Intel Core i5-N305 Performance
Instead of going through the entire Linux-Bench test suite, we are going to show a few performance and power numbers here to give a general sense of performance. This also gives us the opportunity to test with Linux/ Ubuntu.
The new Intel Core i3-N305 is the first time we have increased core count in almost a decade on these lower-power Atom-derived E-core CPUs. While the higher-end embedded segment has seen higher core counts, the consumer platforms have stayed at 4 cores for a long time. This has finally changed.
Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark
This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:
With 8 cores, the performance of the Intel Core i3-N305 is very good. At first, we were wondering why the CPU was a “Core i3”. At the same time, by doubling the CPU cores to eight of the Alder Lake-N efficient cores (E-cores) we have something that is competing with Core i7 and Core i5 CPUs from 4-5 generations ago.
7-zip Compression Performance
7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.
We have seen other CPUs that add cores but cannot utilize them due to TDP limitations. While we do not get a straight doubling of performance, we do get a very significant performance bump with the 8-core part.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
Again, the Intel Core i3-N305 is performing very well here as OpenSSL tends to scale well on newer E-cores.
Intel Core i3-N305 Geekbench 6 Results
On the Geekbench 6 side, we can see how these have evolved.
Our video editor Alex made this for the video, and it really shows what is going on. We got slightly better single-threaded performance with the N100 (although this is very similar.) We also get over 2x the single-threaded performance on the N305 than we got on the N6005 and around 3x the multi-threaded performance. The Intel N200 performs well here with higher power per core, but the N305 still offers significantly more performance.
The OS compatibility side has gotten much better. We saw the release of the pfSense CE 2.7 Released with Intel i226 Support and Other Enhancements. From a firewall perspective, one does not have to use OPNsense just to get Intel i226-V support now (but OPNsense still works as we showed quickly in the video.)
We also recently had the Proxmox VE 8.0 release and that also added better support for the E-cores in Alder Lake-N as well as newer drivers.
When we did the original fanless N100 review, it took a bit of work to get things going. Now, it is much easier. That is part of a normal hardware/ software lifecycle.
Next, let us get to power consumption.