Lenovo M720q Tiny - Pentium Gold G5400T, 4GB DDR4, no HDD, with PSU - $149.99

This is a really, REALLY good deal. It has a better CPU than the HP 290 (2C/4T instead of 2C/2T) and has a much smaller form factor. Just add your own storage (which you would have done to the HP 290 anyway)

More info on the G5400T and QuickSync here:

  1. [Guide] OTiS 1.0 - Build your own Intel QSV HW transcoder!
  2. [Guide] Hardware Transcoding: The JDM way! QuickSync and NVENC

Lenovo M720q Tiny - Pentium Gold G5400T (8th gen/Coffee Lake), 4GB DDR4, no HDD, with PSU - $149.99

6/16/20 - more in stock at link below

thanks @myrwon

6/16/20 (afternoon) - more in stock at link below


@ALANMAN has some good prices on DDR4 SODIMM if you want to add more.


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Also available, not as good of a deal IMO:

M710 Tiny - Celeron G4400T (6th gen/Skylake), 4GB DDR4, no HDD, with PSU - $119.99

M710 Tiny - Celeron G4400T (6th gen/Skylake), 4GB DDR4, no HDD, with PSU - $134.99

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I’m taking it that you would recommending this as a plex transcoding box? Could you expand these for pfsense? I’m not sure how you would expand except by USB

This may be the passmark for it: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Pentium+Gold+G5400T+%40+3.10GHz&id=3329

IMHO, yes for Plex, not so much for PFSense.

USB Ethernet dongle is an option (I have not had great experiences with them, but JDM’s work fine). Or single NIC with VLAN-capable switch. Might want to check if the onboard NIC is a Realtek that’d flake out under load.

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Need more RAM? I’ve got you covered here:

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So you suggesting making it a trunk interface and having the switch act as a port expander?

He was explaining the edge case for pfsense. Mostly I recommend these things for Plex and/or general compute boxes. Also they make great parsec clients.

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12 in stock as of this post.

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Down to 5 in less than 40 minutes. These are moving fast! Thanks for the share JDM.

Picked one up and a pair of RAM sticks here. Had an HP290 that got returned and they refunded me instead of replacing, so this will take over as my Plex server and the other 290 gets moved to pfSense. Now to figure out how to use pfSense…

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I wouldn’t really recommend a single-port box as a router; it can be done, but isn’t ideal.

However, apparently some configurations of the M720q Tiny include a riser for the PCIe slot, allowing a half-height card in place of the 2.5" drive. (There’s still an m.2 NVMe slot on the underside.) Some configs have a USB-C daughter card that would also need to be removed to make space for the PCIe card. It’s pretty cool to me that they were able to cram so many options into such a small chassis.

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if anyone is interested…

It looks like you might be able to upgrade these to be useable as pfsense boxes. According to the Lenovo support site (https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/desktops-and-all-in-ones/thinkcentre-m-series-desktops/m720q/10t7/parts/display/compatible) there are a couple of 4 port ethernet PCIe cards that can be added to it. You will also need a PCIe riser card to make the ethernet card work.

Compatible Parts:

  • ThinkSystem Intel I350-T4 PCIe 1Gb 4-port RJ45 Ethernet Adapter 00YK613
    (on page 21 for me)

  • Intel Ethernet I350-T4 03T8760 (on page 36 for me)

  • Tiny5 Pcie4 Riser card 01AJ928 (also on page 21 for me, missed it when I first looked through the list)

After a quick search on ebay for those part numbers it looks like there are some available. As @Mthrboard stated below the riser will probably be the hardest part to get at this point since there are only a few available, they are about as expensive as the ethernet adapter itself, and right now they are all coming from Europe so they have pretty high shipping tacked on.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=(03T8760%2C+00YK613%2C+01AJ929)&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=(03T8760%2C+00YK613) (updated to include the PCIe riser)

Yes, it is technically possible to add a NIC to these systems, but you will need a riser card as well as the NIC. And as an added bonus, the port on the motherboard isn’t a standard PCI-E port, so you have to use Lenovo’s proprietary adapter, part number 01AJ902. DHole mentioned it in his build log post here: Lenovo M720Q - This thing is RAD! The riser is hard to find and very expensive.

Thank you for the information. I had just found the PCIe riser card on the parts list and was coming back to update my post.

There are two parts that supposedly work to add standard pci, and im sure there are other non branded ones, trick will be to find one lol. 01AJ928 and 01AJ902,

unless its something totally wonky, its a Mobile PCI Express Module, aka MXM and you would see them in laptops with replaceable gpus e.g. This Quadro Card for a Dell

More in stock:

Just about as close to brand new as it gets. Looks great.

picked up 2 M720q and 2 sticks from alanman…any NVMe recommendations just for plex/docker use? also what flavor of linux is best? TIA

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