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07-07-2017

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M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-19, 17:19 PM

We have a user with an M520c that is getting messages from ThinkStation Diagnostics about System Voltages & Power. They are getting an "S050: External device power leakage" message and we have already twice replaced the display cables that the error code suggest but they are still getting this particular message. The M520c does have an AMD RX 570 inside which had to provide power using a Molex to PCI and a SATA to PCI since the standard 500w PSU does not have a PCI connector on it. I'm wondering if that is causing the issue, specifically the SATA to PCI adapter. If this is the issue does Lenovo sell a PSU that comes with 2 PCI power connectors or would we have to go with a third party option? If no third party option is exist what would be the preferred graphics card replacement. 

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4543 Posts

02-22-2010

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Re:M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-19, 19:12 PM

I'm assuming you're referencing the P520c, which is one of our current ThinkStation platforms.

 

From what I can tell, the AMD RX570 is rated at 120W TDP and requires a single 6-pin PCIe power connection.  The P520c 500W power supply comes with a 6-pin PCIe power connection standard.  So you really shouldn't have to use any sort of additional power cabling to support that GPU.  The 6-pin PCIe power connection is cabled directly to the PSU for P520c, so you might have to search around a bit to find it...but I assure you it's there.  Worst case you can trace it out from the power supply directly to locate it.

 

I don't think the S050 diagnostic error is related to the SATA to PCIe power cable you're using.  I certainly wouldn't recommend using such a cable in this scenario as the rail driving that SATA connector hasn't been sized properly to support a GPU, which could lead to overcurrent conditions under load.  It's also not needed since there's a 6-pin PCIe power drop present in the P520c system.  Instead, I think the S050 issue is potentially referencing out of spec DP cables where pin20 (DP_PWR) in connected within the cable and shouldn't be.  It can essentially allow the display to back feed power into your graphics controller which could cause issues and/or damage.   You can check your cable by using a meter to check connectivity on both ends of your DP cable at pin20.

 




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Re:M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-20, 13:26 PM

We've replaced the Display Cable twice with a different brand but I can try and find one specifically that doesn't have one at pin 20pin enabled. Also I looked up the exact model of RX570 we placed in the machine, it is an XFX 4GB version which has an 8 pin PCI connector. With that information would that make a difference?

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Re:M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-20, 16:51 PM

For the DP cable, it's actually spec for manufacturers to not connect pin20, but we've seen several cases where people still seem to have these bad cables out in the field.  Typically it results in a weird reboot situation though....this is the first time I think I've seen that diag code being flagged.  So it's certainly possible there is something else going on in your situation.

 

And yes thanks for the card info as it does make a difference.  Looks like it might be a slightly tweaked card compared to the reference specs for the RX570.  You'd need to use a 6-pin to 8-pin converter to ensure everything connects properly.  I can't find info specific to the actual TDP for that GPU, but I think you'll likely be OK simply converting the existing 6-pin connection from the P520c power supply to an 8-pin connection using an adapter.  If one didn't come with the GPU, you should be able to find these easily on the open market.  Here's an example.

 

 

I'd suggest fixing the GPU power issue so that we know that's correctly/cleanly getting power first.  Then see if that diagnostic code continues to show up or if it goes away once PCIe power is properly supplied.

 




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Re:M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-27, 21:01 PM
I did replace the PCI cable and the user did report back that they are getting the same diagnostic code. I ran the lenovo hardware diagnostics and the display interface, graphics card, and PCIE tests passed without issues. The Graphics card output has 2xDP, HDMI, and DVI. Would the error message persist if I replace the two straight DP with either 2xHDMI to DP or even HDMI to DP/DP to DVI?
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Re:M520c power issues and recommendations

2020-05-27, 23:00 PM

It might be worth a shot.  I can't say for sure if the error message would clear as I'm not certain of the technical details on the trigger for that particular error code.  I'd still probably try to check connectivity of your DP cables at pin20 before purchasing other cable types as that might provide some useful info.




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