Consumer brand (trendnet/asus) vs used enterprise 10Gbe Nic for 10Gbe over cat5e?

bleomycin

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Nov 22, 2014
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After seeing success on the Internet of others successfully running 10 Gigabit networks in their homes over existing CAT5 and CAT5E in-wall cables I'm about to give it a go myself. The furthest away client device will be my windows desktop and I'm unsure if I should go with one of the consumer grade adapters like this or this? I like that these don't have fans indicating they don't draw much power and they support multi gig speeds in case 10Gbe winds up being a bust I can fall back to something slower.

I figure another option is a mellanox connectx-3 with an SFP+ RJ45 module. The advantage I see to this is the modules come in various distance options 30M, 80M, 100M etc. I have no idea if one of these modules would help with the odds of success or not. They are also quite expensive and power hungry. If anyone knows of any used well supported enterprise grade cards on eBay that do not need an SFP+ module with good windows drivers that would be very helpful.
 

TRACKER

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Jan 14, 2019
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Hello,
i use these at home without problems and with cat5e cable (5-10m drops).
I had no issues with cat6 cable 40meters as well :)
Unfortunately these don't support 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps, but i wanted to anyway run 10Gbps so...yeah.
(Integrated) drivers for windows 10 work perfectly. There are also drivers for win7 (and windows server versions) but never tried those.
 

i386

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If anyone knows of any used well supported enterprise grade cards on eBay that do not need an SFP+ module with good windows drivers that would be very helpful.
Intel nics are pretty awesome for 10GBE over cat cables and supported in almost every os out of the box.

Intel > broadcom > aquantia (like the asus you linked) > realtek/marvell > unknown (like the trendnet, but I think it might be an aquantia too)
 

Tom5051

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Jan 18, 2017
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If you have a a thunderbolt 3 port available you could get either a Sonnet or a QNAP adapter.
Both use the Aquantia chip (now owned by Marvell)

 

eatbuckshot

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Sep 26, 2020
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I think the cheapest way to get dual 10Gbase-T Intel x540-t2 NIC's is to use these HP FlexibleLOM 561FLR-T 561FLR-T HP 701525-001 Ethernet 2-Port 10Gb RJ45 Network Adapter 700697-001 | eBay they go for 10-15$ (w/ BO) and combine them with a FlexibleLOM to PCIE adapter for about $10/ea LOT of 5/10 PCIE X8 to HP FlexibleLOM Quad GbE Ethernet 331 366 530 544 561 FLR | eBay (do not plug FLM directly into regular pcie slot)
They don't come with fans though and should probably get some airflow over them
I just grabbed myself about 6 of these

I was able to do 10Gbps over 10-15m of CAT5e
 
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bleomycin

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I think the cheapest way to get dual 10Gbase-T Intel x540-t2 NIC's is to use these HP FlexibleLOM 561FLR-T 561FLR-T HP 701525-001 Ethernet 2-Port 10Gb RJ45 Network Adapter 700697-001 | eBay they go for 10-15$ (w/ BO) and combine them with a FlexibleLOM to PCIE adapter for about $10/ea LOT of 5/10 PCIE X8 to HP FlexibleLOM Quad GbE Ethernet 331 366 530 544 561 FLR | eBay (do not plug FLM directly into regular pcie slot)

I just grabbed myself about 6 of these

I was able to do 10Gbps over 10-15m of CAT5e
Wow that is super cool. Have you tried them out yet all working well? Is it just plug and play with the adapter everything aligns correctly in the pcie slot or is some potential modification needed? I wonder what the power consumption is on these?
 

eatbuckshot

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Sep 26, 2020
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Wow that is super cool. Have you tried them out yet all working well? Is it just plug and play with the adapter everything aligns correctly in the pcie slot or is some potential modification needed? I wonder what the power consumption is on these?
Basically these PCI-E to FlexibleLOM adapter boards are designed to adapt the formfactor to be a regular full length PCIE card, and it includes a bracket. The designs are passive so no additional power is required and open source on github I believe.



They're based on the intel x540-T2, so for being dual 10gbase-t, and due to its it's relatively lower power consumption than using 10Gbase-T transceivers with a SFP+ 10g card
This article describes a newer generation intel NIC, codenamed fortville, on a new process node compared to the older x540-T2, but does mention the power consumption.
The X540-t2 (dual port) cards had a typical power consumption with 2m cables of 13.4w each.


There technically is also an adapter design on github that makes it a right angle adapter for 1U, but I don't see it for sale anywhere. There is a US ebay seller that has an unsoldered adapter that I may try to turn into a right angle adapter.

I've tried it out with the unsoldered adapter and i'm impressed it works connected with an official intel X540-T2 via a 10m cat5e cable.

to note: the x540-t2 based 10gbase-t nics aren't nBase-T or multigig

edit:
17.4w is reported for typical power consumption for the x540-t2 (i'm assuming at max cable distance)
 
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acquacow

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Feb 15, 2017
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I use a mix of the x540s and onboard x520s as well as some aquantia aqn107 nics all over cat5 at my home. Been running it for years w/o any issue. That asus card you linked is an aquantia chip. I have one and it works great. I managed to nab three aquantia-branded ones off this site for $90 a few years ago.

Switches are Netgear xs708t and xs712t

-- Dave
 
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