Intel Pentium Gold G5420 Benchmarks and Review A Cheap Server CPU


Intel Pentium Gold G5420 Power Consumption

We wanted to post a few figures from our testing that show the real selling point of the chips, low power.

  • Idle Power (Performance Mode): 25W
  • STH 70% Load: 52W
  • STH 100% Load: 58W
  • Maximum Observed Power (Performance Mode): 64W

Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.7C and 72% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance. We double-checked on our 120V racks and were able to get power consumption to stay well under a common 1A threshold.

This is certainly a low-power part that can be used for lower-end colocation and edge devices.

Intel Pentium Gold G5420 Market Positioning

We normally go into a lengthy SKU v. SKU analysis here as we did in our recent Intel Xeon E-2246G Benchmarks and Review. The fact is that the Intel Pentium Gold G5420 has a few key features such as socket compatibility, low power operation, an integrated GPU, and a low price.

Socket compatibility is a big one. This part allows OEMs to use a low-cost part in their LGA1151 socketed systems. On an $800 Xeon E-2224 server, lowering the price of entry by $130 can mean success in many markets. This helps the socket scale from very low levels of performance up to Intel Xeon E-2288G levels with higher clock speeds, four times as many cores/ threads, and increased instruction availability. OEMs can keep features such as ECC memory support and the same platforms while moving from this Pentium G5420 to the Core i3 series then into the Xeon E-2200 series. For many, an expansive range in the socket is important.

Power consumption is relatively low. It is nowhere near Atom C3000 series levels, but it is on the lower end of our spectrum. For those edge devices simply running NAS services, this is more than enough CPU performance and lowering power consumption in those platforms is important.

The integrated GPU is actually something that sets it apart from the Core i3-9100F, although there is a non-F part that has a GPU. Intel’s changes to the server firmware mean that it is slightly more difficult for systems designers to utilize this GPU in servers versus workstations. Since we are focused on the workstation market, that is important. A great example here is that the MicroServer Gen10 Plus with this chip will not utilize the GPU.

On cost, this is a cheap part. It is nowhere near the Arm SoCs we have seen, some with 10GbE built-in but it is inexpensive. Our sense is that this CPU is purchased when budget constraints outweigh the need for more performance even if a nominal $33 here yields more performance gains than almost anywhere else higher in the computing stack.

Intel has an enormous range of platforms in this space which is why the Pentium Gold G5420 is finding a market. It is a low-cost drop-in replacement for higher-end CPUs. If AMD ever gets focused on bringing Ryzen-like options to these segments, Intel may need to look at this SKU’s positioning. Still, AMD needs more Ryzen server wins at tier 1 OEMs to make this impactful.

Final Words

The Intel Pentium Gold G5420 is not exactly what one would call “fast” relative to the other CPUs you can put in the same server socket. We see this more of a minimal part that is designed to go into the lower-end of ROBO, SMB, and SOHO servers and provide basic functionality. At the same time, it offers plenty of performance for its intended market. If you have a small TrueNAS Core or similar server, as an example, and just need simple CPU, this is a great example of a way to save power and costs. We just want our readers to be aware of the trade-offs that were made to deliver this CPU so cheaply.


  1. Didn’t realize Intel had given these Pentiums AES acceleration finally. I might just use this CPU in my next PFSense box.

  2. IMO, AMD just need to clone some Ryzen 3000s consumer CPUs and put some server features more appealing: ECC support, high DIMMs density, crypto accel. etc. I have no doubt these Pentium “Gold” will looks blant compared to Ryzen 3000s. While Rome is winning at the top end, this is the time they need to fill up the lower end market.

  3. Very likely Intel is aware of the danger ARM hardware poses to the company’s bottom line…

  4. The last sentence in the second to last paragraph is so true. Not enough Epyc/Ryzen servers out there with the big brands. Looking for a 16C Epyc Rome tower and I’m gonna have to use a Supermicro builder or generic workstation builder instead.

  5. Seriously guys…why do you continue to do reviews of intel CPUs which has so many critical security holes, that nobody in right mind would buy and put that in server? Personally(in home), I get rid of everything with intel procesor…from workstations to servers. Only PC with intel procesor left, is old Ivy Bridge Core i7-3700 which I use as gamebox with windows.

  6. Anything can be a server if you define server appropriately.

    I have a c50 netbook that functions as an SSH bastion ‘server’ on my home network. It isn’t good for much else.

  7. If your goal would be to make a cheap (nas)server or whatever with this cpu you might want to look at another mb since the Supermicro X11SCA- cost in excess of 300$ if you even can get it NEW nowdays, used hw is another matter ofc…

  8. Great point. We are just using a common platform for this testing. The timing of this review was specifically because we had the MicroServer Gen10 Plus review coming a few days later which has a pre-configured model using the G5420.

  9. Thanks for this very informative posting. I just bought a new desktop with then Pentium Gold as my Intel Celeron CPU N3350 1.1ghz laptop was not sufficiently strong for some analytics features. I was looking forward to unboxing my machine but now I kind of feel that I should have gone for a Xeon.


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