Trendnet 5-Port Gigabit Green Switch

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Product: Trendnet 5-Port Gigabit GREENnet Switch
Provided By: Trendnet
Price: Click here to find lowest price online

 

Introduction:

Gone are the days when consumers were happy with a 10/100 network for casual file transfers.  Today we demand much more from our networks as we have Terabytes of media sitting on drives around our home and want fast - almost instant access to music, movies and HD content.  If you are properly set up a fast Gigabit network can make all the difference in the world from sluggish HD Movie playback to smooth streaming video.  Trendnet offers many different products and today we are looking at an entry level 5-Port Gigabit switch that will get a few computers up and running at 10/100/1000 base speeds.

Although I say that this is an entry-level switch, it's not short of features or performance - just ports.  Keep on reading and we'll find out more.

 

First Impressions:

The whole world is going "green" and Trendnet is no exception.  With their new GREENnet products, they claim that power consumption is more dynamic and the switch delivers less power to unused ports, delivers less power when devices are off and delivers less power with shorter cable lengths.  This sounds good and they make sure you get these details on the box.

 Box Front
Box Front
 Box Rear
Box Rear

 

Because of these claimed power saving features, Trendnet claims that their switch reduces power consumption by up to 70%.  While that doesn't seem like a switch will use a lot of power, consider the thousands of connections that are in an office building.  70% of the 5,000+ computers that are connected is a lot and if you can cut back energy consumption by 1kW or so, you'll be much better off at the end of the year.  We'll see how this scales on a 5-Port switch in a bit.

 Power Saving Solutions

 

In The Box:

While there really isn't that much that is exciting in the box of a switch, it is still worth mentioning.  Trendnet packages up the switch quite well and nothing was damaged when we opened up the box.  As you can see the bundle simply includes the switch, quick install guide, power adapter and some rubber feet that can be stuck on the bottom of the unit if desired.

 In The Box
In The Box
Bundle of Goodies
Bundle of Goodies

 

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the switch before we plug it in and put it to the test.


Closer Look:

The Trendnet TEG-S50G switch is a nice heavy metal switch that feels like a quality product.  While the case that holds the switching components has very little to do with the quality of the product, it feels solid and will be able to withstand some bumps and scrapes without cracking, splitting or falling apart.  I'm a fan of the metal case and this one makes me pretty darn happy.  Along the front of the switch are a series of LED indicators that show power, link/activity, 100Mbps connectivity and 1000Mbps connectivity.  This is very standard for a switch and there are no surprises here.

Switch Front
Switch Front
Port Side
Port Side

 

Along the rear of the switch are the five Auto MDIX ports that will work seamlessly with straight or crossover cables.  Also located on the back side here is the standard power connector.


Although not that exciting, I've included an image of the label on the switch below as well as the power adapter specifications - all for reference.

 Switch Label
Switch Label
 Power Adapter
Power Adapter

 

The power adapter is rated at 7.5v at 1.0A = 7.5W of possible power consumption.  This should be enough to power a small 5-Port switch.  If not, I question the "green" part of the product.

 

Features and Specs:

Before we jump into testing, we should take a quick peek at the product features and testing so we know what we're getting into.  The information below is taken from Trendnet and posted here for your convenience.

Overview:

The compact 5-Port Gigabit GREENnet Switch provides high bandwidth performance, ease of use and reliability, all while reducing power consumption by up to 70%.

GREENnet technology automatically adjusts power voltage as needed, resulting in substantial energy savings.

Boost your office efficiency and eliminate network congestion with Gigabit speeds and total switching capacity of 10Gbps with Full-Duplex Mode. Plug and Play this sturdy metal switch for reliable high-speed network connectivity.

 


Features:

  • 5 x 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-Negotiation, Auto-MDIX Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • GREENnet technology reduces power consumption when:
    1. Ethernet port is not in use
    2. Connected device is turned off
    3. Connected device is in power-saving mode
    4. Based on Ethernet cable length
  • Store-and-Forward switching architecture with non-blocking wire-speed performance
  • IEEE 802.3x Flow Control for full-duplex mode
  • Back pressure Flow Control for half-duplex mode
  • Integrated address look-up engine with 4K absolute MAC address table and 104KBytes RAM data buffering
  • Operates and maximizes packet filtering and forwarding rate
  • Jumbo Frame support up to 9216bytes
  • Sturdy metal housing
  • Diagnostic LEDs and Plug & Play
  • 5-year limited warranty

  Front Profile

Standards
  • IEEE 802.3 10Base-T
  • IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX
  • IEEE 802.3ab 1000Base-T
  • IEEE 802.3x Flow Control
Network Media
  • Ethernet: Cat. 3,4,5, up to 100m
  • Fast Ethernet: Cat. 5, up to 100m
  • Gigabit Ethernet: Cat. 5, 5e, 6, up to 100m
Data Rate
  • Ethernet: 10Mbps/20Mbps (Half/Full-Duplex)
  • Fast Ethernet: 100Mbps/200Mbps (Half/Full-Duplex)
  • Gigabit Ethernet: 2000Mbps (Full-Duplex)
Protocol / Topology CSMA/CD, Star
Power Consumption 3.67w (max)
Switch Fabric 10Gbps Forwarding Capacity
Interface 5 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-MDIX RJ-45 Ports
Data RAM Buffer 104KBytes
Filtering Table 4K entries
Diagnostic LED Power, Link/ACT, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps
Power Adapter 7.5V DC, 1A external power adapter
Dimension 171 x 98 x 28mm (6.7 x 3.86 x 1.1 in)
Weight 430g (15.2 oz)
Temperature Operating: 0° ~ 40° C (32° ~ 104° F)
Storage: -10° ~ 70° C (14° ~ 158° F)
Humidity 5%~90% (non-condensing)
Certifications FCC, CE

 

On the next page we'll get into performance and energy testing the TEG-S50G.


 

Testing the TEG-S50G:

When it comes to testing out networking equipment, there are many ways to get performance numbers. 90% of the time network performance looks very poor due to Operating System restrictions and overhead as well as hard drive bottlenecks.  It's not every system that can dish out 1000mbps (125MB/sec) read speed from a hard drive, let alone write data at that speed to the destination drive.  It's for this reason that we use iPerf for our network performance testing.  This little command-line program allows the network performance to be measured in terms of what the hardware is capable of.  In real life, you'll never see data transfer at 110+ MB/sec, but that doesn't mean the hardware is not capable.  We often find that iPerf shows incredible performance potential in networking hardware as much as it shows where networking hardware fails.


In the chart below we show iPerf performance numbers that are gained while we run several other GB file transfers on different machines on the network.  In the tests shown below, the switch has five active ports - with three of those ports transferring files over a GB connection.  iPerf is tested on the other ports to see how well the switch, er, switches and how performance is sustained on a busy network.  During these bandwidth tests, we also measured the power consumption for comparison.  The two "Green" switches did okay, but the TEG-160WS WebSmart switch didn't fare so well.  It is in a different class and costs almost 6x as much.

iPerf  

 

As you can see above, the performance of the switches is nearly identical showing about 94% of maximum possible bandwidth.  This is very good performance for all the products.  Because we don't have a lot of excessive traffic, we don't see any benefit to the TEG-160WS.  What we do see is that the Trendnet TEG-S50G only uses 3W of power, while the D-Link DGS-1005D "Green" switch uses 5W of power.  The difference is only 2W and will probably cost you in the neighborhood of $0.25 per month extra to run, but the Trendnet switch is "Greener" as it does indeed use less power than the competition.  Not only that, it is also cheaper to buy than the D-Link competitor.

 

Final Thoughts:

The Trendnet TEG-S50G GREENnet 5-Port Gigabit switch is a bargain at $35 and it offers the convenience and speed of Gigabit for those with small networks.  The 5-Port size is great for those that want to get started with 10/100/1000 networking without laying down a lot of cash.  It supports Auto MDIX, Jumbo Frame support and more - just like more expensive products and it does this all for a very attractive price.  Trendnet claims that it uses up to 70% less power than other switches and we've seen that it indeed uses less power than a competitive "Green" product from D-Link.  The reality is that it will only save you about $0.25 per month on your power bill.  However, if Trendnet's "Green" products can save an average of $0.05/port, imagine how much money you'd save every month in a large office building using 5000 networked computers - $250 a month or $3000 a year.  That's a nice little bonus and it saves on the environment.

Pros:

  • Compact 5-Port Switch
  • Sturdy Metal Case
  • Excellent Network performance
  • Consumes a mere 3W!

 

Cons:

  • Nothing

 

BCCRating

 Editors Choice

I'd like to thank Trendnet for shipping us this handy switch to test.  If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please feel free to post those in the forum at the "Comments" link below.