Silicom PE2G6I35-R Review 6-port Intel i350 NIC


Silicom PE2G6I35 Key Specs

Since many have requested we add key specs to our reviews:

Performance Features:

  • 8 Transmit and 8 Receive queues per port
  • Up to 32 queues of Receive Side Scaling (RSS) minimize CPU utilization across multiple processor systems
  • Support PCI-SIG Single-Root I/O virtualization Rev 1.1.
  • Support for up to 8 virtual function ( VFs)
  • Partial replication of PCI Configuration space
  • Support for 8 pools (single queue) of virtual machine Device Queues (VMDq) per port.
  • Support Direct Cache Access (DCA).
  • Support Intel I/O Acceleration Technology v3.0.
  • TSO interleaving for reduced latency
  • Minimized device I/O interrupts using MSI and MSI-X
  • UDP, TCP and IP checksum offload
  • UDP and TCP transmit segmentation offload (TSO). machine
  • SCTP receive and transmit checksum offload.
  • Packet interrupt coalescing timers (packet timers) and absolute-delay interrupt timers for both transmit and receive operation.
  • EEE ( IEEE 802.3az) for reduced power consumption during low link utilization periods.

Copper Gigabit Ethernet 1000Base-T:

  • Independently copper Gigabit Ethernet channels support six Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T), Fast Ethernet (100Base-Tx) and Ethernet (10Base-T).
  • Triple speed 1000Mbps (1000Base-T), 100 Mbps (100Base-Tx) and 10 Mbps (100Base-T) operation
  • Nway auto negotiation automatic sensing and switching between 1Gbps full duplex and 100 / 10 Mbps operations Simplex or Full Duplex
  • RJ-45 female connectors

Common Key features:

  • Support PCI Express Base Specification 2.1 (5 GTs)
  • High performance, reliability, and low power use in Intel i350 Quad integrated MAC + PHY and SERDES chip Controllers
  • Ultra deep, packet buffer per channel lowers CPU utilization
  • Hardware acceleration that can offload tasks from the host processor. The Controllers can offload TCP/UDP/IP checksum calculations and TCP segmentation
  • Server class reliability, availability and performance features:
  • Link Aggregation and Load Balancing
  • Priority queuing – 802.1p layer 2 priority encoding
  • Virtual LANs –802.1q VLAN tagging.
  • Jumbo Frame (9.5KB)
  • 802.x flow control
  • Multicast/ broadcast Packet replication
  • Supports Vital Product Data (VPD)
  • LEDs indicators for link/Activity/Speed status

This is the key specs directly from Silicom’s documentation on the cards.

Silicom PE2G6I35 R Top
Silicom PE2G6I35 R Top

The cards themselves use Intel i350 drivers so they have great software support. Silicom sets the MAC addresses on the cards so they are sequential which helps tie ports to MAC addresses and makes the card seem seamless so there is not a block of four addresses for the i350-am4 and two totally different addresses for the i350-am2. That is a small detail, but one that is appreciated.

Silicom the Brand

There is one small item we wanted to cover here that goes beyond the hardware. Longtime STH readers may remember pieces such as Investigating fake Intel i350 network adapters. This was one of the pieces I read at STH before writing for the site. These days, it can be very difficult to tell if an Intel NIC is genuine. One small benefit of the Silicom NICs is that they tend to see fewer copies for sale online just because those trying to pass off counterfeit NICs tend to market against larger brands. While that may not seem like a huge benefit, it is often easier to find a genuine Silicom card than it is a genuine Intel card when shopping online.

Real or fake Intel i350
Real or fake Intel i350

For those who are unaware of Silicom, they are a manufacturer of network gear behind many OEMs. For example, in 2012, STH reviewed an older version of this card that was sold by Dell. You can see our old Dell Silicom PEG6I Six Port Gigabit (GigE) Intel 82571EB Network Adapter article here. When I searched for Silicom in the STH back-end it looks like there are a trio of old articles (9 years ago!) just on that card. Still, this is what the older version of this card (PEG6I) using legacy NICs that Dell sold looked like:

Dell Silicom PEG6I Card Overview
Dell Silicom PEG6I Card Overview

Many STH readers may have heard of Silicom, many have not. They are a vendor that large OEMs trust to make specialized NICs for their platforms. There are many vendors with 1-4 port NICs out there, but these six-port 1GbE NICs are rarer. Silicom has been making them for a decade or more. My first Silicom NIC I did not even know it was a Silicom NIC because it was in a Dell server so you may use their NICs without knowing it.

Next, we are going to have performance, power consumption, and our final words.


  1. Silicom NICs and the ones from Interface Masters are high quality products, and if you dont need the Boot-ROM functionality, they are a reliable replacement for Intel original NICs.
    Plus there are Models with SFP-cages which can accept a 1000Base-BX BiDi Module for FTTH scenarios (they are not finicky with transceivers.. MSA standard), this way you can directly plug the fiber to the Endpoint or Firewall/Routing Appliance.


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