"Why even buy a 4510R-E if you can't fill the thing up with matching line cards?"
Because it's quite a bit cheaper than a 6500 switch. I'm not being flippant but it really does boil down to that. If you really need to push 40+Gbps through each line card then the 4500 switch is not the solution you should be looking at.
But it is rare to need to have all ports running at full speed at the same time and that is the trade off. Do you really need that much throughput on the switch ?
The 4500 is good for port density, PoE etc. in the access-layer with the assumption you don't need full throughput on each line card. It can also be used in the core but again with the same provisos.
My understand of the the limit on ports isn't based on how much power the poe is using. It's based on over-subscription of ports data wise. The E-series are 2/1 where the classic cards are 8/1. Check out table 2 on this site;
So according to the table you can have a maximum of 5 WS-X4648-RJ45V+E modules in the chassis.
But do you need 24Gbps per line card for all line cards or even some of them. What i mean by that is the classic line cards have an 8/1 oversubscription, is this not acceptable for a lot of the devices you are connecting into the switch ie. end user pcs, IP Phones etc.
If you have some power users then perhaps use the E-series line cards for them and the classic line cards for the others.
If this is not acceptable then unfortunately it is back to the 6500 switch i'm afraid.
We are pleased to announce availability of Beta software for 16.6.3. 16.6.3 will be the second rebuild on the 16.6 release train targeted towards Catalyst 9500/9400/9300/3850/3650 switching platforms. We are looking for early feedback from custome...