Are Quad LAN ports worthwhile to have?


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Is there any benefit to buying a Supermicro motherboard with quad Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports over a Supermicro motherboard equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports? The quad option offers an additional two LAN ports but it is  not clear to me what I can do with two extra LAN ports now or in the future. Can someone explain what expansion capabilities and/or benefits two additional LAN ports offer? What kind of devices be connected to two spare LAN ports that will make them worthwhile to have?  Any opinions welcome.

 

 

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You could use the extra nics to create extra networks and separate your traffic i.e. run your VM traffic through one nic, dockers through another, and maybe the third could be for all VPN traffic if you are into that sort of thing? or use them as a fail overs in the event that another one dies.

 

When I had a Supermicro board, I aggregated all 4 nics to get 4 gigabit throughput which I never really used or needed, but I had it.

 

I don't think any of these are necessary at all, just things you could do with them / tinker with.

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4 hours ago, 1812 said:

I have a server with 4 onboard gig ports. I ditched them for a 10gbe card. It's just simpler and faster.

I concur with this, if you have a switch that can do it, you can grab a 10gbe mellanox card on amazon for ~ $35 give or take.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I grabbed two of these, one for my unraid box, and one for my pc.

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Connectx-2-671798-001-666172-001-Refurbished/dp/B07HFKD3NR/ref=sr_1_36?dchild=1&keywords=10gbe+pcie&qid=1596118659&sr=8-36

Though they were only $29.99 when I got them, not sure why the price hike.

 

I found this while on amazon though and it may work for you, same thing essentially, just has two ports instead of 1:

https://www.amazon.com/HP-NC523SFP-2-Port-Adapter-593717-B21/dp/B004JU2MUI/ref=sr_1_23?dchild=1&keywords=10gbe+pcie&qid=1596118795&sr=8-23

 

Though according to the reviews it seems it will need active cooling or it will overheat. Also there is a red heatshielded Asus RJ-45 10gbe card out there that sells for $49-$149 depending on seller whimsy, but it is not SFP+.

Edited by lukeoslavia
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On 6/27/2020 at 5:32 AM, binar said:

Fellow Forum Members,

Is there any benefit to buying a Supermicro motherboard with quad Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports over a Supermicro motherboard equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports? The quad option offers an additional two LAN ports but it is  not clear to me what I can do with two extra LAN ports now or in the future. Can someone explain what expansion capabilities and/or benefits two additional LAN ports offer? What kind of devices be connected to two spare LAN ports that will make them worthwhile to have?  Any opinions welcome.

 

 

Maybe dedicate two to a PfSense VM (WAN in, LAN out) then have the two remaining as main and fallover in case of one dying. Or for separating networks. One for IOT stuff that's separate from the rest of the network for security reasons, for example. That being said, getting a quad ethernet card off ebay is like $50 at most and you won't have to deal with separating the NICs if they're in the same IOMMU group. And the saved money by going with a dual NIC motherboard instead could maybe cover the cost of buying a quadport NIC. I have a dual NIC Supermicro board with a quadport ethernet card for my PfSense VM. The only ports I actually use are one on the motherboard for Unraid, and then two on the quadport card for WAN in and LAN out for PfSense.

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