Club 3D has introduced its 2.5 GbE dongles featuring a USB Type-A or a USB Type-C interface. The adapters are designed to add 2.5 Gbps wired Ethernet to PCs without internal GbE controllers. For laptops, this is becoming increasingly more widespread.

Club 3D’s CAC-1420 (USB Type-A to 2.5 GbE) and CAC-1520 (USB Type-C to 2.5 GbE) are extremely simplist devices: they feature an RJ-45 connector on one side, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) interface on another. The dongles are USB-powered and therefore do not need any external power adapters. As for compatibility, they can work with PCs running Apple’s MacOS X 10.6 ~ 10.14 as well as Microsoft’s Windows 8/10.

The manufacturer does not disclose which 2.5 GbE controller it uses, but it is highly likely that the dongles use Realtek’s RTL8156 controller specifically designed for such applications. The only other option is from Aquantia, who only offers a joint 2.5/5 GbE controller.

Apart from notebooks without a GbE port that have to work in corporate environments with wired networks (including those that use 2.5, 5, and 10 GbE networks), Club 3D’s new adapters can be used to upgrade older desktop PCs that need a faster Ethernet connectivity.

Club 3D has not announced pricing of the 2.5 GbE CAC-1420 and CAC-1520 adapters.

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Source: Club 3D (via Hermitage Akihabara)

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  • sorten - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    @npz : Yes, I was serious.

    @flyingpants : I see. I wondered if a file / media server would be the home use case. I guess that assumes you've got the right cables in your walls. I've never needed to transfer games or movies around my home network, so I guess I'm good :)
  • azazel1024 - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Yup. If all you are doing is connecting up your desktop or laptop wirelessly to your router and out to the internet, no need for it. 90% of home users have no need for it. Most of the people who have wired networks at home, probably do have use cases for this. Most of my friends just have a handful of computers all wirelessly connected to their home router. I have a couple of family and friends though who have wired networks and every one that does has some kind of NAS or home server (lite, usually). And all of them would probably see some benefit to at least having 2.5GbE. Even if it wouldn't be much benefit.

    Me personally, there are times I am transferring 50+ GB of files from my desktop to my server or back, doing back-ups, re-transcode of a bunch of videos, etc. My HDD can't really support 5GbE, but since it is a RAID 0 array (mirrored on my server and an offline backup) in both machines, dual 1GbE is a limitation on my transfer performance. By a fair amount. I could probably even saturate a 2.5GbE link (though barely with my current setup).

    Not often, but about once a year I manage to find someway to completely bork my server or my desktop and I have to pull everything back over from one machine to the other. When you are transferring 3.5TB of files, the difference between ~230MB/sec and ~300MB/sec is a pretty big difference (about 45 minutes of time savings in fact).

    In a couple of years if SSDs keep coming down in price, I'll possibly invest in those for bulk storage (because my storage needs aren't tiny, but they aren't massive. Right now only about 3.5TB of needs. 5-6TB of disk space would be fine). Then I could seriously leverage a 5GbE link and I'd be down to around 40% of the transfer times I have to live with today.
  • Bp_968 - Sunday, May 26, 2019 - link

    I know this is an older comment but i just wanted to point out that the intel 660p 2TB is down to 180$ now. You could get 6TB of NVMe level storage for 540$ now. How crazy is that?! Even with the slower QLC based nand you would still need at least 20Gb infiniband or ethernet to not be limited by the network link!

    A bottom of the barrel 6TB drive is roughly 100$ right now and a good reliable one 150-175$. I honestly didn't expect SSDs to reach this level this quick. For 90% of uses cases at this point i think SSDs the best choice. I'd only consider HDDs for bulk storage thats mostly offline (photos, file storage, backups, etc) or for write heavy applications (I keep a spare 1TB hdd in my gaming machine for nvidia Shadowplay since it writes constantly to enable instant replay recordings. It will burn up writes on a SSD pretty quick if you do something silly like leave a game running for a few days by accident).
  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Our facility is still running at 100 mbps and it belongs to a Fortune 500 information technology and telecommunications corporation. In my home network, I have yet to use a local router that even has 1GbE ports. Everything is 100mbit so far which is not a concern for me since I also have no reason to shuffle large files around my internal network. Backups go from my laptops to a 1TB external hard drive over USB 2.0 or I use said laptop as an intermediate device between my phone and said external hard drive for occasional backups.
  • eek2121 - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Seriously? I've been running Gigabit for over a decade. It's pretty common in most home networks these days.
  • fred666 - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    Probably not worth the effort, the pain of using dongles, and the cost to upgrade cheap gigabit hardware to this for only 2.5x the speed. 10 Gbps would make more sense. Even if the USB isn't fast enough. Just like they made USB2.0 gigE dongles.
  • mjz_5 - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    2.5 faster is a lot. What if a cpu is 2.5 faster?
  • CharonPDX - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    But why? 2.5 GbE, 5 GbE, and 10 GbE all run over the same cabling, and modern switches don't slow down other devices on the network if there's one "slow one." (Yes, you can plug a 10 *Megabit* Ethernet in to your modern switch, and it won't slow things down.)

    For systems that either don't have available PCIe slots, this is a great solution. Especially for wired Ethernet missing laptops. It's not a "pain", it's plugging in one cable. It just happens to be a USB rather than an Ethernet. (With the Ethernet connected further down the chain.)

    Sure, 10 GbE would be a "better" upgrade, but this will undoubtedly be cheaper.
  • BedfordTim - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    USB3.whatever isn't fast enough to support 10GbE.
  • close - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Because they'd have to put a more expensive 10G controller but never be able to deliver that speed. So they can't pass on the cost to the end user.

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