Today we are going to look at something that we have wanted to find for some time, a seriously cheap 2.5GbE switch with more than 5 ports, a 10GbE uplink, silent, and low power. That is the holy grail of switches where they become commonplace. The Sodola 8-port 2.5GbE and 1-port 10GbE Switch is the second 8x 2.5GbE and 1x 10GbE (SFP+) switch that we are going to review in this mini-series. It is awesome.
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 switch came in a brown box with some basic branding. We previously looked at the MokerLink 2G041G, a cheap 5x 2.5GbE switch. Through some scheduling snafus and OCP content, that was supposed to publish a few weeks ago, but it ended up publishing the same week as this review.
In the video, we unbox two switches side-by-side to see how similar they are down to the packaging.
Sodola 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 which is fairly good. The standout is that we also get a SFP+ 10GbE port. 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. One interesting note is that the three different models that we purchased from Amazon have a QC PASS sticker over the screw hole. The one from AliExpress did not.
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. It also has a Sodola product label, which is strikingly similar to the Mokerlink and Nicgiga labels.
Inside the switch, we can see the ports and cages 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.
This, like the other units we have tested, is a fanless design keeping noise low.
Next, let us get to the management, performance, power consumption, and our final thoughts.