We now have our eleventh SFP+ to 10Gbase-T review and the second after our SFP+ to 10Gbase-T Adapter Module Buyers Guide. The Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G module is designed for Ubiquiti switches, but we are going to go beyond that. Official specs list 1/10Gbps but we wanted to test whether the modules are capable of 2.5GbE and 5GbE speeds like others on the market. Since this unit is priced at the higher-end of current generations of modules, we wanted to see if there was a compelling difference or reason to get the Ubiquiti module versus third-party modules. We are going to see how it stacks up in our review.
Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G SFP+ to 10Gbase-T Converter Overview
We purchased two Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G modules from different sources. One module was going to be used in the Ubiquiti UniFi USW-Leaf while the other was set to join our test set. The module itself looked very familiar as this is now our eleventh review in this series.
These units plug into switch SFP+ ports and can provide up to 10Gbase-T connectivity at up to 30m. A feature we have noticed doing these reviews is that the PCBs tend to be different near the SFP+ connector. This tells us that we are testing modules with some level of uniqueness not just the same unit every time with a different label.
This particular module’s PCB has different markings but similar components and component placements to the 6COM, QSFPTEK, ADOP, FlyFiber, and Wiitek units. The first two in that list do not support 2.5GbE and 5GbE speeds, while the FlyFiber and Wiitek units do.
Packaging for the Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G was the smallest of any unit we have tested thus far. It is just barely bigger than the module itself. There is a Ubiquiti hologram on the packaging. Although it seems perfectly adequate, it is also nowhere near the premium packaging we saw on the less expensive 10Gtek unit.
The module is rated to convert a SFP+ slot to a RJ45 10Gbase-T slot and span up to 30m of cable distance. We still wanted to test the unit’s capability to support different speeds. To be clear, supporting 2.5GbE and 5GbE speeds are up to the switch itself. Although this is a Ubiquiti model, designed for Ubiquiti switches, we had no issues using the modules in our array of non-Ubiquiti test switches. As we found in our Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch ES-16-XG Review, Ubiquiti gear can be picky about the SFP+ modules used. That can be enough of a reason in itself to use the UF-RJ45-10G in Ubiquiti products, but we wanted to expand our test set.
Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G Nbase-T Support
As we mentioned earlier, the official spec says this is simply a SFP+ to 10Gbase-T converter for distances up to 30m. There is no mention of Nbase-T, 2.5Gbase-T, 5Gbase-T, 2.5GbE, or 5GbE in the specs, nor on the device or its contents. We have now found some SFP+ to 10Gbase-T converters support Nbase-T while others do not.
First, we tried the Ubiquiti unit in a MikroTik CRS326-24S+2Q+RM Switch connected to an Aquantia AQtion 10Gbase-T adapter on a 20m CAT6 cable we had:
As you can see, we linked at 10Gbase-T speeds without issue.
We then selected a 5Gbps rate on the Aquantia AQtion NIC and again, and we could not get a link.
We then swapped NICs just to get some diversity and used the TRENDnet TEG-25GECTX 2.5GbE adapter using the Realtek RTL8125. We also verified this with the Syba 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe NIC that uses the same controller. Neither of those solutions linked at 2.5GbE speeds.
Jumbo frame support did work as it has on all of the units. As a result, we can add it to our summary table as:
This was somewhat expected when we saw the PCB design near the SFP connector as that particular model was used in some of the 2.5GbE and 5GbE capable units, but all of the units that failed at those speeds thus far.
As an aside, the QSFPTEK folks contacted us and they claim there is an updated module at this point. We still have not been able to test one.
To be clear, Ubiquiti rates these modules at 1G/10G speeds. This is a case where Ubiquiti is properly stating the specifications of their modules. We just did not find the bonus feature we found on 64% of the modules we have tested thus far with extended Nbase-T support even if it is not on the spec sheet.
Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G Performance
We ran a few NAS tests to a SFP+ SSD NAS from a workstation with a 2.5/5/10Gbase-T adapter as well as a SFP+ adapter to see the impact of the UF-RJ45-10G has running in a MikroTik CRS309-1G-8S+IN switch. We are using the MikroTik switch here to stay consistent with the other ten units that we have tested since it does not enforce vendor coding on modules.
Here we can see a performance that is acceptable but also grouped with the lower-end of SFP+ to 10Gbase-T modules we have tested. There is a fairly clear pattern where we see the 2.5GbE and 5GbE capable modules perform slightly better than the 1/10GbE only modules.
That grouping held for the two Ubiquiti UF-RJ45-10G units we tested as well. There is a fairly clear pattern in the industry regarding both features and performance of these SFP+ to 10Gbase-T converters.
All eleven units run very hot in switches because they are using what is relatively a lot of power in the 2-3W range each. We had a lot of requests for this unit when we did our initial buyer’s guide.
The reason to purchase this module is clear. If you are running Ubiquiti gear, and want to stay with a supported configuration, this is the option to get. Although this module is on the more expensive side of options we have tested, it is nowhere near what larger vendors charge for their modules. The module performed well enough and worked at 1/10Gbps speeds as was stated on the spec sheet. If Ubiquiti can keep the BOM consistent for these devices, and if it switches to the 2.5/5Gbps capable parts uses a new model number, that will be a big win for the Ubiquiti ecosystem as it will help enforce known-good configurations.
Outside of the Ubiquiti ecosystem, using these modules in Quanta/ QCT, Netgear, MikroTik, and other modules permissive on the coding they take, there are likely better options. Units like the 10Gtek ASF-10G-T, Wiitek SFP-10G-T, and FlyFiber SFP-10G-T-C performed better in our testing with 2.5/5Gbps speeds and at lower costs. Still, those are from vendors who can easily change BOMs without telling customers and we found gaps in regulatory markings. Indeed, after we published our SFP+ roundup, the Wiitek units quickly sold out at Amazon and were not available for a few weeks so there is a supply chain concern on these third party modules as well. Ubiquiti has a bigger scale which is important.
In terms of comparison in the MikroTik ecosystem, the MikroTik S+RJ10 unit was a similar cost product but can utilize 2.5/5Gbps speeds as well. As a result, it seems as though the MikroTik ecosystem is slightly better off with its SFP+ to 10Gbase-T adapters. We should note that the original revision S+RJ10 units (a revision before what we tested) did not support 2.5/5GbE either. It is very possible that Ubiquiti could update its modules as well. That is why we sourced UF-RJ45-10G modules from both European and US resellers to ensure that we were at least getting a small bit of distribution diversity in what we tested in the event different markets got different modules.
2.5GbE is becoming more important. We are seeing, for example, Intel pushing an updated i225 NIC with its latest 10th Gen Intel Core Series desktop parts. This combined with the Realtek/ Aquantia NICs in the market commonly found on AMD platforms means that we are going to see more client devices support 2.5GbE out-of-the-box. Using SFP+ to 10Gbase-T adapters with 2.5Gbps capabilities allows one to inexpensively integrate a 2.5x bandwidth increase to these clients on an infrastructure built for SFP+. We actually hope Ubiquiti does follow MikroTik’s lead here and issue a new revision with 2.5/5Gbps speeds to its ecosystem can handle the new generation of desktops that may need faster networking.
Overall, these modules performed as Ubiquiti described and their status as a vendor-supported product make them important in the Ubiquiti ecosystem. We would, however, suggest that readers thinking about these modules for other types of switches look to lower-cost options.
We will be adding this module to our SFP+ to 10Gbase-T Adapter Module Buyers Guide in the next update.