Intel 500 Series Network Adapters

Intel 500 Series Network Adapters

Score 9.4 out of 10
Intel 500 Series Network Adapters


What is Intel 500 Series Network Adapters?

The Intel 500 Series network adapters are backward compatible with existing 1000BASE-T networks, simplifying the transition to 10Gb Ethernet when more bandwidth is needed. Available in both PCIe and OCP form factors. Available models include the X550, the X540, and...
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Product Details

What is Intel 500 Series Network Adapters?

The Intel 500 Series network adapters are backward compatible with existing 1000BASE-T networks, simplifying the transition to 10Gb Ethernet when more bandwidth is needed. Available in both PCIe and OCP form factors. Available models include the X550, the X540, and the X520.

Intel 500 Series Network Adapters Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings



(1-11 of 11)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have several old servers that we use Intel network adapters to increase then from 1Gbe to 10 Gbe. This include NAS server, internet proxy and speed test servers. We were originally looking to replace the servers with new ones but then we found these Intel 500 adapter and also purchased additional RAM and was able to upgrade our present servers.
  • Stable drivers on both Linux and Widows
  • 10GbE over existing Cat6/Cat7
  • Low latency
  • Price could be more competitive.
  • Overheating issue, these cards run hot so make sure you have cooling for your severs.
Today having 1Gbe connectivity within a datacenter is not good enough. These Intel 500 adapters are great for extending the life of older servers at a acceptable price that would be retired due to not having 10Gbe connectivity. It is able able to use existing Cat6 infrastructure saving additional money and time.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
In the University where I work, we use Intel 500 Series Network Adapters on almost all of our non-blade servers. These adapters allowed us to leverage 10Gbe connections which our datacenter switching infrastructure already supported.
  • 10Gbe
  • Stable driver
  • RJ45 ports
  • Supported by Windows and Linux
  • Could be cheaper
  • Gets extremely hot
These are a great way to upgrade servers that may not come with a 10Gbe nic which makes use of existing cat6 cabling within the datacenter, once you have the appropriate switches to connect. With this, we extended the lifespan of several servers that had 1GB NICs.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
The Intel 500 Series Network Adapters are great for CAT6 10 GbE. We have used these in place of Broadcom for 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections used by NAS and Dell PowerEdge servers. The adapters have been very reliable in terms of hardware longevity and software/drivers. We have measured high throughput approaching the 10 GbE real-world expected performance.
  • 10 GbE speeds - very fast - measured.
  • Reliable.
  • Driver Support.
  • Expensive (especially when purchased through Dell server configuration).
I would highly recommend Intel 500 Series for organizations configuring Dell PowerEdge servers. We often use these as affordable connections between Dell servers and a QNAP or Synology NAS (CAT6 RJ45). This works well for an affordable local backup. We typically buy these directly from Dell but have occasionally sourced from other vendors and installed them inside a Dell PowerEdge server without issue.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We are currently using Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 as our primary server NIC. These are part of our standard build of materials of all servers. They are stable and well supported network interface adapters.
  • Stable network adapter
  • Well supported with drivers for all operating systems
  • Good product support from Intel or OEMs
The Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 is a good stable network adapter for use in all types of servers. Intel supports the product well and releases drivers for any operating system we've tried to use. The adapters just work; we have no issues.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our office's wired networking was all 1 GbE, which is perfectly adequate for most purposes, but started to become bit of a bottleneck between a couple of machines in particular, i.e., a hypervisor server and network attached storage. We already had an ethernet switch with some 10GbE ports and did not want to have to move to a fiber setup at this point, so we opted for adding an Intel X540 adapter to each of the machines. This bumped them up 10 GbE speeds whilst still using the existing Cat6 cabling and switch. Perfect!
  • Uses RJ45 ports, allowing you to use existing Cat6/7 infrastructure.
  • Widely supported by OSs, as to be expected with Intel adapters.
  • Relatively low cost upgrade for a massive speed boost.
  • There are cheaper alternatives, although admittedly not by much.
I would recommend the Intel X540 to anyone who requires an upgrade to 10 GbE speeds whilst utilising an existing Cat6/7 wired network (i.e., does not wish to run fiber). As long as you have an ethernet switch with some 10 GbE RJ45 ports, all you will need to do is throw an X540 in to each machine you need the increased speed for, and you're done. Even without the switch, you could do a direct machine to machine link with just one of these cards in each machine. This makes it for a very low cost entry in to 10 GbE.

Having said that, if you are going to be deploying a lot of 10 GbE, this may not be the product for you. You will likely benefit from just making the swap to fiber. Especially so if you don't already have Cat6/7.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have used these Intel CNAs as part of our Dell-based infrastructure to converge Storage Area Network devices with the remaining infrastructure within the data center. These devices reduce the complexity of our networking infrastructure which in turn reduces administrative effort, labour and equipment costs. There have been no performance/reliability issues with this setup.
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Enterprise Support
  • Reduction in infrastructure and administrative cost, effort and complexity
  • Driver support / availability
  • Sales and support outside of OEM offerings
It is quite likely that you may encounter Intel Converged Network Adapters as part of an OEM server purchase. For this purpose, there have been no complaints with regards to performance, reliability and driver compatibility.

For retail sales and support, the cost / benefit may not be worth the effort as there are more competitive options out there (such as broadcom).
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 as Storage NICs for entry-level hyper-converged ethernet solutions. The 10GbE NIC speed is suitable for 2-node clusters with virtual office workloads. In this scenario, the x540 delivers the best price/performance ratio on the market. Especially when using them directly connected without a switch, it helps customers to have low costs.
  • 10GbE on RJ45
  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to install
  • Missing RDMA support
With the X540 Intel provides a low-cost 10GbE NIC for a wide range of operations. It especially delivers optimum performance when used within an office network as a connection between physical servers with high networking demands. As it's available as RJ45, it is perfectly suitable for small and midsized enterprises. Often, there is no fiber infrastructure available. Especially when it comes to high bandwidth demands within hyper-converged infrastructure, the missing RDMA support is a blocking point but for entry-level to office workloads this is not a problem at all.
Joe Foran | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
This is the default Ethernet adapter we purchase for end-users, servers, and storage when we need to replace a failed on-board adapter or add additional NICs. We find its reliability and performance are well worth the price, even when not using 10 Gig switches on the other end. As we move to a 10 gig network over the next year, we will likely be putting the adapter into every desktop on the headquarters LAN.
  • Throughput
  • Fit - Low Form Factor
  • Manageability
  • The packaging could be eco-friendlier
Network upgrades - this is a solid, tested, well-supported NIC that does the job. If you need connectivity in a Cat5e or Cat6 building, this is your go-to. We have used it in self-built storage and servers for some time, added it to increase capacity in vendor-built storage and servers, and have upgraded higher-end PCs with this NIC in order to gain redundancy and increased performance.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Being used in most of our servers and are a great entry-level 10gbe card. Does work right out of box with Ubuntu Servers. It made the migration to 10Gb6 very easy and it's nice that it does have backwards compatibility so it allows us to go backwards if that is ever needed. Performance is great even with lower cost and more savings on power.
  • Backward compatibility
  • 10gbe
  • great I/O virtulization
  • Cost and power usages is lower
  • Not compatible with Mac OS
  • Had a little issue with the physical install
  • Heatsink sometimes does get very hot
The most common or well suited place would be a company that is looking to save money and make a smaller investment, at same time save money with power usage as well, and on top of that still get that 10gbe they are looking for and a 8-10x performance boost to the data center.
Daniel García Arias | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Is it being used by a department specifically by SOC. One problem that we faced is that the support should be improved.
  • Relaibility. Because we can trust the hardware.
  • Easy installation
  • Hardware good dimensioned.
  • Tech Support
  • Maybe improved Power consumption
  • Better cost
Is recommended for performance scenarios. Bu if your budget is limited the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 is not recommended.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapters x540 on our primary datacenter servers that serves all on-site services and production systems for all users in our organization. They have been used for years in high-performance environments at our location. They are the primary connectivity option for hardware-level networking for our datacenter and into other sites and across the Internet.
  • Flexible connectivity options
  • Manageability
  • Various form factors for different hardware applications
  • It could be simplified for new users to learn
  • More complex than standard adapters
  • Extra administrative overhead might not be worth the added value over standard adapters
If your environment is very strict and prescriptive, this adapter might be exactly what you need. It has many features that make managing and implementing it flexible and effective (QoS, traffic management, etc.). But if all you need is a standard network adapter, a time-tested NIC might be better suited since it doesn't require any additional management or learning.
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