I want a cheap 10G network! Help me make this dream come true!

On eBay I’ve come across a HP NC523SFP 10Gb 2-port Server Adapter (2x SFP+) adapter for 70CAD. Here is a link to its product page of the adapter, NOT the EBay Link.

My intention is to by 2-3 of these, to put 1 inside of my server, and the others inside of my desktop, along with potentially my second desktop.

I then plan to buy 10G/SFP+ Fiber Cable from EBay, similiar to this EBay ad (but not from this actual ad)

Now, the part I’m stuck on is the transceivers…There’s a lot of cheap 10G compatible transceivers on EBay by Cisco and Intel, such as this one, however, I’m not sure if it’ll work with this HP adapter. Also, I’m not sure if this HP adapter even uses standard PCIe, of if it’s some proprietary garbage used only in the HP servers listed on their product page.

My question is: Will I have any problems by using tranceivers which ARE NOT HP branded, and also, will I have any issues with that 10G Fiber card?

Thank you :slight_smile:

I want a cheap 10G network! Help me make this dream come true!

I got you fam.


Here are ten 'G’s. Use them however you see fit. :slight_smile:


From a glance at the card. It will work fine in a standard machine, assuming there are drivers for it. I don’t know if it will run without drivers/generic win drivers.

Regarding the transceivers, I’ve found with a lot of HP’s server stuff to be very dodgy when not using HP certified tech. Most server tech is. Unless HP is so much more expensive, I would try the listed transceiver for the cards just in case.

Skip fiber go copper,
Asus has their (ASUS XG-C100C)$100USD single port or you can get the intel x540 t2 on ebay for $130 USD (I have 3 of the 540 cards and 1 of the older asus rog 10gbe one)

ASUS XG- U2008 is the cheapest 2 10gbe switch you can get.

But on the Fiber side, you honestly wont know until you try my guess is no, but you can never tell. I have seen tons of weird issues with SFPs mixing and matching .

Funny this thread pops up, I literally just bought a pair of nics through eBay with a DAC included.
Expecting delivery Wednesday, and pretty hyped.
Went for Chelsio as I heard freenas more suppprtive than the intel/ the versions

I’ve so far not run in to a problem with SFP+ cards not working with generic transceivers, but I understand that it can be an issue, through probably more with switches than NICs.

If you can’t find a hp transceiver you can try getting them from www.fs.com, they sell generic transceivers that you can get compatible firmware put on (no additional cost) that should make them work fine with your hardware.

Also make sure you get the right transceivers in terms on wavelength and connector and all that, there’s a lot of variety in fibre optic transceivers and cables.

yep most of the issues i have seen are with media converters and switches.

Will take that into consideration. Thanks :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestion, however, I’m trying to make this as cheap as possible, and trying to stay away from consumer crap. 3 of those cards would cost over $450 CAD, while 3 of the SFP+ cards would cost 210 (before buying the transceivers).

However, there are 10G Copper cards for around $100Cad, which I may take into consideration, but they are only single NIC’s though :confused:

Well crap, I did not know this was a thing! Thanks!

Did not even know this was a factor! Would it really matter though, if both of the transceivers are identical?

It will if you try to use single mode transceivers with multi mode cable. What you want is multi mode transceivers, 850nm wavelength (sometimes called SR or short range) with LC connectors and OM3 or OM4 multi mode cable also with LC connectors.


You might be able to find mellanox connect x-2 en dual SFP+ cards even cheaper than 70cad. (Seen a pair for 30eur recently)

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Wow, you’re right! There’s even one really close to me! Dang, fantastic suggestion! Thank you so much! :smiley:

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Mellanox NICs have drivers for windows, linux and freenas so you have 99% of OSes covered. I am running two myself. 1 GB/s “obviously” is my speed between the PCs.

Ended up finding one for $25 CAD, in case anyone is lurking this thread.

Also, I found a cable which * I think * will work it, for $25 again.

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So, I did it…

Bought 5x of the Mellanox X-2 MHRH2A-XSR for $100CAD from Israeal (hoping there’s no funny business with these cards…), along with 4x LC to LC 5m cable 50/125 for $20.

Only thing left to order is the SFP+ adapters, and then I’ll be 10G ready.

10G networking, here I come!


Oh man, I missed this thread. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve had nothing but good experience with the Mellanox X-2 series in Linux and FreeBSD. I’ve only used about 6 of their cards, but they are used pretty heavily. Though in my environments it’s always a direct connect from one Mellanox to another. If you have a bad experience with the adapters you got off of ebay, you can also find these adapters on Newegg.

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