Need a cheap VMware ESXi dual port lab NIC?

I’ve been hearing good things about the “Syba Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Network PCI-express x1 Controller Card SY-PEX24028.” If you’ve got a spare PCI-express x1 slot and you’re looking for a cheap (less that $50) dual port NIC, give this one a shot.

  • Designed to Meet PCI Express Specification Revision 1.0a
  • 10/100/1000M Data Auto-negotiation
  • Support Wake On Lan (WOL) Power Management (Optional)
  • Full Duplex Mode Doubles the Network Connections Speed

It’s a no frills dual port NIC, but for a lab it should work just fine and should save you a few bucks compared to the cheapest dual port Intel NIC.

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13 Responses to Need a cheap VMware ESXi dual port lab NIC?

  1. Mike Aossey says:

    Hi Ryan, Have you used this card in ESXi? What version? Do you have to load any drivers to get it to work? I have a 5.1U1 lab box that i would like to add some additional NICs to I only have PCIe x1 slots left on my board. Just trying to make sure it will work before i order. Thanks!

  2. Ryan Birk says:

    Hey Mike, yep I’ve used it. Works great in a couple boxes running 5.1U1. I know of a few others using it as well!

    • Sean Bates says:

      Hi Ryan,

      I just upgraded to ESXi 5.5, from 5.1U1, in my lab. I am using a Dell XPS 8500, which has an onboard NIC utilizing the Realtek 8168 chipset. I injected the 8168 driver into a custom 5.5 ISO, ran the install, the NIC was recognized, and all is working fine. I would like to add additional NIC ports and am interested in the SY-PEX24028, as my system only has x1 slots available for use. I understand the SY-PEX24028 utilizes the Realtek 8111E chipset. My understanding, now that I have injected the 8168 driver, the SY-PEX24028 should work out of the box. Am I correct or will I need to inject an additional driver?

      Thanks in advance for your assistance!

  3. Sean Bates says:


    Received a SY-PEX24028 today; installed and both NIC interfaces were recognized out of the box. Also, tested connectivity of both interfaces and traffic passed without error.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays

  4. Jason says:

    I have the dell 8700 xps with the Realteck 8111 nic. It was a very painful road trying so many different things and nothing worked. My last ditch effort was the buying of this card on your suggestion here, and it worked like a champ. Thanks

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