StarTech Releases New USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2013 - 04:11 AM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, Startech, gigabit ethernet, adapter

StarTech has released new USB 3.0 peripherals that enable Gigabit Ethernet with the full 1,000 Mbps throughput. There are four new adapters in total, a Gigabit-to-USB 3.0 adapter in black or white, an adapter with two Gigabit Ethernet ports to USB 3.0, and an adapter with a USB 3.0 hub, Gigabit Ethernet port that connects to your PC via a single USB 3.0 connection.

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The new adapters are aimed at ultrabook and other business laptop users who have a limited number of USB 3.0 ports and may not have a physical GbE RJ45 port. The new adapters provide Gigabit Ethernet as well as a USB 3.0 passthrough port so that users do not have to give up a USB port.

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The USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet adapter comes in white or black and provides Gigabit Ethernet and a single USB 3.0 port. It has an MSRP of $78.99 USD (£61.99 UK). Alternatively, StarTech has an adapter with a USB 3.0 passthrough and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. That adapter has an MSRP of $103.99 USD (£82.99 UK). Finally, StarTech has a Gigabit Ethernet to USB 3.0 adapter that includes a single RJ45 port and three USB 3.0 ports. The ports can provide enough power to charge mobile devices, including Apple and Android smartphones. The hub adapter has an MSRP of $83.99 USD (£63.99 UK).

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All of the new StarTech adapters are available now in the US, Canada, and Europe. Fortunately for users, the actual retail prices are turning out to be much less than the listed MSRPs.

The new adapters are useful for laptops with limited port options and for devices like the new Haswell-powered Intel NUC so that users can get two Gigabit Ethernet ports to enable new home networking or home server functionality.

 

Source: StarTech
October 16, 2013 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Star Tech: The Next Generation!

You know some ignoramus was going to post that, so it may as well be this ignoramus right here! ;)

That certainly looks like an interesting idea, at least.

October 16, 2013 | 10:00 AM - Posted by beagley (not verified)

awesome! should i be excited about this because i don't have to rma every motherboard with a dead nic? because i am, sad fact.

October 16, 2013 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How fast will the network speed be if plugged into a USB2.0 port instead of a USB3.0?

October 16, 2013 | 10:29 AM - Posted by jgstew

The network speed of the adapter plugged into USB 2.0 will still be 1000mbps, but the actual max throughput will be lower. Effectively 1000mbps transfers will happen to the adapter's buffer, but ~250mbps transfers will happen from the adapter's buffer to the host, so the maximum average throughput will be ~250mbps. Even plugged into a USB 3.0 port, you will not see 1000mbps throughput because of overhead, but you should see nearly double the throughput of USB 2.0 ports. I have not benchmarked normal PCI Express based 1000mbps ethernet, but I doubt it actually gives you 1000mbps in actual throughput either, particularly on your average low end motherboard ethernet. In all cases the signal rate will be 1000mbps over the Ethernet connection even if the actual maximum throughput is lower.

October 16, 2013 | 10:43 AM - Posted by jgstew

Based upon the drivers available for these adapters, the NIC in them is based upon the AX88179 chip, as are the majority of USB 3.0 Gigabit adapters I've come across. I bet this existing chip is just being paired with a USB 3.0 Hub chip inside to allow for the USB 3.0 passthrough of these new adapters. It is possible that there is a new single chip version of the AX88179 that includes a USB 3.0 Hub, or a different chip that is driver compatible with AX88179. It would be nice to see a teardown to confirm which is the case.

The capabilities of the AX88179 chip are found here: http://www.asix.com.tw/products.php?op=pItemdetail&PItemID=131;71;112

October 16, 2013 | 08:56 PM - Posted by Aaron MacDonald (not verified)

File transfers between my gaming rig and home server routinely peg the NIC at 99% bandwidth utilization as shown by task manager, both are using RealTek PCIe integrated NICs. That's on large file transfers like ISO files and the like.

October 17, 2013 | 04:27 AM - Posted by Jules (not verified)

Startling discovery!

usb3.0 to Ethernet adapters have been selling for ages on fleabay.

And MUCH cheaper too.

December 27, 2013 | 08:37 AM - Posted by Harika (not verified)

External device is one of the necessary equipment for the people that is very necessary while transferring some data from one mobile to another mobile or from one system to another system. USB device is one of them that providing different kinds of service like Ethernet. You can find different brands and different models of USB device in market that is very helpful.

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