Summary: Overall you can't beat Intel network cards in the server market. They are fast, reliable, and the most stable drivers on the market. Even if you don't have a 10Gb switch this is still a good card to put in your server, as that is one less thing that needs configuration when you do upgrade your network equipment. It doesn't come with a driver disc but I believe most sewer server OSes will have native support.
Pros: Dual network ports over RJ45. Backwards compatible with FE and GE (100Mbps and 1Gbps) Comes with standard and low profile brackets No drivers needed for VM Ware ESXi (5.5.0 u2 tested), Citrix XenServer (7.2 and 7.3 tested)
Cons: Does not come with a driver disc requires airflow to stay cool
Summary: In the world of servers reliability and stability is key. Intel network cards are in my opinion your only choice. They have extremely stable drivers for every server OS, and I've never had an Intel network card fail in the 14 years that I've been doing server support. In the end this card is Its a little costly but it is extremely fast, and reliable.
Pros: Dual 10Gbase-T (RJ45) ports in one slot Intel Reliability and stability Low profile bracket included Supported by EVERY server OS
Summary: Works great for our intranet on a 10Gbs switch. This one came with the low-profile bracket we wanted, some do not. Speeds are amazing, not quite 10Gbs of throughput, but about 8x faster than our 1Gbs switch.
Pros: Very fast and drivers are built-in to Windows 2012. Works in a Thecus NAS. Bought 3 for a cluster.
Cons: If the card gets hot, it will disconnect the links and shows the link as disabled in Windows. Not for use in an open case or in a room above 80F. Probably good to have a side fan installed or installed next to a graphics card with a fan.
Summary: The X540T2 is rock solid with great driver support. However, be careful where you order. I ordered the Intel X540T2 from one of the marketplace sellers here, and instead received apparently used Dell OEM parts with active cooling and no brackets. The official Intel part comes in a sealed box with a half-height and full-height bracket, and is passively cooled as shown in the picture. Be very wary of marketplace sellers on items like this.
Brackets... and other crucial consumer necessary details
Joseph Earl Johnson Jr., Amazon
12 March 2014
Summary: I have 4 of the X520 cards, and the OEM version only comes with a low profile bracket attached. This Description doesn't specify whether this is consumer or OEM. It doesn't specify which bracket sizes are attached... for PCIe slot cards... it is crucial that AMAZON adds specs for PCIe 1/2/3/4 and for x1/x4/x8/x16 lanes. Cards should also list how many slots that it will occupy. This has been the bane of a number of my ordering experiences on AMAZON!!!
Summary: I bought a pair of these to connect a Dell T620 server running VMware ESXi 5.1 to a Thecus TopTower 6850 NAS. Both devices recognized the card without having to install any drivers. The cards are direct-connected via a 25' Cat 6A cable. Throughput can exceed 600MB/sec. Today, I tried setting the ESXi vSwich and port group to an MTU of 9000 and did the same on the NAS. This took literally one minute. Throughput topped 914MB/sec at one point since.
Pros: Easy installation, fast, cheapest solution for 10G.
Cons: 10G is still too expensive overall and 10G switches are practically unaffordable for home and very small business use. Corporate networking types will look down on you for using copper instead of fiber.
Summary: The NIC worked great and as expected. But full 10gbe switches are still expensive and LOUD. Not recommended for home use unless you can avoid using the current range of 10gb switches.
Pros: Does exactly what it is supposed to. Setup was as easy as any other networking card, except ten times the speed! We put one of these on our server, and on our video editing workstation. We have a Netgear 10gbe XS708E switch between them. They are all connected through shielded CAT7. In a realistic day-to-day use, it's usually around 300 to 500 MBps. In some specific scenarios (large ISO files, etc) it goes to over 700MBps. This easily maxes out the SSD on the workstat...
Cons: Kinda pricy, but being able to stream our huge Nuke and AE composites from the server without lag has more than paid for itself.
Summary: update at 10 months: started having trouble with this unit a few months ago... status reported the cat7 cables were unplugged. after days of fiddling with drivers and teaming settings, i put in a new unit and it works fine. hoping to return the first board under warranty. ------------- at first i installed this into a slot right next to a high end graphics card (though it didn't block that card's fan)... and it did a thermal shutdown and disabled itself.