Aquantia got a lot of positive publicity this year with its relatively inexpensive 5G and 10G network cards, which brought multi-gigabit Ethernet down to around $100, making them some two-to-three times cheaper than earlier NICs. On Black Friday, the company is going to slash prices of its cards even further to $59 – $69 per unit, making these the cheapest multi-gigabit NICs to date.

Aquantia’s AQN-107 and AQN-108 network cards are based on the company’s AQC107 (10 GbE) and AQC108 (5 GbE) multi-gigabit network controllers. The more affordable AQN-108 card uses a PCIe 3.0 x1 interface and supports various BASE-T standards, including 100M, 1G, 2.5G and 5G over an RJ45 connector using Cat5e/Cat6 cabling. The more advanced AQN-107 card features a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface and supports all of the aforementioned standards as well as 10G. The cards are compatible with various contemporary and legacy PCs running Windows 7/8/10 or Linux 3.2/3.6/4.2/4.4.

On Black Friday, November 24, the Aquantia AQtion AQN-108 5G NIC will be sold for $59, down from its regular price of $99. The AQtion AQN-107 10G NIC will be available for an $69, down from $127 regularly. This promotion is only going to work with Aquantia’s international distributors — Arrow, WPGA and WPI, but not regular retailers (see direct links to the cards on websites of the said companies in the table below).

Aquantia AQtion Multi-Gigabit NICs
Card AQN-107 AQN-108
Controller AQC-107 AQC-108
100BASE-T Yes Yes
1000BASE-T Yes Yes
2.5GBASE-T Yes Yes
5GBASE-T Yes Yes
10GBASE-T Yes No
Ports 1 1
MSRP $127 $99
Black Friday Promo Price $69 $59
Buy from Distributors Arrow
WPGA
WPI
Arrow
WPGA
WPI

It is not unusual for various companies to sell their products at bargain prices on Black Friday, however such a deep discount on a recently launched product is a bit more atypical. Keeping in mind that the AQN-107 and AQN-108 network cards were released only several months ago and are up to date (and you do not expect NIC developers to introduce new models every year), it is clear that $59 – $69 per unit are price points that Aquantia is comfortable with, and that this isn't a Black Friday close-out sale. It's probably a bit premature to make predictions regarding future retail prices of Aquantia-based multi-gigabit network adapters from partners like ASUS and GIGABYTE (who want to earn on their products), but it is safe to say that the multi-gig cards can get cheaper than they are now.

While multi-gigabit Ethernet cards for $59 – $69 look very affordable (by today’s standards), multi-gigabit switches still remain rather expensive. We have been monitoring pricing and availability of 10 GbE-supporting switches at leading U.S. retailers for several months now and it turns out that the least expensive model is still the ASUS XG-U2008 10GBase-T (two 10 GbE ports, eight GbE connectors) that is available for $220 from Amazon and Newegg. Perhaps, Black Friday will bring some sweeter deals.

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  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - link

    WPI charges a ridiculous handling fee on top of shipping and sales tax. WPGA appears to be in China. I wish they'd just sell the damn cards on Amazon. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - link

    FYI, the deal on Arrow is only for Friday and new customers get 20% off and they have a special for 10% off (THANKYOU code) also and get free shipping over $20. So that is the best place so far to get those NICs; take advantage. The other two were still cheaper than without the discount but had stuff like $10 handling fee and then an insane shipping fee but the price changes were already showing earlier (often Black Friday deals are from Wednesday to Sunday). .

    I had to email Aquantia directly because Arrow customer support had no idea what the hell I was talking about regarding a Black Friday promo but Aquantia confirmed it.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Apparently Arrow didn't get the message. It's 11/24 and their site still has the $129 price. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Arrow finally updated their prices. Just bought 2. Reply
  • merikafyeah - Thursday, November 23, 2017 - link

    It's about damn time these cards started coming down in price. But still, you can get genuine Intel dual-NIC 10Gbe cards on ebay for about $100 USD. Reply
  • martin0641 - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Ubiquity just launched a 10g switch with fiber uplinks for 600. Reply
  • erwos - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    They need a 10g switch that does it with CAT6 directly. SFP is nice for certain applications, but my runs are nowhere near requiring that. Reply
  • Dslay04 - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Actually it has both. 12 SFP+ and 4 Base-T. All 10G, does not support 2.5G or 5G Reply
  • Sahrin - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Any computer with with multiple free x4 PCIe slots is a 10 Gb switch with these cards. Reply
  • bcronce - Sunday, November 26, 2017 - link

    Good luck actually forwarding those packets at 10Gb rates. Most network stacks and CPUs couldn't handle it. 4 10Gb ports is going to need a minimum of about 19GiB/s(8.3GiB/s in and the same out) of memory bandwidth, and probably closer to 40GiB/s for practical reasons. That means quad channel DDR4.

    There are some optimizations in the pipeline for many OSes in order to handle 40Gb/100Gb NICs.

    Netflix has recently been able to almost reach 100Gb/s, not full duplex, with 8 channel dual socket servers, with all kinds of custom code and 24+ cpu cores. A 10Gb switch trivially handles several hundreds of Gb/s for much less power than a single CPU.
    Reply

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