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macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 20, 2006
In what usage case would the upgraded ethernet port be beneficial? I am just a home user with a cable internet provider at 200 Mbps or so. I have a NAS on the network but it is used more wirelessly from other devices. I know it's only $90 but my config is going past $3k already.
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macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2004
You don't need it. The only time you would see any benefit from it is if you have other 10 gigabit network gear that you are physically plugged in to. For example, if your NAS supported 10 gigabit ethernet or you had multiple 1 gig lines trunked, you could benefit from faster speeds when you connected to it (assuming you aren't connected to it through a switch that limits you to 1 gig and assuming the NAS can actually read/write faster than 1Gbps).

For example, I have a Mac mini cache server with a 10 gig ethernet port connected to a 10 gig port on a switch. All of the other devices on my network can hit that server at up to 10 gig if they also have 10 gig ethernet. If not, I can have up to 10 people hitting it at 1 gig each.

Juicy Box

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2014
I agree with @topgunn on the matter, and I think the upgrade would basically be a waste of money for the majority of people. I would save your money, or put that money towards an upgrade that would be more useful, like the GPU.

There was another thread asking the same question, and I posted this:
I would say I wouldn't bother with the 10Gb Ethernet in your situation (or for the majority of people out there). Based off what you said, you wouldn't ever be able to take advantage of the faster network speeds, and it would basically be a waste of an investment. Keep in mind that to take advantage of 10Gb Ethernet, it requires more than just the port on your iMac. You would need other networking equipment, such as a 10Gb router, and also a reason to use it.

As for future proofing, if you ever find yourself in need of a faster Ethernet port, you could always just get a TB3 10G Ethernet adapter.

This kind of reminds me of CAT5e versus CAT6 back in the Mid 2000's. 15-ish years ago, home builders were pushing the more expensive CAT6 over CAT5e for new home construction due to 'future proofing', saying that in a few years CAT5e would be too slow for average home network traffic.

Fast forward to 2020, still hardly any consumer-grade devices have 10Gb Ethernet.

Data transfer within the network would probably be the most common. Less common would be for 10Gb internet speeds, which is available in some places of the US, but is not commonly used.
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