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Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T1
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggs No PXE 06/05/2014

This review is from: Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540-T1

Pros: Uses inexpensive Cat 7 cables, connects to inexpensive Netgear switch, may work with no configuration, can be used with slower switches if necessary unlike traditional 10GBE equipment.

Cons: PXE boot requires reflashing the NIC

Other Thoughts: I sure like the idea of CX4 because of the terrific cost saving - the cables cost $20 rather than $1,000 (FO) or $200 (DAC) and the Netgear switch is $100 per port rather than $1000. But try as I might I can't get PXE booting turned on.

Intel supplies a program "bootutil" on their website to reflash the NIC to support PXE booting, however it would not install on a windows 7 machine. If I could PXE boot with the card I would give it 4 stars, but I need PXE and can't use the card in production as is. Should be an easy fix for Intel if they care but I think maybe they don't..

The card has some options available on a setup screen in the ROM BIOS of the NIC, however the card I received apparently had display of that screen turned off. Docs say it should be on.

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iStarUSA WA-SF96B-1U 1U Heavy Duty Rackmount Shelf
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Incompatible with Supermicro Server 04/12/2014

This review is from: iStarUSA WA-SF96B-1U 1U Heavy Duty Rackmount Shelf

Pros: Sturdy, easy to assemble, available in many sizes, reasonably priced, no useless side panels or doors to get in the way.

Cons: (1) A bend in the uprights presses against the rails supplied with Supermicro servers such that you can't push the server back into the rack without distorting the chassis. HP rails worked fine, but of course you don't get to choose the rails.

(2) A small tool was included to tighten the bolts, however it was too short to be effective.

(3) The wheel locks tended to catch in the carpet when rolling the assembly, even though the carpet was extremely thin.

Other Thoughts: I don't don't which bit of hardware is out of spec, Supermicro or iStar (Claytech), or perhaps it is the standard that is defective. In any case, I had to buy alternative rails that just provided a shelf for the server to sit on. This is fine but doesn't hold the server up for maintenance.

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Netgear 12-Port ProSafe 10 Gigabit Smart Switch XS712T
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Great value 03/27/2014

This review is from: Netgear 12-Port ProSafe 10 Gigabit Smart Switch XS712T

Pros: Very inexpensive by 10 GBE standards and no setup required. Worked with our generic DAC cable and generic cat 7 and 6a cables. Worked with Intel and HP NICs. Not loud.

Cons: Only 2 SFP+ ports

Other Thoughts: Other 10 GBE switches have elaborate capabilities beyond just passing packets to the right port. They have security features, can route, do BGP, etc. We didn't need any of that and are fine not to have it. This worked as a top of rack switch without any setup at all and cost about 85% less than any alternative.

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Daniel F.'s Profile

Display Name: Daniel F.

Date Joined: 06/07/06

  • Reviews: 26
  • Helpfulness: 10
  • First Review: 08/11/07
  • Last Review: 06/05/14
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