Computers & Electronics

10 Gigabit Ethernet Use Case?

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10 Gigabit Ethernet Use Case?

I'm looking at a Mac Mini and Apple seems to be charging a reasonable amount to add a 10 gigabit ethernet option. What is the use case for this? My house is currently wired with Cat 5e cables so I'll have to upgrade the wiring in my house at some point in the future.
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Only real use case for this is transferring massive, and I mean massive, 3D video assets and rendering files around the place for the TV and movie production industries. The average person may use this kind of speed for a second or two on occasion, assuming the read/write at either end can keep up which it usually can't. Unless you regularly transfer multi terabyte files inside your network, it's pointless.
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The Canterbury Tail wrote: Only real use case for this is transferring massive, and I mean massive, 3D video assets and rendering files around the place for the TV and movie production industries. The average person may use this kind of speed for a second or two on occasion, assuming the read/write at either end can keep up which it usually can't. Unless you regularly transfer multi terabyte files inside your network, it's pointless.
I was thinking of building a NAS. Which type of cable to use?
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My VM stack and my SAN are connected via 10gbit.
I've even got my Steam collection on there on one of my gaming machines.

But even if you have a gaming machine, most people don't have more than 4TB of games which can easily fit on an SSD.
Not to mention that NVME is portable.

For regular consumer purposes, I can think of zero reasons why the average person would ever need 10gbit.
Even NAS operations at gigabit are plenty.

If for some reason you do decide to do this, remember that gigabit speeds are around 125MB/s which is (mostly) easily in the realm of a high end consumer NAS.
10gbit is 1250MB/s which is like NVME speeds. No consumer NAS on the planet will have 10gbit in the first place and the ability to write 1250MB/s isn't exactly achievable to most people. Someone's gonna say "NVME does that!" but I don't think anyone is going to stick NVME in a NAS at home. In the consumer space, hard drives are still king in the NAS world.
That means that you're building basically a 12 bay NAS at minimum to sustain that sort of write speed.
I can sustain about 2GB/s writes because I have a ridiculous number of hard drives. I can actually outrun most NVME especially when they run out of cache.

So yeah, unless you have a use case in mind, even if it's reasonable, it's a stupid upgrade.
This $XX dollar upgrade will basically end up costing you $XXXX or $XXXXX depending on how many and how big of hard drives you buy.
And then you have to consider how much a single machine will use 10gbit. If you plan on building an entire VM stack and have multiple machines? Sure.
But one machine on one NAS? Probably not.

Or if you want to download the entirety of pornhub and are really impatient.
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death_hawk wrote: My VM stack and my SAN are connected via 10gbit.
I've even got my Steam collection on there on one of my gaming machines.

But even if you have a gaming machine, most people don't have more than 4TB of games which can easily fit on an SSD.
Not to mention that NVME is portable.

For regular consumer purposes, I can think of zero reasons why the average person would ever need 10gbit.
Even NAS operations at gigabit are plenty.

If for some reason you do decide to do this, remember that gigabit speeds are around 125MB/s which is (mostly) easily in the realm of a high end consumer NAS.
10gbit is 1250MB/s which is like NVME speeds. No consumer NAS on the planet will have 10gbit in the first place and the ability to write 1250MB/s isn't exactly achievable to most people. Someone's gonna say "NVME does that!" but I don't think anyone is going to stick NVME in a NAS at home. In the consumer space, hard drives are still king in the NAS world.
That means that you're building basically a 12 bay NAS at minimum to sustain that sort of write speed.
I can sustain about 2GB/s writes because I have a ridiculous number of hard drives. I can actually outrun most NVME especially when they run out of cache.

So yeah, unless you have a use case in mind, even if it's reasonable, it's a stupid upgrade.
This $XX dollar upgrade will basically end up costing you $XXXX or $XXXXX depending on how many and how big of hard drives you buy.
And then you have to consider how much a single machine will use 10gbit. If you plan on building an entire VM stack and have multiple machines? Sure.
But one machine on one NAS? Probably not.

Or if you want to download the entirety of pornhub and are really impatient.
You're taking the 10 GigE moniker far too literally. It's not just about 10 GigE of course. The 10 GigE Mac mini also supports 2.5 GigE and 5 GigE. It should also be noted that 2.5 GigE requires just CAT5e, which @Sgt_Strider already has in his home.

Furthermore, even consumer internet access is now available at faster than 1 Gbps speeds, with those consumer modems having built in 2.5 GigE ports.
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EugW wrote: You're taking the 10 GigE moniker far too literally. It's not just about 10 GigE of course. The 10 GigE Mac mini also supports 2.5 GigE and 5 GigE.
While true, you can scale down 1250MB/s down.
312MB/s is still out of the realm of most consumer NASes. A DIY NAS will be able to do this, but again, what's your use case? Especially on a Mac Mini?


As for as I can tell, 512GB is the largest Mac Mini. Even at 2.5gbit, you'll fill the entire drive in about a half hour. 7 minutes at 10gbit.
Apparently you can upgrade to 2TB. But even then you're buying yourself 2 hours before you fill the thing best case or a half hour if you have 10gbit.

While there are use cases, there's not a whole lot for a form factor like this that make any sort of sense.
Furthermore, even consumer internet access is now available at faster than 1 Gbps speeds, with those consumer modems having built in 2.5 GigE ports.
While you're not wrong, again, what's the use case?
Gigabit is ridiculous for most people. 100mbit is plenty.
Unless you're downloading the entirety of pornhub and want to tickle the pickle immediately, I don't even get the use case for gigabit to be honest. Most servers aren't even going to service you for gigabit, let alone faster.
Even if they do, you're gonna fill your Mac Mini in the times listed above.
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death_hawk wrote: While true, you can scale down 1250MB/s down.
312MB/s is still out of the realm of most consumer NASes. A DIY NAS will be able to do this, but again, what's your use case? Especially on a Mac Mini?


As for as I can tell, 512GB is the largest Mac Mini. Even at 2.5gbit, you'll fill the entire drive in about a half hour. 7 minutes at 10gbit.
Apparently you can upgrade to 2TB. But even then you're buying yourself 2 hours before you fill the thing best case or a half hour if you have 10gbit.


While there are use cases, there's not a whole lot for a form factor like this that make any sort of sense.
Wut? This is not about filling up your entire drive at the fastest speed possible. And anyway, the upgrade limit on the Mac mini is largely irrelevant. For example, I bought my 2017 iMac with 1 TB, but it's a 3 TB SSD machine. How? Cuz it has the 1.8 GB/s internal 1 TB SSD, and a 900 MB/s external USB-C 2 TB SSD.

Also, people often put SATA SSDs in NASes now, specifically because of speed reasons. There are even 2.5" slim NASes for this. If you're only thinking about spinning hard drives and hardcore NVMe SSDs in a NAS, then you're thinking too much like an IT guy.

One use case for example is to move video clips back and forth from storage, and some people don't like waiting even 30 seconds for that. If you can halve the transfer speed, then great. Furthermore, you can even edit video directly off a NAS, and obviously, the faster the connection, the smoother the result.
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EugW wrote: Wut? This is not about filling up your entire drive in the fastest speed possible.
Again, what's the use case. You can fill the stock drive in like half an hour.
That means anything that's not 500GB (let's say 5GB) will go in 4 seconds at 10gbit. 1gbit means 40 seconds.
Most people don't even deal with 5GB files that often.

And anyway, the upgrade limit on the Mac mini is largely irrelevant anyway. For example, I bought my 2017 iMac with 1 TB, but it's a 3 TB SSD machine. How? Cuz it has the 1.8 GB/s internal 1 TB SSD, and a 900 MB/s external USB-C 2 TB SSD.
I don't get external SSDs either. I get speed internally when I'm working on something, but never once have I said "Gee, 1GB/s writes would sure be great on this external thing"
I need a lot of storage and I'd like it to be fast, but I don't want to pay for it. I can't think of a use case where I need a smaller amount of storage (ie 2TB vs 8TB) at 1GB/s vs 100MB/s.
I've actually asked this in other threads, but no one else could come up with a good case for external SSDs.
Internal? All day long.
Also, people now often put SATA SSDs in NASes now, specifically because of speed reasons. There are even 2.5" slim NASes for this. If you're only thinking about spinning hard drives and hardcore NVMe SSDs in a NAS, then you're thinking too much like an IT guy.
I'm quite familiar with 2.5" NASes. I have a couple of Supermicro SC216 whereas my main fleet is typically SC846.
I'd never put an SATA SSD in there though because that's stupid. I get killed on IOPS vs an SSD but unless I'm building a DB server I don't need IOPS.
If I did, it'd be NVME. Why would I pay for something in the middle?

A 4TB 2.5" is (was) like $100. A 4TB SATA SSD is (was) like $500.
24x HDD is PLENTY quick enough to saturate 10gbit. I don't need IOPS. If I did, I'd shove NVME in there.
But I can't imagine a use case in a non enterprise setting where I'd need that many IOPS vs just raw transfer speed.

Now... if you're only building out like 4 drives? Maybe. But even then that's $2000 worth of SSDs for 16TB.
For $2000 I can build 48TB at (for all intents and purposes in the realm of doing it in a non enterprise setting, ie not needing ridiculously high IOPS) the same speeds.
Anyhow, one use case for example is to move video clips back and forth from storage, and people don't like waiting even 30 seconds for it.
I kind of covered that above, but that's a whole lot of expense for 4 seconds over 40 seconds.
Furthermore, you can even edit video directly off a NAS, and obviously, the faster the connection, the smoother the result.
This is one of the few use cases. But, unless you're a full time video editor dealing with video at scale, it'd probably make more sense to do this locally on an SSD then move it to your NAS.

I've gamed off my SAN before. Everyone was using SSDs at the time and I was beating them with a large pile of spinning rust. This was before NVME because modern NVME runs faster than 2GB/s. Even I moved my gaming library to that. But when 512GB SSDs were the norm and you only had your boot disk and a handful of games on it that you're playing now? I laughed because I had my entire library. Now with 4TB SSDs, even my portable gaming notebook has my entire library. And I have like 2000 games.

But for all intents and purposes in a non enterprise setting, unless you have a specific need for that much speed, you probably don't need that much speed.
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death_hawk wrote: Again, what's the use case. You can fill the stock drive in like half an hour.
That means anything that's not 500GB (let's say 5GB) will go in 4 seconds at 10gbit. 1gbit means 40 seconds.
Most people don't even deal with 5GB files that often.
I mean, you don't have to be transferring data at 10Gbe 100% of the time for it to be worth it. Most modern NAS do a whole lot more then just data storage as well, so it is not just about transfer 1 way.
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@death_hawk, it seems to me with your long post that you are indeed thinking too much like an IT guy. I don't know if you're a true IT guy or not, but you're thinking like one. As for external SSD, that's par for the course for Apple. Besides the very, very high dollar Mac Pro, there are NO Macs with internal expandability, and that includes the Mac mini. Consequently, a LOT of people get Mac minis with say 256 or 512 GB storage, and then just add external storage to it. And the OP is looking at buying a Mac mini, not some PC tower.

You may also think it's stupid to put a SATA SSD in a slim NAS, but it's not that uncommon. Why? With just a single SSD, you've already maxed out Gigabit or even 2.5 GB Gigabit, and you get faster random read/write speeds too compared to even a multiple hard drive set up, with much less space and electricity used, and much less noise too.

You also should remember, M1 Macs (including the Mac mini) are "budget" video editing dream machines. With the right software, they are far faster than previous Intel models, despite being lower cost.

Anyhow, people don't blink an eye when some gamer spends $1000 on on video card get 10 fps more, yet somehow it's crazy to want to decrease a file transfer time from 35 seconds to 15 seconds? I don't understand that logic.
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Mr_Dogg wrote: I mean, you don't have to be transferring data at 10Gbe 100% of the time for it to be worth it. Most modern NAS do a whole lot more then just data storage as well, so it is not just about transfer 1 way.
Again, like OP is literally asking (as am I), what's a good serious use case to warrant building out something that can support 1gbit+?
A 5GB file (reasonable for most) takes 40 seconds over gigabit. Are normal people really moving around files that much larger than 5GB?
I deal a lot in *cough* linux ISOs (both literally and figuratively) and gigabit is fine on most of my machines. There's only a handful of machines that even I use 10gbit for.
Granted... I'm not a movie quality snob so I don't have the 1:1 50GB Blue Rays, most of mine are around the 5GB file. Maybe if I was a quality snob? Sure.

Now... for other use cases of a NAS (again, ew, but that's the IT guy in me talking) what really requires that much bandwidth?
Streaming is a big one for most, but you can do that on 100mbps.

I (as well as OP) want to hear actual real world use cases for anything beyond gigabit that's used regularly.
Again, I'm not saying there's none, but they're fairly specific. In 99% of normal use cases for consumers, they'll never realistically need it.
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Aug 22, 2006
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EugW wrote: @death_hawk, it seems to me with your long post that you are indeed thinking too much like an IT guy. I don't know if you're a true IT guy or not, but you're thinking like one.
I don't disagree actually. I'm trying to bring some logic into it.
OP seems to want it just to have it. I'm asking OP (and others) to basically "prove" why they need it.
I'm not obviously saying no you can't have it, but if it's a frivolous expense that OP is never going to use, why not put that money into a better cause?
As for external SSD, that's par for the course for Apple. Besides the very, very high dollar Mac Pro, there are NO Macs with internal expandability, and that includes the Mac mini. Consequently, a LOT of people get Mac minis with say 256 or 512 GB storage, and then just add external storage to it. And the OP is looking at buying a Mac mini, not some PC tower.
Ah right. Apple and non upgradability except for externals.
Still though, what are you doing on a Mac Mini that requires that much space? Video editing? Sure. But on external storage? That's also weird. I wouldn't trust a single point of failure.
This is a better case for 10gbit and a NAS.
You may also think it's stupid to put a SATA SSD in a slim NAS, but it's not that uncommon. Why? With just a single SSD, you've already maxed out Gigabit or even 2.5 GB Gigabit, and you get faster random read/write speeds too compared to even a multiple hard drive set up, with much less space and electricity used, and much less noise too.
I mean... you're not wrong, I just still don't understand why anyone would do it.
Technically a hard drive can saturate gigabit. An SSD will obviously do faster. It also wins in random read/writes (at small scale, hard drives are okay if you have enough of them).
I can't argue the noise and electricity usage, but I can argue the space usage. SATA SSDs are sized similarly to HDDs and 4TB is 4TB.
But again, if you have a high IOPS or really random read/write load you build your NAS to that spec.
For the purposes of home use, I can't imagine why anyone would want the cost of SSDs over hard drives, especially since most people don't have anything beyond gigabit. But now we've come full circle. Why does your NAS need 10 gigabit? If you have a use case? Great! Go for it!
But a general purpose NAS that most people use? Gigabit is probably fine. Therefore, hard drives are also probably fine. Are they always fine? Of course not. But you go into building an SSD based NAS with a use case in mind, not at the forefront.

Noise I will give you as a use case, but that's pretty easily negated without going to SSDs. Just put it somewhere else. Not that I can personally hear a hard drive but if it bothers you, put it in the basement/attic/closet/etc. Now... if you live in a shoebox condo? Okay fine.

Power usage can be negated by cost of storage medium. 10W (which is high and assuming 24/7 usage, idle is lower) for a hard drive vs 2W for an SSD. You know what? I'll give you 0W. SSD wins. But that's $10/year per drive. At hundreds of dollars difference for identically sized drives, even at $100 difference (that's what? 1TB range? Who'd build a NAS with that?) That's 10 years to recoup the cost difference in power. A 10 year old drive is pretty small. Oh and that's a 1TB drive. Using a 4TB of today, $100 vs $500 means $400 difference which means 40 years. I honestly don't think a 4TB SSD is going to be of any sort of use in 40 years.
You also should remember, M1 Macs (including the Mac mini) are "budget" video editing dream machines. With the right software, they are far faster than previous Intel models, despite being lower cost.
You're not wrong. Video editing is basically the only real good use case anyone has mentioned so far.

OP is asking for use cases. So far the only actual answers we have are video editing and VMs. And technically convenience, but unless you're doing large file transfers on a regular basis that are also at the same time time sensitive, that's a pretty expensive price for convenience. If that's a use case for you (or OP) great! That's not even sarcasm. But value per dollar is pretty low on that one.

My point is, unless you're going into this with a use case in mind, anything beyond gigabit is basically ridiculous.
Anyhow, people don't blink an eye when some gamer spends $1000 on on video card get 10 fps more, yet somehow it's crazy to want to decrease a file transfer time from 35 seconds to 15 seconds? I don't understand that logic.
I don't get that either to be honest.
At least gaming has a tangible reason (up to a point, if you're already 120fps, going to 130fps is silly, but going from 20fps to 30fps is pretty serious).
If you're constantly moving files for one reason or another? No question. But that's a specific use case.
But if you're moving one 5GB file once a week? Not so much.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
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Best use case is to say to people you use 10 gig Ethernet

« You peasants only have gigabit Ethernet ? How awful! »

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