Eminent Gigabit 8-port Switch Review Seán Byrne .

We compare it against a direct connection to test for latency & performance and run some throughput tests between multiple computers with Gigabit connections.

We compare it against a direct connection to test for latency & performance and run some throughput tests between multiple computers with Gigabit connections.

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Eminent Gigabit 8-port Switch Review

Posted 26 January 2011 14:17 CET by Seán Byrne

Review: Eminent 8 port Gigabit Switch Reviewed by: Seán Byrne Provided by: Eminent

Eminent was kind enough to lend us their 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch for review.  The days of having just a single computer in the home are pretty much at an end with the growing popularity of network media players, networked hard drives (NAS), shared printers and so on, so the consumer needs a network switch to network all these devices together.  While pretty much any 100Mbps or faster switch is more than adequate for streaming Full HD video, other types of network communication such as transferring large files from one computer to another can be a very tedious process, especially several Gigabytes of data, such as to or from an NAS.

While most modern NAS units, laptops and desktops are equipped with a 1Gbps network card, most consumers still use a 100Mbps switch or their router’s built-in switch, which is usually 100Mbps, also known as Fast Ethernet.  As a result, any network device with a 1Gbps NIC can only operate at the legacy 100Mbps speed, a mere 10% of what it is potentially capable of.  So in this review, we will take a look at how this network switch handles when compared with a legacy 100Mbps switch and also against a direct PC to PC network connection.  We will also try out various other tests such how the switch handles with more than two ports running sustained transfers.

 

Eminent Company Information

Eminent produces a range of consumer electronics, including set-top media players, computer peripherals (external HDD, USB Hubs, card readers, mice, etc.), network devices (routers, switches, PowerLine Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc.) and accessories such as audio, video and data cables and power supplies.  They also have a range of home automation and security products such as remote control lighting, smoke detectors, security alarms and CCTV.

Further information on the Eminent company profile, including their product range can be found on their website.

Retail packaging


The network switch was shipped to us in a shrink-wrapped retail package, as shown in the following images:

Front

Above

Below (cropped)

On the left

On the right

Back

Crop of English content on the back

What’s inside the box?


The following shows what the Gigabit Switch came with:

The contents are as follows:

  • Eminent 8-port Gigabit Switch
  • EU 2-pin power supply
  • EU 2-pin to UK plug adapter

We were quite surprised to see no paper material included such as a user guide or warranty card.  As we received this review sample directly from Eminent, it’s quite likely that this additional material is not included with their review samples. This switch came with four rubber feet already attached to the base.

Now let’s take a look at the switch:

Top – The label is actually reflective and much darker than it appears here as we’ll see shortly with a photo showing it powered up.

The front, left & right is plain, but with this logo on the front and ventilation holes on both sides. 

Rear, which includes 8 x Gigabit ports, DC power socket and the power switch

On the bottom, we see two info labels and the rubber feet.

The following shows the switch powered up with various 10Mbps, 100Mbps and 1Gbps network hosts attached:

The Link / ACT LEDs flash during activity, while the “Giga” LEDs light up for hosts that operate at 1Gbps.  The switch does not distinguish between 10Mbps and 100Mbps hosts, for example, port 1 has a 10Mbps VoIP adapter attached, while port 2 has a 100Mbps host attached.

Product Specifications


The following are the specifications, based on the packaging:

  • Standards: IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T, IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX, IEEE 802.3ab 1000BASE-T
  • Data transfer rate: 10/100/1000Mbps
  • Ports: 8x 10/100/1000Mbps RJ-45 ports
  • Transmission method: Store-and-forward
  • Power: DC 5V 2.6A
  • LED indicators: Power, Link/Activity, 100/1000Mbps per port
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 158x106x27 mm
  • Casing material: Metal
  • Automatic cross-over detection
  • Power supply included
  • LED on each port for link, activity and speed

Now let’s head to the next page where we will look at our test PC and testing procedures…