Today we are going to review the cheapest 8-port 2.5GbE switch we could find, the TP-Link TL-SH1008 (V1). This switch retails for about $119 on AliExpress with free (slow) shipping. We have been focusing a lot of review energy this year on 2.5GbE networking, and one of the big comments we get is that 2.5GbE switches are too expensive. With that, we are going to review the cheapest unit out there and we certainly learned why.
TP-Link TL-SH1008 Hardware Overview
We actually also have the 8x 10GbE SFP+ cousin of this switch. Patrick, our Editor-in-Chief, wanted to do one combined video instead of two so here that is:
As always, we suggest opening that in its own YouTube browser, tab, or app for a better viewing experience. We demonstrate the power consumption in more detail in the video.
The TP-Link TL-SH1008 itself is designed to be a small desktop unit. Most likely if you wanted to rackmount it, you are using a shelf. The front of the switch only has a power LED and the model number.
The side of the switch has air vents. You can see a single screw hole, so there is not a secure 3-4 screw mounting point for rackmount rails on this one. One positive is that this unit is a metal chassis rather than a plastic case we see on many low-cost switches these days. That adds cost to something that is designed to be cheap.
The main side of the switch has 8x RJ45 ports. These are all 2.5GbE ports that can negotiate down to 1GbE speeds. There is also the 12V 2A DC power input.
On the bottom of the switch, we see two stickers. One sticker is a tampering seal. The second has the model number and revision. This is a V1 switch.
Inside the switch, we see that there are no fans. We have a switch chip and then the PHYs and circuits for the 8x 2.5GbE ports.
This is a simple unmanaged switch, so there is just not that much going on here. Next, let us get to the performance before looking at power consumption.
TP-Link TL-SH1008 Performance
In terms of performance, we simply hooked up some of the fanless 2.5GbE units like the two fanless Intel Celeron N5105 4x 2.5GbE options we reviewed to the switch and just bounced iperf3 traffic from port to port.
While we do not get 20Gbps, each port was well over 2Gbps and so we are saying this was operating at 2.5GbE speeds. This is certainly closer to 20Gbps (8x 2.5Gbps) than 8Gbps (8x 1Gbps) when the switch is fully loaded.
Next, let us get to the power consumption and noise.