Date Joined: 10/31/11
Pros: - 300MB/s (megabytes per second!) over Cat 5e ethernet (<100M length)
- Can be used as a kind of cheap HBA with "Auto-MDIX" (a regular ethernet cable used in crossover mode) for a point-to-point link between a NAS and another computer.
Cons: - Requires manual driver compiling for Linux
- Switches and routers for 2.5, 5 and 10 GbE are still far too expensive for ubiquitous home use
Overall Review: This 2.5 GbE link can do ~300MB/s with raw file transfers over things like Windows File Sharing or Samba / NFS on Linux. I've tested on Windows 10 (driver is built-in), Centos 8 & Ubuntu 18 LTS (by compiling the driver from the RealTek website). Just search for "realtek 8125 linux driver 2.5G" and it'll likely be the top link. Have a look in the .bz2 file (for your kernel version) for the "README" notes, then run the "autorun.sh", which took care of everything automatically for me. If this doesn't work, find instructions to compile another driver, such as for an Nvidia GPU, which will set your system up with all the kernel headers and built-utils necessary to compile and install a driver module. Getting 4 of these cards and linking a Windows PC with 2 daisy-chained NAS PC's is still cheaper than buying the cheapest 2.5 GbE switch and having a flat network. If your NAS's still have magnetic harddrives in them, your arrays likely barely push 300MB/s, so it's all fairly optimal and less frustrating than plain old Gigabit Ethernet. I'd like to see a company like ASUS or even Rosewill put out a cheap 2.5 GbE gaming switch or router to leverage the lower ping times of these faster ethernet frame rates, especially now that this exact "r8125" chipset is becoming standard on good gaming laptops in 2020.
Pros: - Matches the CAS Latency of the stock kit
- Meets 10th Gen Intel XMP
Overall Review: These are working perfectly in a 2020 Razer Blade Pro 17 with 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-10875H 8 core (2.3GHz), and match the speed / latency of the stock Samsung 16GB kit that it shipped with.
Pros: - Good looking design
- High quality cables
- Comes with silicone heat transfer pad
- Aluminum heatsink
- Full "3.1 Gen2" bandwidth capacity
Cons: - Can only dissipate so much heat
- Not waterproof, not that it claims to be
- Not a "tool-less" design
- Heatsink / heat pad slides across the NVMe card when affixing the two halves of the enclosure together, which will eventually destroy the fragile heat pad if you swap NVMe cards often.
Overall Review: This is a good enclosure, but don't put a high performance NVMe card in this and expect it not to thermal throttle. The overall inadequate surface area of the heatsink will not fully cool faster drives like the Samsung 970 Evo, temperatures will regularly exceed 60°C and cause thermal throttling. Lesser loads will be fine, but bulk transfers of hundreds of gigabytes at a time will cause high heat buildup. The Interface itself can only handle 1250MB/s maximum, so for permanent "thumb drive" use, a lower performance NVMe SSD makes more sense as throttling is likely to cut that in half anyway. I use this to clone laptop system drives for SSD capacity upgrades, and as an emergency recovery tool after being frustrated by the throttling when moving large video files for off-site backup. You could also rig some kind of external cooling fan and run this at full speed if needed, or find a design with more metal (and expense).