Dell T7910 Motherboard & Extra Parts

Just got my hands on (2) T7910s.  Robbed one for Ram and processor.  Running 2 Xeon 4 Core 3.5ghz. Total of 8 cores.  128GB of ram.

Questions? I’d love to install an M2 / NVME drive in it. Any suggestions on best procedure? What is the bare extra motherboard worth?  Also have an extra Nvidia Quadra card.  What’s it worth? 

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  • I don't know if the 7910 motherboard has NVMe slots but if it doesn't a NVMe PCIe card is like $15-$20 on Ebay. Another question is can you boot off of the NVMe and that I don't know but they work fine as data disks. I've installed them in T7600 and T7610 with no problem.

  • NVMe drive can be used but you need to have a 2nd CPU, which you now have. The TOP PCIe slot is the one you need use, but you need to purchase an economical card to hold your M.2 drive. Now understand this, the system is very finicky and not just any M.2 drives will work. Take a look at the article in GreenPC that specifies what PCIe card and M.2 drives work, it is good information.

    I would advise holding onto the spare parts you have in your possession, finding or even paying for, those parts if you need them later, will break the bank, if you can even find them then. I have 2 ea. T7910's, and 1 is being converted to a game rig (maybe) or i may sell both of them to fund a dedicated game rig and extra cash in my pocket. They are bringing about $2500 each in the configuration they are in. 

    Good luck on your quest. Measure 2x, cut 1x, same goes here, DO YOUR RESEARCH before you spend your money.

  • Haven't tried it yet but my research has told me on the 58/78 series dells that nvme boot is possible and it has pcie bifurcation which would let you put 4 nvme cards to one pcie 3.0 x16 slot via an adapter card. The old cards they recommend were very expensive because they did the lane switching for motherboards without bifurcation. So if a 7810 could do it I can't imagine that a 7910 can't. I do believe for it to boot it HAS to be a uefi os install with the drive set to ahci. If you leave it at the default raid it will not work. Don't know what the motherboard is worth. Those are too new for me to research ( too expensive yet) and the quadro card need to know which one it is. Could be 15 bucks could be 4 grand.

  • From that thread it seems people were having trouble. I'll try and locate the info on using ahci and an efi os install. I often disregard problems people have trying to use cloning software to set up a new boot drive. A clean. Install is the only way to go imo. 

  • I have a T7910 with a 1Tb samsung 970 evo plus (apparently the evo pro is not worth it for my application).  There is no M.2 socket of either NVME or SATA flavor on the T7910 mobo.  You can by a 14 dollar PCI-E nvme adapter, or the dell ultraspeed quad adapter (for about 100-150 bucks).   For a single nvme ssd, there's not much difference I'm told.    I removed all other ssds and hdds, installed the adapter with the nvme ssd, and booted with a usb install disk.  Install went fine.  Then I updated the BIOS (not very hard).  Then I installed Dell Command Update (only in Windows) and installed all the latest drivers as per Dell instructions.  I then updated my graphics card driver.  Then I installed additional SSDs.   Works great.   The difference between the ultraspeed and the PCI-E adapter (which will be an x4 adapter, btw) is that you could use 4 nvme drives in the ultraspeed adapter.

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  • Dell also made a duo NVME drive. D/PN:  NTRCY, 023PX6, 23PX6 I picked one up on eBay for about $40. It is a PCIe 3.0x8 to handle two nvme drives.  Keep your eye out and don't pay more than that.  No real advantage other than the fan and shroud on the Duo PCIe card might keep the drive a little cooler.

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    • Smithy I saw those on eBay as well, they were ~$80 USED, and, not knowing where i may end up going in the future, I wanted to have >2 slots. The 4-slot card installed without issue, I had used the Windows 10 Pro feature (actually i think it went back to W7) that allows OS restore and transferred the OS to the M.2 in slot 1 of the PCIe card. ZERO ISSUES at all. I now have the ability to use my slow SATA drives for data storage only, and the blazing fast M.2 capabilities for other cool stuff.

      So my cost was $30 more than the 2-slot card, and more than what you were able to find in your quest for the Dell 2-slot card, timing is everything I suppose. In the end, we know the 2/4-slot Dell cards are still available, new even, and we have verified the 970 M.2 is highly compatible with the 7910 systems.

      Now on to my stack of R410 - R810 servers.... the quest goes on!

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