Gowin R86S mini PC offers 2.5GbE and 10GbE networking for $310 and up

Gowin R86S (aka GW-R86S) is an affordable Intel Celeron N5100 or Pentium N6005 Jasper Lake mini PC, router, and firewall appliance with 2.5GbE and 10GbE networking that sells for $310 and up on Aliexpress.

10GbE used to be reserved for the enterprise market due to the cost of hardware, but costs have gone down a lot as illustrated by the Gowin R86S system with up to three 2.5GbE ports, two 10GbE SFP+ cages, as well as ports that you would typically find a mini PC such as HDMI 2.0 video output, M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, and a WiFi module.

Gowin R86S mini PC 10GbE 2.5GbE ports

Gowin R86S specifications:

  • SoC (one or the other)
    • Intel Celeron N5105 quad-core Jasper Lake processor @ 2.0GHz / 2.9GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD graphics 605; 10W TDP
    • Intel Pentium N6005 quad-core Jasper Lake processor @ 2.0GHz / 3.3GHz (Turbo) with Intel UHD graphics @ up to 900 MHz; 10W TDP
  • System Memory – 8GB or 16GB DDR4-2933
  • Storage – 128GB eMMC flash, M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, MicroSD card socket
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 2.0 port
  • Networking
    • 3x 2.5GbE RJ45 ports via Intel i225-V controllers
    • R86S G-Series only – 2x 10GbE SFP+ cages through an NVIDIA-Mellanox ConnectX-3 dual 10GbE OCP NIC 2.0 card
    • R86S P1 & P2 – M.2 2230 WiFi and Bluetooth? module
    • R86S G3 – Intel AX201 WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.2 module soldered on mainboard plus two external antennas
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Misc – Power button
  • Power Supply – 12V via DC jack
  • Dimensions & Weight
    • R86S P-Series – 119 x 79 x 27.5 mm | 360 grams
    • R86S G-Series – 119 x 79 x 41 mm | 460 grams
Gowin R86S internals SSD
R86S G3 fitted with WD Blue SN570 M.2 SSD – Source: ServeTheHome

The system comes pre-loaded with OpenWrt, but the company also lists Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, Proxmox, CentOS, and pfSense operating systems. Five SKUs are available with the G-Series adding SFP+ cages which are missing in the P-Series models:

  • GW-R86S P1 – Celeron N5105 with 8GB RAM, WiFi module
  • GW-R86S P1 – Celeron N5105 with 16GB RAM, WiFi module
  • GW-R86S G1 – Celeron N5105 with 8GB RAM, no wireless module
  • GW-R86S G2 – Celeron N5105 with 16GB RAM, no wireless module
  • GW-R86S G3 – Pentium N6005 with 16GB RAM, Intel AX201 WiFi 6 & Bluetooth 5.2 module

We found out about the Gowin R86S through ServeTheHome where Patrick Kennedy reviewed the GW-R58S G3 model with OpenWrt, pfSense, OPNsense, Ubuntu, Proxmox VE, Windows, and VMware ESXi 8. The network performance, tested with iperf3, was great just as advertised with the throughput maximized at 2.5Gbps and 10 Gbps speeds, but it is worth noting that the SFP+ cages don’t seem to work at 2.5 and 5Gbps, so only 1Gbps and 10 Gbps are supported. Overall, Patrick was really happy about the device, barely larger than a Raspberry Pi 4 mini PC, with downsides including mostly the fan noise and the Intel Pentium N6005 may become a bottleneck for some workloads. People who prefer video reviews will find one embedded below.

YouTube video player

While the Gowin GW-R86S G1 sells for about $310 with a Celeron N5105 SoC and 8GB RAM, the top model (GW-R86S G3) tested by STH above with a Pentium N6005, 16GB RAM, and an AX201 WiFi 6 module goes for $455 including shipping (but not taxes for our European friends).

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18 Replies to “Gowin R86S mini PC offers 2.5GbE and 10GbE networking for $310 and up”

  1. That’s a good deal. Very roughly comparable (in specs) with the mcbin with the same price tag, but a bit more modern and with a bit faster CPU that will deal better with heavier workloads and packet rates. Looks like the 10G NIC is a ConnectX4, which is pretty good.

  2. So it looks like the 6 PCIe lanes are used like this:

    WiFi ( 1 PCIe lane) + 3 x 2.5GbE (2 PCIe lanes) + 2 x 10GbE SFP+ (2 PCIe lanes) + NVMe (1 PCIe lane)

    A ConnectX-3 normally uses 8 lanes if you want to be able to reach 56Gbps.
    I tried a ConnectX-3 Pro on an ODROID-H3+ (via 4 x PCIe lanes of the NVMe slot) and was able to reach 25GbE with IPoIB.

    With only 2 PCIe lanes, I see no problem for 1 x 10GbE. But I’m not sure it will support 2 x 10GbE traffic simultaneously at full speed. A mix of 10GbE and 2.5GbE routing should be OK.

    Is the eMMC slotted or soldered?

    1. These are PCIe 3.0 lanes so 2 of them should be a little less than 16 Gb/s max.

      Also, does the N6005 have 6 or 8 lanes? ARK says 8.

    2. @tkaiser, @anonymous

      I stand corrected(*) and the 2 x 10GbE SFP+ enjoy 4 PCIe lanes which totally removes the concern about supporting simultaneous 10GbE traffic on both ports.

      (*) Intel® Pentium® Silver and Intel® Celeron® Processors Datasheet, Volume 1 of 2, 17.4 p169

  3. I got one few months ago, not thought about it as something new what I should suggest as a news item 🙂 Nice little beast.

    To answer few questions in comments:

    • Device have site (cn version have more info) and github repo, but a lot things targeted to China, i.e. in Openwrt I found some “accelerators” and links to chineese only forums (firewalled to outside world).
    • Dual SFP+ cages connected via PCIe x4 lanes (FPC1). FPC2 have 2 PCIe lanes + USB + SATA.
    • EMMC and RAM are soldered.
    • LEDE firmware is not old fork of OpenWRT but some chineese power-pack with same name.

    While writing this comment I finally understood what this mini PC have standard OCP 2.0 card, so it can be replaced? Now I finally got idea why on site they compare power consumption of 3 NICs, hm. But I do not have knowledge about server world.

  4. Would this do 10gigabit NAT and very basic firewalling between the two SFP+?

    I have a Mikrotik Rb5009 as uplink but OMFG, routeros7 is weird… [it also does not really reach wirespeed]

    1. NAT speed doesn’t depend on the bit rate but the connection rate and, to a lesser extent, the packet rate. I think such a CPU would have no problem reaching 50k connections per second with NAT enabled, and forward a few Mpps, but not much more.

      1. Well then let’s assume it’s mostly 1500b packets… Though perhaps it doesn’t matter, as the I can’t go above 2.5gbit (mostly even just 1gbit) per client due to the wiring…

        1. Depends how you connect them, you’re having two 10G links and they could even use 802.1q to a switch and permit any combination of incoming and outgoing bandwidths to a number of clients. Note, I’m assuming you mean 1500B packets (bytes) and not 1500b packets (bits). If so, at 10 Gbps, you get roughly 800k of such packets each second in each direction, that’s very low. I used to *proxy* that with 25% of a core on a core2duo machine, and the macchiatobin does’t need much more to do the same. I have no doubt these CPUs will not suffer here.

    1. Yes, you’re right. The AX201 is indeed soldered to the R86S G3 model based on STH’s review photos, but the P1 and P2 SKUs are listed as having an “2230 WiFi card slot” on Aliexpress.

  5. I’m very much in the market for a pair of the G3 series model but would like to see an option where I provide my own OCP 2.0 NIC as I have plenty of these from my own stock.
    Very good package nonetheless.

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