Aquantia, a producer of high-speed transceivers and basic proponent of high-speed community controllers above and past the gigabit-class NICs which can be included on nearly each motherboard today, needs to push wired PC connectivity to the following degree. To that finish, they’ve introduced a brand new pair of add-in playing cards that might transfer ethernet help off of the motherboard and again on to separate PCI Categorical playing cards — albeit at a lot sooner switch charges than something you should buy within the client market right this moment.
Aquantia’s new AQtion single-port community playing cards are available in two flavors: AQN107 and AQN108. They use the AQC107 and AQC108 controllers respectively, simply to maintain issues easy. The chief distinction between them is that the AQN-108 tops out at 5GBASE-T (5 gigabit) whereas the AQN-107 affords help for 10GBASE-T (10 gigabit).
The AQN107 affords an x4 PCI Categorical Gen three connector whereas the AQN108 is restricted to a single x1 connector. Each playing cards are backwards appropriate with older PCI Categorical slots, although you’ll see a commensurate fall-off in bandwidth. Aquantia is promoting that it could actually help 10GbE with CAT6a cable and 5GGbE by way of Cat5e.
There’s only one downside…
Let me say this up entrance: I feel it’s type of ridiculous that house networks mainly hit gigabit ethernet and stopped, as if no person ever had a cause for or an curiosity in increased pace house networks. However the elephant within the room for Aquantia isn’t its NIC worth, although some clients could balk at $100 for the AQN108 and $130 for the AQN107: It’s the price of the community you want to make your dream of a 5-10GbE house community a actuality.
A mud-cheap swap on Newegg might be had for $10-$20. A Netgear XS708Ev2 Eight-port 10-gigabit managed swap is a $700 piece of apparatus. Now, earlier than anybody argues that this represents an absurd piece of substances to stuff into a house or small house workplace, I agree. However the reality is, as of this writing, there’s no client merchandise on this phase in any respect. Nobody has constructed the “naked bones” 5GbE or 10GbE swap or router you’ll need to purchase for gaming or a centralized 4K streaming media / backup server. There’s a dizzying array of client routers and switches available on the market, with various commonplace help and their very own characteristic units, and nothing remotely equal in terms of constructing house infrastructure at speeds above gigabit.
Again when particular person laborious drives had been the limiting issue on client storage efficiency, this made a specific amount of sense. Shoppers, in any case, largely don’t use fancy storage arrays that may want greater than gigabit ethernet. However the introduction of SSDs means we now have storage units that may maintain extraordinarily excessive switch charges. The corresponding enchancment in house community efficiency by no means materialized, probably as a result of wi-fi firms are pouring extra power into discovering methods to construct gigabit wi-fi networks that may’t be defeated by atmospheric humidity and tissue paper moderately, than constructing “boring” wired infrastructure that’s 10x sooner than what customers should purchase right this moment.
Anybody contemplating an Aquantia NIC should purchase with this actuality in thoughts. Except you’ve picked up some 5-10GbE from enterprise fireplace gross sales or when your individual firm cleaned out its racks, you’ll must pay high greenback for networking to reap the benefits of these speeds.
Now learn: How do SSDs work?