FYI Those cheap Chinese i350-T4/AM4 nics on ebay work!



  • Hey all,

    Just wanted to let you all know that I decided to be a guinea pig and bought one of those 4 port i350 nics from Chinese seller. This morning I had a chance to put it in my pfsense box running Pre-2.1.1 and it worked like a charm. Seems to be faster than the dual PT I had in there also.

    I managed to get it for $99 shipped (significantly cheaper than the other options).

    Just fyi



  • thats good to hear, what sort of throughput & CPU utilisation did you see - same as official Intel T4 board?



  • Mine came with an corrupted eeprom….

    Currently trying to fix it ... or RMA back to china.



  • I have seen 4gb/s over it.

    As for CPU load, it is very low.

    I have not tested vs a true t4



  • Are there any PFSense configuration options (stable) that can be configured to take advantage of i350 NIC advanced features?



  • Not 100% sure but all the advanced options work except "disable hardware large receive offload".

    I only tested it with an i210 single port NIC but it should be pretty much the same as one single i350.

    See screenshot.

    enabling the Hardware large receive offloading brings your network/internet speed down to a crawl.




  • @xPliZit_xs:

    Not 100% sure but all the advanced options work except "disable hardware large receive offload".

    I only tested it with an i210 single port NIC but it should be pretty much the same as one single i350.

    See screenshot.

    enabling the Hardware large receive offloading brings your network/internet speed down to a crawl.

    Worked fine for me…



  • @G.D.:

    Are there any PFSense configuration options (stable) that can be configured to take advantage of i350 NIC advanced features?

    I've wondered this also, but kept forgetting to ask. Flexible Port Partitioning(SR-IOV) comes to mind.



  • I confirm that something funky is happening when unchecking the “Disable hardware large receive offload” option with 2.1.3-release (AMD64) and eBay sourced i350-T4.

    With that checkbox off (and pfSense restarted) the iperf, measuring WAN-LAN traversal speed, hangs and never completes the test (or I do not wait long enough for it to complete).



  • It's been a while since the last person responded to this subject - so I'll ask another question: are these adapters compatible with std. Intel Windows drivers? What firmware is it loaded with?



  • Hey, Keljian.  I've been thinking about getting an energy efficient 4port network card and am wondering how well that I350-T4 Chinese knockoff has been holding up for you and if you've had any issues with since you've had it and how well it works with Pfsense 2.2.4 with the new 10.+ kernel.



  • Now that several people have used various knockoff/clones for awhile, apparently they don't always last quite as long as the properly built ones…

    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/comparison-intel-i350-t4-genuine-vs-fake.6917/

    Cheaper caps/filters/etc will always rear their ugly little heads somewhere :(

    Going for the server pulls from a known in-country liquidator is the better cheapskate option IMO, just beware that there can be some differences; e.g. SR-IOV is disabled on dell models.
    If you're spending someone else's budget aka buying for work, get it new.



  • @corvey:

    Hey, Keljian.  I've been thinking about getting an energy efficient 4port network card and am wondering how well that I350-T4 Chinese knockoff has been holding up for you and if you've had any issues with since you've had it and how well it works with Pfsense 2.2.4 with the new 10.+ kernel.

    Worked fine until replaced yesterday with a 10gbit card. No issue whatsoever, I migrated to using pfsense in a VM, so it was on esxi, worked fine.

    FYI I converted to the Mellanox connectx-2, you can get them cheap these days and they only use 7w peak.



  • @Keljian

    FYI I converted to the Mellanox connectx-2, you can get them cheap these days and they only use 7w peak.

    Did you got them working in 10 GB, 20 GB, or over a Switch in 40 GBit/s mode?
    There are different models on the market with single port or dual port which ones you got?



  • Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    IMO these would be the perfect piece of hardware to stick backdoors in, as they will likely end up in western firewalls or servers.

    But hey, they are your packets.



  • @bytecode:

    Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    IMO these would be the perfect piece of hardware to stick backdoors in, as they will likely end up in western firewalls or servers.

    But hey, they are your packets.

    Paranoid.



  • Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    For cheap home based firewalls it might for some persons a good deal, but for me personally I would
    be also afraid of these chinese products related to back-doors too. And in professional firewalls homed
    and used in companies it would be a no go in my eyes.



  • @BlueKobold:

    Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    For cheap home based firewalls it might for some persons a good deal, but for me personally I would
    be also afraid of these chinese products related to back-doors too. And in professional firewalls homed
    and used in companies it would be a no go in my eyes.

    LOL, so you guys think that FBI back-doors are Okay, Chinese back-doors are not Okay?



  • I need some opinions on which to buy.  Here are my options:

    i350-T4  cheap chinese knockoff  for $60

    or

    i340-T4 USED and from what I can tell from the embossed delta chips a real intel card for  $45. And, I guess specifically, are there any issues with this  card on PFsense?

    Which do you guys think would be a better choice?  I'm wanting to order ASAP, just thought I could see if I could get come quick opinions.



  • @BlueKobold:

    @Keljian

    FYI I converted to the Mellanox connectx-2, you can get them cheap these days and they only use 7w peak.

    Did you got them working in 10 GB, 20 GB, or over a Switch in 40 GBit/s mode?
    There are different models on the market with single port or dual port which ones you got?

    Single port 10Gbe - Connectx-2

    Can get them for about $18-25USD plus shipping on ebay. I bought two, and it turned out one was dead - the seller refunded the cost of one of the cards. I have a Chelsio T420 dual port ($80 USD + shipping) on its way to replace the dead one.

    I run it connected to a mikrotik crs226 ( http://routerboard.com/CRS226-24G-2SplusIN )



  • Single port 10Gbe - Connectx-2

    Ahh, ok thanks for that.



  • @corvey:

    I need some opinions on which to buy.  Here are my options:

    i350-T4  cheap chinese knockoff  for $60

    or

    i340-T4 USED and from what I can tell from the embossed delta chips a real intel card for  $45. And, I guess specifically, are there any issues with this  card on PFsense?

    Which do you guys think would be a better choice?  I'm wanting to order ASAP, just thought I could see if I could get come quick opinions.

    FWIW I bought one of the cheap ones on fleabay from alex_xu10 recently. Interestingly, the card I received has 'Intel' screenprinted in the same location as the 'proper' expensive DELL/HP/etc cards. Also, the card I got had 'Delta' embossed on the two main chips which is the same as the expensive cards (as opposed to 'MR-MACOM' on other versions. The picture of the cards in the auction, in contrast, don't show the Intel screenprinting, and have MR-MACOM on the two main chips.

    It seems to be running great and appears fully functional, not that I have the skill/knowledge to examine or test its functionality forensically. As I've written in another thread (https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98013.0), either the knock-offs are getting better, or someone is sourcing the genuine article out of the chinese manufacturing supply chain before the middle-men can add their markups.

    Link here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126?hash=item3a98c7210e

    By all means if cash/paranoia are not issues for you, get a top-price, new, branded i4-350 even though it's probably coming from the same factory and assembly line as at least some of the cheap cards. Or grab a second-hand server pull if cash/paranoia are concerns!



  • @sos:

    @corvey:

    I need some opinions on which to buy.  Here are my options:

    i350-T4  cheap chinese knockoff  for $60

    or

    i340-T4 USED and from what I can tell from the embossed delta chips a real intel card for  $45. And, I guess specifically, are there any issues with this  card on PFsense?

    Which do you guys think would be a better choice?  I'm wanting to order ASAP, just thought I could see if I could get come quick opinions.

    FWIW I bought one of the cheap ones on fleabay from alex_xu10 recently. Interestingly, the card I received has 'Intel' screenprinted in the same location as the 'proper' expensive DELL/HP/etc cards. Also, the card I got had 'Delta' embossed on the two main chips which is the same as the expensive cards (as opposed to 'MR-MACOM' on other versions. The picture of the cards in the auction, in contrast, don't show the Intel screenprinting, and have MR-MACOM on the two main chips.

    It seems to be running great and appears fully functional, not that I have the skill/knowledge to examine or test its functionality forensically. As I've written in another thread (https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=98013.0), either the knock-offs are getting better, or someone is sourcing the genuine article out of the chinese manufacturing supply chain before the middle-men can add their markups.

    Link here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126?hash=item3a98c7210e

    By all means if cash/paranoia are not issues for you, get a top-price, new, branded i4-350 even though it's probably coming from the same factory and assembly line as at least some of the cheap cards. Or grab a second-hand server pull if cash/paranoia are concerns!

    Does your card layout look like that in the pic?  The PCB layout design looks like a I340-T4 instead of a i350-T4.  Are the Delta chips painted on or embossed where you can feel it with your finger.

    Example of what I'm talking about.  This guy says he is selling i350-T4, yet he even shows the pic on the backside to be i340-t4:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-/271791246548?hash=item3f48054cd4



  • The DELTA marking on the controllers is not palpable i.e appears to be embossed rather than painted.

    For simplicities sake I've attached a picture of my card in situ.

    All good info! :)






  • I just ordered the i350-T4 knockoff. Wish me luck that I get a good one that works.  :D

    Looks like it'll be a couple of weeks delivery time, though.  I'll be sure to keep you all updated with my feedback when that day comes…



  • I don't need bleeding edge, but I care about quality. If I can't find reviews on it, I don't buy it. I haven't had a hardware failure in 20 years, and I've gone through quite a few computers. I don't plan to start buying cheap stuff any time soon.

    Anyone want my lucky rabbit's foot? I seem to be working.



  • I don't need bleeding edge, but I care about quality.

    Who is not thinking so!? Spare or computer parts based on a good quality might be the
    only thing that lets you sleep well with 40% - 60% of all hassle the others are working on.

    If I can't find reviews on it, I don't buy it.

    Often the best, but sometimes and only for private usage it will be really good to test out some stuff
    or experiment with those hardware. If you get these NICs and after 5 years you got not one failure
    and all other things links the driver stability and support are also really nice and liquid, for a home
    usage it will then more then a benefit. But if I see the prices we are talking here about (~$60) I can
    also really get my hands on an original Intel Quad Port Server adapter used or refurbished, but original!

    I haven't had a hardware failure in 20 years, and I've gone through quite a few computers.

    And this is the profit you got from this point of view, but not the only one because all the time that you was
    not pressed to search for failures others get as beside effects or bypass options are the real benefit.

    I don't plan to start buying cheap stuff any time soon.

    Surely not for the business usage at all.



  • Update.  My i350-T4 knockoff card just arrived within 7 days from China.  Unbelievable speed considering the distance across the globe.  So fast in fact, I wasn't even able to order the CPU yet for the new PFsense build, heck wasn't expecting the NIC til November! Wow!  I have a new ITX 1155 MB and 8GB of ram waiting on a CPU, though.

    It's funny, after I read about security in China online and from Bytecoder in this thread about hardware backdoors, I got paranoid too and was able to snag  a real authentic i340-T4 on fleabay yesterday for $35 bucks.    Sigh, not sure if I trust the Chinese knockoff  now or not.  I guess I need to test thoroughly somehow with more than just a  packet sniffer.

    Unfortunately, I'm still a week or two away from testing the new PF rig.

    ![7daydelivery- i350-t4.jpg](/public/imported_attachments/1/7daydelivery- i350-t4.jpg)
    ![7daydelivery- i350-t4.jpg_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/7daydelivery- i350-t4.jpg_thumb)



  • For crying out loud, there is so much FUD out there.

    Prove to me that these Chinese branded nics are sending stuff to their motherland

    By that rationale 60% or more of the computer hardware out there would be.



  • @bytecode:

    Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    IMO these would be the perfect piece of hardware to stick backdoors in, as they will likely end up in western firewalls or servers.

    But hey, they are your packets.

    Everything is made in China, what makes you or anyone else think a top quality card would be any different?.  It is just hardware, we block at a software level with PFSense..



  • @deanot:

    @bytecode:

    Call me paranoid, but a cheap clone 4 port NIC from china is the last thing i'd be putting into a firewall.

    IMO these would be the perfect piece of hardware to stick backdoors in, as they will likely end up in western firewalls or servers.

    But hey, they are your packets.

    Everything is made in China, what makes you or anyone else think a top quality card would be any different?.  It is just hardware, we block at a software level with PFSense..

    No doubt it is the same Chinaman on the same assembly line making these.  The one issue that might be overlooked is these cards, like so many other "clones" are products that might have failed some portion of QA testing. The defect might not even affect performance for most real world applications.  To me it is worth taking the chance if a substantial savings can be had.



  • http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126

    I assume this is a "fake" or a chinese version of the I-350? If so, could anyone recommend a real one, but with a reasonable price?



  • but with a reasonable price?

    You pay cheap nor right and get mostly what linked here.
    You pay less as the real price for perhaps for refurbished ware and get a real but budget like one.
    You pay the real price and will be mostly on the save side to get a real and original NIC thats 1st class.



  • @zsi:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126

    I assume this is a "fake" or a chinese version of the I-350? If so, could anyone recommend a real one, but with a reasonable price?

    The one in that link is not a i350-T4, but a i340-T4 knockoff.  This is the guy I purchased the i350-t4 knockoff from:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251590258135?hash=item3a93f2add7:g:03UAAOSwQJhUdvyS

    I've been stressing testing it and so far it's working fine.



  • @corvey:

    @zsi:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126

    I assume this is a "fake" or a chinese version of the I-350? If so, could anyone recommend a real one, but with a reasonable price?

    The one in that link is not a i350-T4, but a i340-T4 knockoff.  This is the guy I purchased the i350-t4 knockoff from:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251590258135?hash=item3a93f2add7:g:03UAAOSwQJhUdvyS

    I've been stressing testing it and so far it's working fine.

    Any difference between a "real" I350-T4 and a "knockoff"? I would prefer a real, genuine one though.



  • @zsi:

    @corvey:

    @zsi:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126

    I assume this is a "fake" or a chinese version of the I-350? If so, could anyone recommend a real one, but with a reasonable price?

    The one in that link is not a i350-T4, but a i340-T4 knockoff.  This is the guy I purchased the i350-t4 knockoff from:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251590258135?hash=item3a93f2add7:g:03UAAOSwQJhUdvyS

    I've been stressing testing it and so far it's working fine.

    Any difference between a "real" I350-T4 and a "knockoff"? I would prefer a real, genuine one though.

    Read the first page of this thread and you'll find the link containing pictures showing differences between real and fake.    If you want genuine Intel, go here to pay genuine price:

    https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Intel-Ethernet-Server-Adapter-I350-T4-network-adapter/3522854.aspx



  • You don't have to pay $400 to cdw for real intel i350s, that is about the last place I'd look for parts.

    Pfsense store has supermicro OEM i350t4 for $200, you can find legitimate server pull variants in the low $100s if you are a sensible shopper on fleabay. (hint: too cheap is first sign to move on)
    Random note: SR-IOV is disabled on dell versions because reasons.



  • @zsi:

    @corvey:

    @zsi:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251671290126

    I assume this is a "fake" or a chinese version of the I-350? If so, could anyone recommend a real one, but with a reasonable price?

    The one in that link is not a i350-T4, but a i340-T4 knockoff.  This is the guy I purchased the i350-t4 knockoff from:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Intel-I350-T4-PCI-Express-PCI-E-Four-RJ45-Gigabit-Ports-Server-Adapter-NIC-/251590258135?hash=item3a93f2add7:g:03UAAOSwQJhUdvyS

    I've been stressing testing it and so far it's working fine.

    Any difference between a "real" I350-T4 and a "knockoff"? I would prefer a real, genuine one though.

    FWIW, the card I bought from ebay for $54 looks exactly like this $220 one linked to here, down to the individual chips, capcitors, transistors, heatsink, labels on the chips and embossing. If mine's not the real deal, albeit sourced via a different channel, then neither is the $220 part:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=86065.msg471899#msg471899



  • I've been testing my i350-t4 knockoff for the past couple of weeks in my main rig without any issues. The rest of my new server rig's parts arrived here on Saturday which was the 1265LV2 Xeon CPU I've been trying to get for awhile on fleabay - that's a tough cookie to find! I stress tested the components together all day Sunday and it seems 100% stable so far.  Monday,  I updated the NIC's rom and learned how to use ESXI.  It's been quite the adventure today!

    I'm proud to say, I have ESXI running PFsense on directpath I/O with the quad nic . And, it also has Windows 7 and Fedora 23 installed!  It's all still routed through the old Firebox for testing until I feel it's safe to retire, but so far so good!!!  Hopefully it is solid like the old 2.1.5 Firebox!  I will keep you all  updated on its stability using Pfsense 2.2.5.