Project TinyMiniMicro: Reviving Small Corporate Desktops

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Eh, bummer. @William didn't remove the 2.5" bay caddy on the m720q photo, and that covered up the PCIe slot - I can kinda see it poking out, but not quite. Didn't expect you to post the TInyMiniMicro intro so soon - I am still..working on my writeup on a related topic...
I'll have my M720q here tomorrow, I can check and take a picture for you if you like.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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I'll have my M720q here tomorrow, I can check and take a picture for you if you like.
Could you please? I am trying to figure out if this is across the board or only for specific models.
 

Geran

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
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Could you please? I am trying to figure out if this is across the board or only for specific models.
Will do. I reached out to Encompass and they said they should have stock for those adapters around the 13th of August.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Will do. I reached out to Encompass and they said they should have stock for those adapters around the 13th of August.
Which one are you gunning for? The 928/929 x4? The 902 x8 or the 940 x16? The other headache to consider is the non-standard nature of the bracket...you’re pretty much guaranteed to have to make something custom to support whatever card you plan to install on them.
 

Geran

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
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Which one are you gunning for? The 928/929 x4? The 902 x8 or the 940 x16? The other headache to consider is the non-standard nature of the bracket...you’re pretty much guaranteed to have to make something custom to support whatever card you plan to install on them.
Honestly, whichever one I can get my hands on. If it is 928/929 ill use the box for pfSense. If I can get the 902, I'll use it for something else.

I got my M720q for around $150 so I don't mind spending a little more for a PCIe adapter. Also if I can only get a 928/929, I am going to get an HP 290 to use for Plex so I can use my 10Gbe card.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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you know... I think it might have been made in China
Gee, Chinese computer parts from a company that is 12% owned by the State Council of China?! I am shocked, shocked by that revelation.
 
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tozmo

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Feb 1, 2017
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Are there any models in this category that offer 2 NICs? I know that some of the firewall appliances like Protectli or Qotom do, but they seem to be spec'ed quite different from desktop mini PCs.
I've been stalking the mini space for a while, and none have 2 nic's by default. The T730 that was posted a few years ago as a iSCSI setup (replacing N40L) was PCIe friendly to bring in multiple nic's
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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I've been stalking the mini space for a while, and none have 2 nic's by default. The T730 that was posted a few years ago as a iSCSI setup (replacing N40L) was PCIe friendly to bring in multiple nic's
Oh, my t730+N40L setup? Eh, that machine does have 2 GbE NICs and a 40GbE NIC, but that's because eBay sells a very inexpensive HP branded Broadcom Tigon based fiber NIC from Allied Telesis for the M.2 slot, and I have compatible fiber media converters at my home.

It's not too difficult to put a second NIC into a TinyMicroMini machine as long as you pay attention to board real estate. The TinyMicroMini machines tend to have an extra M.2 Key A+E slot for supporting Wifi, and you can usually add something that would work - for example - Ableconn's M2-NW107 have connect from top or perpendicular-to-slot options, then all you have to do is run a length of CAT6 into the chassis and engineer up some strain relief - those are around 30 USD on Amazon. The headache with the Ableconn is that they are Realtek 8111 based, so no bueno for VSphere 7. There are also one from Commell and LR-Link (Mainland China) that will do the trick as they run on Intel i210s - The Commell is 70 USD awith shipping factored in. The trick with those 2 is to figure out how to run the cabling and where to situate the daughterboard.
 
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Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Does anyone know if any of these (or other similar small footprint) take ECC RAM? I 've been wading through specs looking for likely candidates, but thought I'd ask if someone knew off the top of their heads.
 
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JediAcolyte

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May 29, 2020
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I'm curious about this project and find it a fascinating idea. I'm also curious as to how these machines compare to something like a low-power atom 1U server like this one:

It has an expansion slot for adding a NIC and seems like a good option for a pfsense box or some other small server. I admit it does seem RAM limited.
 

Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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Intel D510 is 10 year old 32 bit CPU with passmark 385.

Compare to I5-6500t 64bit CPU with AES has passmark 4959.

It is like comparing a horse to ??? .

I am surprise that the listing price $142 .

The used chassis my be worth less than $50. Systemboard and CPU belong to trash.
 
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Markess

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May 19, 2018
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I am surprise that the listing price $142 .
X7SPA is stupid expensive on Ebay for some reason, just like a lot of other SM ITX models seem to be. I've been shopping for ITX boards that will take ECC RAM and and I keep seeing listings for them (being D510, they don't take ECC of course)

ATM, the cheapest X7SPA bare board on Ebay (US) is listed at $85.49. Filtering for "Sold" Prices over the last couple months, they've sold for between $45 & $85 shipped, with the average being ~$60-65.

Not even sure why people are paying $45, unless they are doing an exact model replacement on an appliance they really don't want to mess with upgrading?
 
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Marsh

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D150 is a 32bit CPU in a 64bit world.

I just check pfsense download, I do not see any 32bit version.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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X7SPA is stupid expensive on Ebay for some reason, just like a lot of other SM ITX models seem to be. I've been shopping for ITX boards that will take ECC RAM and and I keep seeing listings for them (being D510, they don't take ECC of course)

ATM, the cheapest X7SPA bare board on Ebay (US) is listed at $85.49. Filtering for "Sold" Prices over the last couple months, they've sold for between $45 & $85 shipped, with the average being ~$60-65.

Not even sure why people are paying $45, unless they are doing an exact model replacement on an appliance they really don't want to mess with upgrading?
Probably? Although I am not even sure how cost effective they are even as new-old stock replacements. They weren’t worth that much when new. Also, yeesh. Asking about a 1U server in a thread about small machines?
 
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