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[Used] Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q Tiny PC Core i5 8500T 16G 256GB NVMe $239.20 ($233.22 eBay Plus) Delivered @ UN Tech eBay

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Thought this was a good deal with NVMe SSD so I can have it upgraded with an unused SATA SSD lying around. Trying to replace my Lenovo laptop bought brand new 7+ years ago with this (it is just being used on the desk, switched on 24x7, so don't see any point to have another laptop to replace it).
20/06 received it today well packed with a 90W adaptor. Other than a few minor cosmetic scratches it seems to be in very good condition. Ah and 16GB was 2x8GB so it's not readily expandable if anyone was wondering.

Original Coupon Deal

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Comments

  • +1

    Cheaper and significantly more powerful than an NVIDIA Shield.

    • +1

      but not recent Dell offerings, eg https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/849737 $183.20

      Trying to replace my Lenovo laptop bought brand new 7+ years ago

      Same or older generation?

      • +1

        The dell has less memory and I find these Lenovo's better overall quality too.

      • laptop is having i7-7500U 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 256GB MicroSD. CPU benchmark says i5-8500T is having about 100% better passmark.

        • Unless you're doing something CPU intensive, you might not feel the difference between the two on common daily tasks.

          That's unless you want to transition to a desktop setup with larger monitor, decent keyboard and mouse.

          • @Jiv: I think the i7-7500U, which is a dual core, would easily struggle on most things

        • How much for this laptop?

          • @Lone star: are you asking if I'm to sell? nah its not worth it i'd just keep it as a backup. it's got a bit of screen flicker too time to time, i think its already dying on me..

        • Your laptop performance is largely based on its cooling system as well.

    • -1

      But how much power does it use?

    • +3

      Also consumes more power than the Nvidia Shield.
      Also doesn't have AI Upscaling.
      Also doesn't have native remote control interface unless you install Kodi or Plasma Bigscreen.

      I don't need anything remotely powerful for a TV Media Player, just something that can natively decode HEVC, which the Shield does.
      At $200 prices, I would rather buy an N100 PC than this Lenovo Tiny PC. The N100 is more power efficient and supports AV1 decode.

  • +20

    Thank you, thank you OP! Been waiting for these to come up at a discount price. 16GB of RAM is a winner too!

    Welcome to my new home router and utility virtualisation solution 😀

    1x Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q Tiny
    Link: As Above

    1x HP NC365T Intel i340-T4 4 Port GigE NIC
    Link: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/335396681084

    1x Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q PCIE Riser Card 01AJ940 W/Back Plate
    Link: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/404465539981

    Total, inc shipping: $328.20

    I plan to throw proxmox on it and run Opnsense on it as a router OS.

    This is a build guide for anyone interested (not my work):
    https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/lenovo-m720q-tiny-…

    • +7

      Oh, i was just going to use mine to store pr0n

      • +1

        Well played.
        I guess technically mine will store pr0n too, just the streaming bits store and forward as it is routed to my devices 😂

    • This is very interesting. Keep us posted here with how it goes.

    • Does this have two Ethernet cards ?
      thanks

      • +3

        One port default, have to add a card and bracket for additional.

        • +1

          You can use the m.2 slot for a second internal Ethernet.

    • +1

      Would this work with the backplate?

      https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/394709128639

      Use the onboard 1gbps port for proxmox management, then assign the network card to your opnsense VM and have it use 1x 2.5gb port for WAN and 1x 2.5gb port for LAN

      https://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Guides/NBN-2000-plan…

      You can get 8 port 2.5gbps switches from AliExpress really cheaply, both unmanaged and managed ones.

      • +1

        NBN Hyperfast will be absolutely DOA to me unless and until they offer reasonably priced upgrades to symmetrical speeds for their different tiers.
        Or at least upgrade their upload speeds. But they won’t do that because it’s either “for business use” or “enabling piracy”.

        • +1

          It says 2000mbps/200mbps would be the rate for FTTP. We just received our free upgrade to FTTP last Wednesday and are on the 1000gbps plan which gives a paltry 50mbps upload. 200mbps would be a big improvement.

          TPG is rated at 670mbps/48mbps peak speeds on NBN1000 but on speedtest I get around 350/45 during peak on-net server and like 200/40 to Telstra speedtest, During offpeak I get around 270 to Telstra and the most i've seen it get on-net is 420/49. Not sure why I can't get close to the rated speed, maybe I need to upgrade my router.

          I would downgrade to the 250mbps plan but the upload rate is even lower than the 100mbps plan, such a joke. Superloop has symmetric plans but it's $169/mo for 100mbps, $249/mo for 200mbps, $329 for 400mbps

      • The internal riser card I linked to just provides a standard pci-e interface from the proprietary Lenovo on-board expansion slot. I understand that this is for side slot mounting any card. Arguably, as long as you can fit it or modify the case/rear plate to your needs, I believe you can put anything that is pci-e on that interface.
        You can actually buy this (well, the current generation), spec’s with an Intel 4 port NIC directly from Lenovo - not that you’d drop that money when you can do it this way.

    • +1

      pretty much what i do, m920q with riser and a i340, running pfsense bare metal. very good performance, can get full gigabit (my nbn speed) through wireguard with snort which is somewhat impressive

    • Do you know of any quad 2.5gbe NICs that can be used in the M920q?

    • For just a router pick up a mini pc from aliex, you'll get either n100 or n5105 with four 2.5gb ports for $180-$240 and use less power.
      I was keen on one of these years ago but they seemed to just keep rising in price and now of course there are better options.

    • Will the PSU in these things support a 10G NIC?

    • better
      https://morefine.com/products/morefine-s500-mini-pc-amd-5800…

      if you register your email and add item to your cart apparently you get a $30 coupon in a couple of days

      • $50 coupon!

        so US$199 for a ryzen 5600u with dual LAN

        this is the machine you want as a router/virtualisation platform

    • New set top box for the parents tv too. I was able to fit a tv tuner card in there with the riser card.
      https://www.amazon.com.au/Hauppauge-Wintv-Quadhd-ready-Sat-C…

  • +3

    Suss out their eBay page as most of their listings the discount is applicable as well.

    Edit: I bought two m920q [M920q Core i5 8500T 16G 256GB NVME] ($255.20 each with discount) in April from Un-Tech ebay and they came well packaged with bubble wrap. Will buy from again.

    • Hi @shiprekt, when you bought 2 of m920q, it came with usb wifi dongle or built-in wifi or no?

      Thanks heaps

      • +1

        No wifi dongle / built in - To be fair it was not advertised as having wifi - hence didn't come with it.

        I did get a Dell Optiplex 7060 from another seller (Australian Computer Traders) which was also posted on OzB back in April; this was advertised with WiFi and came with a WiFi antenna fitted (worked perfectly too).

  • Good price…So they have a m.2 nvme and a 2nd 2.5" bay for sata ssd?

    • +5

      Yes, just opened my spare, has a 2.5 cage with connector and an m.2 nvme.

      Manual here: Lenovo m920q PDF Manual

    • +4

      If you intend to use the riser card, then the 2.5 inch SSD bay is not usable due to space conflict

      • Looking at the upgrade guide the 2.5 connector is on a ribbon cable, could you just flap the connector up on top of the card you mount to the riser? Get an ice cream container and cut out a square of the lid for a sturdy piece of plastic to wedge on top of the addon card and double sided tape the SSD to it.

  • Why not get  M710Q with 16GB and 512GB nvme SSD - $136 Delivered from bufferstock? with code EOFY2420

    How worse is that one compared to this deal? (I know little about modern computing)

    • +5

      Minimum Win11 specs are Gen 8 eg 8500T

    • +4

      M710Q is much better value, but the cpu Intel i5 6400T is older (gen 6) vs the i5 8500T in this (gen 8). As flywire points out, this is the min spec for Win 11.

      For those looking to use this as a Plex server, you may want to reconsider (or not, but knowledge is power).

      i5 6400T is Skylake
      i5 8500T is Coffee Lake
      J5005 is Gemini Lake (this is the cpu in the <$100 units that pop up here from time to time).

      If you look at the Hardware decoding and encoding table at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Quick_Sync_Video you will see that Gemini Lake supports everything that Coffee Lake does, but HEVC L5 as well. Skylake doesn't support HEVC 10-bit at all. Not a big deal, but basically means that if you want it for Plex hardware transcoding, then you are spending more for, at best, the same, and at worst, less.

    • +5

      8500T is 8th gen and 6 cores, the 6400T is 6th gen and 4 cores. Quite a large performance difference on top of not being officially supported on win 11.

    • +1

      The CPU difference is measurable, and has been mentioned, but also the M710Q doesn't have PCIe so you can't use the riser on it.

    • In this you can put a PCIe card if you get an adaptor, that makes it more interesting that other similar sized tiny PCs.

  • +1

    Does this unit has WiFi built in or I would need a wifi dongle?

    • The description and the pictures provided say no.

  • +2

    Still trying to pick one of these as a PC for the kids to play around and learn on. Hard to pick a budget level when all it really needs to be is not slow. Play Minecraft and Roblox etc.

    • +1

      These iGPUs are fairly limited for gaming. They will work with minecraft and Roblox at low graphic quality and that's it.

      If gaming is on the agenda, definitely consider splash out a bit more for something like Radeon 780M iGPU for much extended usable life.

      • Thanks, will hold out longer till something pops up.

        • +2

          Primary school aged kids mostly are happy to game on tablets. And then it's quite an effort to graduate to a real PC with keyboard and mouse.

          Tablets are a real hindrance to learn touch typing and understanding what a file/directory structure is.

          Point being, with a computer this cheap its still a valid option to get kids started on PC early. But just have to be aware it can't do much more than Minecraft and Roblox.

    • for gaming check out amd platforms on morefine

      for $50 coupon just add to your cart and they'll email you one in a day

      this one would be suitable for casual gaming
      https://morefine.com/products/morefine-m600-6850h?variant=40…

      delivery took around 1-2 weeks from memory

      these mini PCs have a super fast CPU that will easily see out the decade but the gaming is going to age quickly, you can switch these two around buy going for a low spec gaming pc like

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/852651

  • Does it come with WiFI? I want one with WiFi.

    • +2

      There is a mini-pcie slot that can fit a wifi card and space at the back to add your own external antenna.

  • Is wifi built in

  • +1

    Since some comments asking about wifi - no i do not think it comes with built in wifi, but i'm assuming we can just use one of those 2.4/5GHz usb wifi adaptors that are <$10. There are plenty of usb ports on this! Someone with better IT knowledge pls correct me if i'm wrong, I anyway plan to have this inside my rack with wired ethernet and 3m HDMI cable out to my monitor on the desk next to rack.

    • +1

      There is an M.2 WiFi slot to add a WiFi card.

    • +1

      The small WIFI adaptors will work just fine for general use.

      • +1

        There are Fenvi usb WiFi-6 adapters from Aliexpress selling for $10-$15. Bought one last year for one of these mini PC deals.

    • Buy an Intel AX211 or AX411 internal wifi/bt m.2 card. Yes USB is much convenient but the Intel AX411 is wayyyyyy better than anything else. Get the ones with antenna kit so you can mod the case.

  • +3

    Ive got the HP Prodesk 600 G4 with exactly the same specs, got mine for $120, its awesome, has 2 x NVME slots and can take a 2.5" drive with the caddy. Mine is setup as an emulation machine and slays.

    • Isn't that a bigger form factor though?

      • +2

        Nah its the mini version, about the same size as this.

        • good on ya, was it a public deal or a private deal like fb marketplace?

    • Yeah that's more like it, over $200 for this is secondhand is definitely not a bargain. No idea why this deal got so many upvotes.

      • +5

        This is not like the other tiny PCs, it has a PCIe slot that makes it more interesting for some applications.

    • Found the service manual and motherboard viewer for it, there's 2x NVME m.2 slots as you say so you can use one of them to connect a PCIe Riser and add an addon card but there's no rear slot on the case like lenovo so you'd have to do some DIY to find a way to mount it.

      • The Lenovo m920q only has one NVMe. Ust in case someone confused with the HP Prodesk in discussion

  • Do these have a vpro equivalent like the Dells? I only figured out how to use it on my optiplex the other day and seriously couldn’t buy anything without something similar now… it’s so good to not have to plug and unplug my minipc when doing stuff.

    • +1

      Same here. Looks like you will need the Intel Wireless-AC 9560, 802.11ac Dual Band 2x2 Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0, Intel vPro technology support, M.2 card. Check out the specs on page 5 and 6 https://psref.lenovo.com/syspool/Sys/PDF/ThinkCentre/ThinkCe…

      • Cheers. Good to know. Opens up the options a bit as now I’ve gone down the Proxmox path I’ll need a couple more little ones when the price is right.

        • +1

          The HP EliteDesk 800 G4 Minis's and Dell OptiPlex 7060 Micro's I have all support AMT/vPro with just the integrated nic. No need for the Intel 9560. Not sure why Lenovo only supports vPro via the 9560 as they all have an onboard Intel I-219LM. Pity really otherwise I would have bought one. AMT/vPro is a must for me.
          I personally think the Lenovo m920q is interesting if you are planning on using the riser board for a 4 port nic or similar. Otherwise there are often better/cheaper options out there. But that is just my opinion.

          • @MiKaDo: Yeah I got one of the 7060 Micro's myself. I just updated the CPU to a 8070 and put 32GB of ram into it. AMT/vPro is just incredible. The 4 port NIC does look good, but I am probably a while away from learning how to fully utilise so many ports. I took a gamble and purchased a single NIC to go into the wifi slot on my 7060… 50/50 on if it will work or not, but hoping with that I can play around with OPN/PF sense then look at upgrading down the track if need be. Using NFS to backup to my Synology means I can break ProxMox and restart while im learning. Good fun either way.

          • @MiKaDo: Agree, while interesting most simple use cases can be catered for with a simple GbE switch.

    • Got any info on how to use it you can share?

  • Are the M920q the ones with dual M.2 & PCIe?

    • +1

      PCIe, yes, but single NVME socket underneath.

  • +4

    Must not make Proxmox cluster
    Must not make Proxmox cluster
    Must not make Proxmox cluster
    Must not make Proxmox cluster

    • +1

      Just one more…

    • Remember to get 3 or you will need something else to serve the witness role.

      I assumed Proxmox worked like pretty much every other cluster setup, but in Proxmox land HA (without some creativity anyway) requires 3 nodes.

    • meh… one mini pc ryzen 5800u running 24/7 is enough

      if there is a high availability issue it's my consumer grade superloop

  • +1

    Grabbed one of these last year and it’s been flawless as my d/l machine and plex server

  • Hi,

    I'm looking for a basic home computer for my mum just for her word, excel, web browsing/ internet banking ect..

    Would you guys recommend this deal, or is it a bit overkill compared to some of the past deals for $150-$200??

    Thanks all!

    • +2

      it should run win 11 so that gives it longer life than some cheaper units that have older cpus and can only run win 10.
      Mine didn't have an hmdi port, 2 x dpi normally. You can get them cheaply enough but a bit fiddly.
      It is a good small machine as long as you don't want to upgrade it. You can put a 2.5" drive in easily enough but they are a little limited so just make sure you mum doesn't plan on it holding TB's of data. It is also low power so it can be left running if you want it to do background tasks.
      These are in high demand due to their ability to hold a pcie card (with reasonable amount of fiddling) in a 1 litre form factor so you pay more per cubic cm than others.

    • This deal would be slightly more expensive than other similarly specced machine because of the presence of pcie expansion options. If you find another i5 8500T from other brands for cheaper then go with those

      Potential small price difference aside, this would be great for the intended use case

  • +1

    These will make an amazing router for when NBN releases multi-gig plans

  • OOS

    • still available for me

      • Looks like they added stocks

  • Got one. Thanks OP.

  • I'm looking for a machine that can be a home server. Wireguard, HomeAssistant, Plex, Portainer, PiHole… Would this fit the bill?
    I would really appreciate some advice from the experts on this site! Cost of electricity is more important than lightning performance since the machine will be on 24/7

    • Yes the performance of these boxes are very much overkill for the stated use cases. You can expect idle power consumption of around 10-13watts before peripherals.

      • Thanks for the reply! What would you recommend I look for?

        • When I say overkill i mean it in a good way. This machine is a good choice.

          Alternatively consider https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/851751 which is slightly cheaper but very similar.

          Lenovo ethernet NIC is usually Intel which is marginally preferred over Realtek NIC.

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