NanoPi R6S vs. N100 with i226 LAN

I have Virgin Media Gig1 broadband 1,130Mbps

Unfortunately my current OpenWrt router based on Intel N3700 have only 2 x 1GbE ports.

So... my max download is only 940Mbps.

I'm thinking to buy a new one... and keep the current one as backup.

So far I see 2 options...

A) NanoPi R6S - with FriendlyWRT 23.05.3 (for some time only until official OpenWrt will support this device)

B) Mini PC N100 8GB RAM 120GB nvme and 4 i226 Lan ports.

Now I have a few questions:

1 - is it safe to use FriendlyWRT 23.05.3 ?

2 - which hardware will be more powerful and better for the future

3 - is OpenWrt 23.05.3 (regular stable version, not snapshot) supporting i226 Ethernet without making any extra tasks?

I never had any ARM computer... but have a few Intel based mini pc.
Because of that I'm closer to chose N100 / 8GB RAM / i226 2.5GbE device.
The only thing I'm afraid are... drivers for i226.

I don't need WiFi modules in my router as I have Linksys AP for this tasks.

For me router is just simple box with WAN and LAN ports. Then come the switch and the rest of network.

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Might want to throw an N97 device into your decision process. More performant according to their testing.

First... thank you for answer.

Second... OK... ODROID-H4+ was first device on my list... but is the most expensive one. Also... have no idea how this will work with or without fan.

Also... I will have the same question here...

Will ODROID-H4+ work with OpenWrt 23.05.3 without any extra tasks to do?

check ethtool wan to see the port speed on provider's side, then buy proper speed device (filogic are best supported, 7621 may not exceed gigabit)

Thank you for the answer...

But how is this related with my questions?

I have WiFi covered by other devices and I'm happy with it.

What I need is ethernet router with 2 x 2.5GbE ports.

My ISP is offering me 1130Mbps speed. But because I use 1GbE ports I can use only 940Mbps which is max what 1GbE can do.

Banana pi r4 might be more attractive

You want only 3 yes/no answers?

  1. no idea, examine source files
  2. see the list?
  3. default included in x86, on other platforms you need to add kmod.

In theory you'll gain approx. 20% speed.

  1. You've got a 2.5G (or faster) Ethernet switch.
  2. All your devices connected via LAN have also got at least 2.5GBit or a faster connection.

If all this is true, fine. If not, keep everything as it is at the moment.

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thanks again...

Not exactly yes/no answers. I'm open for discussion as far as I understand what you are saying. I'm not 100% green but my knowledge is limited.

Now the most important... if I understand correctly Intel i226 drivers are included in x86 OpenWrt 23.05.3 version?

I just want to be 100% sure that I understand you correctly.

Thanks for answer... yes I did the math :wink:

I already did network upgrade with main line 10Gbps OM3 fibre going between switches, then 2.5Gbps (mostly for PC and home servers where I replaced network cards to faster) and at the end 1Gbps where higher speed is not needed.

I have 2 x WiFi 6 AP with 2.5Gb port and this is solving WiFi and I use it only for some smart devices and mobile phones, tablets etc.

What I need is new ethernet router with two 2.5Gbps ports because current one based on old NUC N3700 with 2 x 1Gbps ports is the problem.

I tried "upgrade" it with 2 x 2.5Gbps USB cards but they were cheap crap from aliexpress and they didn't work like expected even on W11.

I will not buy 2 x expensive USB adapters because it make no sense.

I will keep current router as backup and prefer to buy a new one.

I was looking for it a few times already... but I'm not convinced.

First... I would have to use 2 x SFP modules because other 4 Ethernet ports are 1Gbps.

I have no idea how will look compatibility and drivers when I will install OpenWrt 23.05.3

I don't want to have problems and then spend days trying to find solution.

I'm looking for reasonable simple solution which will be easy to setup.

I have fired up OpenWrt on a X86 with i226 in a Proxmox VE (not Odroid), long time passing, but everything was there OOTB and the NICs ran fine.

I have a H2+ and a H3+, neither running OpenWrt. Never used a fan on the H2. Put a Noctua on the H3+, set the thresholds so it runs continuously at minimal speed, I have never noticed it speed up due to heat increase, but cannot hear the fan with the unit right here on my desk... I doubt it is needed with the H4+, unless you need to use their BIOS setting to kick things up, but it's a router, so..., but at least you can now mount fan inside the case.

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If you're worried about FriendlyWRT, you can run this community build of OpenWRT for the R6S:

The R6S idles at only 2W and I haven't seen it above 5W while routing 1Gbit full duplex.

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Thanks for answer.

Great news regarding i226 working without any problems.

If I will decide to buy H4+ will order it with standard slim fan anyway. I may try to do some settings in BIOS or set low but constant speed as you suggested.

This is what I did with current Intel NUC N3700 and never noticed that device was overheated.

Thanks... I already discovered it on this forum.

Who is behind this build? Can I trust it?

For me it's not a problem since backbone of my home network runs on 10/25 gig fibers. And the bonus is wifi 7 when they finish all things related to this module. And still my firewall is pfsense.

I only use OM3 optic fibre 10Gbps between the routers.

I don't need that connection going directly to my router.

Also WiFi 6 is max what I need.

Don't know the person behind those builds. But it's open source and you can build it from source yourself if you're worried.
I wanted slightly different packages in my image out of the box, so I took their files, selected those packages and built my own image.

Yes, it is great option to create own image.

Do you know what kernel are they using for this builds? Is it LTS Kernel?

There were some accusations on FriendlyElec that they are not using LTS kernels for their builds and this may cause security risk.

But this is far from getting stable support at this moment, if OP wants more immediate solution then R4 is not the choice, however R3-mini probably can be one option.

You can always disable the WiFi and just use the router as wired one, in fact if you look at GL-INET MT6000 (Flint 2) this dual 2.5GbE router is pretty awesome, the WiFi6 might probably better than your existing Linksys AP.

i225/i226 is hit or miss, i226 claims to be improved but my colleagues are driver developers which sometimes also complain about the inconsistencies they've observed.
I actually own both R6S & N100 mini PC with dual i226, I really like how small and power efficient the R6S is, but it's not getting close to have official OpenWrt support yet, it's weaker variant R5S is in snapshot which I believe it's getting close to stable soon.

For the previously suggested ODROID-H4+, I don't think it's ok to run barely without extra cooling, since my N100 CWWK Magic is also purely passive cooling, with a much much bigger piece heatsink (the whole case is the heatsink) it can still run very warm during high CPU load, I can't believe the H4+ can handle this without a fan in long run (unless you are telling me that you want to put it in idle state all the time)