Mellanox MCX311A-XCAT 10 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe Adapter Card ConnectX-3 CX311A $12 obo + $15 Shipping

hakabe

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Jul 6, 2016
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Thanks for the offer - I'm seeing USD80 for the parts and USD70 for shipping 6 of them to Australia. Crazy.
I use myus.com. Usually I gather around a big nice box and ship it using DHL Express for ~$40-50. They hold the items and they'll forward the shipment to you when ever you want (choose your options in myus.com).

well, it looks like Mellanox just jacked up the price. it was previously $4 per bracket; shipping was a bit high. they probably saw a sudden demand for it and changed the price...
I purchased 20 few weeks back for $4 each :rolleyes:
 

wardtj

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Jan 23, 2015
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I use myus.com. Usually I gather around a big nice box and ship it using DHL Express for ~$40-50. They hold the items and they'll forward the shipment to you when ever you want (choose your options in myus.com).


I purchased 20 few weeks back for $4 each :rolleyes:
My only concern was screws. I purchased from Mellanox a while back, but no screws are included. Does anyone know the type? I ended up using some tiny hard drive screws that mostly work.... I was lucky to have the very tiny threaded kind.. otherwise I would have been sol...
 

BLinux

cat lover server enthusiast
Jul 7, 2016
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My only concern was screws. I purchased from Mellanox a while back, but no screws are included. Does anyone know the type? I ended up using some tiny hard drive screws that mostly work.... I was lucky to have the very tiny threaded kind.. otherwise I would have been sol...
i don't think screws will be hard to find. they are usually some sort of machine screw with a phillips pan head. as long as one can figure out the thread size/pitch, should be easy to find online.
 

wardtj

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Jan 23, 2015
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i don't think screws will be hard to find. they are usually some sort of machine screw with a phillips pan head. as long as one can figure out the thread size/pitch, should be easy to find online.
That's what I thought too. I have no original screws so determining the pitch is pretty difficult. I tried 6 different types of tiny flat Philips screws. The hole is quite tiny! I think it was some SSD screws that worked. They sunk to half depth which was enough to keep it in place...
 

saivert

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Nov 2, 2015
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Btw how are these with regards to overheating? I had ConnectX-2 cards that overheated when I had to place them in the bottommost PCIe slot (due to IOMMU groupings being less that ideal) right next to the PSU with very little room to breathe. Card overheated and froze the system. Due to the placement I can't put a 40mm fan on it.

Only other option is to go with the expensive NIC from Startech.com (PCI Express 10 Gigabit Ethernet Fiber Network Card w/ Open SFP+ - PCIe x4 10Gb NIC SFP+ Adapter) as those don't even come with heatsinks so I guess they don't produce much heat.
 

saivert

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Nov 2, 2015
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I think the biggest issue was that the heatsink was snug up against the topside of the PSU (which is mounted in the bottom on the Fractal Design R5 case) and essentially traps all the hot air there. + the PSU also gives off a bit of heat. If the card was mounted higher up like in a x1 slot it would perhaps not overheat.
And the ConnectX-3 has a more power efficient chip than the ConnectX-2. Maybe fashioning a bracket that holds a small fan right over the card would be what I need to do.
 

MellowTone

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Mar 30, 2017
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That's what I thought too. I have no original screws so determining the pitch is pretty difficult. I tried 6 different types of tiny flat Philips screws. The hole is quite tiny! I think it was some SSD screws that worked. They sunk to half depth which was enough to keep it in place...
I’ve found they’re almost always (well, I am sure there would be an exception but I am yet to find it) M3 machine screws with a pan head (same as 2.5” HDD, SSD, ODD, etc.) at a length of 5mm for add in cards of this kind (NIC, RAID, HBA etc.)

Just don’t try to slam a countersunk M3 screw in there... I have seen folks put one in and just keep tightening because the card doesn’t seem to hold (surprise!) damaging the PCB in the process (usually only cosmetic, but still)
 

saivert

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Nov 2, 2015
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A solution I hope will work for now:


I just bent an old PCI slot blanking plate and screwed it on top of the network card and fixed the fan to it using zip ties
 

mixmansc

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Feb 15, 2016
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I'll be the guinea pig.... I just ordered some of the tall ConnectX-2 brackets. Going to see if they will fit the ConnectX-3. The Mellanox store showed them in stock for $4.30 each. I studied pictures of both cards very close and as far as I can determine both the older MNPA19 single port SFP+ card and the newer MCX311A single port SFP+ cards "appear" to be virtually identical in the layout of the screw holes, bracket size, and SFP+ port hole position. They are not perforated brackets though. I'm thinking worst case they might need some minor tweaking but we will see.

I bought 8 of the MCX311A cards with the short brackets and I need tall brackets. I figure for the price I'll make them work even without the tall brackets if I have to. Once before I used a short bracket cards in tall slot system but removing the bracket and bending the top flat so it was a tiny bit taller, then used a very small drill bit and was able to drill a small hole in the narrow metal between the slots on the case to put a screw into the flattened out bracket. Worked fine too... I'd prefer to have a proper bracket though.

As far as not being perforated. I'm personally okay with that. I'll probably pull the heatsinks off, clean the garbage thermal paste off and put them back on using Arctic Silver 5. Plus on the systems I'm using them in (Dell Precision workstations) the adjacent slot blanks are all perforated so I'll still get the heat out okay. I guess you could also always get a 1/16" drill bit and perforate a solid bracket yourself if you really wanted too. lol

I'll update once I get them brackets in. Also a quick note to add.... Mellanox seems to be on the ball nowadays for shipping in stock things. Within an hour of placing my order I already have a FedEx tracking number! :)

If these work like I hope and if anyone needs them, I'll have a lot of 8 of the short brackets for sale for dirt cheap. I'll update on that as well once I get the full size brackets in.

Also edit to add - if it matters to anyone. This is the listing I ordered from. Mellanox MCX311A-XCAT 10 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe Adapter Card ConnectX-3 MCX311A | eBay

The cards look great and are Rev. A5 cards. Interestingly of the 8 I got, 4 are Made in China and 4 are Made in Israel. :cool:
 
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woodshop2300

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
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Today i was able to take the short bracket off my MCX311A-XCAT and put it on my MNPA19-XTR and vis a versa.
So ConnectX-3 and ConnectX-2 bracket swap.
The only issue i had was with the plastic led light pipes on the ConnectX-2, those did not line up with the holes on the ConnectX-3 bracket.
But they were simple enough to just pull off the card.
Things were fine after that.

Seems to fit just fine in my Dell R610, windows booted just fine found the card etc, so looks to checkout.
 

mixmansc

Member
Feb 15, 2016
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Awesome! So there is another option. A lot of people are starting to grab the slightly newer MCX311A-XCAT ConnectX-3 cards which very often seem to come with the short brackets. Earlier in the thread people are running into issues trying to get tall brackets with Mellanox saying they are all backordered and then jacking the price from just over $4 a bracket to $10 a bracket on the perforated ones (both for the MCX311A are still out of stock). They do not even show a perforated tall bracket for the MNPA19, just the regular one.

So if anyone needs tall brackets for the MCX311A XCAT the MNPA19 XTR bracket will fit. I'll double confirm tomorrow or Tuesday as well once the brackets I ordered get here.

This is the ones on the Mellanox site by the way... Mellanox MTM003170 FRU Tall Bracket for 1-port SFP+ adapter. Fits MNPA19
 

Kryax

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Oct 14, 2017
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zeynel

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Nov 4, 2015
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Damn i orded also a bunch from the mellanix strore.

have you contected them ? is the part no . wrong ?
 

Kryax

Member
Oct 14, 2017
44
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Damn i orded also a bunch from the mellanix strore.

have you contected them ? is the part no . wrong ?
I have not contacted Mellanox yet. Will probably try on Monday although it is a holiday so they may not be available.. Guess other people who ordered the bracket will have to confirm what part # they get and if it fits properly.
 

mtekk

New Member
May 22, 2015
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Just checked my bag of # MTM007160's, they have the same issue, they don't align with the SFP+ port on the MCX311A-XCAT :(
 

mixmansc

Member
Feb 15, 2016
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That stinks! Aside from that I just realized the description for those tall perforated brackets also state for the MCX312B which is a dual port card. Those would not work for that one either! I think they have their descriptions jacked up. I hope their description for the ones I ordered is correct.

I feel bad for yall' as it apparently took them forever to even ship them. Hopefully they are good with their customer service and make that right.
 

saivert

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Nov 2, 2015
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I still think the price is way off considering Newegg had them for $20. Unfortunately a bit harder to order from Newegg when you don't live in the US. They routinely cancel offshore orders based on credit card owner.
Are the Intel X520 and Mellanox ConnectX-2/3 the only reasonable option for SFP+ NICs now? I know StarTech.com has some based on Tehuti chipset but they are expensive (but require much less cooling). And Intel X710 is completely out of the picture. Cards based on Aquantia is only for 10GBASE-T. At this rate I may simply scrap the fiber optics and go 10GBASE-T. Would need to get a new switch though.