Sonnet ships $199 Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 Ethernet adapter offering 10 gigabit connectivity...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 16
Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosure producer Sonnet has launched a new accessory that adds a 10-gigabit Ethernet connection to a Mac or MacBook, allowing it to communicate with other devices on a high-speed wired network via the Mac's Thunderbolt 3 port.

Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 10 gigabit Ethernet adapter


The Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 Edition network adapter is an expansion of Sonnet's product range, which already includes a number of units that house two network connections. As the Solo name suggests, the adaptor offers a single RJ45 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection, which takes advantage of the 40Gbps of bandwidth available with Thunderbolt 3.

Connected directly to the Thunderbolt 3 port or at the end of a daisy chain, the Solo 10G can connect at its highest speed when used on a Cat 6 or Cat 6A cable at distances of up to 55 meters (180 feet) and 100 meters (328 feet) respectively, and with suitable switches and routers. Supporting the NBASE-T standard, it is also able to run at slower speeds such as 5Gbps and 2.5Gbps, if used over cheaper existing CAT 5e networks or at longer distances.

Claimed to offer high throughput performance with low host-CPU utilization, it includes support for network-related functions such as flow control, 64-bit address support for systems using more than 4GB of memory, and stateless offloads including TCP, UDP, and IPv4 checksum offloading.

Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 10 gigabit Ethernet adapter MacBook pro


There is also support for Audio Video Bridging, making it suitable for use in professional audio and video applications where data stream synchronization is crucial, and Energy-Efficient Ethernet that can reduce the adapter's power demands of its host depending on network traffic.

Measuring 3.1 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.1-inches tall, the Solo 10G is enclosed in a rugged aluminum enclosure that also cools the components, allowing it to run silently without a fan. The adapter is also bus-powered, drawing its energy from the Thunderbolt 3 port directly and not requiring a secondary cable and power adapter.

The attached Thunderbolt 3 cable is said to be easily replaceable, one that is held captive and plugged into an internal Thunderbolt 3 port, allowing it to be changed by the manufacturer itself or an authorized reseller without replacing the entire adapter.

The Sonnet Solo 10G Thunderbolt 3 Edition is available to purchase now, priced at $199, making it one of the cheapest ways to enable other Mac desktops to utilize the same networking speed as the iMac Pro. Sonnet advises the adapter requires macOS 10.13.4 or later to run, as well as a Thunderbolt 3 port.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.

    I’d love for my wired Macs and wired NAS to have a 10GigE connection but I’m not even sure that’s a feasible option for consumer-grade equipment.

    Is there a reason for that?
  • Reply 2 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,417member
    Soli said:
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.

    I’d love for my wired Macs and wired NAS to have a 10GigE connection but I’m not even sure that’s a feasible option for consumer-grade equipment.

    Is there a reason for that?
    10GbE is an order of magnitude faster than WiFi and similar in speed to USB 3.1.  USB is usually short-range and entirely peer-to-peer.  Ethernet can be switched and easily transmitted over relatively long distances.

    The SSDs in present-day MacBook Pros and non-pro iMacs can read/write data far faster than 10Gb/s.
    edited May 16 wozwoz
  • Reply 3 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    Soli said:
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.
    Are you talking about latency?  Because 10GigE has far more bandwidth than USB and WiFi, and that's the big appeal of it.  It also supports much longer runs of cabling than USB, which makes it more suited for wiring up large buildings.  Different target markets.
    wozwozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 55
    pcmofopcmofo Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    Soli said:
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.

    I’d love for my wired Macs and wired NAS to have a 10GigE connection but I’m not even sure that’s a feasible option for consumer-grade equipment.

    Is there a reason for that?
    10GbE is significantly faster than WiFi. I have a Ubiquiti AC HD which is one of the fastest available AP's out there. This is rated at 1733 Mbps by Ubiquiti. But that's a lie. That's theoretical max not accounting for overhead, interference, etc etc. IRL you are lucky if it can push 400mbps, less than half of regular wired gigabit. I just upgraded my network with a single workstation and server connected to my switch with 10Gb connections. Before I was getting 115MB/s wired transfer, (close to the max of 125MB/s) and now I am getting over 900MB/s, compare that to my wifi connected directly to the same switch at ~50MB/s and wired 10GbE is nearly 20x faster than the fastest WiFi. It's great that someone has come out with a single product to go from Thunderbolt to 10GbE for this price. A PCI-e card with a RJ-45 connector goes for around $200 alone.
    libertyforallfastasleepfastasleepwozwozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 55
    pcmofopcmofo Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    Also, according to the specs on USB 3.1 and 3.1 gen 2 (https://www.everythingusb.com/speed.html) even gen 2 can't touch 10Gb in real wold applications. I have a NAS that I access over 10GbE for video editing and it's faster than every other remote solution except for very expensive external SSD arrays and it has multiple TB of storage. It's my understanding that many video production houses are setup this way so multiple editors can access the same data.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 55
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,250member
    How about Apple just build this in to MacBook Pros?!
    wozwoz
  • Reply 7 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    pcmofo said:
    Also, according to the specs on USB 3.1 and 3.1 gen 2 (https://www.everythingusb.com/speed.html) even gen 2 can't touch 10Gb in real wold applications. I have a NAS that I access over 10GbE for video editing and it's faster than every other remote solution except for very expensive external SSD arrays and it has multiple TB of storage. It's my understanding that many video production houses are setup this way so multiple editors can access the same data.
    USB is a very complex protocol and thus has a lot of overhead.  So you'll never see anywhere close to the theoretical max.  Not to mention the complexity makes it so that you need a fairly powerful device to manage the bus (i.e. something with a CPU), whereas Ethernet can be used for basic communication by much simpler devices.  They're very different standards designed for very different usage scenarios.
    edited May 16 wozwoz
  • Reply 8 of 55
    libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,250member
    Is there an adapter to get this to work with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 MacBook Pros?
  • Reply 9 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,417member
    Is there an adapter to get this to work with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 MacBook Pros?
    Yes, but it's a little complicated/annoying.  The TB3 cable on this device appears to be "captive" (irreversibly attached to the device).  Apple sells a TB1/2 to TB3 adapter for about $50, which works both ways (TB3 computer->TB2 device or TB3 device->TB2 computer) but to use this device, you'll first need another device, like a TB3 dock that has 2 TB3 ports.  Adapt the dock to your TB1/2 computer.  The Sonnet ethernet device will then attach to the second TB3 port of the dock.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.

    I’d love for my wired Macs and wired NAS to have a 10GigE connection but I’m not even sure that’s a feasible option for consumer-grade equipment.

    Is there a reason for that?
    10GbE is an order of magnitude faster than WiFi and similar in speed to USB 3.1.  USB is usually short-range and entirely peer-to-peer.  Ethernet can be switched and easily transmitted over relatively long distances.

    The SSDs in present-day MacBook Pros and non-pro iMacs can read/write data far faster than 10Gb/s.
    Mea culpa. I was thinking about how these technologies had surpassed GigE and applied it to 10GigE.

    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.

    Still, my question holds. Why does a historically inexpensive, ubiquitous, and robust networking technology and protocol become such an expensive option when other networking technologies keep increasing their throughput?
    edited May 16
  • Reply 11 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    auxio said:
    Soli said:
    10GigE is a head scratcher, to me. It’s slower than both USB and WiFi, by costa more and is much bulkier, despite GigE being a longstanding standard that faster than both for a very long time.
    It also supports much longer runs of cabling than USB, which makes it more suited for wiring up large buildings.  Different target markets.
    They each have their pros and cons. I'm not suggesting that USB or WiFi be used where CAT-x cable a needed. My point is about how it hasn't evolved as well as other standards, or even in its earlier days from 10BASE-T to 100BASE-T, to 1000BASE-T. All the way to 40GigE with copper wire has been an IEEE standard for 2 years, but without 10GigE having been adopted like previous generations have for consumers is that something consumers will ever see?

    If my point still isn't clear, look at a USB-A/3.0-to-GigE adapter and look at this USB-C/3.1-to-10GigE adapter and the cost. Something seems unbalanced about the technology growth for Ethernet.
    edited May 16 libertyforall
  • Reply 12 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    Soli said:
    Still, my question holds. Why does a historically inexpensive, ubiquitous, and robust networking technology and protocol become such an expensive option when other networking technologies keep increasing their throughput?
    Just as with moving from Thunderbolt 1 to 2 to 3, or USB 2 to 3 to 3.1, you need a different controller chip to be able to handle the new protocol.  The older hardware controllers have no idea how to handle the new protocol.  That's where the expense lies for any interconnection technology update.

    And now that Apple stopped shipping laptops with Ethernet connectors, you need an adapter to go from Ethernet to Thunderbolt.  I'm not sure why this one is so big and bulky when the GigE to TB adapter Apple makes is much smaller.  However, because 10GigE is a fairly niche technology (most networks are perfectly fine with GigE), the expense is most likely due to economies of scale (or lack thereof).

  • Reply 13 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,417member
    Soli said:
    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.

    Still, my question holds. Why does a historically inexpensive, ubiquitous, and robust networking technology and protocol become such an expensive option when other networking technologies keep increasing their throughput?
    802.11ad is very short range (for devices in the same room) and relatively few devices support it.  Call it dead.

    10GbE has never been inexpensive, but it's come way down in price.  10GbE switches are now available for well under $100 per port.  What other networking technologies are you referring to that are more robust or faster than 10GbE (aside from 40GbE and 100GbE, which run over fiber ;-), let alone provide relatively long-range communication?
    edited May 16 libertyforall
  • Reply 14 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.

    Still, my question holds. Why does a historically inexpensive, ubiquitous, and robust networking technology and protocol become such an expensive option when other networking technologies keep increasing their throughput?
    802.11ad is very short range (for devices in the same room) and relatively few devices support it.  Call it dead.
    That doesn't matter to my point, and that's before considering the close proximity of my NAS with GigE, AirPort Extreme with GigE, and Mac mini with GigE.

    10GbE has never been inexpensive, but it's come way down in price.  10GbE switches are now available for well under $100 per port.
    That's my point! 

    What other networking technologies are you referring to that are more robust or faster than 10GbE (aside from 40GbE and 100GbE, which run over fiber ;-), let alone provide relatively long-range communication?

    As previously stated, there is 40GigE over copper, but Thunderbolt is both faster and cheaper and 10GigE, but I still hit a bottleneck with my home network but any conversation from TB to 10GigE becomes very expensive. It would be cheaper for me to replace my NAS with another RAID that supports TB3 than to buy a NAS with 10GigE, a switch with 10GigE, and this USB-C/3.1-to-10GigE adapter to connect them at 10x their current speeds. Getting faster throughput over WiFi than over a short range wired connection seems like a fail for Ethernet.

  • Reply 15 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.
    802.11ad is very short range (for devices in the same room) and relatively few devices support it.  Call it dead.
    This discussion is confused.  802.11ad is for wireless networks.  10GigE is for wired.  802.3ae is the main standard which defines how it works:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_Gigabit_Ethernet

    Since it's wired, and the PHY layer introduces very minimal overhead, the throughput is only limited by the overhead of the protocol you use to communicate between devices (e.g. TCP/IP or similar).
    edited May 16
  • Reply 16 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    auxio said:
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.
    802.11ad is very short range (for devices in the same room) and relatively few devices support it.  Call it dead.
    This discussion is confused.  802.11ad is for wireless networks.  10GigE is for wired.  802.3ae is the main standard which defines how it works:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_Gigabit_Ethernet

    Since it's wired, and the PHY layer introduces very minimal overhead, the throughput is only limited by the overhead of the protocol you use to communicate between devices.
    Are you really confused as to why I'm wondering why a wireless standard found in consumer devices is faster than wired standards found in consumer devices? No one is mentioning 100M runs. This is about Ethernet stagnating as a technology for consumers.
    edited May 16
  • Reply 17 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    Soli said:

    As previously stated, there is 40GigE over copper, but Thunderbolt is both faster and cheaper and 10GigE, but I still hit a bottleneck with my home network but any conversation from TB to 10GigE becomes very expensive. It would be cheaper for me to replace my NAS with another RAID that supports TB3 than to buy a NAS with 10GigE, a switch with 10GigE, and this USB-C/3.1-to-10GigE adapter to connect them at 10x their current speeds. Getting faster throughput over WiFi than over a short range wired connection seems like a fail for Ethernet.

    Seriously, Ethernet is not designed for someone who keeps all of their devices in close proximity to each other.  Why you keep trying to beat the drum of your own personal home or small office is beyond me.  Think about connecting devices in a large office building or multiple buildings in the same area, and you now see what Ethernet was designed for.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 55
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,924member
    Soli said:
    auxio said:
    cpsro said:
    Soli said:
    802.11ad only has a maximum throughput of 7Gibps (according to Wikipedia), but USB3.1 matches 10GigE in theoretical throughput, but like GigE, it may allow Full-Duplex and USB-C/3.1 may not, which halves directional throughput, as well as potential latency issues that Auxio mentions.
    802.11ad is very short range (for devices in the same room) and relatively few devices support it.  Call it dead.
    This discussion is confused.  802.11ad is for wireless networks.  10GigE is for wired.  802.3ae is the main standard which defines how it works:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_Gigabit_Ethernet

    Since it's wired, and the PHY layer introduces very minimal overhead, the throughput is only limited by the overhead of the protocol you use to communicate between devices.
    Are you really confused as to why I'm wondering why a wireless standard found in consumer devices is faster than wired standards found in consumer devices? No one is mentioning 100M runs. This is about Ethernet stagnating as a technology for consumers.
    Do you even read anything?  Even in the theoretical max case, it's not as fast (802.11ad).  Let alone the real world case where there's all sorts of interference and other overhead.

    And yes, 10GigE is not for the average consumer.  That's the very reason why TB and USB exist: as a cheaper alternative for short-run, all-in-close-proximity uses (typical consumer scenario).  That's the reason why Apple has only put 10GigE in the iMac Pro (and likely the new Mac Pro).
    edited May 16 wozwozStrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    auxio said:
    Soli said:

    As previously stated, there is 40GigE over copper, but Thunderbolt is both faster and cheaper and 10GigE, but I still hit a bottleneck with my home network but any conversation from TB to 10GigE becomes very expensive. It would be cheaper for me to replace my NAS with another RAID that supports TB3 than to buy a NAS with 10GigE, a switch with 10GigE, and this USB-C/3.1-to-10GigE adapter to connect them at 10x their current speeds. Getting faster throughput over WiFi than over a short range wired connection seems like a fail for Ethernet.

    Seriously, Ethernet is not designed for someone who keeps all of their devices in close proximity to each other.  Why you keep trying to beat the drum of your own personal home or small office is beyond me.  Think about connecting devices in a large office building or multiple buildings in the same area, and you now see what Ethernet was designed for.
    1) Yes it is and was. The spec allows for lengths as low as 3ft, but you can go lower without issue. It's also the most common length you obtained by consumers and businesses. Just check out a switch panel in any IT closet.

    2) You say Ethernet is all "about connecting devices in a large office building or multiple buildings" and yet I can point to countless consumer devices, from TVs, to printers, to cable modems, to routers, to switches, to desktops, to laptops, to game consoles, and even show how to connect an Ethernet cable to an iPhone, and many other devices, and yet you oddly claim that it's about businesses and loooooong runs in large office building and through multiple buildings. 🤦‍♀️ So small and medium sized business couldn't be connected before WiFi? Do you even know the average run between nodes are for a typical office building with cubbies? Are you even aware that fiber runs and radio waves are used for traversing distances between buildings on a campus?
    edited May 16
  • Reply 20 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,417member
    Soli said: [...]
    Go ahead... use "cheap" Thunderbolt 3 and Wifi for all your networking needs.
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