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Warning on the GMKTec M5 Pro for ESXi

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(@gabrievanzanten)
Posts: 4
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Hi, Just wanted to give a warning on the GMKTec M5 Pro. Recently I read a review by Brandon on the GMKTec M5 and that it was suitable for ESXi because of the intel Nic. When ordering these I double checked the specs but the nics weren't very detailed in the specs, just 2x 2.5G LAN. But because of the review I thought let's do it and ordered 2 systems.

There was a warning before ordering that production was halted for the M5 and the M5.Pro would be released March 7th. So I ordered, and march 9th I got confirmation that the system was ready and be sent out. Today I received them and when installing ESXi I got the message "No network adapters". In the BIOS it shows RealTek as a network boot device. That really sucks.

So just as a warning, if you want these for ESXi, that's not going to work anymore.

 
Posted : 19/03/2024 11:38 am
Brandon Lee reacted
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 543
Member Admin
 

@gabrievanzanten Welcome to the forums! Thank you so much for calling this out. I am hoping you ordered from somewhere you can return easily, like Amazon :-/ Unfortunately, GMKtek sent over the M5 for a review and did not mention they sent over the older model, which has the Intel NIC installed. I only found out later due to another comment that there was a newer model with the same designation released. It is a bummer they decided to go with Realtek NICs on the newer revision, even though they improved on the storage capabilities of the M5 Pro.

 
Posted : 19/03/2024 12:10 pm
(@gabrievanzanten)
Posts: 4
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@brandon-lee Thanks for the welcome. Yeah I didn't expect that either, their website currently says:

Please Note: the model remains M5, not M5 Pro, pls disregard the name in the marketing material on this product page. But this is the upgraded version of the previous NucBox M5 with dual M.2 2280 slots, and dual fans for a better cooling experience. (Updated 2024-01-26)

 

Nothing about the change of networkadapters. That's why I took the gamble.

 
Posted : 19/03/2024 3:42 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 543
Member Admin
 

@gabrievanzanten Yeah that stinks. I think this update would have been better suited to be marketed as a different model altogether instead of the confusion with the old vs. new model of the M5. Are you planning on sending them back? Hopefully you have a good return policy if that is the route you go. Thanks @gabrievanzanten!

 
Posted : 19/03/2024 4:15 pm
(@gabrievanzanten)
Posts: 4
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@brandon-lee Waiting for their response and see what we can do. Previous communication with them was quick and good.

 
Posted : 19/03/2024 5:24 pm
(@t3hbeowulf)
Posts: 27
Eminent Member
 

I recall a while back, Western Digital / Sandisk were caught doing this with SSDs. Review units would go out with DRAM cache and then they'd revise the product on launch to use SLC cache without changing the model numbers. It certainly has the appearance of shadiness, despite often claiming it was a marketing error. The practice puts reviewers in a really bad spot though. 

 
Posted : 20/03/2024 10:38 am
 jcd
(@jcd)
Posts: 1
New Member
 

@gabrievanzanten 

 

I had the same experience. Haven't ordered yet but I saw the youtube video with the m5 with intel nics.

 

My experience is that if its not specified its intel nics its realtek because intel is more expensive. I have one fanless mini pc running today with 4 intel nics.  I had a breakdown and want one more with a fan because I have some quite important system. My pfsense firewall is not virtualized and will never be.

It's almost impossible to find a mini pc for vmware because all with a lot of intel nics are fanless and a slow cpu (built for firewall like Pfsense etc. They don't like realtek either) or with cooling fan and better cpu its not intel nics. 

I guess its because the demand are almost only for vmware. Now I am thinking about migrate to Proxmox but I know vmware and doesn't want to spend time of this because for me the host is only a basic infrastructure I don't want to spend a lot of time on. 

Sorry. English is not my first language.

 

Cheers

Jens DK

 

 

 
Posted : 05/04/2024 10:17 am
(@gabrievanzanten)
Posts: 4
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Posted by: @jcd

@gabrievanzanten 

It's almost impossible to find a mini pc for vmware because all with a lot of intel nics are fanless and a slow cpu (built for firewall like Pfsense etc. They don't like realtek either) or with cooling fan and better cpu its not intel nics. 

I guess its because the demand are almost only for vmware. Now I am thinking about migrate to Proxmox but I know vmware and doesn't want to spend time of this because for me the host is only a basic infrastructure I don't want to spend a lot of time on. 

Sorry. English is not my first language.

 

Cheers

Jens DK

 

 

They said they would exchange my M5 for the K7 which has Intel I225 nics.

 

 
Posted : 05/04/2024 11:06 am
(@chrisloughnane)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

After watching Brandon's review I thought I had found exactly what I was looking fro and almost clicked buy but I was confused as to why Brandon said there was only 1x NVMe Slot and their page stated there was two. After some searching and readying the YouTube review commaned I found this forum and I'm glad I checked here.

Thanks for your forum post. I'm quite disappointed though, I'm back to searching for a solution and I doubt I'll find anything at the current price point of €350 for the 32GB 1TB. On sale.

 

 
Posted : 05/04/2024 3:41 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 543
Member Admin
 

@chrisloughnane Welcome to the forums! Glad to have you here! Definitely, apologies on the mix up with the models. Unfortunately, it puts creators in a bad spot when manufacturers send samples without letting us know. I am going to be more thorough in quizing the manufacturers on future samples sent my way. Will definitely be on the lookout in this price range as well.

 
Posted : 05/04/2024 9:26 pm
(@chrisloughnane)
Posts: 2
New Member
 

Thanks @brandon-lee , I unfortunately/fortunately suffer from OCD when it comes to tech and continued my reading. I found there are solutions to get Proxmox running on this kit and as my network bandwidth demands are quite low I pulled the trigger. The price point was just too good to ignore!

There also seems to be a few guides on how to get up ESXi 6.7 and 7.0 (old I know, but for home...)

I'll let you know how it goes 😉 

 
Posted : 06/04/2024 8:48 am