I recently brought a Lenovo M920Q Tiny Desktop (1Litre PC) to use as a Proxmox VE host to replace the Chromebox 3. I got it used from eBay with 8GB of ram and 8600T i5 processor, for £150 in good condition. All parts for this project I brought used/new from eBay.
I first need to upgrade the ram to 16GB or more to match what the Chromebox had also since I’m looking to host more services at home in the future (pending FTTP rollout) I thought I may as well put a little bit of money into the Lenovo and fully upgrade the device. Ideally you should populate all memory channels, so I purchase two used 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz memory modules thinking I may as well get the faster speed sticks but it turned out the device will only run at 2666Mhz, I should of double checked the speeds it could take before hand, and I could have saved a few pennies. I don’t currently need 64GB of memory but allows me to run more VMs in the future and ZFS has more memory as well to play with. After installing the memory I used Memtest86+ to verify the memory has no errors, I allowed it to carry out 3 passes and no errors were detected.
The next thing I purchased was a Crucial P5 Plus 2TB NVMe disk used from eBay with single digit power on hours. This is working nicely and I’m having no problems with it, but I have read online few people have had issues with them and StorageReview test’s didn’t go so well on this drive either. If I do start to get problems I will soon replace the disk with a Samsung or look at some used DC grade NVMe drives. I do wish I did some more reason before buying it but the price was good for the amount of storage, plus my workload may never see the issues happen, since I may not be hitting the drive hard enough.
Finally I upgraded the processor from the original 8600T to a 9900T, which was simple process. The 9900T takes it from 6c/6t to 8c/16t. Trying to get the processor was a little tricky since the processor is OEM only, I had to buy it from Chinese eBay seller. The CPU arrives in a envelope and wrapped in an antistatic bag, far as I can tell it’s new as described. Installation process of the CPU is simple, as there’s a normal LGA1151 socket underneath the CPU cooler. So I removed the old CPU and place in the new one, and then put the Lenovo back together, booted the device and it’s working great, no weird errors and the BIOS reports the 9900T correctly as well. Upgrades complete!
Here’s a few photos from CPU installation below, so you can see with your own eyes. I just need the sell the unused 8600T now. 😅