Today we are going to look at perhaps the cheapest 8-port 2.5GbE switch with a 10GbE uplink that is silent and is low power. That is really all one can ask for. While in our first part of this series, we looked at the MokerLink version, now we are looking at the lower-cost platform, the Horaco 8-port 2.5GbE switch.
For this switch, we actually have four different models, purchased from Amazon and AliExpress. We made a video because we want our readers to know there are options in this space:
Still, we wanted to give each its formal switch review. This is the AliExpress variant, and so the big difference here is the price. At $95 or so at the time of writing this review, it is 20% less expensive than the Amazon versions, but it also takes a bit longer to arrive.
In the video, we unbox two switches side-by-side to see how similar they are down to the packaging.
Horaco 8-port 2.5GbE and 1-port 10GbE Switch Hardware Overview
The front of the switch is very basic. We get eight 2.5GbE ports. We also get a SFP+ 10GbE port that worked with generic DACs and SFP+ optics. We have seen other switches with four or five 2.5GbE ports and then two 10GbE ports. This is the same as the 4×2.5GbE plus 2x 10GbE units in terms of bandwidth, but it is exposed differently.
The switch itself is desktop mounting only, there are no rackmount ears.
Both sides only have vents.
The back has the DC power input and a grounding point. Generally, we like all ports on these switches to be on the same side so that they can be placed against a wall. On higher-end switches, having ports on both sides can make more sense. In this class, it would be easier if they were all up front.
The bottom of the switch has two mounting points. One will quickly notice this label is in Chinese.
Just for comparison, here is the Mokerlink label:
Inside the switch, we can see the ports and SFP+ cage with two heatsinks behind them.
This is the internal view where we can see the two switch chip layout.
The switch appears to be using the RTL8373-CG and the RTL8224-CG switch chips. It is using a 10G uplink from the RTL8224-CG to the RTL8373-CG. Each has four 2.5GbE links downstream and the latter has a 10G SFP+ link as well. We made this diagram for all of these switch reviews:
This, like the other units we have tested, is a fanless design keeping noise low.
We had some requests to show the bottom side of the PCB, so we added that to this review.
Next, let us get to the management, performance, power consumption, and our final thoughts.