Back at CES, we saw what looked like a first budget-style entry into the 10GBase-T networking arena for low-cost, high-speed RJ-45 networking that would be backwards compatible with most of an enthusiasts home network infrastructure. At the time I was told it would be $300, but I misread the brochure and thought it said ten 10G ports. When I realized it said two ports 10GBase-T with another 8x1G ports, it still looked pretty interesting to say the least. ASUS is now formally announcing the launch of the hardware, called the XG-U2008, for $250 available at Newegg today.

At CES we saw a brushed aluminium switch, with the aim focused more on the premium and prosumer market. The styling of the switch on release essentially matches the one we saw at the show. There isn’t much in the way to say about the switch – it is unmanaged, offers two 10GBase-T ports and eight 1G ports, with the latter also supporting 100 Mbps standards. The total switch fabric affords a rated 56 Gbps bandwidth as well as up to 16 KB jumbo frames and a 2Mb memory buffer. The external adapter is rated at 18W, and it measures 1.06-inch high.

Putting this into perspective, we recently did a quick news post rounding up all the motherboards with 10GBase-T preinstalled and noted that the additional cost of the switch and the motherboard puts the cost per port for 10GBase-T around $100-$150. Aside from the $200 extra per motherboard for one or two ports, an 8-port switch comes in at around $700 (or a 16-port for $1400). Compared to the larger and more expensive switches, this switch only has two 10G ports, meaning that the only options for connectivity will be between a 10G NAS and a bigger 10G switch, or a 10G PC and a 10G NAS - ASUS marks down that for a PC-based LAN, a couple of servers could be on the 10G ports instead.

Options for low-cost 10GBase-T switches mean that it’s a minimum $700 for a few ports, which for most users is not particularly low cost. Bringing at least two ports in a 10G switch for $250 brings the cost of ownership right down and more palatable, although only having two ports has some limitations. The fact that it's available straight away from Newegg for anyone (in the US) is a plus.

Source: ASUS Edge Up, ASUS Product Page, Newegg

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  • Valantar - Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - link

    I think I'm smack-dab in the middle of the target group for this. I'll be building a video editing rig for my girlfriend in winter/spring, and at the same time want to move our backups off the current combo HTPC/NAS and onto a dedicated network storage unit (windows file sharing is just not my friend) that can also serve as a raw clip dump for her.

    I have no actual need for anything beyond GBE for my desktop or the HTPC, but having a 10GBE link between the NAS and her editing rig would be a HUGE boon. Of course, 2.5/5GBE across the board would be nice for future-proofing, but considering the spec was just announced I doubt any affordable switches will be showing up in the near future.
    Reply
  • close - Monday, October 10, 2016 - link

    No point to this device? Do you know many people with multiple (as in 3 and up) 10G connected devices in their home but with a $250 budget limit?

    This is a consumer product. Most people would probably connect one PC or one NAS that would serve the rest of the 1G connections at once without hiccups. Some could possibly cascade two routers but would still have 2 ports available for the devices.

    The features you're looking for are beyond an unmanaged $250 switch.
    Reply
  • close - Monday, October 10, 2016 - link

    *cascade two switches. Reply
  • Communism - Monday, October 10, 2016 - link

    Maybe for random consumers, but currently you can do this already without a appliance type switch.

    You already need the 10gbit adapter on the server and the client, so all you have to do is plug in either a 8/10 port gigabit switch into either the server or client, or if you want the full bandwidth to all the 1gbit clients, then plug in some dirt cheap 2 port 1gbit adapters into either your server or client and you replicate the capabilities.
    Reply
  • close - Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - link

    Is a 10G "appliance type switch" a $250 device that you buy, plug in, no configuration an no fuss and it works? Can you give me a link to such a switch that has at least 2 10G ports (and 4-8 1G ports) that I can literally set up from scratch in a minute, is silent and costs around $250 or less? Because that's what this is.

    If you want management or teaming this is not for you. Go to eBay, you'll find cheap, second hand, rack-mount, actively cooled 10G switches that do exactly what you want.

    Next you're gonna complain it doesn't do routing since any "appliance type router" does it...
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 10, 2016 - link

    What sort of cooling does this use? Current gen 10GbE NICs are 15-20W per port, which suggests that this probably needs at least 35W to operate. Does it have a fan for active cooling (something regularly cited as a strict no-go for consumer hardware), or is the aluminium chassis doing double duty as a fashion statement and heat sink? Reply
  • close - Monday, October 10, 2016 - link

    If the article is any indication of the real life product: "The external adapter is rated at 18W". Reply
  • bcronce - Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - link

    That high wattage is because of old 45nm sized fabrication. Intel's 32nm quad port 10Gb NICs only consume about 20watts, and Intel's newest dual port 40Gb NICs only consume about 12 watts, but they're 28nm.

    Intel does have 14nm SOC dual port 10Gb with 8core Xeon, where the entire system only consumes something like 50watts total. At 14nm, the 10Gb ports consume about the same power as 1Gb.

    10Gb is trivial and cheap at 14nm, but no one is going to waste perfectly good bleeding edge fabrication on small margin network gear when they can make large margins on CPUs.
    Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - link

    My only concern about this: can it be wall mounted? Reply
  • Icehawk - Sunday, October 16, 2016 - link

    I will be a lot more interested when they can offer a 4x4 switch at this price point - I'd like to have my PCs and NAS connected and still have at least one expansion option left on 10G. A few 1Gs to connect my printer, modem, etc would be perfect. Hopefully by then NICs will be priced significantly lower.

    When the total package for a 4x10G switch + 1 NIC is closer to that ~$250 is when we will see this gain traction in the consumer market and even then still in the higher end consumer/prosumer - grandma and your neighbor aren't going 10G until it's cheap as chips.
    Reply

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