QNAP released new dual-port 25GbE and 10GbE network expansion cards (NECs) for use in high-end PCs and NAS setups. They're called the QXG-25G2SF-CX4 and QXG-10G2SF-CX4, respectively, and they're meant to help professionals manage a ton of data.
As QNAP product manager Dan Lin explained in a press release: “Cloud, big data, high-speed storage, virtualization, and AI are strongly pushing 25GbE into the mainstream. QNAP now provides users with a scalable solution for adopting 25GbE infrastructure by leveraging the industry-leading Mellanox Ethernet solution to deliver a next-gen 25GbE NIC for NAS, servers and workstations."
It's no secret that consumers and companies have both grown increasingly data-hungry. Content starts taking up more space as movies and games catch up with higher resolutions. More information is being tracked digitally. And artificial intelligence requires the use of massive amounts of data. All that leads to more demands of storage devices' performance than ever.
Both of the new NECs are built with a Mellanox ConnectX-4Lx controller, utilize a PCIe Gen 3 x8 interface, and come with a low-profile bracket pre-installed. They're also compatible with QNAP's QTS as well as Windows and Linux. (Provided you install the appropriate driver for each model.) The 25GbE version relies on an SFP28 connection; the 10GbE version uses an SFP+ connection.
Even QNAP notes on the 25GbE model's product page that "25GbE NICs are designed for data-intensive applications and enterprise IT environments." The company said reaching the product's full potential requires "at least three workstations with Intel Core i5/i7 processors (or similar) at 3.3 GHz (or higher) and NVMe SSDs" as well as a similarly specced QNAP NAS loaded with SSDs.
The 10GbE model is probably more suited to home use. But it only costs $20 less than the 25GbE model, and we suspect that most enthusiasts would rather spend that twenty bucks to get an extra 15Gb/s of potential performance just to be on the safe side. Who knows when storage needs will need to be adjusted, right? (Eh, who are we kidding, we just like higher performance numbers.)
QNAP is selling the QXG-25G2SF-CX4 for $287 from its Accessories Store with a two-three day wait time. The QXG-10G2SF-CX4 is also available now for $267 with the same waiting period. Both models are backed by one-year limited warranties.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.