Recently, we had mentioned that OWC had launched its new Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter. A fine-looking accessory for any power or commercial user sitting behind a multi-gigabit network/connection.
Since then, we got our hands on one and have been testing it out for a number of days now, and we have our own direct opinions to share now.
Beginning with the physical design of this new adapter, OWC has done what they do best. They have provided a very appealing presentation of the product. A different approach to their normal silver aluminum theme that you find with a lot of what they offer, their ethernet adapters instead take on an all-black rugged design. Still surrounded in aluminum to help spread the heat around with (and look nice), and then wrapped into a silicone sleeve to help protect it from bumps or sliding around.
You find plenty of ventilation on both of the shorter sides, where you also find the points of connectivity.
One end featuring a multi-gigabit Ethernet port and the other a Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) connection. All ready for some exquisite speeds.
The same end that features the Thunderbolt 3 port also has a small hole to the right for using a typical Kensington-style lock to help secure it with (in case you are worried about leaving it where it is being used while you walk away). To the left, a small LED for status. There is no need for external power as everything is handled using the single TB3 connection.
Honestly, it is a very simple solution but it also doesn’t require anything else other than the ability to function. Which is exactly what it seems to do, with the ability to reach speeds of over 900MBps–and up to 10Gbps (which places you at 1,250MBps).
It supports 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 2.5Gbps, 5Gbps, and 10Gbps networks, allowing it to be used anywhere, making for a powerful traveling solution. Given, it is a bit large in size, so you would be limited depending on how you are storing everything. It supports WOL (Wake on LAN) and auto-negotiation, as well as it being AVB ready for professional audio/video applications.
So, we put it to the test on your typical 1Gbps network and you can immediately tell that you’ll find no bottleneck coming from the adapter. It is like feeding an entire pipeline to the bottom of your sink just for a normal flow from the spout (while still having full pressure). There was no surprise here, of course, so we jumped onto our multi-gigabit network running throughout the building on Cat7 ports on all of the walls. This led to exactly what you’d hope for.
Our network can get a little messy with everything going on, but it is also incredibly hard for us to bog it down until you reach outside of the building, where the speeds drop to around a single gigabit (this is due to the ISP though). We found speeds within our own network of up to (and a bit over) 600MBps. We don’t quite get 10G speeds just yet, but this is due to certain devices on the network that still needs replacing (I have been told “baby steps” since it comes down to need vs want).
We may let one of the local technicians for Switch Datacenters (nearby) borrow it for a week to see what kind of speeds they get as it could put it to an even better test than ours. If so, I’ll make sure to update with the results.
So the outcome was quite brilliant, and so far, we have quite liked the performance offered by this adapter. Making this a perfect solution for both stationary and mobile solutions–again, given that you are ok with lugging around a larger adapter like this. Most mobile users will likely stick with smaller 1Gb adapters due to their ability to fit just about anywhere. However, if you are building out a TB3 station/setup for your laptop or computer for a stationary position, this adapter could be quite valuable to you both now and in the future (great future-proofing). Especially, if you are using it for commercial networks that are already making use of these faster speeds.
It comes with everything you need, which isn’t much. You have the adapter and a TB3 cable to connect it to your system with. User-friendliness is absolutely there as it doesn’t require anything from you but to connect it. Your (any modern) system should recognize it, and through the wonderful power of TB3, you’ll but surfing the with your hyper-drive enabled.
Making it even better is the fact that it is just $199, which feels like a great price point for it. Not only that, but you can get it right now (at the time of this article) for just $150 from their website as a very pleasing introductory price. No coupon or promo code needed.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
OWC Part Number
Mac OS Compatibility
- macOS 10.13 High Sierra
- macOS 10.14 Mojave
- macOS 10.15 Catalina
PC OS Compatibility
- Windows 10 64-bit Edition
- Windows Server 2016
- macOS 10.13.6 or later required
- Ethernet driver required for Windows 10
- 100 BASE-T
- 1000 BASE-T
- Thunderbolt 3: Intel JHL6540
- Ethernet: Aquantia AQC107S
Transfer Rate (Max)
- 10 Gbps
- Aluminum With Protective Rubber Sleeve
- Thunderbolt 3
- 50 m (1.64 ft.)
- Environmental (Operating)
- Temperature (°F) 41° — 95°
- Temperature (°C) 5° — 35°
- Height: 3.8 cm (1.5 in)
- Width: 8.0 cm (3.1 in)
- Length: 12.6 cm (5.0 in
- 0 g (1.00 lbs)
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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