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88 Posts

02-03-2008

RTP, NC

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Adding 4-port NIC (i350-T4) to M710/720/910/920q TINY series?

2019-12-27, 15:58 PM

I saw this thread asking about exactly what I want to do, use an M720q TINY series for a pfSense router. 

 

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkCentre-A-E-M-S-Series/Thinkcentre-M720-TINY-PFsense/td-p/4503542

 

Today you can buy these systems pre-configured with a 4-port Intel NIC (i350-T4) which is perfect.  IHowever, I already have one of these Tiny units, without the i350-T4, so can I just add a Lenovo branded i350-T4 pNIC to the open PCIe slot or is this Intel i350-T4 a "specially designed" pNIC which only fits into the PCIe slot on these boxes?   The space looks right, I just don't know about that heat sink or if only a specific part number pNIC is whitelisted.   I would hope any Lenovo-branded adapter would work.  Without a multi-port Intel-based pNIC, it's much harder to re-use this a kick-*@(@* router.   I've googled and poked around the Lenovo site for hours but there are no answers. 

 

This is the standard Lenovo i350-T4 / PCIe -> https://lenovopress.com/tips1155-intel-i350-gigabit-ethernet-adapters#os-00D1998 

 

Thanks.  G. Mobley

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3716 Posts

01-01-2012

US

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Re: Adding 4-port NIC (i350-T4) to M710/720/910/920q TINY series?

2019-12-27, 16:55 PM

I believe you would need to add the Tiny riser card:  ThinkCentre Tiny - PCIe Riser card: p/n 01AJ902, Taisol, M920q

 

Is using VLANs over the built-in GigE port into a capable switch an option?  Ie.  NetGear -- Gigabit Smart Managed Plus Switch Series   (8 ports $45.)   Way less than buying that NIC and riser. 

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88 Posts

02-03-2008

RTP, NC

137 Signins

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  • Posts: 88
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Re: Adding 4-port NIC (i350-T4) to M710/720/910/920q TINY series?

2019-12-27, 17:57 PM

Hi, Thanks for the reply.   Yes and No. 

1) Yes, that looks like the "riser" but what models actually have the riser slot can also vary.  Sometimes, the connector is not even on the motherboard - depending on the model.   And as a cost-to-build thing, they will generally NOT include the riser unless your build calls for it.   That post is perfect and what I need - TY!!! (That thread is likely trying to do the same thing).  

 

2) No these units need a minimum of 2 onboard (preferable INTEL) ports to function as a router.  The Realtek onboards  found in most PCs are not always supported and their performance is lacking for a router-type device.  Its fine for most desktops. 

 

For instance, from the visuals I found for the older M910q, that riser is not even on the MB, expecially when the model has the 2.5" SSD slot b/c of space concerns. 

 

Thanks! 

 

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3716 Posts

01-01-2012

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Re: Adding 4-port NIC (i350-T4) to M710/720/910/920q TINY series?

2019-12-27, 21:16 PM

The PCI space is opposite from the 2.5" HDD/SSD space (which is used for the graphics heatsink), and from the M720q HMM, it appears that all have the PCIe connector.  See the photos and graphics in this thread:  Lenovo M910x Tiny Extreme: RX 460 graphics option, details and avail.

 

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88 Posts

02-03-2008

RTP, NC

137 Signins

1339 Page Views

  • Posts: 88
  • Registered: ‎02-03-2008
  • Location: RTP, NC
  • Views: 1339
  • Message 5 of 5

Re: Adding 4-port NIC (i350-T4) to M710/720/910/920q TINY series?

2019-12-28, 12:41 PM

Hi, Yes, I think you are right for the x20q series. When I look up serial numbers it shows the motherboards with the connector. But if you want the right angle PCIe connector, then you have to follow the other posting to obtain that part. I'm doubting that's included unless you get PCIe card. 

FWIW, this feels like an awesome solution for a high power pfSense router which probably has a 5-7 year lifespan - depending on what packages you are running as well as your internet connection speeds, VPNs etc..   I'm psyched. 

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