Topton Jasper Lake Quad i225V Mini PC Report

ReturnedSword

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@ReturnedSword and @PigLover


My post finally got approved it seems -> https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...i225v-mini-pc-report.36699/page-4#post-340441 <- check those settings out.


I posted them here cause you might not have seen them, they were posted in the comments of the review page of the two n5105 units by sth, they were shared by @wuwsth there.
Yes, I had fiddled with those settings previously, but on my particular unit it seemed to not make any difference.
 

ReturnedSword

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Hello ywman & ReturnedSword,


I greatly appreciate your experience & links for these firewall boxes. ...Would you have time for a few questions, that I think other would benefit from as well? ...I am not sure about the various AliExpress models, and see folks have mixed opinions on the various models. Seems to be an especially big risk with N6005 CPU models coming as ES version (sorry for people getting these:(.


If I go N5105 CPU, I think there are less problems with ES CPU substitutes, and stabler designs. Do you have any information on which N5105 boxes have better design, parts, bios, and heat sinking? I am looking at buying the first one you linked from the AliExpress WooYi Store (145.14US $ 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 - Barebone & Mini Pc - AliExpress), with N5105 & 4*Intel i225 2.5G + extra Comm Port. Do you happen to know if that extra comm port is an Intel chip/1Gbe ethernet based port? And does the SIM slot support something like 5G cell phone data type capability (I'm think Mint or Tello data plan as backup)? ...unless this is actually just a micro SD memory type slot, mistakenly marked as ambiguous SIM?


Best Regards,

ABQ :)


edit: Aliexpress 'Honor Box Store' , seems to have same WooYi model & case @ 146.73US $ 30% OFF|G30B 11th Gen N5105 Soft Router 4 Intel i225 2.5G LAN pfSense Firewall Appliance 2xDDR4 Mini PC OPNsense Firewall VPN Server| | - AliExpress
I haven't seen a report from anyone who got the N5095 or N5105 (this seems to be the most available variant) who got an ES CPU, so I'd say your chances of getting one with an ES CPU is small if you got an N5105 variant. The sellers reported that they got a decent (as in able to be shipped immediately) supply of N5105 motherboards way back in late March, 2022. The N6005 motherboard wasn't "available" until May 15, which is when mine shipped, and apparently those were N6005 units. I'm curious if @Patrick ever got his N6005 unit and can do a quick check on it to see if it's an ES CPU.

If you want my honest take on the Changwang motherboard and associated chassis, I'd say the Changwang motherboard is kind of minimally designed, and the two chassis variants for the Changwang motherboards we've seen so far are suboptimal. I never expected exceptional, or even good cooling performance on the chassis, but I didn't expect it to be so badly thought out. The chassis must have been originally designed for another motherboard and repurposed because someone thought "hey, at least the CPU + PCH dies *touch* the corner of the copper plug!

The WooYi and Honor Box models use the Bluetech motherboard, which AFAIK no one has recieved an example of. The Bluetech does seem slightly better designed though.

On the Bluetech motherboard, the COMM port is a RS-232 port with TIA-561 pinout (8P8C modular plug) instead of using a DB9 or DB25 connector. The SIM slot is connected to the mini-PCIe slot probably. On the Changwang motherboards, the SIM slot is directly underneath the mini-PCIe slot; I suppose Bluetech did it differently.
 

ReturnedSword

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Prime95 blended mode ran without error for 25+hours (with the 40x10 fan). Temperatures never really rose much over 70c and the NVMe temp hovered about 50-55c. I guess that is a mild success - but with an annoying fan. Without it the NVMe temps quickly source above 85c. My ram doesn't have temperature monitoring but I'm sure it was blazing hot. Since Jasper Lake TJmax is 105c I'd make a completely unscientific guess that the instability seen by @ReturnedSword was due to RAM overheating and throwing bit errors, or maybe the NVMe faulting.


I tested enabling PTT and - just like your's it reset on reboot.


As for the vCore @ idle - it was locked in at ~1.8v. I also noticed that the speedstep multiplier never dropped from max (32) and 3.3Ghz. After seeing the post from @xShARkx I dug around the BIOS a little bit more and found that C-States were disabled (who does that?). After i enabled them and rebooted idle Vcore dropped to ~0.7v, multiplier to x8 and ~0.8Ghz. Idle temps in windows dropped 10c to ~40c. Still to damn hot.


Just for grins i'm going to waste more time and do an extended Memtest86+ - but and this point I'm pretty sure the painful process of a return is in my near future.
You may be right @PigLover about the RAM or NVMe crapping out due to high temps on the bottom side of the motherboard since my chassis variant can't mount a 40mm fan. It doesn't even have vents, aside from the VESA and 2.5" drive mount holes hah!

I'll check the C-States again. I was pretty sure I had enabled everything relevant, but I may have missed something. Still not that happy about the ES CPU though :\
 
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ReturnedSword

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Update on Topton's response:

They are "checking the warehouse" for a unit that isn't an N6005 ES CPU after some more prodding (the third time) from AliExpress CS. I have 6 days remaining on being able to leave feedback, and if they don't resolve it by then I'm going to file a dispute with PayPal as this has gone on long enough. I just want a refund!
 
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Razvan

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The Core i7 6x 2.5GbE version just had its ship notification fire!
What model of i7 box with I225 did you order?

There are several versions from Topton/Kingnovy but the images of the same product are often contradicting.
Most of them have one or more of the following inconsistencies, probably from c/p indiscriminately:
- rounded edges in one image and flat in other;
- power/disk leds on either the nics side or the hdmi/usb side;
- I225V in title/specs and I211 in description images;
- serial port as DB-9 in one place and RJ45 in another.

Topton units have model number X6 while Kingnovy has X6A (seems to be newer, it appears on units with NVMe support).

The only one with no visual inconsistencies yet are from "KingNovy 3C Store": flat sides, leds on the network side, DB-9 serial port.

What do you make of these? They appear to be newer models and advertise 3 storage types (1x M.2 NVMe/PCIe3.0 x4 2280 SSD + 1x MSATA SSD + 1x 2.5" SATA SSD/HDD) but there are no images with the MB or heat sink assembly.

As to the stores, they surely like to open new ones every now and then:

kingnovyPC Official Store [2021-04-01]
KingNovy PC Store [2021-09-23]
KingNovy 3C Store [2021-09-30]
KingNovyPC Computer Store [2021-10-05]

Topton Official Store [2019-07-22]
Topton Direct Store [2020-11-14]
Topton PC Store [2021-03-28]
 

Stephan

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Rarely read such a painful thread on STH like this one. So three lessons here

1. Check there is a generous return policy before you buy gear you never used before. If there is no or just some wimpy return policy, what does that say about the seller's idea of his product?

2. Buy only if you read about three+ guys or gals having successfully employed said hardware. Stable, rock-solid, compatible, low-power, efficient, easy to work with, is what you want to read. Unless, you have money to burn and are feeling masochistic. Then by all means send money to China.

3. Fanless is tricky. Designer has to account for many semiconductors and also the thermodynamic behaviour of the entire design. Especially if people can add their own stuff from lukewarm SSDs to fire-hot. The PCengines APU line I write often about seems to have figured this out. But it is way way below 10 watts, more like 3-6. Ok sometimes you want more CPU power to route 1 Gbps fiber comfortably, I get it. If there is nothing on the market, I suggest instead to get a high quality 120mm fan and cool some known-stable mini-ITX system in a small case with that. At 700rpm you won't hear anything and durability of the entire thing will be the same. Antec P12 PWM black, 5 bucks and will cool away even some beefy 35 watts TDP easily. With proper airflow you could use this one inaudible fan to cool the CPU, some dual-port X520 and a ConnectX3 at the same time.
 
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PigLover

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18 hours of Memtest86+ was flawless so I stopped it.

No matter that it runs stable (ish) with the little fan installed I went ahead and initiated a return/refund request with Ali - this should be fun...
 

ReturnedSword

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Rarely read such a painful thread on STH like this one. So three lessons here

1. Check there is a generous return policy before you buy gear you never used before. If there is no or just some wimpy return policy, what does that say about the seller's idea of his product?

2. Buy only if you read about three+ guys or gals having successfully employed said hardware. Stable, rock-solid, compatible, low-power, efficient, easy to work with, is what you want to read. Unless, you have money to burn and are feeling masochistic. Then by all means send money to China.

3. Fanless is tricky. Designer has to account for many semiconductors and also the thermodynamic behaviour of the entire design. Especially if people can add their own stuff from lukewarm SSDs to fire-hot. The PCengines APU line I write often about seems to have figured this out. But it is way way below 10 watts, more like 3-6. Ok sometimes you want more CPU power to route 1 Gbps fiber comfortably, I get it. If there is nothing on the market, I suggest instead to get a high quality 120mm fan and cool some known-stable mini-ITX system in a small case with that. At 700rpm you won't hear anything and durability of the entire thing will be the same. Antec P12 PWM black, 5 bucks and will cool away even some beefy 35 watts TDP easily. With proper airflow you could use this one inaudible fan to cool the CPU, some dual-port X520 and a ConnectX3 at the same time.
Dealing with getting my money back is going to be annoying, but not the end of the world I guess.

The Chinese e-tail sites usually don't really have a great return policy, however the ability to pay via PayPal gives almost all, if not all the regular protections afforded to buying from a Western e-tailer. I would guess that AliExpress values their ability to accept PayPal more than they are going to fight a charge back/dispute. Buying stuff from China is usually a one-way affair though. It either works or it doesn't, which is why I normally don't recommend that route for electronics, however these firewall appliances weren't so expensive so I decided to take a dive.

Tbf, I was probably one of the first people to receive the N6005 variant, and it doesn't seem to be that many people had bought even the N5105 variant at the time. This little box was supposed to be a stopgap solution, and was bought since STH was running an article series on the 2.5G router appliance, which is where most people found out about them, especially after the articles were aggregated to other tech sites. Normally I just build my own router, however this time I didn't have time, and sourcing the parts I want was a bit difficult.

I'd much rather have a route appliance using Elkhart Lake, but after over a year of Elkhart Lake being "released," there are still no suitable SBCs or mITX boards, even from the industrial motherboard makers. My usual go-to previously was Jetway IPC, but in recent years it seems their company has put minimal effort into updating their line of network-focused motherboards which used to be quite popular.

Great advice though. I had considered a bunch of that on my other router-specific thread where now I guess it's time to game out a custom router build.

18 hours of Memtest86+ was flawless so I stopped it.

No matter that it runs stable (ish) with the little fan installed I went ahead and initiated a return/refund request with Ali - this should be fun...
Yes, I'd recommend filing a dispute right away. Topton is going to try to run down the dispute clock (which starts the moment you hit the confirmation of delivery button, or if it auto-accepts after timeout). You only have 15 days from the confirmation of delivery to file a dispute, otherwise you'll have to take the long way like me and go through AliExpress/PayPal.
 

Patrick

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Also noticed temps on the NVMe disk were sitting ~65c in windows idle and quickly rose >80c with any disk activity at all.
Hey @PigLover which NVMe SSD did you use?

I am in Oregon at the moment, but I have six running in Texas just looping OpenSSL and iperf3. I raised the room temp to 28-31C. Still at zero crashes on the units at the 72-hour mark. Trying to get one to fail because that would be an interesting finding, but I need to actually have one fail.

@Razvan I think the reason you see contradicting images is that they did a motherboard rev on the 6x 2.5GbE units.
 
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PigLover

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Hey @PigLover which NVMe SSD did you use?

I am in Oregon at the moment, but I have six running in Texas just looping OpenSSL and iperf3. I raised the room temp to 28-31C. Still at zero crashes on the units at the 72-hour mark. Trying to get one to fail because that would be an interesting finding, but I need to actually have one fail.

@Razvan I think the reason you see contradicting images is that they did a motherboard rev on the 6x 2.5GbE units.
Its a PM961 256Gb. Just one that I have with Windows loaded for testing things. RAM is pretty generic, 2x16Gb.

Note that mine have never faulted - just got perilously hot before i installed the little fan.
 
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dazagrt

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Tbf, I was probably one of the first people to receive the N6005 variant, and it doesn't seem to be that many people had bought even the N5105 variant at the time. This little box was supposed to be a stopgap solution, and was bought since STH was running an article series on the 2.5G router appliance, which is where most people found out about them,
Hey mate thanks heaps for this thread, it has been a good read and it has slowed me down from pulling the pin on a Topton N6005 6 port. If, I was still to go through with it, would you still not buy the N6005 over the N5105?
 
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ReturnedSword

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Hey mate thanks heaps for this thread, it has been a good read and it has slowed me down from pulling the pin on a Topton N6005 6 port. If, I was still to go through with it, would you still not buy the N6005 over the N5105?
Aside from the bad thermal solution, I would not buy from Topton or KingNovy at all, judging from their lack of follow up if there’s a problem. Personally if I were you I’d wait until it’s available on Amazon or eBay (shipped from your country), even if it costs a bit more. That way if there are any issues you won’t have a hard time returning/exchanging.
 
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dazagrt

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Aside from the bad thermal solution, I would not buy from Topton or KingNovy at all, judging from their lack of follow up if there’s a problem. Personally if I were you I’d wait until it’s available on Amazon or eBay (shipped from your country), even if it costs a bit more. That way if there are any issues you won’t have a hard time returning/exchanging.
I went with a N5105 & 4 ports to "try it on for size".

I'll just see how it goes. If it's not for me, it's got enough ports for it to be saleable for someone else's interest.
 

worie

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Jun 30, 2022
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What model of i7 box with I225 did you order?
Hi, just came across this thread. I own the i7-1165g7 edition by TopTon ordered through Aliexpress.

I'm currently running Windows Server 2022 on it and OPNSense virtualized. This is all working fine so far. Since I didn't trust the passive cooling, I put the whole appliance on an AC Infinity USB 120mm Fan on its lowest setting. This is enough to let the system run reasonably cool.

I installed 64gigs of Gskill memory, paired with first an Patriot P300 1TB nVME SSD, now switched out to an Samsung 980. So far everything is working fine without BSODs and other errors.

When first setting everything up, nearly no devices were identified correctly. I had to manually update the NICs with the official Intel package, the GPIO drivers and so on. In the end everything worked out ok.

However, I now encounter one issue, which I hadn't expected in the beginning. I want to backup the Hyper-V host through Veeam, but I'm unable to add the server as a host which is due to the BIOS having no manufacturer information whatsoever. The issue seems to arise from a missing UUID which is needed by Veeam to correctly identify the system. I already spent several hours searching for ways to add any UUID, but sadly with no results. In my endeavours to find a working BIOS I came across this thread here.

So, has anyone an idea who would be the manufacturer? I bought my unit from TopTon. As you stated, they are also sold by Kingnovy and I found another seller on amazon.de called Hamsing or HSIPC. They are all the same and just private labeled. Maybe someone could dump the BIOS of their unit if it has any info concerning manufacturer and so on, so that I could flash mine. Or help me find a tool that lets me alter the correct values in an already dumped BIOS.

Also, heres some more info (or lack thereof if you look at "Motherboard ;) )

1656592100337.png

20220628_194453.jpg
 
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Razvan

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@worie Looks like the power/disk leds are on the nic side which is nothing like the advertised board :)

Hopefully this placement is for the new board revision and not old stock.
 

ReturnedSword

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Hi, just came across this thread. I own the i7-1165g7 edition by TopTon ordered through Aliexpress.

I'm currently running Windows Server 2022 on it and OPNSense virtualized. This is all working fine so far. Since I didn't trust the passive cooling, I put the whole appliance on an AC Infinity USB 120mm Fan on its lowest setting. This is enough to let the system run reasonably cool.

I installed 64gigs of Gskill memory, paired with first an Patriot P300 1TB nVME SSD, now switched out to an Samsung 980. So far everything is working fine without BSODs and other errors.

When first setting everything up, nearly no devices were identified correctly. I had to manually update the NICs with the official Intel package, the GPIO drivers and so on. In the end everything worked out ok.

However, I now encounter one issue, which I hadn't expected in the beginning. I want to backup the Hyper-V host through Veeam, but I'm unable to add the server as a host which is due to the BIOS having no manufacturer information whatsoever. The issue seems to arise from a missing UUID which is needed by Veeam to correctly identify the system. I already spent several hours searching for ways to add any UUID, but sadly with no results. In my endeavours to find a working BIOS I came across this thread here.

So, has anyone an idea who would be the manufacturer? I bought my unit from TopTon. As you stated, they are also sold by Kingnovy and I found another seller on amazon.de called Hamsing or HSIPC. They are all the same and just private labeled. Maybe someone could dump the BIOS of their unit if it has any info concerning manufacturer and so on, so that I could flash mine. Or help me find a tool that lets me alter the correct values in an already dumped BIOS.

Also, heres some more info (or lack thereof if you look at "Motherboard ;) )

View attachment 23359

View attachment 23360
Looks like a MW-TGL-2.5GLV10 motherboard. I wasn't able to find any information on who the manufacturer is.
 

Patrick

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@worie mine just arrived when I got home. Sadly, back at the airport in <36 hours so I am not sure I will get to open it before then. That is perhaps the most interesting niche case I have heard thus far on one of these.
 

ReturnedSword

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The Topton adventure continues.

They agreed to a “refund” but refuse to state after multiple asks if that would be a full refund or not. They also expect the unit to be shipped back via 2-day air express, which the cheapest cost will be $360, when the unit was $290 including tax. This is after taking nearly 2 months to ship the unit to me, including the usual snail slow ocean freight.

Wow, just no words. I’ll be filing a PayPal dispute instead.