What are the advantages and disadvantages of using 10GBase-T vs. SFP+ Direct Attach to interconnect devices where distance is not a determining factor?

  • 1
    One advantage is that there is currently no 10GBase-T SFP+ transceivers on the market.
    – YLearn
    Jan 31, 2014 at 2:59
  • Yes, I have found this as well. It also seems that the 10GBase-T PCI expansion cards are quite expensive.
    – sardean
    Jan 31, 2014 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


You'll find discussion of this elsewhere - see 'Why would I choose Copper over SFP+ for 10GbE?' - but broadly speaking SFP+ DA is, ignoring distance:

  • Cheaper at the adapter side.
  • Lower power and latency.
  • Gives added flexibility if you need to move to fibre later.

10GBase-T on the other hand is:

  • Cheaper at the connector side - patch leads being cheaper than SFP+ DA cables
  • Somewhat easier to work with physically - SFP+ DA cables tend to be a bit thick, bulky and can be a pain to route through cable management in my experience, though to an extent this depends on type (passive vs. active) and manufacturer.
  • More flexible in that the same cable plant can be used for 10/100/1000.

I've been watching the field for a while, and it doesn't seem like there's consensus on the "best" option yet - networking, server and adapter vendors seem to be hedging their bets.

For what it's worth, we went with SFP+ DA in a top-of-rack configuration, largely due to the ability to mix copper/fibre on the same device. Whether this is applicable for your environment will depend on the number of ports and nature of the network you're building.

One final point: if you do some reading on this, finding objective, unbiased opinion is hard - a lot of the commentary and claims are by people with vested financial interest in encouraging one or other option. As an example, compare and contrast:

Further Reading:
Face off: 10GBase-T and SFP+ Direct Attach
Benefits of Deploying SFP+ Fiber vs. 10GBase-T

  • 1
    Anothing thing, with base-T you can run through patch panels. Afaict with SFP+ DA you have to run directly from device to device. Jul 26, 2017 at 15:04
  • Absolutely true. Whether this is relevant will depend - a lot of people go top-of-rack per pod so don't need cross-patching.
    – user53814
    Jul 27, 2017 at 15:51

One advantage is the added flexibility of SFP+ cages. If you ever need fibre connections, all you need is change optics. With fixed 10GBase-T ports, that is what you're stuck with...

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