So, Santa (or your IT department) was good to you and you got a brand new iMac for Christmas (or maybe there was a little naughtiness and you only got a MacBook Pro … still way better than coal) but , oh, no! Sure it’s got Gigabit Ethernet support but it hasn’t got 10 Gigabit Ethernet support! The same also applies for many Windows machines.
Now, for some people not having 10GbE support might not matter but if you’re doing video editing or anything else that requires moving around huge chunks of data, networking at nominally ten times faster is the difference between flat-out ecstasy and being moderately happy.
But wait! Your lovely iMac (or your MBP or your HP, Asus, or whatever Windows machine you have) has a Thunderbolt port! What if there were a device to connect your computer to a 10GbE network via the Thunderbolt port? Santa’s elves, busy little devils that they are, have got just the present for you: The AKiTiO Thunder2 10G Network Adapter.
The adapter is a small (5.12 inches x 3.15 inches x 0.94 inches), bus-powered, aluminum box with a rubber bumper and a built-in Thunderbolt cable (that stows away neatly in the slot around the adapter enclosure).
It’s fanless, silent, works with machines with either Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports, and does its job with a minimum of fuss. To install the adapter you simply load the Ethernet drivers provided by AKiTiO for either OS X or Windows, plug the adapter into your machine, and then plug it into your 10GbE network and — whoosh! — off you go.
The adapter works with Mac OS X 10.10.3 and above, as well as Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows 8.1 (32/64-bit), Windows 10 (64-bit). It supports Jumbo frames (16K) and the only downside is that it isn’t compatible with Apple’s Boot Camp (which is a horrible, messy idea anyway and it defeats me as to why you’d use Boot Camp instead of a virtual machine system … but I digress). Note that for the best performance, AKiTiO recommends using AFP rather than CIFS.
Priced at $429.99 the AKiTiO Thunder2 10G Network Adapter is better priced than its competitors and this product does something I love: It just works. The AKiTiO Thunder2 10G Network Adapter gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5.
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