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
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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  • lagittaja - Monday, July 10, 2017 - link

    Probably not even that long.
    The 10G switches with aquantia hardware are supposedly coming in at around 30$ per port or 240$ for an 8port switch.
    5GBase-T is going to be cheaper than that. Maybe not as low as 50$ cards initially but I would say within a year we should be in the 50$ 5Gb card + below 200$ 8x5Gb switch territory.
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - link

    Excellent news. $99 is not cheap, but for 5G & 10G it's very reasonable.

    Now get the unmanaged switches to $50/port or so, and I'm sold.
  • Vatharian - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - link

    That's nice surprise, but they can go lower. BOM on these cards should be hovering around ~$35. $99 is still thievery. I wonder if it will work on PCIe 2.0 port?
  • Samus - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - link

  • Daniel Egger - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - link

    Looking for some credible testing to learn whether this sucks or not. Or IOW: Is Aquantia the Realtek of 10GBase-T networking?
  • chaos215bar2 - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - link

    This seems to have overlooked the fact that this card only has one port while Intel X540-based NICs with two ports can be had for $200~250. Yes, most people won't need the extra port and having *a* 10GBASE-T card for under $100 is great, but the price per port doesn't seem to be anything new.

    Similarly, the ASUS ASUS XG-U2008 switch mentioned only has two 10GBASE-T ports, so it's unclear the pricing is especially noteworthy beyond the context of the continuing drop in the price of 10GBASE-T equipment. (To be fair, a switch oriented for home use with *any* 10 GbE ports is somewhat novel, so it's hard to compare pricing here. Also, switches with 10 GbE SFP+ ports tend to be significantly less expensive than those specifically featuring 10GBASE-T, so it's really the latter that's notable in these instances.)

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