NICGIGA S100-0800T Review The Cheap Unmanaged 8-port 10Gbase-T Switch

8

NICGIGA S100-0800T Management

This is an unmanaged switch. In theory, the RTL9303 supports management, but this switch does not take advantage of that. Instead of talking about the management, we wanted to talk a bit about the construction.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Switch PCB No RTL Heatsink
Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Switch PCB No RTL Heatsink

As we saw in our internal overview, the main switch chip is the Realtek RTL9303. This is the same switch chip that we saw in the Hasivo S1100WP-8XGT-SE.

Realtek RTL9303 CG Block Diagram
Realtek RTL9303 CG Block Diagram

The RTL9303 was originally designed for 8-port SFP+ switches, so we have the 10G MACs, but not the 10G PHYs.

Realtek RTL9303 CG Fiber
Realtek RTL9303 CG Fiber

It appears as though, unlike the Hasivo, this is using eight Realtek RTL8261N PHYs.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Ports 2
Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Ports 2

Originally, we were a bit skeptical of how it would work. Apparently, it does and with multi-gigabit speeds like 2.5GbE and 5GbE as well.

Next, let us get to the performance.

NICGIGA S100-0800T Performance

For the performance of this switch, here is what we saw:

NICGIGA S100 0800T Performance
NICGIGA S100 0800T Performance

This is OK performance, albeit notably lower than the 80Gbps we would expect from a switch like this. When loaded, we see quite a bit of inconsistency across the ports and the entire switch.

That is one view. One can also look at the same chart and see that we are certainly getting 10GbE performance and not much lower performance like a switch really running at 5Gbps on the ports. The PHYs kept links running at 10G speeds. The single switch chip means we do not have a strange bottleneck on half the switch or something. Really, the switch worked reasonably well. We see this as more of a device that folks will use a few ports intermittently on rather than a switch that will be run 100% across all ports 24×7.

For a $222 switch, this is a very reasonable performance. Still, for those that want top-bin performance, we would not say this is it.

NICGIGA S100-0800T Power Consumption and Noise

The switch itself has an internal power supply. This is certainly not the fanciest power supply we have seen, but it appears to be an area where cost savings have been prioritized over getting something like a Mean Well power supply, as we saw in the 1U Rackmount Qotom Review.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Power Supply
Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Power Supply

The idle power was not bad, but it was still 9.3W. For each 10Gbase-T port we added around 2.3W. Linking at 2.5GbE instead was around 1.7W and 2.0W for 5GbE.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Fan
Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Fan

The fan certainly spun up, but we were getting sub 40dba in our 34dba noise floor studio. With the air conditioner running, you must be inches away from the fan to make it out. That was a bit of a shocker since we assumed that this would have a very loud fan. The noise is there, but it is far from noisy.

Final Words

There are probably two ways to look at a device like this. On the one hand, this is easily one of the cheapest 8-port 10Gbase-T and also 5GbE switches out there. While one does not get management features, there are also tons of devices now coming with 2.5GbE and 10Gbase-T ports. The industry also sold a lot of 1GbE unmanaged 8-port switches over the years, so there is a need for something similar with 10GbE.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Front With Rack Ears
Nicgiga S100 0800T Front With Rack Ears

On the other hand, there were some easy-to-spot cost optimizations in this box. We expected to see them since NICGIGA usually aims to be one of, if not the cheapest, switches in a given segment. That is what they are doing here.

Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Overview
Nicgiga S100 0800T Internal Overview

Still, at $222 (after discounts) and decently low power, the question is whether those cost optimizations are worth it to you. That is the idea of testing a lot of these switches as we want to show folks what is out there.

Where to Buy

We purchased our unit on Amazon. Here is the affiliate link for this model.

8 COMMENTS

  1. My spider senses tingle when seeing these budget internal power supplies with no shielding surrounded by a metal enclosure, at a minimum a plastic sheet under it or ideally around it will prevent this power supply situation to turn into a real shocker.

  2. Some people comments are not very well thought through.
    If you look at the first power supply specific picture, there is a chassis ground coming from the iec socket for the incoming power. Since there are no user serviceable parts inside, it would be reasonable to assume that the chance of electrical shock is rather low. All you have to do is leave it alone to do it’s job and not open it up.

  3. Looking forward to seeing some more of the upcoming 10G switch reviews. My dream switch would be 12x 10gbaseT &12x SFP+ with some light mgmt (mostly LAGs). Sort of like the Netgear M4300 but not 3 grand

  4. Thank you for explicitly mentioning if it has rack ears! I see some of these with holes, and always wonder if they come with ears or not.

  5. Is that a gas arrestor tube on the power supply for surge protection? (top right, white with blue writing). If so it’s a bit extravagant for a budget PSU, makes me think it might be above average quality.

  6. @Malvineous – Good eye. That is a gas tube and I agree that this PSU is above average quality. The article reporting and other comments regarding the power supply are disappointing. Based on the article pictures, the power supply used in this switch appears to be a Topow TPT36S12A (https://www.topowelec.com/product/213.html) which carries multiple certifications, including UL.

  7. Thanks for the reviews. The biggest problem with these Cheap routers I have found is range. At least with the SFP+ routers, you can install a higher quality module for range. This is especially important for the reuse of old CAT6 wiring between rooms. I did this for my parents to get a high speed 10gbe link between the front and rear of the house without rewiring.

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