Who will win as the next mainstream wired networking standard? 2.5Gbe or 5Gbe...


Limp Gawd
Dec 1, 2016
Deliberately filed this here rather than in Networking, as the question is about generic to the millions of; motherboards sold, best-buy PC's on sale, and free fibre routers given away on contract.

For the last decade at least EVERYTHING has been 1Gbe, but we finally moving beyond that now having options emerge at the high-end for:

But I'm pretty sure we're going to settle on one mainstream standard around which the enormous bulk of mainstream motherboards/prebuilt-pcs/routers will coalesce around.

But which will it be...

People talk of the downside of 10Gbe in requiring SFP or Cat6 cable, but on short runs it can work fine on cheap cabling.
People talk of the upside of realtek 2.5Gbe being cheap-as-chips, but is it that much cheaper than 5Gbe for people to forgo a doubling of the speed.
Is 5Gbe the goldilocks of the future standards, in being nearly as a cheap as 2.5Gbe, nearly as fast as 10Gbe, and able to run on the billions of miles of installed Cat5e...

My question to you: In five years time is Best Buy, Ebuyer, Netgear overflowing with just [one] of the above three standards?


Jan 31, 2003
I don't think there is any point for consumer gear to have them to be honest, I think they are mainly just so if your cable run is really long you can still get faster than gigabit when connected to a 10gb switch. I've not really looked but I can't recall ever seen a 2.5gb or 5gb switch, only 10gb ones which supports those speeds. I feel like most people investing in a 10gb switch will just get 10gb cards since they're not that expensive now.


Supreme [H]ardness
May 19, 2016
The correct answer is 2x 2.5 gb ports so you can bond them if you have the equipment and still be cheap.