Convert a Dell optiplex 3050 usff into an OpenWrt router

Just discovered on a site for the sale of used equipment. Someone added an additionnal nic to the location of the VGA connector.
So he bought this :

and connected it to the mini pcie connector inside.
Btw you can find a 2.5Gbps Nic for cheaper here :

and this is the result :

So if you have an old optiplex 3050, maybe you can give it a new life :grinning:

1 Like

Very cool. I've seen another mod where someone created their own m.2 to PCI and added a 4 port card into their usff machine!

I'd like to do this mod but not sure I'd have the confidence to create my own port!

You can do the same with a Lenovo M720q - Lenovo M720Q Tiny Build Documentation and Guide, without any DIY mods.

Or get a Cyberoam CR/15/25/35/(W)ING, for $25 and up, unless you need the excessive CPU power.

While you might get lucky, you're betting on the mainboard power delivery and cooling system to cope with a that additional load. 1 (additional-) port, yes - 2, maybe (probably), 4 has seen other boards (futro) crumble and crash - even more so if you go beyond 1000BASE-T, don't get too greedy (unless you're willing to risk defeat and hardware damage).

Don't get me wrong, it might work out well - but doesn't need to, so be aware of the risks and how far you can go without doing Russian Roulette.

3 posts were split to a new topic: OpenWrt installation on Dell optiplex 3050 usff

would this work ? connected to the M.2 port :

Product Features

  • Marvell AQtion Ethernet Controller
  • Support 10G/5G/2.5G/1000M/100M/10M LAN speed
  • Lowest power and smallest 10GbE expansion solution
  • Support x2/x1 PCI Express with Gen3/Gen2
  • Tiny daughter board with high speed shielding cable
  • Complies with EN61000-4-2 (ESD) Air-15kV, Contact-8kV
  • Operation temperature 0°C to +55°C support
  • 30μ” golden finger, 3-year warranty
  • Industrial design, manufactured in Innodisk Taiwan

it's not a M.2A but M.2 i guess it will be necessary to remove the nvme and use a sata disk.

This is great timing! I have been scouring and looking around to build my own x86 machine, and only realised after seeing this post I have a Dell 3060 Micro with an i5-8400t (upgraded myself from a i3-8100t, since I was using it for tinkering with VMs).

Don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a few questions:

Would doing this "mod" be enough for an asymetric gigabit connection (1000 down, 100 up)?
My plan/usage is to connect it to a PoE managed switch and get 2 ubiquiti AP (U6 pro and FlexHD).

Appreciate any insight and help.

of course ! the i5-8400t can handle way more !

In my (synthetic) testing, an ivy-bridge c1037u (which is significantly older/ slower than an i5-8500T) could handle 1 GBit/s wirespeed with sqm/cake easily.

Awesome, I will report back in about 15ish days once the NIC from aliexpress is here.
Hopefully, it's all smooth sailing!