying a nice fan and whatever other stuff you have to mess around with, your time, etc. This is mentioned in the original post (under "model upgrades"), and a bit lower down ("heatsinks") you could also think about the 65W heatsink assemblies which, even on a 35W TDP CPU, will most likely eject the CPU heat more efficiently and leave the overall chassis a bit cooler as well - particularly in combination with the increased vent-age? Just a thought, particularly as your problem is probably more due to the NIC in combination with the CPU's heat rather than the NIC by itself.

Here's a pic of 02CW663 - it "should" fit an M720q but <insert disclaimer here> :
 
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adman_c

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Feb 14, 2016
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Really where these Tinys are intended to live is under someone's desk, probably in or near the cable tray, covered by lots of thick electrical wires, turned on 24/7. So while I'd be (a bit?) alarmed if this was my personal desktop temperature I think you shouldn't be too concerned.

Another option, and I have not had any experience of this myself, is just to buy what Lenovo insists on calling the "base chassis" or "base assy" for the M920x or P330 but which is what you and I would call the top cover. You have an M720q, right? I think the FRU is either 02CW461 or 02CW663 and it has a grille over the CPU heatsink fan which should keep everything a bit cooler. For ~£28 delivered (in the UK) it's probably cheaper than you buying a nice fan and whatever other stuff you have to mess around with, your time, etc. This is mentioned in the original post (under "model upgrades"), and a bit lower down ("heatsinks") you could also think about the 65W heatsink assemblies which, even on a 35W TDP CPU, will most likely eject the CPU heat more efficiently and leave the overall chassis a bit cooler as well - particularly in combination with the increased vent-age? Just a thought, particularly as your problem is probably more due to the NIC in combination with the CPU's heat rather than the NIC by itself.

Here's a pic of 02CW663 - it "should" fit an M720q but <insert disclaimer here> :
Damn. That would be pretty good. Sadly the only vendors are in the UK (at least based on my initial search), so total price is pretty high. Another option would be to just buy a new non-vented cover and cut a hole in that. But ugh.

The problem mostly seems to be the NIC itself since there's just no heat transfer other than convection in that tiny space. The CPU is mostly idle, so it's running 30-40C.
 

Parallax

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I wanted to make everyone in the UK aware that there's a very good deal on brand new P350 Tinys (basically an M90q Gen 2 with a previous-gen fascia) at £490 or less each, with a 3 year onsite warranty. They have a 65W TDP CPU and only 8GB RAM, but it's crazy cheap for what they are and they seem to get even cheaper (glitch?) if you buy more than one, mine came to ~£470 each delivered when I bought two. This is about half list price.

 

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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Damn. That would be pretty good. Sadly the only vendors are in the UK (at least based on my initial search), so total price is pretty high. Another option would be to just buy a new non-vented cover and cut a hole in that. But ugh.
Taobao via Superbuy perhaps? <I am annoyed there is no pondering emoji> A bit of a wait though. Also check eBay.

And check the Lenovo PSF/service manual for the P330, you may get alternative part numbers/names there.
 

adman_c

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Feb 14, 2016
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Currently testing with the fan shroud removed and the blower just blowing air willy-nilly through the case. CPU temps have unsurprisingly jumped into the mid-to-high 40s. But the addition of some (any!) air moving over the NIC heatsink appears to be keeping it cooler. This lends some credence to my theory that if I basically cut a hole in the cooling shroud on the same side as the NIC to cause some air to escape to that side I might have OK cpu cooling and slightly better than mediocre NIC cooling. Fortunately it looks like I can source a whole spare HS/F assembly for a bit less than $30 shipped from ebay.
 

tinfoil3d

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@adman_c 82599 has no thermistor, according to its datasheet. But it's a 10g card, shouldn't be as bad as dual 40gbe eh. It's old, that's true. The newer the MCUs the faster yet cooler they are per same performance.
@Wasmachineman_NL keep us updated, never did that before. Only ever dealt with ebay, and in most cases sellers were willing to refund me through just messaging.
 

adman_c

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Feb 14, 2016
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@adman_c 82599 has no thermistor, according to its datasheet. But it's a 10g card, shouldn't be as bad as dual 40gbe eh. It's old, that's true. The newer the MCUs the faster yet cooler they are per same performance.
@Wasmachineman_NL keep us updated, never did that before. Only ever dealt with ebay, and in most cases sellers were willing to refund me through just messaging.
Well there you go. That's why I can't read any temp data from it. Looks like max TDP is only like 7w and it was running 40-50C below TcaseMax in a completely passive case. So I probably could just YOLO it. OTOH, this will be what is the closest thing to "production" in our house: the firewall, so there will be pain if it's not reliable.

1.5 hours into my test and the NIC is running almost 10C lower than it was. Looks like a skosh of airflow was all it needed. I'll try bumping up the CPU fan to the higher performance level with the shroud on to see if that's enough airflow to make a difference. Otherwise I'll probably look into buying and modifying a new shroud to let a little bit of air out the side.
 

rafale77

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Sep 28, 2020
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@adman_c, I think @Parallax is onto something. Note from the picture that the venting appears to be actually on the PCIe side and seems to be designed to open an air inlet for the PCIe dGPU which the M720Q typically does not come configured with unlike the P330. I too would suspect that it would fit right in and would enable you to stick a fan in there with decent airflow for your NIC. The problem then is to figure out an air outlet. On my P340, I ended up removing the baffle for my GPU which I initially really wanted to close up but noticed quite a bit of air was coming out of it. I would check eBay on a regular basis to see if some would come available. I myself ordered an HSF from the UK. It came fairly fast and shipping wasn’t excessive.
 

cromo

Member
Jun 6, 2019
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OK, so I found a solution to my AOC-SGP-i4 issue. I stumbled upon information about the AOC-SGP-i2 not having the PRSNT signals wired, which may result in it not getting detected. Not sure if not connecting PRSNT is allowed per PCIe spec, but jumping the A1 and B31 pins on the i4 card did the trick and it got detected by the system as expected.

Note that this very likely explains why the Thunderbolt add-on does not work with the x16 riser, and this workaround should apply, too.

Also note that no soldering is required whatsoever: it's enough to plug the wire into the slots in the riser, respective to the PIN number and the side (A or B).

IMG_3148.jpeg
 
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adman_c

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Anyone found a solution to IOMMU grouping on i350-T4? Turns out all NICs are in the same group, rendering it impossible to passthrough a single NIC to a VM (once done, all NICs/PHCs disappear from the hypervisor)
You want to pass through a single interface to a VM? I think most who do NIC passthrough are passing the whole card through to a firewall like pf/opnsense. For non-firewall purposes, I just use a virtual NIC bridged from the host's NIC. Not sure I've heard of passing a single interface from a card with multiple interfaces.

To answer your question, have you tried the acs override patch? Still doubtful that it'll work since the interfaces are on the same PCIE card, but maybe it's worth a shot.
 

zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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Anyone found a solution to IOMMU grouping on i350-T4? Turns out all NICs are in the same group, rendering it impossible to passthrough a single NIC to a VM (once done, all NICs/PHCs disappear from the hypervisor)
What hypervisor are you trying to use?
It sounds like you should be going down the path of getting SR-IOV working

It's really easy with Proxmox as you can just set some boot time switches to get a lot more separation of PCIe devices.
You would add these to /etc/kernel/cmdline or /etc/default/grub depending on what bootloader you have

  • pci_pt_e820_access=on
  • pci=assign-busses
  • pcie_acs_override=downstream,multifunction
This is a cool little script btw :)
 

cromo

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Jun 6, 2019
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You want to pass through a single interface to a VM? I think most who do NIC passthrough are passing the whole card through to a firewall like pf/opnsense. For non-firewall purposes, I just use a virtual NIC bridged from the host's NIC. Not sure I've heard of passing a single interface from a card with multiple interfaces.
I would have bridged them all and pass the built-in i219 to the firewall to be used as WAN. Except I also want to be able to use the vPro KVM, so the i219 must stay on the host and, as a result, I need to pass one of the i350 to the firewall. This wasn't an issue before with HP T730 I used.

To answer your question, have you tried the acs override patch? Still doubtful that it'll work since the interfaces are on the same PCIE card, but maybe it's worth a shot.
I'll see what I can do and report back.
 

cromo

Member
Jun 6, 2019
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What hypervisor are you trying to use?
It sounds like you should be going down the path of getting SR-IOV working

It's really easy with Proxmox as you can just set some boot time switches to get a lot more separation of PCIe devices.
You would add these to /etc/kernel/cmdline or /etc/default/grub depending on what bootloader you have

  • pci_pt_e820_access=on
  • pci=assign-busses
  • pcie_acs_override=downstream,multifunction
Using Proxmox, too. I'll give these a try. I had SR-IOV switched off to reduce number of variables while I was debugging my AOC-SGP-i4 issue. I'll switch it back on, do some tests and report back. Thanks!

This is a cool little script btw :)
Yep, use it, too :)
 

zer0sum

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Mar 8, 2013
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Using Proxmox, too. I'll give these a try. I had SR-IOV switched off to reduce number of variables while I was debugging my AOC-SGP-i4 issue. I'll switch it back on, do some tests and report back. Thanks!



Yep, use it, too :)
In Proxmox with a default installation you should just see each port numbered like enp39s0f0, enp39s0f1, etc. then you can create a bridge and assign each port, then add them to your vm's

What do you see under your networking?
 

cromo

Member
Jun 6, 2019
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Realized I already had both of
  • pci=assign-busses
  • pcie_acs_override=downstream,multifunction
enabled on my old node. Adding that to this one "fixed" the IOMMU grouping issue. Everything works flawlessly so far.
 

Occamsrazor

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Feb 23, 2018
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Hi,

Very much a newbie at TMM machines though have been following from a while. Where I live there are not many options available, but I have found this machine for sale for $260:

Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q Tiny Desktop, Intel Core I7-8700T, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows10 Pro

Would this be a reasonable model to install Proxmox VE on and run a few virtual machines? I realize that's a bit of a vague question....
 

Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
172
69
28
London, UK
Hi,

Very much a newbie at TMM machines though have been following from a while. Where I live there are not many options available, but I have found this machine for sale for $260:

Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q Tiny Desktop, Intel Core I7-8700T, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows10 Pro

Would this be a reasonable model to install Proxmox VE on and run a few virtual machines? I realize that's a bit of a vague question....
Yes, that would work very well. It's what I did using that exact model for several years until moving to VSphere.

I did also add more RAM and drive space as my needs grew, but your 16GB and 256GB should be fine to start. I don't know the US market, but that would be an extremely good price for that configuration if it was here in the UK.
 

Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
172
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28
London, UK
Just a note that I might add to the main post - TIL there is an official Lenovo m.2 to PCIe converter card, part 5C50W00883, and intended for the P3x0 line. It takes a single m.2 NVMe drive up to 2280.