The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter allows for a high-speed, wired connection anywhere you go. The Ethernet adapter is compatible with any Thunderbolt equipped Windows 10 PC (with driver) or Mac running OS 10.13.6 or later. The adapter is fan-less but is housed in a massive aluminum body acting as a heatsink for silent heat dissipation. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter supports IEEE 802.11az meaning that it can run off a low power USB bus meaning lower impact on your battery life. The OWC 10GbE adapter is pretty durable through its strong aluminum body and durable rubber sleeve.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter allows for a high-speed, wired connection anywhere you go. The Ethernet adapter is compatible with any Thunderbolt equipped Windows 10 PC (with driver) or Mac running OS 10.13.6 or later. The adapter is fan-less but is housed in a massive aluminum body acting as a heatsink for silent heat dissipation. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter supports IEEE 802.11az meaning that it can run off a low power USB bus meaning lower impact on your battery life. The OWC 10GbE adapter is pretty durable through its strong aluminum body and durable rubber sleeve.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet Adapter

Having a high-speed connection is a must for creators, using a CAT6a or better cable, will transfer 4.0TB of 4K footage to capable network-attached storage in around 1 hour. A 1GbE will transfer the same 4.0TB of 4K footage in around 10 hours. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter is geared towards devices such as laptops, Mac minis, and All-in-One PCs where a 10GbE port can’t be added with a PCIe card. The OWC 10GbE adapter helps keep deadlines providing the bandwidth needed for real-time sharing and editing.

The adapter is available now with a retail price of $149.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 10Gbe Ethernet Adapter Specifications:

  • Capable: up to 100-meter cable distance with Cat6a for 10G, Cat6 for 5G, and Cat5e for 2.5G
  • Supports auto-negotiation for 10Gb/s, 5Gb/s, 2.5Gb/s, 1Gb/s and 100Mb/s Base-T standards
  • Supports IEEE 802.3az for low bus power and extended battery life
  • Ethernet Chipset: Aquantia AQC107S

Design and Build

The OWC Thunderbolt adapter offers a rugged yet sleek form factor, ideal for creatives on the go. The rubber case boasts great durability, providing ample protection from the occasional drop. The modern design and dark colors create a stylish look, perfect for home offices or even gaming centers with a specific color theme.

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Performance

In order to get some idea of real-world performance, we tested the OWC Thunderbolt adapter by connecting it via an iSCSI LUN hosted on a QNAP TS-h1283XU-RP NAS with our Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3. The NAS configured with a RAID5 storage pool using four WD Red 1TB SSDs in RAID5. We looked at a 1GbE transfer and 10GbE transfer in Blackmagic.

1GbE gave us roughly 110MB/s in both read and write. This is not too unexpected as it completely saturates the gigabit interface.

With the adapter in 10GbE we saw those numbers jump to 894MB/s read and 650MB/s write. Obviously, there is more you can squeeze out of this depending on the workloads, the underlying storage configuration, or the storage array itself. The important part to take note of for a video editor is looking at the usability unlocked with the faster interface. With a network cable swap alone, one would be able to work with much higher bitrate video files.

Conclusion

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE adapter allows faster file transfers and working with video files directly off network-attached storage. Ideal for creative pros on the go, employees working from home, and anything in between, the adapter has a lot to offer. For adding 10GbE to a mobile solution, there really aren’t a lot of options.

In terms of real-world usability, the only real downside is the size of the adapter itself, which is roughly the size of most notebook power adapters. That size comes from holding the circuit board as well as thermal design since through operation the adapter will get on the warm side. A smaller more compact layout would most likely require an active cooling solution.

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In our performance testing connecting a Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 up to an iSCSI LUN on a 10G-enabled QNAP NAS, we saw significant gains in performance comparing this to a traditional 1GbE connection. While 1GbE tends to saturate around 110MB/s, this with a cable swap alone brought up the speed of our iSCSI LUN to 894MB/s read and 650MB/s write. This enables performance usually seen on the mobile platforms only through direct-connect USB3 flash devices, whereas now it’s through network-connected shared storage.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter is another quality product from OWC. The adapter enables faster transfer speeds from shared storage devices and is durable enough to be portable without the worry of damage.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 10GbE Ethernet adapter on Amazon

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