TRENDnet TEG-S380 Performance
Unmanaged switches are not necessarily the most interesting components of the switching ecosystem. Still, we wanted to quickly take a look at performance.
The switch itself was able to get 2.5GbE traffic on each of the ports.
We normally would discuss management, however, this is an unmanaged switch so that limits options to discuss a feature that does not exist. Unmanaged switches have been around for a long time, and so we are going to assume our readers understand the implications of an unmanaged switch. Instead, we are next going to focus on power consumption.
TRENDnet TEG-S380 Power Consumption
In terms of power, the TEG-S380 uses an external 18W DC power adapter. This is shared between the TEG-S380 8-port switch and the TEG-S350 5-port switch:
We saw around 5W at idle and the switch has a maximum power consumption of 12-13W. Those are not huge figures, but we simply wanted to present our findings. That 7-8W range is dependent on ports occupied, traffic, and cable lengths. For our readers thinking about using this switch for a WiFi 6/ WiFi 6E infrastructure, this is not a PoE capable switch.
TRENDnet TEG-S380 Pricing and Market Impact
In unmanaged switches, pricing is perhaps not everything, but it is clearly one of the biggest factors. For the TEG-S380, this is a doubly important aspect since there is competition with other 2.5GbE switches as well as 1GbE infrastructure. Let us start with the list pricing:
Here we can see that this switch is $189.99 or $23.75 per port. The interesting aspect here is that the incremental three ports are effectively half-price over the per-port cost on the 5-port unit.
We used Amazon and a quick web search for street pricing and this is what we found at the time of writing this review (pricing may change over time this is as of April 2, 2021):
The per-port cost goes down by $1.25 due to the $10 lower street price than the MSRP. Here is an Amazon affiliate link that will pull current pricing:
Just discussing some comparison points here:
- QNAP has a 5-port unmanaged switch (QSW-1105-5T) that is around $189. The company also has the QNAP QSW-M2108-2S an 8x 2.5GbE plus 2x SFP+ lightweight managed switch at $249. It is clear that TRENDnet’s 5-port offering is less expensive. The QNAP 8-port offering is an example of a higher-end 2.5GbE switch so we just wanted to include that as a discussion point.
- TP-Link has a $139.99 5-port switch, the TL-SG105-M2 which is similar in price to the TEG-S350. The 8-port TP-Link TL-SG108-M2 is $199 at the time of this writing. $20 in this space is quite a lot.
The reason that $20 is a lot is that it is in the range of an 8-port unmanaged 1GbE switch. Those often sell for $20-25 or around $3/ port.
One side of the equation is that TRENDnet is providing lower-cost 2.5GbE solutions than its competition. The other side is that the cost per port is still 7-8x that of 1GbE switches.
I discussed this with our Editor-in-Chief, Patrick, and we both felt that this was too much of a premium for 2.5GbE ports over 1GbE ports to really drive adoption.
Our hope is that with future generations, the cost of these switches starts to fall significantly. The current move to 2.5GbE is being pushed by the industry. We have recently looked at USB to 2.5GbE adapters, PCIe to 2.5GbE adapters, WiFi 6 APs, NAS units like the QNAP GM-1002 3U Dual ZFS NAS, the low-cost ODROID-H2+ with H2 Net Card Cheap 6x 2.5GbE, the Intel NUC 11 Pro, and even in our recent Core i9-11900K review we used an ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard with dual 2.5GbE ports. We are seeing 2.5GbE become more common, and our hope is that new lower-cost switches drive down access and adoption of 2.5GbE.
The direction of the industry in 2021 is clear. New higher-end devices are going to support 2.5GbE. Just the number of devices we have already reviewed, plus those in the review pipeline we can see the transition happening. For some networks, such as the extremely cost-optimized segments along with control networks such as those for server Baseboard Management Controllers or BMCs we do not see those changing from 1GbE this year. For other markets, 2.5GbE is going to have a much bigger 2021 after years of anticipation. This is being driven by the fact that we have low-cost 2.5GbE NICs from companies such as Realtek and Intel.
Against this industry shift, the TRENDnet TEG-S380 is a solid step in what we think is the right direction of offering lower-cost 2.5GbE switches for the market. There still seems like an opportunity to help drive an adoption cycle by getting even lower-cost devices in the market, but as of now, the TRENDnet TEG-S380 is the lowest-cost 8-port unmanaged 2.5GbE switch we could find (at the time of writing this review, prices/ discounts change) on Amazon, Newegg, and a few other sites. As a result, it is a big step for the industry.