Today we have a double-header of a review. The reason for this is the lead times involved in getting some of the new Intel Celeron N5105 and other Jasper Lake systems. What we found was completely surprising as we thought we ordered two of the same units from different vendors, but instead, while similar, there were more distinct differences than we thought. Still, this is an excellent small 2.5GbE router and virtualization platform but not without some caveats.
STH Mini PC Background
As with many of these newer units, we are going to have a video version that you can see here:
As always, we suggest opening this in its own tab, window, or app for the best viewing experience.
We purchased two units because these were all shipping slowly. The first one is from the Kingnovy AliExpress store and this was a barebones unit for $228.24. It took eight days to arrive.
The second one is from the Topton Computer Store and took 40 days to arrive, but this had a N6005 in the order as well. With the 16GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB NVMe SSD it was $373.25. We were a bit surprised that it came with pfSense pre-installed, but we wiped the system before using it. For reference, the N6005 version we purchased at $419.90 and that was likely the reason for the delay.
Perhaps the big new feature is the new processor. The Intel Celeron N5105 is a Jasper Lake CPU with four cores and four threads. At the same time, the new 10nm process, cache upgrades, and new architecture mean sizable performance benefits. Here is a comparison of the Intel J4125, N5095, N5105, and N6005.
For those wondering, the TDP and also the number of GPU EUs are different between the N5095 and N5105 and usually, the N5105 is a bit faster. With that, let us get to the hardware.