4x 2.5GbE Intel Pentium N5105 Fanless Power Consumption
For power, we got a DAJING AC adapter. Interestingly enough, the I226 came with a LiteON unit with full regulatory markings. Previous models came with a generic “Replacement AC Adapter” that had poor performance.
There was a noticeable impact in power consumption thanks to these power supplies. Our idle ranged from 6.4-6.7W, down from 10-12W idle on the “Replacement AC Adapter”. The maximum also improved with the maximum briefly reaching about 20W but typically staying under 18W, compared to the 25W on the generic adapter. 4W of power does not mean much to our readers with inexpensive power, but for others, this can add up. Check out the video for more information.
Intel Ark lists the i225 NICs as having a higher TDP (1.95W) than the i226 NICs (1.3W). We did not notice these differences in our testing but felt it was good to include that information.
Key Lessons Learned
A key lesson learned was that the power supply matters. The move to a more efficient power supply saved enough power to be considered a major improvement. Also moving the NICs to the CPU side seems to have helped thermals quite a bit. It is amazing to see how fast these units are improving over time. It is also quite amazing to see how such small changes become new revisions. We figured we would cover this one just to be complete.
Will just looked at the larger Core i7 units and found they are great virtualization nodes using VMware ESXi and pfSense. Still, if you do not need the CPU power, then the N5105 is a real sweet spot for these devices. Proxmox VE and OPNsense had no issues on both of the units and seemed to work fine. However for pfSense, until pfSense 2.7 releases, the i225-V’s are likely the better option compared to the i226-V as the i225 NICs are supported by the current pfSense 2.6. Some may prefer the i225’s for that reason.
Overall, we would suggest getting the newer i226-V version, but we wanted to at least document this one.
In general, we think that this is a good unit, but probably not what we would recommend. Our recommendation would be the newer i226 NICs in these units. With the new incremental design changes in this unit compared to where these were earlier in 2022, great strides have been made.
We also found the new internal configuration interesting, with the new WiFi slot expanding options for connectivity in these devices.
The RAM and SSD may be something we may continue to purchase just to show our readers what we get. The one part about these machines that has not changed is that we do not recommend getting them bundled with the units. It is usually less expensive to get them locally.
With that, on to the next one coming soon.