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Lenovo M71e SFF - i3-2100 -- Boat anchor or still good for light use?

Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, An0maly_76 said:

So an uprade to a 2600K would be the move, if there is such a thing.

  

7 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Do you mean the 3770K? There isn’t a 2700K Sandy Bridge
 

If the motherboard can take it though, the 3770K gives you the much better HD 4000 as well. 

I figured not. 3770 isn't an option with this chipset either. I found a board that supports the 3770 with the cherry on top of an M.2 slot, but at $86, it's a tough sell when I don't want or need to put a lot of cash into it. However, I could possibly extend the machine's life another 5-10 years perhaps, and such upgrades might not be available at all in the future, so there is that.

Edited by An0maly_76
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I can't speak to the cooling or BIOS support but physically any board that can take a 2100 in it can take a 2600, 2700 or 3750 in it.
The chipsets 100% support these parts from a signalling perspective.

I'm aware the product page, which probably hasn't been updated in 10 years, doesn't mention a product that came out 9 years ago.

Here's a thread on people talking about it.
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-Ivy-Bridge-support-for-Lenovo-Thinkcentre-M71e

 

 

With that said, I really wouldn't bother upgrading a system from 11 years ago.
You can slap in a cheap 256GB SSD and use it to browse the web and that's about all the time and money I'd spend on the thing.


As far as getting what was essentially a lowish-end, entry level system to last a total of 16-21 year... HAHA. Don't try to unless you have to. Look at a 20 year old system right now and tell me if it's even remotely usable (or reliable). You'd realistically be comparing something like a 2GHz Pentium 4 (or 1.4GHz Athlon XP) to anything modern and seeing that the old system can't start a lot of things (lack of instructions) and those things that it can run are struggling.


Any upgrades you make would need to be so cheap as to make just getting a Dell OptiPlex 9020-SFF, Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Solid State, DVDRW, Windows 10 Pro 64bit (Renewed)  for $190 non-sensical. Keep in mind you could probably get $50-100 for your current system.

 


Use cases for the old system - NAS, retrogames, backup system.

3900x | 32GB RAM | RTX 2080

1.5TB Optane P4800X | 1 TB Adata XPG Pro | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
QN90A | Emotiva B1+, ELAC OW4.2, PB12-NSD, HD800
 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, cmndr said:

I can't speak to the cooling or BIOS support but physically any board that can take a 2100 in it can take a 2600, 2700 or 3750 in it.
The chipsets 100% support these parts from a signalling perspective.

I'm aware the product page, which probably hasn't been updated in 10 years, doesn't mention a product that came out 9 years ago.

Here's a thread on people talking about it.
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-Ivy-Bridge-support-for-Lenovo-Thinkcentre-M71e

 

 

With that said, I really wouldn't bother upgrading a system from 11 years ago.
You can slap in a cheap 256GB SSD and use it to browse the web and that's about all the time and money I'd spend on the thing.


As far as getting what was essentially a lowish-end, entry level system to last a total of 16-21 year... HAHA. Don't try to unless you have to. Look at a 20 year old system right now and tell me if it's even remotely usable (or reliable). You'd realistically be comparing something like a 2GHz Pentium 4 (or 1.4GHz Athlon XP) to anything modern and seeing that the old system can't start a lot of things (lack of instructions) and those things that it can run are struggling.


Any upgrades you make would need to be so cheap as to make just getting a Dell OptiPlex 9020-SFF, Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHZ, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Solid State, DVDRW, Windows 10 Pro 64bit (Renewed)  for $190 non-sensical. Keep in mind you could probably get $50-100 for your current system.

 


Use cases for the old system - NAS, retrogames, backup system.

Certainly sounds like a cheap SSD and a $40 2600 are really best, if anything. And for that, it's best as a retrogame / websurfing, maybe music recording, as I've mentioned earlier. It could certainly do NAS for my movies and music, though I think it means transplanting my 6TB from my 5900X rig, because I am NOT spending $300-$400 on storage for this thing. But, yeah, I agree, I think I could do better with another system with if worthwhile upgrades are over $100.

Edited by An0maly_76
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Usually when I go for NAS storage I'm going on ebay and getting server pulls - think 4x6TB drives in RAID10. That would admittedly be around $250ish worth of drives. This is only "worth it" if you have a need. It's not if you don't. If you care a dash less about performance/reliability you can cut the number of drives and just do RAID1 or RAID5.

As far as NASes are concerned, the only real consideration for them is low power draw. Nice to haves are PCIe slots for faster networking and/or adding in a cache device.

3900x | 32GB RAM | RTX 2080

1.5TB Optane P4800X | 1 TB Adata XPG Pro | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
QN90A | Emotiva B1+, ELAC OW4.2, PB12-NSD, HD800
 

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2 hours ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Do you mean the 3770K? There isn’t a 2700K Sandy Bridge. 
 

If the motherboard can take it though, the 3770K gives you the much better HD 4000 as well. 

2700k is a thing, though as you go higher end with these processors the cost effectiveness goes out the window


 

2 hours ago, An0maly_76 said:

Chipset doesn't support beyond 2600 / 2600S unfortunately.

 

I'm finding that for the 2600, the RX460 is a well-matched, affordable GPU, but they don't seem to be made in low-profile. So to do that, I'd have to compromise some sort of bottleneck or get creative in mounting the GPU.

im struggling to piece together exactly what the goal of this build is, is it just cheap and functional? Are you trying to game on this? do you already have this M71e or are you going to buy one?

 

to summarize my thoughts in the context of the m71e in two mindsets, value first:

-8gb of ram is fine

-don’t bother with any m.2 ssd, just get a sata ssd

-an i5 2500k is a cheap cpu upgrade for the igpu, get the 2400 if you go dgpu

-for just modern video decode and stuff get a gt 730, or a 1030 if you find one for dirt cheap, it’s not worth putting any decent video card into a Sandy bridge system

-this is just like a modern system where you need specific chipset features to really see any benefit from faster ram, nvme, overclocking, etc, none of which the m71e has

 

from the performance standpoint

-bios mod and then i7 3770k or Xeon e3, note that this isn’t like just installing a bios version that’s slightly different, this involves actual hard modding of the bios chip, as it’s an H61 system but the stock bios is unable to accommodate Ivy bridge

-low profile cooler, should be able to drop in a noctua L9 of some variety 

-2x8gb 2400mhz ddr3 with a hard board volt mod and custom memory profile in the bios mod to oc the shit out of some DDR3

-still no point in an m.2 ssd

-best possible low profile gpu is a Quadro rtx a2000, a low profile 12gb card about on par with a 6gb 1060

-alternatively there is the Radeon pro wx line, low profile 1650/1050, rx 550 and 460’s out there, you could also do a riser and a small chassis mod to get a single gtx 1060 or 1070 in there but you’d need a psu upgrade

 

but that’s horrendously pointless because that entire theoretical best case scenario for an m71e would be curbstomped by an aliexpress Xeon setup and used gtx 970 which would cost less 

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Posted (edited)

Already have it. I haven't touched it in two years, and I offered it to another member for a foundation for their first build, but they may have found a better bang for the buck more local to them. If they don't wind up getting it, I was trying to figure a way to use it rather than scrap it.

 

I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of reduced power draw for playing back movie and music rips, web surfing, everyday things (most of my use), then only fire the big boy 5900X up for when I want to run BeamNG, American Truck Simulator or the like.

Edited by An0maly_76
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2 minutes ago, An0maly_76 said:

I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of reduced power draw for playing back movie and music rips, web surfing, every day things, then only fire the big boy for when I want to fire up BeamNG, American Truck Simulator or the like.

If this is the use case, don’t even bother with a desktop, especially not an old one, get a modern nuc and spec it as needed:

https://www.geeknuc.com/en-us/products/intel-nuc-10-frost-canyon-slim
as it’ll do what you’re asking several times faster, while consuming 1/10th of the power 

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19 minutes ago, 8tg said:

2700k is a thing, though as you go higher end with these processors the cost effectiveness goes out the window


 

 

Huh, today I learned. Was a pretty quiet launch.

 

https://www.anandtech.com/show/5009/intel-releases-core-i72700k-and-cuts-the-prices-of-three-cpus

My eyes see the past…

My camera lens sees the present…

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12 hours ago, An0maly_76 said:

  

I figured not. 3770 isn't an option with this chipset either. I found a board that supports the 3770 with the cherry on top of an M.2 slot, but at $86, it's a tough sell when I don't want or need to put a lot of cash into it. However, I could possibly extend the machine's life another 5-10 years perhaps, and such upgrades might not be available at all in the future, so there is that.

no, do not do this.  This is a mistake in SO many ways.

 

Dropping over 100$ on parts is a terrible mistake, when you can get a use business desktop (HP/Dell/Lenovo) with an i5 6500 or i5 7500 for 100-150.  Newer hardware, better support, etc.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, tkitch said:

no, do not do this.  This is a mistake in SO many ways.

 

Dropping over 100$ on parts is a terrible mistake, when you can get a use business desktop (HP/Dell/Lenovo) with an i5 6500 or i5 7500 for 100-150.  Newer hardware, better support, etc.

Not to mention that scenario is building a whole other machine, and doesn't really find a use for the M71E or its parts. I could still use the 2100 that way, but it's just not cost-effective.

 

I could also see scoring another 6TB WD Black, or simply swapping my existing one to the M71E for use as a media NAS to save power in non-gaming use, with a cheap 120GB SSD for a Windows install. Maybe even use it to record music, as I'm looking to get back into dabbling with that.

 

Also, this is a SFF slimline case and can't fit much more than the stock cooler. So that begs the question as to whether anything beyond the 2600 is advisable from a cooling standpoint.

 

No matter what, as a media NAS, this machine needs massive storage. A cheap high-capacity SSD / HDD, cheap processor upgrade, might be worth it, but beyond that, tk is right, spending $100+, I'd do better to change platforms. And in most cases, it appears I could buy another machine somewhat more powerful for less than the price of a retail board and processor.

 

UPDATE: I did just find a used M71E motherboard with i5-3470 processor and 8GB RAM for about the cost of a used i7-2600 processor. Were I to drop any money on parts, I think that and a large SSD / HDD are the most cost-effective way to go. How does the i5-3470 stack up to the i7-2600? And is the 2100's cooler sufficient for the 3470?

Edited by An0maly_76
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The 2600 is probably faster, overall.  But probably not by a huge margin.  (An i5 is usually about on par with an i7 from 2 generations earlier.)

 

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worth looking at the equivalent xeons, eg the e3-1245: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_processors_(Sandy_Bridge-based)#Xeon_E3-1245

 

You get i7 specs and they're usually a good bit cheaper than the equivalent i7

 

but i dont really get the whole premise here, you have an old PC that you dont have any need for, but your trying to spend $$$ upgrading it for an unknown use?

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17 minutes ago, Aragorn- said:

worth looking at the equivalent xeons, eg the e3-1245: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_processors_(Sandy_Bridge-based)#Xeon_E3-1245

 

You get i7 specs and they're usually a good bit cheaper than the equivalent i7

 

but i dont really get the whole premise here, you have an old PC that you dont have any need for, but your trying to spend $$$ upgrading it for an unknown use?

I'm considering using it as a media / web machine for movies and such. There's a couple secondary reasons for this idea, outlined HERE.

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The idea of using it instead of your 5900x doesnt really hold water. Its an older less efficient machine and in all likelyhood wont use any less power in light duty workloads.

 

Often newer machines will use LESS power in light duty conditions as the hardware is soo much more powerful.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Aragorn- said:

The idea of using it instead of your 5900x doesnt really hold water. Its an older less efficient machine and in all likelyhood wont use any less power in light duty workloads.

 

Often newer machines will use LESS power in light duty conditions as the hardware is soo much more powerful.

Yeah, I guess I could kind of see that, since anything I could put on that LGA1155 board would probably be working harder to serve the intended purpose, hence drawing a higher % of its max power draw, thus equivalent to what the big boy pulls for the same workload. Which is sound thinking in and of itself, but the added heat output from the 5900X is no doubt making the A/C in my room work harder and run longer, and THAT, DOES use more electricity. I actually notice the room gets cooler when my machine is off.

 

In addition, as the severity of my asthma and heat sensitivity introduce an unforeseen and unintended consequence, I may have to consider the idea to downgrade / sell / trade my 5900X or the entire system for something with lower heat output.

Edited by An0maly_76
Revised, more info

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Disregard -- posted to wrong thread.

Edited by An0maly_76

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