TP-LINK Gigabit PCI Express Network Adapter TG-3468, for ESXi 5.5 home lab

Posted by Paul Braren on Sep 24 2013 in
  • ESXi
  • Network
  • Reviews
  • Virtualization
  • Here's a quick look at the TP-LINK Gigabit PCI Express Network Adapter TG-3468, found on Amazon or Newegg for around $13 USD, with a nice product overview here.

    Yeah, it's only one port. But it works right up through ESXi 5.1, out of the box. With 5.5, since it's based on a Realtek chipset, you'll need to manually add the right driver, which I detailed here, Install ESXi 5.5 with Realtek 8111/8168 NIC. While Realtek chipsets don't appear on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide, it's affordable, and works fine with ESXi.

    Here's an Amazon buyer review by Reginald Francoi:

    Buddy of mine recommended this NC. Works great on my ESXi 5.1 server and very inexpensive. I've purchased 2 and have had no issues what so every. Highly recommended.

    TP-LINK lists the specs here.

    See also Think Before You Buy… PCI vs PCI-E Gigabit NICs by VMware's Brian Graf, Jun 6 2013.

    tp-link-gigabit-pci-express-network-adapter-tg-3468-for-esxi-5-5-home-lab

    Similar to what I did in Nov 2011 here, I'll be doing some casual speed tests of 3 NICs that span quite a spectrum of price points, to see if there's any significant different between them in the ESXi 5.5 home lab environment: