ASUS this week released the first inexpensive vendor-based consumer-grade 10 GbE / 10GBase-T card powered by an Aquantia silicon. The card can be installed in any modern PC with a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot free (either CPU or chipset), and supports 10 Gbps, 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps networking standards over RJ45 connectors using Cat5e/Cat6 cabling. What is important is that the board costs less than $100, at a lower price than Aquantia quoted in the initial announcement ($127).

The ASUS XG-C100C is a single port card based on the Aquantia AQtion AQC107 controller that supports five networking standards (100M, 1G, 2.5G, 5G and 10G) and uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. The card is equipped with LEDs that track network activity and connection speed to make it easier for consumers to set up their networks. As for compatibility, the board is compatible with any modern PC running Microsoft Windows 7 and higher, as well as various Linux operating systems.

The XG-C100C board uses a small red PCB as well as a red aluminum cooler to emphasize that it is aimed at higher-end gaming desktops rather than at workstations or servers. It is noteworthy earlier this year ASUS launched its ROG Areion 10G card that is based on the same AQtion AQC107 chip for around $200 $129. That card uses a black PCB with a larger cooling system. The warranty of the ROG NIC is expected to be longer, but warranty and the design is the only differences between the XG-C100C and the ROG Areion 10G.

ASUS 10GBase-T Cards Based for Consumers
  XG-C100C ROG Areion 10G
Controller Aquantia AQC-107
100BASE-T Yes
1000BASE-T Yes
2.5GBASE-T Yes
5GBASE-T Yes
10GBASE-T Yes (over Cat6 cables)
Ports 1
Dimensions (L×W×H) 12 × 8.46 × 2.05 cm 13.5 × 6.3 × 1.9 cm
Price $99 $200 $129
Release Date June, 2017 April, 2017
Additional Information Link Link

The ASUS XG-C100C is available now from various retailers in North America and carries a $99 price tag. It is interesting to note that Aquantia itself sells its AQC107-based cards for about $130. For some reason, ASUS decided to drop the price to a sub-$100 level, possibly, to boost demand. Considering the fact that the Intel X540 and Intel X550-powered cards are sold for $250 to $380, the $99 price point seems very aggressive (albeit still quite high for a network card).

As reported previously, the cost of switches and access points is a major concern surrounding the transition to 2.5G/5G/10G for home and SMB. Even though Aquantia is working with its customers to bring lower-cost switches to the market, they are still not available. In the meantime, both Amazon and Newegg are offering the ASUS XG-U2008 10GBase-T network switch for $229 after rebate.

Related Reading

Update 7/5: This piece originally gave the pricing of the ROG 10G card as $200, as per several online listings from third-party retailers. After discussing with ASUS, this card should have an MSRP of ~$129. This post has been updated to reflect this.

Source: ASUS

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  • notashill - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    For anyone curious, the Linux drivers were upstreamed in 4.11. Unfortunately this means that it won't work out of the box on most current non-rolling distributions. Ubuntu 17.04 and Fedora 25 are both on 4.10, latest Debian stable is 4.9. Reply
  • hetzbh - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    Fedora 26 will be out next week Reply
  • vanilla_gorilla - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    They also offer drivers directly via their website, in a very linux friendly way I might add (soruce and even DKMS RPM's! Nice!) with support for any kernel >=3.10. So while it might not ship with your distro if you haven't anything relatively modern it shouldn't be an issue to get up and running. Reply
  • Madumi - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Any hints how to install the driver vanilla_gorilla? I'm on Ubuntu server 16.04 & nothing I've tried yet works... Reply
  • mooninite - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    Fedora 25 has 4.11.7 today in updates (July 3rd). You can use this card with Fedora 25. Reply
  • vanilla_gorilla - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    Came here to post that exactly:

    ~$ dnf info available kernel
    [...]
    Available Packages
    Name : kernel
    Arch : x86_64
    Epoch : 0
    Version : 4.11.6
    Release : 201.fc25
    Size : 101 k
    Repo : updates
    Summary : The Linux kernel
    URL : http://www.kernel.org/
    License : GPLv2 and Redistributable, no modification permitted
    Description : The kernel meta package
    Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    The link to the " ROG Areion 10G" actually links to a graphics card. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    Scroll down :) Reply
  • plopke - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    100$ difference in design only?
    urgh one day we will have proper specifications pages again , ONE DAY , can't really complain about online store have shitty spec sheets if the manufacturers themself are getting just horrible at it themself.
    Reply
  • koaschten - Monday, July 03, 2017 - link

    And now someone remind me why gamers need a 10G NIC? Reply

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