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doclucas
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Registered: ‎09-11-2017
Location: US
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Message 1 of 27

M710s M910s M720s M920s SFF: successfully installed GT 1030 (HTPC, 4K monitor TV, graphics)

I was finally able to find a proper card that fits the M910 SFF.

https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N1030D5-2GL#kf

This is the only card currently on the market the supports the latest HTPC 4K/8K specification (H feature set: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_PureVideo) and its size is small and short enough to be installed inside M910 SFF.

It is also only 30W TDP, which is just a bit more than the original Nvidia GT 730 that was pre-installed.

Quite happy with this awesome system. Smiley Happy

Hope this helps.

 

Mod:  since the M710s uses the same case, this particular Gigabyte GT 1030 will also fit it (other GT 1030 models, at this time, are too long.)  Topic also applies to the M720s and M920s as they use the same case. 

 

Mod:  moved to it's own thread and edited Subject line accordingly.  Mea culpa for having mistakely called it a GTX 1030.

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Message 2 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

I would recommend that you'd best prepare yourself to be disappointed with your "coming soon" M910s SFF machine, in that I am at least reasonably skeptical that there is sufficient "clearance" for almost any "modern" decent add-on graphics card which can fit inside the newly narrowed (i.e. the SFF case is now shortened front-to-rear by almost 4" from all previous SFF cases) SFF case.  The 4" reduction essentially reduces the interior expansion card clearance by 4", i.e. similarly reducing the new maximum size card length that can be used in the M910s.

 

You should read this thread of mine which I posted a few months back regarding these very issues with an M910s SFF I'd ordered and three different graphics cards I tried to install, but all of which would not fit.  I believe the new maximum size expansion card is only around 5.75", whereas with all previous SFF cases you could install a card that was probably up to 6.8" without an issue.  Most graphics cards are 6.25" - 6.75" and as long as they are low-profile they can all be used.

 

No longer.  I think the maximum length card is now about 5.75".  And your GT1030 is 5.9" long and 2.7" tall.  Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but it just might be the straw that broke the camel's back.

 

The problem is the swing-up/down drive bay assembly inside the SFF case, which in its full "snapped down/closed/locked" position has to clear the end of the expansion graphics card.  With the now reduced 4" inside the case (which used to be more than enough for a 6.8" card) it now will not clear a card longer than about 5.75".  So it stops first by hitting the top edge of the expansion card (unless it is not very tall) and will not latch closed.

 

Lenovo's graphics upgrade offering is a GT730, which measures only 5.7" long and 2.7" high.  So it fits (I guess the 2.7" of your GT1030 will be fine) since it's shorter than 5.75" which is what I measured as the max length a card could be when I had the M910s in my hands.

 

So, you may just barely be lucky if that 5.9" GT 1030 card will work.  I ended up not wanting to accept a lesser graphics card (I tried two, including one GTX1050ti from Gigabyte and a different one from MSI).  Neither fit.  I finally was going to settle on a downgraded low-profile GTX750ti from MSI that was only 5.75" long, but then I found out the StarTech M.2 PCIe-M.2 daughterboard card I was going to install in the x1 expansion slot was 6.2" long, so it wouldn't work either!!!  In reality I could have purchased the Lenovo M.2 SSD adapter bracket if I'd known about it at the time, which would have allowed me to use an M.2 Samsung drive without needing the StarTech adapter, but I didn't know it and I was already furious about the graphics card length problem.

 

Anyway, bottom line, I finally decided the M910s case was more "tiny" than "SFF".  I returned it for a refund and instead bought an M910t (which really isn't much larger than the old SFF cases).  This allowed me to go with the fullsize EVGA GTX 1050ti SC card I really wanted to be using anyway.

 

Again, you may just get away with the 5.9" length of your GT 1030 card.  But if so, it will really be just barely.  But maybe not. As I said, be prepared. 

doclucas
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Message 3 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

I am trying to post a reply, but for some reason it doesn't show it. I am pretty sure it follows all the forums rules.

Why is that?

 

This was my post: https://pastebin.com/F13kweEj

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,308
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Message 4 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

Don't know why you're having trouble posting to the forum.  Obviously your first post worked just fine.

 

Anyway, on your behalf, I'm re-posting (see below) what you wanted to post.  And you've pointed out that the PSREF documentation does indicate a maximum expansion card length of 150mm, which is 5.9".  So my guess that it was about 5.75" was just a bit too small.  Hence your GT 1030 card (which is 149mm... JUST BARELY SHORT ENOUGH!!) will work, as you confirm.

 

P.S. - from the Wiki article you pointed to, it appears that all of the Pascal cards support PureVideo HD.  I wasn't aware of that functionality, but I see that my own GTX 1050ti SC also supports it.  But your new GT1030 is a significantly smaller card in the Pascal family, and yet also provides this functionality you were looking for.

 

 

Mate, sorry if my post wasn't clear enough, but I posted it after I already bought and installed it.
It works perfectly fine.
You are right that almost no card will fit, especially not the ones your tried, which is why I posted this to begin with.

 

The case will only accept cards that are 150mm< long and 68mm< tall, as shown in the "mechanical" section of the PSREF platform specs for the M910s.

 

The Gigabyte GT1030 fits these limits and works.
I was initially going to buy the QUADRO P1000, which seems to be 150mm long, but when looking at the photos, I was concerned that the fan curve will make it a few mm too long for the case:

doclucas
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Message 5 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

Yeah, maybe cos I am new, so some posts are flagged for moderation. (for seemingly no real good reason)

Anyway, yeah, exactly what I was pointing out. The entire 10 (pascal) range is capable of the highest level of 4K/8K specifications and this is the only card that fits my case. Any other 1030 from other manufacturers won't, they are longer.

So I am happy now. Smiley Happy

 

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Message 6 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

MOD: the new title you created for this thread isn't accurate.

 

The card installed is NOT a GTX 1030... it is a GT 1030.  I don't think there is a GTX 1030 product at this time.

 

Same with your inserted comment at the time you changed the thread title, which also mistakenly mentions GTX instead of GT.

 

However the important part is that the low-profile GT 1030 card WILL thankfully fit in these new reduced-depth SFF cases which are 4" smaller front-to-rear than all previous SFF cases from Lenovo.  The retail low-profile GT 1030 (5.9" long) is superior to both the low-profile GT 730 (5.7" long) available from Lenovo as well as the retail low-profile GTX 750ti (5.75" long) from MSI, all three of which WILL fit in the newly smaller SFF cases with its newly reduced maximum length card of 150mm.

 

But if you do want the performance of say a GTX 1050ti (which is longer than 6") you must go with a new "tower" case (e.g. M910t).

doclucas
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Message 7 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

It is very important to emphasize that not all GT 1030 will fit, not even some will fit.

Only ONE currently available GT 1030 fits the case. It's the one I mentioned (ie. Gigabyte GT 1030 model GV-N1030D5-2GL)

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Message 8 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF


@doclucas wrote:

It is very important to emphasize that not all GT 1030 will fit, not even some will fit.

Only ONE currently available GT 1030 fits the case. It's the one I mentioned (ie. Gigabyte GT 1030 model GV-N1030D5-2GL)


Fascinating, all of this difficulty for customers that never existed before now... all because Lenovo for some reason decided to reduce the front-to-rear length of the new SFF cases by almost 4".  They updated the PSREF info to clearly state (if you ever found that document and located the information... if you even had a clue this might be a new consideration for buying this machine type which had never really been an issue before now) the real world consequence, that the new maximum length of any expansion card you wanted to install would now be under 150mm.

 

Other than maybe 1/2-length (i.e. under 5") x1 PCIe USB 3.0 multi-port cards, turns out there are really really few cards of any other type that are under 150mm (5.9"), and I'm not just talking about graphics cards.  If Lenovo's manufacturing group had simply realized what they were imposing on customers by reducing the "depth" of the new SFF case by almost 4", they surely would have shrunk it only by 3" instead... which then would have allowed the use of low-profile expansion cards to be up to 6.9" in length, meaning there would have been NO PROBLEM AT ALL... same as had been the case forever previously with the old original SFF cases.

 

Why did they have to shrink the case as much as 4", given the negative impact? Wouldn't shrinking it 2-3" have been sufficient???

 

Just astonishing that this change made it through QA at engineering, and that a resulting 150mm limit to expansion card length was considered acceptable to customers.

doclucas
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Message 9 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

I guess the reason for the size change is because they wanted to make the SFF's footprint as small as possible, as people (like myself) usually buying these products are interested in that (high end CPU, chipset, dedicated graphics with the smallest possible footprint), otherwise they would purchase cheaper larger cases (Micro-ATX or larger) and build their own cheaper builds.
I agree with you that the current design limits upgradability and I can understand the strong critic.
That said, I don't get the main purpose of your post, as these products were already manufactured and are already out on the market and at users hands. There is nothing current owners can do to change the design. Yeah, hopefully Lenovo future SFFs will have a larger space for upgrades, but crying about the past won't change anything about the past. Besides, I am quite happy with the current specs and the GT 1030. Smiley Happy
Don't personally have any need or desire for any further upgrades.
Just my 2c.
doclucas
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Message 10 of 27

Re: Video Card for "Coming Soon" M910 SFF

Oh, and one more important thing I forgot.

You mentioned MSI and Gigabyte's GTX 1050 that don't fit the case.

Please note that their TDP is 75W so even if they did fit the case, you wouldn't be able use them on either the M910 or M710 and not on any previous SFF build.

For example, if you read the M900 SFF specifications PDF, it says Slot 1: Low Profile, PCI Express 3.0 x16 (45w max)

 

Page 83, here: https://www.lenovo.com/psref/pdf/ThinkCentre.pdf

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