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mobilenvidia

Lenovo M700 Tiny PC experiences

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mobilenvidia

Just received a Lenovo M700 Tiny PC, as the name suggests its tiny
It comes with:
Pentium G4400T @ 2.9Ghz 2core/threads (Skylake)
4GB DDR4
120GB Samsung 560 SSD
I've since added a 500GB M2. SSD
Using Display port to HDMI cable to AV amp (VGA out shown in picture not on my model)
Win 10 Pro

I brought it for a Media player as my Satellite receiver/PVR won't play anything beyond H264, and struggles with some formats
The Skylake CPU will decode 4k H265 up to 8 bit colour depth
The PVR also had issues with Music files be it MP3 or FLAC, would stutter no matter what always in same place
I have over Covid19 lock down converted all our DVDs/Blurays and CD's into digital files, filled in long hours of winter days, there were 100's

Anywho the M700 as it is plays the movies I have just dandy, having a CPU just to decode the Video and the AMP decoding the sound, things don't get better visually or sonicaly 
But I do have some 4k H265 files in 10bit colour depth, and this the Skylake can't decode I would need a Kaby Lake CPU or newer for that
So I looked into an upgrade
Lenovo how ever made after the M700 a M710q which supports the Kaby Lake where as the M700 does not even though the Chipset (B150) can
I rummaged around and found some one who had successfully modded the M700 BIOS with Micro Code for the Kaby Lake CPU that comes with the M710q
No instructions, and lots of trial and error, I managed to also insert the Kaby Lake Microcode into the BIOS
Did remove the ES Skylake Microcode from the BIOS to make room, but no big deal
How ever I don't have a Kaby Lake CPU and they are very expensive to the point a decent CPU would cost me more than the M700 in its entirety
So my search goes on for a reasonably priced Kaby Lake

Here is a link to a folder I've made up that should contain everything needed to modify your own BIOS
It comes with the very latest July 2020 BIOS for the M700 in both Original and Modded forms
Files for modding the BIOS even further or grab others to mod another
Do your homework, study up, I visited many sites with how to's and not to's
You can brick your System with greatest of easy if you do it wrong, so you have been warned !!

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mobilenvidia

Lenovo seem to have released another BIOS not very long after last
More 'Security' updates
I've updated the archive and have added this newer BIOS version FWKTB1A
Modded the new BIOS as previous adding Kaby Lake and removing Skylake ES CPU's

BIOS files are kept in 'BIOS" folder, original and modified now in version folders
Copy and past into Windows or DOS folder then run updater

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mobilenvidia

i5-7500T arrived today
Put it in the M700 using previous version of modded BIOS and NO go
Used latest modded BIOS also NO go

Used Haskeer's modded BIOS that he says works but updater has error with BIOS file, don't want to force the update

7500T does get very warm while in the M700
I'll need to do some research on this

BUT my G4400T works fine with both modded BIOS versions

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mobilenvidia

Not having much luck with this, it should work from the outset as the B150M chipset support both Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs
The VBIOS is a version that also supports both CPUs

Don't have another motherboard to test the 7500T in either

Thinking is back on

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mobilenvidia

Have made some progress but the i5-7500T still refuses to work.

I have managed to find a BIOS file from the Lenovo Thinkstation P310 that will flash to the M700
It has some later OPROM/BIOS drivers than the M700
I also made a modded BIOS with the Kaby Lake Microcode but same old nothing happens other than CPU gets really hot

Below screen shot are from M700 on the left and the P310 flashed to the M700 on the right
Note the GOP driver also includes support for Coffee Lake CPU's, there have been BIOS mods that allow Coffee Lake CPU's to work on Skylake/Kaby Lake Motherboards (100/200 Chipsets)
I could update the Intel NIC and Realtek Audio drivers too, but not getting the 7500T to work is doing my head in

m700_bios.JPGP310_bios.JPG

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Slipx

About to pick up one of these boxes. Following your progress.

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mobilenvidia
8 hours ago, Slipx said:

About to pick up one of these boxes. Following your progress.

I have a feeling that to get Kaby Lake support there going to have to be Hardware flashing of the Firmware/BIOS chip
Just checking out a Chinese Modding site

Even without Kaby Lake support the M700 tiny is a great little Machine, my G4400T CPU not decoding 10bit HEVC is a bummer but it can do it via Software and high CPU use
I could live it

I'll keep looking about

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Slipx

Can it handle software decode without stuttering?

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mobilenvidia
5 hours ago, Slipx said:

Can it handle software decode without stuttering?

Seems to by its self, I use remotePC to log into the unit, but doing it this way it does stutter, but is trying to display on both TV and via LAN on my laptop
Running all by its lonesome no other influences the CPU runs at about 30% SW decoding 10bit x265 4k movies
I don't have a 4k TV so 4k movies are getting down sampled, not sure if the SW decoder is doing it or AMP (4k passthrough) or TV (1080p)

I'm using MPC HC via K-Lite Codec Pack and use Foobar2000 for audio, this combo seems to give me best audio visual performance

But get your self a Kaby Lake CPU if you are worried
But remember you need DP out as HDMI only does 4k24, and with DP you still need an active adaptor to get to HDMI 2.0 (DP does do 4k60 but not many TV's have DP in)

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mobilenvidia

Hmmm, I"ve not got many (well just one) 4k60 movie in 10bit HEVC with full surround sound (True Dolby HD) I could test
Not good news, the G4400T is maxed out and running 90+% and skipping frames merrily
4k60 is out, a 4 core CPU might fare better but that high frame rate needs HW decoding

1080p h265 10bit - 8 channel AAC sound running at 30% CPU, no stutter

Conclusion
1080p 10bit with pretty well any audio encoding the Skylake can pretty well software decode
4k60 software decoding not a chance

But other than that one movie everything I currently have is watchable but not anything for the future

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Slipx

Thanks for the feedback. Getting my box this week to test. It might not do HW decoding but it's still an upgrade on my current HTTPC.  Next best option is to get an ODROID-N2

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mobilenvidia

I've ordered an EPROM programmer to have a play with, US$12.40 delivered won't break the bank
https://www.ebay.com/itm/264715247642
Hopefully I can attach to the soldered on EPROM and at least get a backup, before I maybe attempt to flash it
Not too interested in 8/9th Gen support and its issues of making that work, would be happy with Kaby Lake

My other option is find a cheap M710/910 tiny with no CPU and/or RAM, as I can transplant those parts

If you want the newer OROM/Driver versions in your BIOS the Lenovo P310 BIOS will flash to the M700
Don't need any mods (only support 6th Gen)
Quite strange as the P310 runs on a C236 chipset which is supposedly like the Q170

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