Topton Jasper Lake Quad i225V Mini PC Report

ReturnedSword

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IMHO buying in China is an adventure. But also a good learning experience. What good is a BMW car with 2 wheels and an axle missing, at 60% off? Worth sjit. With all that in mind, I thought so hey, order stuff rather from USA. So I ordered two Xeon Platinums and a bunch of interposers. Result was two damaged CPUs, major ebay hassle, wrong interposers, people sending stuff with truck from California to Kentucky first, etc. Nothing for impatient people or a weak fuse. Your Topton is just one more incident and only accidentally from China. Company and brand will be gone in 6 months and stuff will then be sold from Mopton.


I think you were right and refund was the way to go. And whatever you buy, put the stuff you get through a couple hours torture test first. Passmark Memtest, Testmem5, Prime95, FIRESTARTER, stress-ng, fio, a short Cat6 cable and RSTP off (broadcast storm to test an ethernet NIC), all free.


Next time I am looking for something expensive that is only on ebay, I'll call the guy or gal up first. See whats up, communicate what I really do not want and what I am looking for precisely. Then buy, or move on.
I've bought stuff from China before, mostly knick-knacks or feeding my high lumen flashlight hobby, but those were pretty much guaranteed to be one-way transactions where I knew I'd never have to return items due to the simplicity of the item.

Where did you order those Xeons? At least with eBay, even if there are shady sellers, eBay's buyer protection is quite decent, and then there is the PayPal buy protection on top of that. If I ever have an issue with eBay sellers I have never had a problem with getting it resolved by eBay/PayPal. Then there's shady buyers... I stopped selling on eBay years ago because I got hit with a few of those shady buyers who abused the returns/scammed me.

eBay can be just as bad as Aliexpress but with the downside that it's unlikely a production company isn't likely to be on eBay so if the product you want isn't available they can't simply 'manufacture more'. It also really depends on where you are in the world. Most good eBay scores are only usable in the US or Canada. But that makes shipping extremely slow and expensive, so unless you already have a crate you can top up with extra stuff, only really small stuff is worth it.


Either way, this just brings us back to the 'either play the role of importer, or buy it from an actual importer and pay lots more' problem. (well, not problem, but reality)
Aside from the crap BIOS job, the Changwang motherboard itself probably is ok, if they would only do a bit of a better job on flux cleanup.

It's rather hard to get custom chassis manufactured here in the US, as it's simply not profitable for the CNC/metal shop to make a small production run. I've inquired from a few places before. Back in the earlier watercooling/overclocking days of the late 90s and early 00s, I manufactured my own custom designed waterblocks at a CNC company I had access to, but once the boutique sellers got into the market they just had more capital than I did, so it ended up being unprofitable eventually.

Also, I would never, ever deploy these Topton/KingNovy network appliance mini PCs for a client. They are fine I think for homelab use, but I couldn't in good conscience sell one of these to a client, but that's just my personal thought on that hah! :D
 

ReturnedSword

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Well this definitely stinks. I had high hopes to grab something like this and use it as a pfsense appliance. With this experience, I am not likely to do that now. I have been looking for dependable alternatives but there doesn't seem to be many good ones. Seems like the Netgate devices are good but the cost for decent hardware perf is significantly higher. Bummer.
Yes, as I have commented my major gripes on the product itself are the flux job and the bare minimum effort on the chassis/copper plug. My main annoyance is if there was a problem (such as me receiving an ES CPU motherboard), Topton became instantly unresponsive. I'm sure they shipped non-ES units out to other people, but if they slipped up on my order they should've rectified it. I won't be buying from them again, and since KingNovy seems to be just another name for TopTon, I won't be buying from them either.

Yangling is the ODM for Protectli. I might look into their products if they release Jasper Lake units.
 

ReturnedSword

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Not quite as compact as the Topton/Qotom units, and not fanless, but certain of the Lenovo Tiny boxes can accommodate a 4x gigabit or 2x 10 gigabit NIC. I have a pair of these with Supermicro x520 10gbe NICs running Proxmox with pfsense virtualized and they usually sit at about 12-15 watts, not much more than the N5105 systems that Patrick reviewed last month. Of course this is very much a DIY approach and not an off-the-shelf unit like the Toptons. But worth considering if it's for your homelab and not production, as these Lenovo boxes are excellently engineered and very capable.
I had looked into this firstly, however I'd really like to have 4 multi-gig NICs. I'd be quite concerned about even a X710-T4L getting toasty in there. The Topton was supposed to be a stopgap solution until I can figure out something better. I'd look back into a TMM with dual fiber NIC once I upgrade my switches to SFP+ though.

@Patrick One thing I'm curious about is the ES CPU reported here. Can you confirm if the unit(s) you received had this same issue or did they report Intel production s-spec IDs for the CPU?
Yes, the CPU in my Topton is most likely an ES CPU, as I've checked with other people who got the N6005 variant and various CPUID tools are not reporting theirs as an ES/QS.
 
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ReturnedSword

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I do not have Windows for CPU-Z on any of them. Still, the N6005's I have do not show QS/ ES in anything I am seeing. hwinfo in Linux does not show this unless it is in the CPU string.

I wonder if it is a difference in timing since mine were quite a bit delayed.

View attachment 23260View attachment 23262View attachment 23261View attachment 23263
I'll check in Linux in a bit and post a screengrab.

I believe I actually got my N6005 variant of the same units you reviewed right after you received yours. It was pretty delayed, but not much longer than you had received your N5105's.

I would guess that they just need to keep moving boxes to keep a noticeable volume flowing (maybe for attention/marketing, maybe to keep manufacturing capacity reserved?) and as such they'd rather take a chance with ES/QS chips assuming that 50%+ will be returned and the rest will just function unnoticed. I have no idea what the current numbers are like, but I'd take another guess and think that the cost of (re)starting manufacturing is a whole lot higher than just moving a bunch of known-bad devices around to keep logistics active.
Well I'll put it this way: If Topton owned up to it when I provided the evidence (I was patient and cordial throughout, even up to today's communication), I probably would've been willing to take a partial refund and just keep the unit knowing it was an ES/accepting the quirks. It's pretty shitty for send a customer what essentially isn't a production unit and hope the customer didn't notice like I did.

Alternatively, it could be that the version of CPU-Z used to indicate the ES cpu might not be up to date and, not knowing what a Jasper Lake CPU is it just lists it as "ES". From Patrick's pics I don't see any of the usual earmarks of ES CPU. For one thing, the identifier string on an ES CPU almost never shows the processor family. Rather than "Jasper Lake ULX" is would say "GenuineIntel".


I can see ES CPUs leaking out on the resale market - but Intel sitting quietly while somebody moves ES stock at commercial volume seems really unlikely to me.


All of the other quality concerns remain a big issue. I should find out what I think in a few days as my N6005 unit from Topton is finally on the last leg of its now 85 day journey from China!
I'm using the most up-to-date version of CPU-Z and HWiNFO64. I can also check in Linux/Intel Processor Identification Tool in a bit.

What's weird is I compared the stepping, revision, etc to @Patrick's review's N5105 units and the stepping, revision are the same. However, when I compared CPUID tools with others who also have Topton/Kingnovy N6005 units, theirs did not show up as ES.

I'd appreciate if you can check your unit when it arrives to see if it's a ES!

Or they sometimes say "Intel 0000" and the likes. I did initially think CPU-Z might indeed simply not know the CPU, but then the heat/crashyness that was reported gives me more ES vibes so maybe it's just a low percentage of bad chips. Heck, maybe they manufacture boards with no CPUs when they can't get any and if someone comes in to the office with a handful of ES or QS chips they just hand-solder them with one of those re-balling setups that can do BGA jobs with extra large amounts of flux :p
The Topton N6005 unit certainly is "crashy." It doesn't even reach TDP limit, nor starts thermal throttling; it'll just crash under Prime95 Blend (which isn't even that tough on the CPU side). It crashes even faster on Prime95 CPU test. All while being 25-30 C from the 105 C package thermal max. In my HWiNFO64 screengrabs I showed the stats over time, including temps for the CPU, motherboard, and SSD.

The CPU also runs at a quite high vCore, which is really weird and to me is another indicator of it being an ES. Idling at 0.5v more than it should be is pretty high.

Haha, I'm not sure about that theory :D I reviewed my pics again and it looks like the flux where the BGA is looks fine. The bad flux cleanup job is actually around the edges of the board, such as where the i225V NIC chips and front/back I/O headers are.
 

ReturnedSword

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The Core i7 6x 2.5GbE version just had its ship notification fire!
I'd be quite interested in this unit. 6 NICs might be a bit much though even for a soft router.

Honestly at this point, I'm considering just buying a clone of one of the SFF.net forum designed chassis, using an ITX mobo, slapping in an i3-12100/i5-12400, a riser going to a copper and fiber NIC and calling it a day. It would be much more expensive though, but still cheaper than one of the Supermicro edge network appliances.
 
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ReturnedSword

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@Patrick Here are some more screengrabs:

Intel's official Processor Identification Tool under Windows says the CPU is an "engineering sample, not a production processor."

In Linux, I screengrabbed CPU-X and lscpu, however it appears CPU-X hasn't been updated with the relevant microcode, and lscpu (also hwinfo, cpuid, etc) do not expose identification for ES/QS processors. All comments I read regarding finding out ES/QS CPUs under Linux tools only pointed to looking for clues/descrepancies... seems much easier just to look against a known list of steppings, Intel PSN, and sSpec numbers.

This, along with my original screengrabs from CPU-Z and HWiNFO64 in Windows accompanied with the weird behavior, broken BIOS settings, and noticeable high vCore pretty much convinces me Topton shifted a pre-production unit to me. Whether they did it purposely or due to oversight is another question. At the time of shipment, they were having a massively hard time getting a supply of N6005 motherboards from the motherboard ODM, which they mentioned in my correspondence with them.
 

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yxman

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Aug 18, 2019
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Long time Lurker, also bought 2 Units. One Topton and one from WooYi Store.

€ 168,08 42%OFF | Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 Soft Router Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel i225 2.5G LAN HDMI DP pfSense Firewall Appliance ESXI AES-NI

and

€ 166,28 40%OFF | Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel 2.5G LAN Switch Celeron N5105 2500M i225 Nic Mini Router Server ESXI Rugged pfSense Firewall Appliance

Will report back as soon as they arrive.
 

xShARkx

New Member
Jun 12, 2022
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Long time Lurker, also bought 2 Units. One Topton and one from WooYi Store.

€ 168,08 42%OFF | Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 Soft Router Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel i225 2.5G LAN HDMI DP pfSense Firewall Appliance ESXI AES-NI

and

€ 166,28 40%OFF | Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel 2.5G LAN Switch Celeron N5105 2500M i225 Nic Mini Router Server ESXI Rugged pfSense Firewall Appliance

Will report back as soon as they arrive.
I am curious about the WooYi Store one, cause its a different metal case with different mother board(from the pictures at least)! So i wonder if they fixed or improved the thermal solution.
 

yxman

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Aug 18, 2019
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We will see, also bought a proper power supply (mean well), low power nvmes, will also check memory compatibility (the single/dual rank mystery)

One of them is planned as node 3 in my cluster, one as pfsense fw (replacing apu2)

The WooYi should arrive sooner, its at the departure hub.
 

oneplane

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Also interested in the WooYi situation, usually there are a handful of ODMs and a ton of rebrands with no real ancestry available unless you pay for volume manufacturing. At least the N5000 series seem to be more readily available vs. the 6000.
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
458
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Long time Lurker, also bought 2 Units. One Topton and one from WooYi Store.

€ 168,08 42%OFF | Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 Soft Router Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel i225 2.5G LAN HDMI DP pfSense Firewall Appliance ESXI AES-NI

and

€ 166,28 40%OFF | Fanless Mini PC 4x Intel 2.5G LAN Switch Celeron N5105 2500M i225 Nic Mini Router Server ESXI Rugged pfSense Firewall Appliance

Will report back as soon as they arrive.
Looks like the WooYi is using a Bluetech 1338NP-12 motherboard.


The CPU package is more centered on the motherboard, so perhaps it will contact the chassis better. The chassis itself looks similar on the inside to the Topton/KingNovy units we have been discussing… same copper plug mounting system. Perhaps made by the same metal shop?
 
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ReturnedSword

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Wow, so apparently Topton is blowing off AliExpres's CS manager's request that they refund me as well. I wonder why AliExpress won't just force a refund, similar to what eBay can do when paid with PayPal. I'm even happy to send back this piece of junk, if they either refund or replace. I'll give it a few more days, but it looks like I may need to initiate a refund via PayPal after all.
 

PigLover

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I just received my N6005 Topton system. I quickly threw in a small NVMe drive with Windows on it just to check it out.

The CPU is identified as "ES" in CPU-Z and as an engineering sample by the Intel Processor Identification tool (ugh!).

I did not remove the Motherboard so I can't tell if I also have the heatsink issue but this thing runs HOT. Sitting on a desktop at room temperature: ~60c Win10 idle, ~90c windows 10 doing updates. Haven't started running any stress tests yet but I'm sure its going to cook.

Also noticed temps on the NVMe disk were sitting ~65c in windows idle and quickly rose >80c with any disk activity at all.

Threw in a little 40x10 fan that I had in my parts bin and the NVMe temps dropped to a very livable (though warmer than I'd like) 45c. The rest of the chassis seemed a bit cooler with the fan too. But adding a fan pretty much defeats the purpose of having a "fanless" box. The fan is not PWM so there is no speed control - but since it was boiling hot with everything mostly idle I doubt having speed control would be any value since it would always have to be 100% anyway.

Currently running Prime95 "blended" mode. Been running for ~30 minutes and the CPU temps appear to have stablized at ~70c. I'll let it run for at least 24 hours to see if it runs stable.
 
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ReturnedSword

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I just received my N6005 Topton system. I quickly threw in a small NVMe drive with Windows on it just to check it out.

The CPU is identified as "ES" in CPU-Z and as an engineering sample by the Intel Processor Identification tool (ugh!).

I did not remove the Motherboard so I can't tell if I also have the heatsink issue but this thing runs HOT. Sitting on a desktop at room temperature: ~60c Win10 idle, ~90c windows 10 doing updates. Haven't started running any stress tests yet but I'm sure its going to cook.

Also noticed temps on the NVMe disk were sitting ~65c in windows idle and quickly rose >80c with any disk activity at all.

Threw in a little 40x10 fan that I had in my parts bin and the NVMe temps dropped to a very livable (though warmer than I'd like) 45c. The rest of the chassis seemed a bit cooler with the fan too. But adding a fan pretty much defeats the purpose of having a "fanless" box. The fan is not PWM so there is no speed control - but since it was boiling hot with everything mostly idle I doubt having speed control would be any value since it would always have to be 100% anyway.

Currently running Prime95 "blended" mode. Been running for ~30 minutes and the CPU temps appear to have stablized at ~70c. I'll let it run for at least 24 hours to see if it runs stable.
Sucks you got an ES too. The few people I compared N6005 with did not have Topton/KingNovy units. Their units were regular mini PCs from other vendors. Are you going to keep the unit? If you’re going to dispute I suggest doing it right away or Topton is going to give you the run around like they did to me.

What variant of the chassis did you get? I got the one with the flat sides, so there’s no option to install a 40mm fan on the bottom. On Prime95 blend, it gets so hot the whole thing crashes. Just for funsies on one of the stress tests, I placed a plate with my omelette on top of my unit and the omelette warmed up nicely enough to eat.
 

oneplane

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I just received my N6005 Topton system. I quickly threw in a small NVMe drive with Windows on it just to check it out.

The CPU is identified as "ES" in CPU-Z and as an engineering sample by the Intel Processor Identification tool (ugh!).

I did not remove the Motherboard so I can't tell if I also have the heatsink issue but this thing runs HOT. Sitting on a desktop at room temperature: ~60c Win10 idle, ~90c windows 10 doing updates. Haven't started running any stress tests yet but I'm sure its going to cook.

Also noticed temps on the NVMe disk were sitting ~65c in windows idle and quickly rose >80c with any disk activity at all.

Threw in a little 40x10 fan that I had in my parts bin and the NVMe temps dropped to a very livable (though warmer than I'd like) 45c. The rest of the chassis seemed a bit cooler with the fan too. But adding a fan pretty much defeats the purpose of having a "fanless" box. The fan is not PWM so there is no speed control - but since it was boiling hot with everything mostly idle I doubt having speed control would be any value since it would always have to be 100% anyway.

Currently running Prime95 "blended" mode. Been running for ~30 minutes and the CPU temps appear to have stablized at ~70c. I'll let it run for at least 24 hours to see if it runs stable.
I'd recommend immediately denying the unit on Aliexpress. Even if the unit works, there is no signal that works except failed delivery/unacceptable device via Aliexpress within the required window.

At this point I imagine they simply don't have any QS or retail release chips right now and they just have a bunch of ES stock lying around.
 

PigLover

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Sucks you got an ES too. The few people I compared N6005 with did not have Topton/KingNovy units. Their units were regular mini PCs from other vendors. Are you going to keep the unit? If you’re going to dispute I suggest doing it right away or Topton is going to give you the run around like they did to me.

What variant of the chassis did you get? I got the one with the flat sides, so there’s no option to install a 40mm fan on the bottom. On Prime95 blend, it gets so hot the whole thing crashes. Just for funsies on one of the stress tests, I placed a plate with my omelette on top of my unit and the omelette warmed up nicely enough to eat.
I got the rounded side version and it had a mount for a 40mm fan - so I tried the fan.

I need a day or so to think about my next steps. Will probably file a claim and try to return it...
 
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ReturnedSword

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I got the rounded side version and it had a mount for a 40mm fan - so I tried the fan.

I need a day or so to think about my next steps. Will probably file a claim and try to return it...
Just a bit of caution. Supposedly Topton’s resolution was to give me a N5095 version unit, then ghost me again. They provided an order number which I’m unable to look up, and apparently the tracking number doesn’t even go to California where I’m based. I’m sure you paid about $290 for your unit too after tax… the N5095 unit is about $170 after tax. This isn’t acceptable, especially Topton trying to run away with the $120 difference. Not to mention if a 10W CPU struggles in the chassis, a N5095 is 15W and will struggle even more.
 

ReturnedSword

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@PigLover Can you check in your BIOS if the fTPM works? It’s under the Intel PTT option. When I enable PTT, upon reboot it goes back to discrete TPM.. which is useless since the motherboard doesn’t have a TPM header. This is just one of many issues with the latest BIOS dated 4/25/2022.

Also what vCore is your N6005 ES idling at? Mine idles around 1.82v which is extremely high. It should be closer to 1.2v.