Unboxing and Review of TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

2020-06-19

The TEG-25GECTX ships in a cardboard box, with a feature list printed on the top/side in various languages. The card is compatible with both Microsoft Windows, Windows Server and Linux. It also supports a wide range of networking standard, such as 802.1Q for VLAN and 802.3ab/802.3bz for Ethernet.

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

The TEG-25GECTX card is packed inside a anti-static bag. You can swap the standard PCI bracket with a low-profile one, if you tend to install the card in a small form-factor (SFF) build. Inside the box, there are a quick start guide, safety note and a driver CD. Driver can be downloaded directly from TRENDnet’s product page.

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

The TEG-25GECTX has a blue printed circuit board (PCB) with the full length PCI bracket installed by default. The primary Realtek RTL8125 controller is hidden beneath the tiny black aluminum heatsink. The overall size of the NIC is relatively compact, which should have no problem fitting into smaller PC cases and server chassis.

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

The TEG-25GECTX is equipped with a PCIe 2.0×1 interface to transfer all its network traffic, which has a theoretical bandwidth of about 4 Gbps (~500 MB/s). It is upward compatible with PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0 slots in newer motherboards.

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card


Review

Testing Methodology

To minimize the number of variables that will affect the benchmark results, all of our tests will be performed by two computers directly connected via Ethernet. We use the iperf3 to measure the total bandwidth between the two NICs. A Windows 10 shared folder is created on RAM disks to prevent HDD’s bottlenecks. The peer-to-peer file transfer times of the three files, sized in 10 GB, 500 MB and 250 MB, will be recorded.

Performance

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

In iperf3, we tested the available bandwidth in the TEG-25GECTX’s link in a 60-second period (iperf3.exe -c 192.168.100.1 -t 60). The upload speed was quicker at 2.34 Gb/s, which is about 292.5 MB/s. The download speed was 15% slower at 1.99 Gb/s, around 248.75 MB/s. The total bandwidth was about 2 times larger than a normal 1 Gbps connection (125 MB/s).

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

In real world peer-to-peer file transfers, the read and write speeds were similar at 285 MB/s and 284 MB/s respectively. Both took around 37 seconds to complete transferring the three files, sized at 10 GB, 500 MB and 250 MB.

TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card

In task manager, we saw the network utilization was high and capped at 2.5 Gbps. The CPU usage was hovering around 10% to 13%, which the TEG-25GECTX card was able to offload most work from the CPU.

Conclusion

Unboxing Treatment Recommendation

The TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5G Network Interface Card can provide slightly faster performance than normal 1 Gbps connection in both synthetic bandwidth test and real-world file transfers. The Realtek RTL8125 controller allows the NIC to be more budget-friendly than high-end 10G NIC.

The TEG-25GECTX performed great in our benchmarks. It can transfer large-sized files to shared folders in the local network at around 285 MB/s, which is about two times faster than 1 Gbps.

The TEG-25GECTX is priced at $54.99 USD (MSRP), but is on sale for $49.99 USD at the time of this review. The card is perfect for file transfers, which can maxed out most of the hard drives’ performance at 2.5 Gbps. The PCIe 2.0×1 interface is simple to install and integrate into existing systems. You can upgrade your home local network to 2.5 Gbps easily with a few of these NICs

The RJ-45 Ethernet port supports from 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps up to 2.5 Gbps. Two LED lights are integrated in the port, which are used to show connectivity and activity status.


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