Is this a counterfiet NIC?

Hello Guys,

Recently, i bought a pair of Chelsio T6225-CR NIC. Can someone experienced member verify whether the card is a Chelsio retail unit or is a counterfeit one?

As per my research, the NIC does not seems to be a retail unit and is a Dell OEM NIC. However, when looking up at the part number on internet, i didn’t find much as this particular part number does not exists.


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I have a similar card, without the KC label in Korean, and on a possibly darker, duller, green PCB.

What is giving you concern? Performance issues, or just the inability to find the “part number”?
And what do you consider the “part number”? Because my card bears a Chelsio part number on the top left sticker, which you have partially redacted out. From what I see, yours could be a T6225-LL-CR (mine is a regular T6225-CR).


Yeah, when I install it, the Windows starts lagging. I installed it in X16 top slot and the Graphics was IGPU.

Yes, I was unable to find that particular Dell part number.

Also, the PINS which goes into the slot, the PCB (green side) was dirty and it seemed like the card was cleaned using some ultrasonic solution. The rest of the PINS shine (although signs of usage), just the above has dull and has dust accumulated due to the usage.

From the System Devices, it shows T6225-CR.

However, from the link you provided above, the part number seems to be of T6225-LL-CR which is more good. But I’m more concerned about the card authenticity and whether it’s an OEM or retail unit.

Moreover, the original Dell Part number is 5TX3G, whereas mine says 0257R1. Maybe it’s a new revision from Dell?

This side looks good to me, although I always expect the PCIe and CE logos on each other’s position… but that’s my quirk.

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@etorix Any update on the DP/N i mentioned?

I tried looking up the part omitting the leading 0 in the DP/N such as “257R1” which returned only a few websites.
The board is pretty old as the markings suggest 2018.

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It’s very unusual for Dell part numbers not to return a bunch of hits, even for small bits and pieces, never mind an actual accessory like a NIC. Does that mean it’s fake? No idea.

Yes, that was a nice clue. I searched for it too and got few results. Now, that it’s confirmed it’s an OEM, not retail, will it have any impact in terms of performance or reliability?

Now, the last thing that I’m concerned about is i doubt whether the card is cleaned using some ultrasonic solution and made it new. The reason is the whole card seems new (PCB, brackets, labels). However, a few resistors seem way old the faded soldering they have and talking about the PCI Pins, seem to be used and the only downside is cleaned but the PCB side is quite dusty and has mis. If I wipe it using some solution like ISOPropyl, it should be cleaned.

If someone needs a close picture, i can provide that too.

Hmm. With the Apollo’s suggestion, that does seems to be an actual part number so i think the card is genuine, probably.

Here’s the link i found:

Adding some pictures could be useful as reference.
Did you buy the cards new or where told they were new?
They would most likely be refurbished, but it is also possible there has been genuine rework in the early stage of the design which required manual soldering,
Depending on the manufacturing process and the type of solder paste being used, there maybe a cleaning process involved, ultrasonic or otherwise, or most often a no-clean paste is preferred as it eliminates the cleaning process, but tends to leave a small whitish film. It is possible the no-clean process is affecting how the solder joint looks like over time.

Sure. Will attach them by tomorrow

The seller said its bulk card but brand new and 100% original so i went ahead and bought it. However, the card is an OEM and seems like it was being used in a good environment as i cand find traces and signs of usage, probably reconditioned.

There is no rework but i strongly feel like with some kind of cleaning agent, the card has been cleaned and very component on the PCB looks new except for some resistors whose solder looks like it was being used before. Then the second thing to note is the tracks from the PCB which goes to the PCI PINS. the bottom side has very good signs of usage but the top side on other hand had some mist stuck. Exactly how an old keyboard becomes.

I mean, as long as it works…

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No, it is mainly relevant for the transceivers you’ll need: A Dell OEM will want Dell-coded modules rather than Chelsio-coded.

What if i flash the retail firmware onto it? Or should i return the NIC and get a proper retail one? The seller never mentioned that its an OEM even when i strictly mentioned that i need retail.

@Apollo @ericloewe

Here are some close up. Please see the red marked area which does not look normal to me for a brand new card. But you guys are the experts.

Let me know what do you guys think!

I’m not sure if a driver is installed for Chelsio NIC and when the firmware is present in the directory, it updated the firmware of my second NIC or it was already updated cause the second NIC also reports the same firmware.

This is really a tough call.
The PCIe fingers show signs they have been inserted into a PCIe slot. Is it expected as part of the assembly and validation process where each card must be inserted into a test fixture to be programmed and tested?
Do you know if the version of the firmware dates back to 2018 or is more recent?
About the quality of the solder joints as you have indicated by the arrow, do they have the same appearance across the board? Solder paste formulation (Lead free ROHS compliant) being used, and temperature profile during reflow will affect how the solder joint is formed and affecting its appearance.

That i understand and up to an extent that’s not the problem but did you see the big red lines i drew on the PCB side? That has kind of dust which has got stuck due to heat and that’s one of the biggest sign which tells that the card has been used previously and has been cleaned very nicely. No idea how.

I’m not sure if its noticeable in the picture or not but the whole PCB, the labels and the SFP cage and brackets shines, looks like new. But then, the PCB side pins+soldered components…

Or it could be that the cards were tested and maybe the seller decided to update the firmware and even tested it and since then, it has been kept like that? And as its from 2018, which is why the card has such scene? Maybe cause its like 5yrs since then.

No idea. What i did was, installed one of the NIC and installed the firmware and then today, i decided to check the firmware and then i also installed second NIC today and checked the firmware and both the NICs have latest firmware. So, a question here.

Just installing a Chelsio NIC, if the system has proper firmware, when it boots, does it flashes the firmware? If not, then definitely the firmware was updated by the seller or from wherever he bought the lot.

Yes, mostly all the components are new including their soldered. No flux residual or something like that.

Hard to see the dust line on the picture.
Having the most recent firmware version which dates way past 2018 could be suspect as I would expect the date code on the stickers to match the manufacturing date as the most recent flashing of the firmware should be done that time.
As you have stated, it is possible the board has been refurbished. I doubt the seller would go through the process of reflashing the board without letting you know it actually did it. I doubt the firmware could be updated automatically, as I could impact system stability and reliability in the field.

A 25 GbE Chelsio NIC at a good price is necessarily a refurbished part from a data centre upgrade.