Syba dual 2.5 gig NIC

Syba uses the very common Realtek 2.5 gig controller. I bought the card after reading the review at ServeTheHome The card is PCI-E x1 and uses a PCI-E switch to get data the the Realtek controllers. There are a few differences between the card pictured at Amazon and the card I got. The card I got has the lights below the bottom of each RJ-45 connector, not to the side of the RJ-45 as shown in photos. Also there is a heatsink approximately 1.5 inches on a side over the PCI-E switch chip. I was quite surprised at how hard I had to push in the network connectors in order to get them to clip in. I have quite a few NICs and this one is the hardest to seat. Since I was replacing a single port 2.5gig card, the Realtek drivers were already installed. The one installed by default by Microsoft is pretty old and has minimal features. If you update the driver, you get features such as jumbo frames (9014 bytes max). The card is working fine. I am connecting two computers to my main computer, and I decided this card was significantly less expensive than a 2.5gig or faster switch. I hope the price of NICs and multi gig switches drops. I considered a 10gig INC, but a good low power dual 10 gbase-T card costs several hundred dollars (which is quite unreasonable). This card was $40 at Amazon.

Well, after 4 months of use, the card has failed. Specifically one of the two network ports has failed. I manually configure all the network settings. However, now the network settings don't get applied, other than the default gateway. The other network port works fine. I have never seen a network adapter fail this way. Fortunately, the card has a 3 year warranty. I have contacted Amazon and hopefully they will ship a replacement card which will work. I cannot recommend Syba network cards, based on this failure. I wish Intel made 2.5g dual port network cards, or the price of n-base-t cards drop.

The return process was pretty simple. I did have to pay return shipping, but other than that no issues. I got back the replacement NIC and it looks ok except that I mailed in one with a full height bracket and I got one back with a low profile bracket. Clearly it won't fit in my computer. I called Syba, and they said they couldn't deal with it over the phone, and I should email them. The box included a mini-cd for the driver, which is nice. One the plus side, they have phone support. On the minus side, all they will say is to send them email, so it really isn't support. I wonder how much effort it will take to get a working NIC with a full height bracket?

Well, I was sent the full height bracket, which arrived in 2 days. The bad news is the NIC is 99.9% dead. The green light on the back will light up, however my computer will not power on. No motherboard lights, no CPU fan spinning etc. I removed and reseated the card, but the problem persisted. I have removed the syba card and installed a generic single port 2.5g NIC. One could speculate that they mailed me a customer returned card, as it was missing the full height bracket. Or perhaps they sent a new card missing the full height bracket. The box has a sticker holding it closed saying 'QC passed'. I am not sure what kind of QC they performed, but it didn't include powering up the card. I have requested a working card. All parts can fail. Companies need a process to replace them with the correct, working part. The card was not replaced with a correct (full height bracket) nor was it working. I cannot recommend Syba products.

I told Syba the card was dead, and they sent me another card. This one had a full height bracket and a low profile bracket. this one also works. I really wonder why the previous one only had a low profile bracket.

Syba never asked for the broken card back. I ended up listing it on ebay specifying it was broken. It sold for a modest amount. the buyer sent me a message saying the problem was a resistor on the card, and they got the card working. I am glad it didn't end up as e-waste.

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