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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  • CheapSushi - Thursday, November 30, 2017 - link

    Well lucky me then I suppose since I'm waiting on pulling the trigger on a dual socket EPYC two node build. I want it all software defined. So no dedicated router or switch. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    I'd get two... but what's the main use for these for SOHO/home environment?

    Superfast NAS using multiple PCIe drives?
    Reply
  • foobaz - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    I think you overestimate the capability of gigabit ethernet. Two mechanical hard drives in RAID-0 will saturate it. Reply
  • mczak - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    You don't need RAID-0 for that, just one semi-recent mechanical drive will do (with sequential access only, of course...). Albeit some of the slower ones might not be all that faster than what gb ethernet can do even with sequential access. Reply
  • Calista - Monday, November 27, 2017 - link

    It may be rather easy to saturate a 1Gb port. But with what? Assuming the user wish to take a backup of his or her entire 10 TB NAS. Nothing done daily if I say so. It still would only take roughly one day. Assuming something a bit more realistic, such as copying a 50 GB bluray image or game install. It would take ten minutes. The common 6-10 GB bluray rip would take a minute to copy. And two hours to watch.

    I'm not saying 10Gb is pointless. But for 99 percent of even enthusiasts 1Gb seem good enough.
    Reply
  • 13Gigatons - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - link

    Always some doofus telling everyone that they don't "need" something. I suppose HD is good enough and we don't need 4K....but we are getting 4K anyways. Technology should always progress and 1Gigabit is old and tired now. If they can make 10 Gigabit standard over the next ten years then GREAT. My new motherboard or Laptop better come with the 10G Lan.

    PS: Hard drive speed is growing by leaps and bounds!!!!!!
    Reply
  • Dslay04 - Friday, November 24, 2017 - link

    Still need a FreeBSD driver so it can run on FreeNAS Reply
  • imaheadcase - Sunday, November 26, 2017 - link

    I hope people realize that upgrading to this speed is limited to most hardd rives anyways. Much like the transition to 1Gb back in the day from 100Mb. I forget link, but a small town made its own Fiber network a while back, and the problem they encountered was that they had to install bunch of hardrives to "cache" data before hand because of bandwidth limits on devices. Reply
  • Hurn - Monday, November 27, 2017 - link

    If you're looking for an 8 port switch that natively handles 10G, 5G, 2.5G, 1G, and 100M, and don't mind spending $500, there's the Buffalo BS-XP2008.
    I just got one, recently, and purchased a couple of AQN-107 cards, along with having a mobo that came with an AQ-108 onboard.
    Unfortunately, I didn't know about this sale (and don't think Arrow has any price drop guarantee) or I would have waited.
    Anyway, I can verify that the above mentioned switch actually is compatible with the AQ cards.
    I connected the cards and switch as a completely separate subnet -- left the 1G existing network (with router connection to Internet) in place, and set up CIFS fileshares.
    With Windows 8.1 and newer, have seen in excess of 1GB/sec. Windows 7 is somewhat slower, between 400 and 700 MB/sec, depending on whether the files were being "pushed" vs "pulled". In fact, with Windows 7, there wasn't much difference between the AQ107 (10G) and the 108 (5G).
    Reply
  • Hurn - Monday, November 27, 2017 - link

    Sorry, typo - should be Buffalo BS-MP2008 as being fully compatible - I think the XP only does 1G / 10G (and not 2.5 G or 5G).
    Ff you don't need 2.5G or 5G, the XP2008 is a few bucks cheaper.
    Reply

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