Summary: Used these for a cheap 10GbE mini network. Directly connected 2 computers with these cards using a Cat 7 cable (no router/switch). Can open and copy files between these 2 computers at fantastic speeds (SSD to SSD). 10GbE Network co-exists with the existing 1Gb network. Remember that you do not need a crossover cable. These cards auto-detect.
Summary: Simply AMAZING!!! I'm backing up between two PCs with RAID arrays with spindle drives. I'm averaging about 500MB/s on average. Large files - 1GB transfer 600MB/s. Lager transfer at 900GB/s. Tiny files are still slow - about 30MB/s. I didn't bother to get a switch, I'm just using a network cable between the two systems. The only downside of these cards is the price.
Summary: I sure like the idea of CX4 because of the terrific cost saving - the cables cost $20 rather than $1,000 (FO) or $200 (DAC) and the Netgear switch is $100 per port rather than $1000. But try as I might I can't get PXE booting turned on. Intel supplies a program "bootutil" on their website to reflash the NIC to support PXE booting, however it would not install on a windows 7 machine.
Pros: Uses inexpensive Cat 7 cables, connects to inexpensive Netgear switch, may work with no configuration, can be used with slower switches if necessary unlike traditional 10GBE equipment.
Pros: There are no real gotcha's with this card. It installs as easily as any other PCIe card. It is compatible with NAS4Free and I will be testing it with VMWare's ESXi also.
Cons: Despite the inference on Intel's website, this card is NOT compatible with Mac OS X. Intel has drivers for every other platform (Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, etc), but NOT for the Mac. The Intel website states that SmallTree maintains Mac drivers for this card - But, it doesn't say that you must buy the 10GbE card directly FROM SmallTree (at twice the price) because SmallTree's drivers will ONLY work with the cards that they directly sell. SmallTree apparently flashes the...