Two Intel Core i7 Fanless 6x 2.5GbE Firewalls Surprisingly Different

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Intel Core i7-1165G7 Performance

The performance of the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is going to be way better than the Jasper Lake Atom systems we reviewed previously. This is really the strong suit, and the key takeaway is that they are not similar in terms of performance.

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:

Intel Core I7 1165G7 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark
Intel Core I7 1165G7 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark

We are going to see a few trends here. The main trend is that the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is roughly twice the performance of the Pentium N6005.

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.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 7zip Compression Benchmark
Intel Core I7 1165G7 7zip Compression Benchmark

It is actually a fairly fast CPU. The reason is that it is an Intel Tiger Lake generation design using four cores and eight threads. These are the performance cores like desktop processors rather than the efficient cores like the Jasper Lake systems use.

OpenSSL Performance

OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many serverĀ stacks. We first look at our sign tests:

Intel Core I7 1165G7 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark
Intel Core I7 1165G7 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark

Here are the verify results:

Intel Core I7 1165G7 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark
Intel Core I7 1165G7 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark

Still, by limiting the power, we are able to get a lot of performance from these.

An item we did not test, but it may be useful is that the Core i7-1165G7 has Intel Xe graphics. That means that the chips also have QuickSync for video transcoding.

For our pfSense testing, we set the unit up into pairs of 2.5GbE links. We then passed traffic through the pairs using iperf3, which was not an issue. We could also add basic firewall rules, and this was not an issue. The CPU itself is more in-line with what a 10Gbps pfSense or OPNsense appliance would use, so if you are looking to do a lot more with your firewall, then this may be the right option instead of the N6005.

Next, let us take a look at the power consumption, cooling, and noise of the systems.

Power Consumption, Cooling, and Noise

Both units came with included power adapters. Generally, one can save a few watts by getting a higher-quality Meanwell power supply or something similar. Still, most of our readers will use the poor-quality power supplies that come with these units. Here is the “Replacement AC Adapter” that came with the “Good” unit. We have seen this 5A 12V adapter before, and it is not our favorite.

Topton 6x 2.5GbE I225 Intel Core I7 1165G7 Good 12V 5A Power Adapter
Topton 6x 2.5GbE I225 Intel Core I7 1165G7 Good 12V 5A Power Adapter

The “Less Good” unit came with something we were surprised about. It has a 19V 4.74A adapter. Usually, we see systems labeled with “DC12V” power inputs bundled with 12V adapters, but not this one.

6x 2.5GbE I225 Intel Core I7 1165G7 Less Good 19V 4.74A Adapter
6x 2.5GbE I225 Intel Core I7 1165G7 Less Good 19V 4.74A Adapter

Overall power consumption was 13.6W-13.8W at idle to 28W-30W with 100% CPU utilization. You can get the units to spike above that, but ours eventually settled into that range. On top of that, add +0.7-1.5W per 2.5GbE NIC used depending on speed and cable length. That should help give a range based on your application, but also with the poor quality power supplies, expect variability.

There are options to lower performance in exchange for lower power in the BIOS.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Power And Performance Menu
Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Power And Performance Menu

That includes the cTDP ratios.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Power And Performance Menu Config TDP Configurations
Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Power And Performance Menu Config TDP Configurations

In terms of the chassis, we saw the “Good” unit get up to 40.6C. This is hot, but not an inferno temperature.

6x 2.5GbE Intel Core I7 1165G7 FLIR
6x 2.5GbE Intel Core I7 1165G7 FLIR

The “less good” system often ran at higher temperatures, even at idle.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Health Status
Intel Core I7 1165G7 6x I225 BIOS Health Status

Here is a look at the system’s temps just running two pairs of 2.5GbE traffic through using Proxmox VE as the host.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 Coretemp
Intel Core I7 1165G7 Coretemp

Even with the WD SN570 as a cooler drive, we still saw temps regularly in the 60-70C range. That is why we do not recommend warmer drives.

Intel Core I7 1165G7 Smart Log Nvme0
Intel Core I7 1165G7 Smart Log Nvme0 after Installing Proxmox VE

All temperatures on the “less good” system were higher. The CPU, system, or NVMe temps were 5C-15C warmer on a given work state. As a result, we would say it is worth getting the newer chassis that is a bit larger and heavier but also seems to provide better cooling.

Next, let us get to our Key Lessons Learned and our final words.

9 COMMENTS

  1. I def would like to know how this would perform with IDS enabled, as well as VPN enabled. I have a large Dell 8th gen i7 desktop, with 16 gig of RAM. It boasts 6 cores and 12 threads. I would love to shrink this footprint but want to ensure these units have adequate performance.

  2. Can you tell me the Mac address I’m wondering who is the Mac address owner.

    Don’t need the entire 12 digits just first 6.

  3. I mean this has more CPU and more memory capacity for starters and it’ll be better for a firewall box than the Ubiquiti.

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