Tiny/Mini/Micro PC experiences

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Vikrant Bumb

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Jan 29, 2022
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Here is a list of the known Lenovo, Dell and HP Tiny/Mini PCs, these are all the 1lt versions, there are even smaller and slightly larger versions but sticking with 1lt
If I've missed or made a mistake(s) on any by all means reply
Its very much a work in progress, the Tiny PC market is huge, useful for all sorts of stuff
I'll follow up with experiences of the Tiny PC's I've dealt with, feel free to add your own.

AMD versions
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M625q Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M625q - Specs
M715q Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M715q Gen 2 Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M715q - Specs - 2nd Gen
M75q Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M75q - Specs
M75q Gen2 Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M75q Gen2 - Specs

HP
Elitedesk 705 G1 - Specs
Elitedesk 705 G2 - Specs
Elitedesk 705 G3 - Specs
Elitedesk 705 G4 35w - Specs
Elitedesk 705 G4 65w - Specs
Prodesk 405 G4 - Specs
Elitedesk 705 G5 - specs

Intel versions
Ivy Lake CPUs (3xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M72e - Lenovo Support site for Drivers (no BIOS) etc
M72e - Specs
M92p - Lenovo Support site for Drivers and BIOS etc
M92p - Specs

Haswell CPUs (4xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M53 - Specs
M73 - Specs
M83 - Specs
M93p - Specs

Dell Optiplex
3020 - Specs
9020 - Specs

HP
HP 260 G1 - Specs
Prodesk 400 G1 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G1 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G1 - Specs

Sky Lake CPUs (6xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M600 Tiny - Lenovo support site for Driver and BIOS etc
M600 Tiny - Specs
M700 Tiny, M800, M900, M900x Tiny - Lenovo Support site for Drivers and BIOS etc
M700 - Specs
M900 - Specs
M900x - Specs (Supports 65w CPU's)

Dell Optiplex
3040 - Specs
7040 - Specs

HP
HP 260 G2 - Specs
Prodesk 400 G2 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G2 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G2 35w - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G2 65w - Specs

Kaby Lake CPU's (7xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M910t, M910s, M910q, M910x, M710q, ThinkStation P320 Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M710q - Specs
M910q - Specs
M910x - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)
Lenovo Thinkstation
P320 Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
P320 - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)

Dell Optiplex
3050 - Specs
5050 - Specs
7050 - Specs

HP
HP 260 G3 - Specs
Prodesk 400 G3 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G3 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G3 35w - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G3 65w - Specs

Coffee Lake CPU's (both 8xxxT and 9xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M720t, M720s, M720q, M920t, M920s, M920q, M920x, ThinkStation P330 Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M720q - Specs
M920q - Specs
M920x - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)
Lenovno Thinkstation
P330 Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
P330 - Specs Page 1 P330 - Specs Page 2 (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)

Dell Optiplex 8xxxT
3060 - Specs
5060 - Specs
7060 - Specs
Dell Optiplex 9xxxT
3070 - Specs
5070 - Specs
7070 - Specs

HP 8xxxT
Prodesk 400 G4 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G4 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G4 35w - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G4 65w - Specs
HP 9xxxT
Prodesk 400 G5 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G5 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G5 - Specs

ASUS
PC PB60 - Specs

Apple
Mac Mini - Specs (8xxxB)

Goldmont Plus
ASUS PC PB40 - Specs (Supports HDMI 2.0 Natively ?)

Whiskey Lake CPU's (8xxxU)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M630e Lenovo support for Drivers and BIOS
M630e - Specs

Comet Lake CPU's (10xxxT)
lenovo Thinkcentre
M70q/M80q/M90q Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
M70q - Specs
M80q - Specs
M90q - specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)
Lenovo Ideacentre
Mini 5i specs
Lenovo Thinkstation
P340 Tiny Lenovo Support for Drivers and BIOS
P340 - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)

Dell Optiplex
3080 - Specs
5080 - Specs
7080 - Specs

HP
HP 260 G4 - Specs
Prodesk 400 G6 - Specs
Prodesk 600 G6 - Specs
Elitedesk 800 G6 - Specs

Rocket Lake CPU's (11xxxT)
Lenovo Thinkcentre
M70q Gen2 Website
M90q Gen2 Website
Lenovo Thinkstation
P350 - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)

Dell Optiplex
5090 - Specs
7090 - Specs

HP
Prodesk 600g8 - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)
Elitedesk 800g8 - Specs (Supports up to 65w TDP CPU's)

Suitable Low Profile video cards for those Tiny's with PCIe slots
AMD Radeon RX 460
All below support NVDEC decoding HEVC (h265) 12bit
Quadro P400
Quadro P600
Quadro P620
Quadro P1000
GT 1030
Cooling them might be an issue if not using a Lenovo supplied card with the heatpipe as the fan may struggle with case lid being very close
Avoid the Quadro P500/P520 as these do not support En/Decoding at all

Network Cards
Lenovo Intel I350-T4 4-Port Ethernet Expansion Card

Here are what CPU's are best for Decoding Video
MPEG2 - All CPUs in any of the above systems
H264 (AVC), H265 (HEVC) 8bit and VP8 - Skylake onwards can do this via HW
H265 (HVEC) 10bit and VP9 - Kaby Lake onwards, currently the highest quality codec used right now
H265 (HVEC) 12bit and AV1 - Tiger Lake and beyond will do this
H266 - No Intel CPU yet

So currently I would recommend a Kaby Lake based System to cover all formats currently out
Then its a big CPU jump to the next supported Codec.
HDMI 2.0 (4k60 support) doesn't get supported till Tiger Lake, if you want 4k60 you need to use Display Port 1.2 and an active HDMI 2.0 adaptor

Lenovo Tiny Desktop CPU support, including Modded BIOS systems mentioned in another post
View attachment 21074
 

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Camprr23

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Managed to get a DFRobot Gigabit Ethernet A&E key m.2 card. It fits perfectly (almost, needed to bend the LED holder for the HD activity to the side slightly (crunching noises inserted here), but I can still see the LED on the front panel.
IMG_20220210_104503062_HDR.jpgIMG_20220210_104528300_HDR.jpgIMG_20220210_104542463_HDR.jpgIMG_20220210_104638160_HDR.jpgIMG_20220210_104514869_HDR.jpg
 
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Parallax

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Managed to get a DFRobot Gigabit Ethernet A&E key m.2 card. It fits perfectly (almost, needed to bend the LED holder for the HD activity to the side slightly (crunching noises inserted here), but I can still see the LED on the front panel.
Very good to know, thanks. It would be useful to compile and maintain a list of A/E key NICs for TMM nodes, particularly as the pricing seems to vary massively - I've seen from $15 to $234 (!!) for this functionality. Also for ESXi 7.0 purposes it would be great to know whether they are Realtek or Intel controllers (I believe this one is Realtek). I have also seen 2x 1GbE variants of these.
 
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Camprr23

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This is the card: M.2(A+E Key) to Gigabit Ethernet Module Adapter for LattePanda Alpha and Delta - DFRobot It came packaged in a box labelled with Winyao. It's actually a Winyao 8111-M2-C NGFF 工业千兆网卡 RTL8111F 台式机 有线 8111-M2-C (弯针)【图片 价格 品牌 报价】-京东 ( Winyao 8111-M2-C NGFF Industrial Gigabit Ethernet RTL8111F Desktop Wired 8111-M2-C (Bent Pin) )
You need the 'bent pin' version, because there is no height available due to the mounting of the drive above the card. The card is actually a "Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller" as reported by lspci. It seems to support VLANs, no other features tested yet. Bought it at Digi-key for $16: FIT0798 DFRobot | Development Boards, Kits, Programmers | DigiKey
 
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Parallax

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Great, thanks for the information. It's exactly what I'm looking for and the low profile is great, I just need one with an Intel controller... and if it had two ports, even better.
 

Camprr23

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I don't think it exists. The other alternative (if you have the space) is to use a m.2 A&E key to miniPCIe adapter: (Delock Products 62848 Delock Converter M.2 Key A+E male > 1 x Mini PCIe Slot half size / full size with flexible cable) and then a miniPCIe card based on i350 controllers: Mini PCIe Mini PCIe 2 Port Copper Ethernet Lan Card ( Based on Intel I350)


I just don't think you have the space inside a TMM to house the adapter, the miniPCIe converter and the double slot plate interfaces. You'd have to give something up, like a 2.5" drive.
 
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Parallax

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There are plenty of dual NIC B/M key ones, some use 2x i210 and some use a single i350.
MINI PCIE to dual Gigabit Ethernet mpcie to 2 ports 100/1000M lan card inter Chipset INTEL 82583+AMS1182E : Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories (but OOS)
MINI Pci-e to Dual port Gigabit Ethernet Server NIC network card 1000M mini PCIe SFP fiber network card INTEL 350AM2 Chipset : Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories (dual SFP, but so large you may as well get a Lenovo Tiny and use the PCIe slot)

I just need to find a dual NIC A/E key one. Here's a single port Intel one :

In the meantime I've found an A/E key 2.5GbE which is a new one for me :

Here's an M key quad port if you have space for a 2280 :

Etc.
 

Camprr23

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I've even seen a 10gbit m.2 2280.
Question is, what's practical? Or even needed?
Most people do not have the bandwidth requirements to do 2x gigabit. I had a specific need because I wanted to use the full Gbit of my internet connection. I've had 10gbit at home, but I found it power-hungry and useless (did not have a requirement to move large amounts of data often).
My solution so far had been to use 1 network adapter with a VLAN enabled switch. Fine for 500mbit (and slightly more due to the asynchronous nature of the traffic). Do I need the Gbit? Sometimes. Is it a challenge for me? Yes, a fun one. Was it cost effective? Yes. $16 is cost effective.

Wanted to share the 'neat' solution I had found that works well without any changes to the 1L standard case.

Please let me know if you have found a nice way to get 2 additional Ethernet interfaces into the case without cutting anything. Currently I doubt it can be done, unless you have a PCI slot available.
 

Parallax

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My situation is using VSphere, where it seems to get progressively more difficult to make vSAN happy the fewer interfaces you give it. So my requirement isn't that I have large amounts of data to push around either, really it's more of a functional separation in my home lab.

I still have a huge amount to learn with VSphere, and keep finding things that are really great balanced by things that are ... not so great. Still, it's fun to keep learning and it helps me with my job.
 
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Camprr23

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My situation is using VSphere, where it seems to get progressively more difficult to make vSAN happy the fewer interfaces you give it. So my requirement isn't that I have large amounts of data to push around either, really it's more of a functional separation in my home lab.

I still have a huge amount to learn with VSphere, and keep finding things that are really great balanced by things that are ... not so great. Still, it's fun to keep learning and it helps me with my job.
Learn about VLANs, they might not help with more bandwidth, but they let you keep the network traffic isolated.
 

drvcrash

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Jul 29, 2020
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I'm curious to know if anyone had success with adding a third drive to the Lenovo M900 Tiny using a M.2 to M.2 A/E Key WiFi adapter like the Sintech adapter?

VMware deprecated USB boot devices in 7.0u3. I want to move away from USB boot add an additional drive to my Lenovo M900 Tiny vSAN cluster to support NVMe/SATA boot. Following this original Reddit post I'm experiencing mixed results with either the adapter, the device, or platform limitations. In fairness to both the device and the original poster, the M900 specifications list "Some: M.2 SSD, PCIe or SATA interface " not both and I haven't purchased a Samsung PM991 drive that was documented as working.

To date, I've tested whatever spare NVMe drives I can find at home and/or work. I also experience inconsistencies with how the M900 will display the drive in the BIOS all depending on how I access it. Using Enter > F1 > System Summary vs. F12 > Enter Setup > System Summary.

Thoughts?

Troubleshooting Steps:
  • All known working drives.
  • Checked BIOS settings, did I miss something?
  • Enabled/Disabled PCIe advanced power mode.
  • Validated port works by reinstalling WiFi card.
  • Used a different M900 Tiny, same result.
  • Used a different Sintech adapter, same result.
  • Drive used on adapter does become warm, it's getting power.
  • NVMe drives are PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4 or x 2 lanes, same as the PM991.
Drive Layout
  • M.2 NVMe - Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2280
  • SATA SSD - Samsung 860 Evo
  • M.2 A/E - Still Searching
Testing Results

BrandModelNVMeCapacityForm FactorInterfaceArchitectureSEDSeq. ReadSeq. WriteWorked (Lenovo)Control (Dell Laptop 7490)M900 Notes...
Samsung 970 EVO PlusMZ-V7S500B/AMY500GBM.2 2280PCIe Gen3 x4 v1.3V-NANDN3500 MB/s3200 MB/sN
Samsung PM991MZ9LQ128HBHQ-000D1Y128GBM.2 2230PCIe Gen3 x4??2000 MB/s1000 MB/s??* Works for Reddit user.
ToshibaTHNSF5256GPUKY256GBM.2 2280-?Y??NN
KioxiaKBG40ZNS512GY512GBM.2 2230PCIe Gen3 x4?N2,200 MB/S1,400 MB/SNN* Pulled from Dell laptop.
* Rebranded Toshiba?
XPG SX8200ASX8200PNP-256GT-CY256GBM.2 2280PCIe Gen3 x43D NANDN3500 MB/s3000 MB/sN?* Rebranded ADATA?
Western DigitalSDBPNTY-256G or SN730Y256GBM.2 2280PCIe Gen3 x4 v1.33D NANDN3150 MB/s2100 MB/sY/NY* Recognized in BIOS, but only when drive was formatted.
* Recognized with Linux/Parted Magic.
* Rebranded Sandisk?
Western DigitalSDAPTUW-512GY512GBM.2 2230PCIe Gen3 x2?N1,700 MB/s1,400 MB/SNY/N* Pulled from Dell laptop.
* Recognized only with the adapter and no onboard NVMe/SATA using laptop control unit.
I just got my m920q tiny to boot Esxi with a nvme using the Sintech adapter in the wlan slot. The drive does not show up in the bios or boot list but once I turn off all other boot devices it boots right away
 
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Camprr23

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Parallax

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@Parallax I've ordered one of the dual i350 controllers for my Tiny. We'll see what happens: Kalea Informatique Mini PCI Express Card (MiniPCIE) – 2 ports RJ45 LAN Gigabit Ethernet – chipset Intel I350 – mPCIe NIC 10/100/1000 : Amazon.co.uk: Fashion (this is the one I got). I already had ordered the Dlock A&E key to miniPCIe converter. I'll let you know how it goes with installing. I doubt it will be pretty (as the backplate is not very TMM 'compatible'.
Ooooh! Thank you so much for letting me know, I look forward to the outcome...
 

Camprr23

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Ooooh! Thank you so much for letting me know, I look forward to the outcome...
Yeah, no way that 'whole construction' is fitting in the m900 case with a 2.5" SSD. There is also no space on the back of an M900 to exit the ports. If you sacrifice the 2.5" drive, you might be able to make it fit, but you'd also have to cut a hole int he front bezel to get the ethernet ports out of the chassis. The p320/p340 is a different 'beast'. Since you have 2xNVME you could forgo the 2.5" drive, and it has a rear-cutout for a low-profile card. While the rear cutout is not exacly low-profile-pci bracket territory, it is more space than in the M900. So for about $80 you could have dual i350 cards in a p320/p340/p350? The M900 is just too tight, plus no space to 'present' the ethernet ports nicely out of the chassis.

I thought about making the Ethernet port breakout smaller by cutting off the 'ear', but unfortunately they have placed a capacitor there, so cutting it off will likely cause some lack of function.

Sorry about the screwdriver in the picture, but otherwise the little card would not stay 'put' and not be in the picture.
IMG_20220217_151908280_HDR.jpg
@Parallax
 
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Parallax

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@Camprr23 That's a shame, but definitely thank you for trying it "for science." The solution you bought seems to have a lot of components, I have seen smaller constructions and I'll perhaps give it a go when I have a little more time (and report back here).
 

Camprr23

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Thank you for that. In my unit I have a P1000, so much less room. I think those using a PCIe card will have a hard time routing the riser cable and fitting the board somewhere.
Also remember that that 'wifi' slot is 'only' PCIe x2, so that's a max of something like 2Gbytes/sec if it's PCIe 3.0 (which I think it is). Some NVME SSDs are faster than that.