The Intel E810-XXVDA4 is a very interesting NIC solution. As a quad port SFP28 NIC, the Intel card offers four 25GbE ports on a single PCIe card. What is a bit different is the form factor of the card. We had one in the lab, so we figured we would do a mini-review of the platform.
Intel E810-XXVDA4 Quad Port 25GbE NIC
The Intel E810-XXVDA4 has a front design that looks similar to the full-height quad SFP+ Intel X710 cards. That full-height PCB and full-height bracket mean that this is not a low-profile card.
Breaking down the naming convention:
- Intel E810 is the newest generation of Intel Ethernet adapters
- XXV means this is a 25GbE NIC
- DA4 means that this is a DACs, Optics, and AOCs-capable 4-port NIC
That naming convention is a bit more exciting than the rear of the card, which does not have any large components.
One of the biggest reasons that cards like these are full-height versus low-profile is that physically fitting four SFP28 cages is challenging in a low-profile design.
The card itself is also a PCIe Gen4 x16 card.
Intel E810-XXVDA4 Software
In linux, the Intel ice drivers will load in most modern distributions by default. Likewise, these are supported by VMware ESXi 8. In Windows, you may have to download a driver. If it is still not recognized, check out our How to Install an Intel E810 100GbE Network Adapter in Windows 11. That same procedure will work here.
These are generally very well-supported NICs. While Intel offered some 700 generation 25GbE NICs, the 800 generation supports iWARP and RoCEv2 for RDMA, giving a bit more flexibility.
Intel also offers a number of DDP packages for specialized workloads but that requires changing the card’s configuration.
Intel E810-XXVDA4 Performance and Power Consumption
We have heard some folks having challenges getting 25GbE speeds from their cards. So we wanted to check the performance.
This is a quad 25GbE-capable card, and we got fairly close to 100GbE speeds across all four ports without much tuning.
On the power consumption side, using four DACs we saw power at idle of around 13W and just around 15.5W pushing more traffic. Using optics will increase power consumption so here is Intel’s power table:
Overall, this is fairly reasonable. At the same time, modern NICs now use more power than when we had quad 1GbE Intel Atom C2558 mITX systems, for example. Pushing data uses significant power.
Overall, the Intel E810-XXVDA4 is a platform we have used for over a year. It generally works very well, and it uses Intel’s newer IP, so getting features like RoCEv2 are big upgrades. For those wondering, there are other versions of this card. For example, the Intel E810-XXVDA4T adds time sync features. There is also a low-profile version of this card that one can order using the part “E810XXVDA4LG1P5”. These cards are also sold by a number of server vendors, e.g., this is the HPE P08458-B21 adapter.
It is highly likely you will see more of these cards in the future, so we wanted to just quickly share the cards. For those that are using quad port 10GbE SFP+ adapters, moving to the SFP28 25GbE generation is fairly easy at this point (they are also backward compatible.)