Multi-gig ethernet is very slowly becoming more affordable, more switches are becoming available and many high-end routers now have a multi-gig port.

Admittedly it is still not exactly affordable to the average consumer and the cheapest switches are limited to just a couple of 10G ports such as the Netgear GS110MX at £141. The MS510TXPP which uses a mixture of ports including 2.5G, 5G and 10G is £341.63 then the recently announced Zyxel XS1930-10 with 8 10G ethernet ports is £370.00.

Zyxel XS1930
Zyxel XS1930

However, you then need to have multi-gig on your client devices and that is also very expensive. Multi-gig PCIe cards are almost always too expensive for most consumer devices.

The cheapest solution would be to use SFP and a router such as the MikroTik 326-24G-2S+RM allowing you to connect up a couple of devises with 10G for less than £200.

However, if you want to use copper Ethernet then you will have to pay more.

PCIe Cards

For home users, including myself, the only realistic  option is the ASUS XG-C100C which sits comfortably under £90.

Some of the options have 2 ports which can be beneficial for server builds, and the price per port looks a little more reasonable.

Out of this list I can only really recommend the ASUS XG-C100C PCI-E Network Interface Card due to the price of competing products, it may not be suitable for commercial use or servers but for home builds it should be perfect.

The cheapest 10G/5G/2.5G Ethernet PCie Network Cards (NIC) and USB Adaptors for Windows, NAS, Laptops and more 1

Multi-gig 10Gbe and 5Gbe USB Adaptors

I wouldn’t personally use a USB adapter on a desktop build, but these work out much cheaper and also the only realistic option for a laptop.

I have reviewed the TRENDnet USB-C 3.1 to 2.5GBASE-T Ethernet Adapter and at the time I criticised the pricing of it, but at the moment it is the cheapest branded multi-gig adaptor in the UK.

The Club 3D is suspiciously cheap but it seems to have decent reviews and worth a gamble on for 2.5G.

I had previously recommended the QNAP adaptor over the TRENDnet with it only costing a bit more but offering double the speed, but there are some unfavourable reviews on Amazon so I would approach with caution.

Synology NAS 10Gbe Ethernet

If you have a Synology NAS with a PCIe expansion slot then the E10G18-T1 is surprisingly affordable for a branded adaptor and likely your best option for getting multi-gig to work.

Motherboards

If you are doing a brand new PC build, it will likely be cheaper to get a motherboard with multi-gig built in, these boards do come with a premium price, but once your factor in the savings on a PCIe card then they start to look quite reasonable.

The ASRock AMD Ryzen X470 is the stand out motherboard here, and if you are building a Ryzen based PC it is well worth considering. I may even consider upgrading my motherboard to that rather than buying a separate NIC.

AMD X470 Motherboards

AMD X570 Motherboards

Intel Z490 Motherboards

Intel Z390 Motherboards

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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