Originally Posted by Aluminum
As for the 9211-4i "retail" recommendation, it costs nearly double buying it that way, and only 4 ports. Seems a pointless way to go for a DIY kind of project.
It is 4 ports because that is what the OP asked for, as is the PCIe x4 requirement.
The OP is somewhat risk averse, wanting a supported card, expressing some concern about the Highpoint cards.
Proposing a card running firmware on board was for which it was not validated or tested, runs counter to this concern as it is not a supported configuration.
The M1015 is a custom board design, while the controller chip (LSI2008) is the same as the regular LSI cards, the LSI drivers and firmware from LSI would have only been tested on the LSI designed boards.
It is the responsibility of the ODM, IBM in this instance, to perform the necessary testing validation on the M1015 and the card is meant to run IBM's custom drivers
and this is only on Windows server, on their server hardware. They also have special features like the RAID key not present in the standard product, cross flashing to a version of the firmware that may not understand this change in the hardware is not a good idea.
Some people have successfully cross flashed and got it to work as regular card, but if problems occur you are on your own, this is may happen when LSI releases a new driver for their version of card.