The Synology E10G22-T1-Mini Adapter – What is it?
What IS the E10G22-T1-Mini? It is quite a mouthful of a name, isn’t it? What makes it so special? If there is one area of the network storage market that Synology has always seemed to keep at arms length, it has been 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE). At least up until about 2020, Synology had a tendency to only include this connection on the most business class of desktop solutions and Xeon powered rackmounts. The price of 10G connectivity has come down considerably over the last decade, starting at the thousand of pounds and ending up being available as an upgrade for PCs for as little as £80-100. Still, Synology held off for the most part and it wasn’t until 2020 and the release of the DS1621xs+ 6-Bay with 10GbE and Synology releasing a wide range of 10GbE upgrade options, that we started seeing Synology embrace 10G at the more domestic solution level as a default connection or via an easy upgrade. Which brings us to the E10G22-T1-Mini, a continuation of this adoption and an adapter that allows several devices in the (slowly being revealed) 2022/2023 series of devices to upgrade to 10GbE, but via an alternative way that the traditional and familiar PCIe slot. This new 10G upgrade card arrives in a considerably smaller form, has a lower power/heat generation, takes up considerably less space on the NAS’s own controller board and also seems to be much, MUCH easier to install. On the other hand, this is a proprietary designed upgrade and Synology has been making some increasingly moves in this direction, so this expansion card might not please everyone. So, let’s go through everything we know about the E10G22-T1-Mini and discuss whether this will be a potentially exciting direction for the more popular releases in their PLUS series.
The Synology E10G22-T1-Mini Adapter – Hardware Specifications
As mentioned, the E10G22-T1-Mini arrives in a very unusual and rarely seen compact form. It is injected into the NAS horizontally into the chassis, unlike most PCIe network upgrade adapters that are introduced vertically and with the removal of the system’s external chassis. The connection that the E10G22-T1-Mini makes with the NAS main system is a PCIe Gen 3 x2 connector, which means that providing this upgrade option is going to occupy considerable less of the CPU PCI lanes than a larger traditional PCIe slot (such the PCIe Gen 3 x8 found on most other Synology NAS) would. That’s smart and means that much more modest NAS systems will be able to scale up to 10G much more easily.
The design of the E10G22-T1-Mini expansion module is neat and clearly very understated. The network controller that lives under the small black heatsink is still yet to be confirmed, but is noticeably smaller than the one on the regular Synology E10G18-T1 10GbE upgrade card that Synology has had available for over 4 years now. Indeed, if we compare the architecture, size and design of both of the 10GbE 1-port options that Synology are now going to be offering, you can see that the newer E10G22-T1-Mini is smaller on two axis and features much smaller components on the board.
26.37mm x 45.38mm x 75.7mm
PCIe 3.0 x2
86.0 mm x 68.1 mm x 13.6 mm
PCIe 3.0 x4
You can also see clearly that the E10G22-T1-Mini has been designed to be much more specific in its deployment. This is NOT going to be an ‘either-or’ choice for Synology NAS buyers. Here are the official specifications confirmed so far on the E10G22-T1-Mini adapter:
|host bus interface||PCIe 3.0 x2|
|Size (HXWXD)||26.37mm x 45.38mm x 75.7mm|
|operating temperature||0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)|
|Storage temperature||-20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)|
|Relative humidity||5% to 95% RH|
|Compliant with IEEE Specifications||
|data transfer rate||10Gbps/5Gbps/2.5Gbps|
It is going to be interesting to see if Synology extend the utility of this kind of expansion module. The size will make creating a multi-port variation (whether it’s 10G/5G/2.5G) quite tough and using this as a means of injecting an M.2 NVM SSD would be hampered by the PCIe Gen 3 x2 architecture. Let’s discuss the NAS so far that are confirmed to support the E10G22-T1-Mini upgrade module.
The Synology E10G22-T1-Mini Adapter – NAS Compatibility
At the time of writing, the Synology E10G22-T1-Mini appears to be supported by two 2022 generation solutions. The one that is most likely to be released first is the Synology RS422+ 1U, 4-Bay Rackstation NAS server. This system arrives with 2x1Gbe ports by default and would definitely benefit from a 10GbE upgrade.
However, the more interesting Synology NAS that supports the E10G22-T1-Mini adapter is the DS1522+ NAS. This si a 5-Bay desktop solution that already arrives with 4x 1GbE LAN ports and the option to expand the total storage to a total 15x bays (using 2x DX517 adapters). With THAT level of storage available, as well as 4 network ports and upgradability of upto 32GB of memory, you can see why adding 10GbE to this system in its lifespan would make ALOT of sense. There is still the argument that some users would rather see 2.5GbE arriving on these devices, but we have still yet to see the rest of the 2022/2023 series be revealed.
Installation on systems that support the E10G22-T1-Mini seems to be incredibly straightforward, with just two screws covering the bay and the module simply sliding into the slot. However, it is worth remembering that, as this is connected to the main board over PCIe, you will almost certainly be required to power the device down when installing (i.e not hot-swap/plugging).
The Synology E10G22-T1-Mini Adapter – Price and Release Date?
The adapter is almost certainly going to arrive on the market at the same time as the Synology RS422+ Rackstation, which seems to be arriving in the 2nd half of Q2 locally – but a pinch sooner in the eastern regions. Regarding pricing, that is a little harder to call. The traditional PCIe 10GbE upgrade card from Synology (the E10G18-T1) is available for around £125-135 mark. Now, this new adapter is smaller and narrower in bandwidth BUT it is system proprietary in design and quite new. So, more likely to arrive at the same price or a pinch higher. We will have to wait and see.
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