Gigabit Network

http://live.pirillo.com/ – What’s the difference between Cat5e and Cat6, and can you tell the difference?

Cat5e and Cat6 are two different ratings for Ethernet cable which determine how much data they can handle. Cat5e is certified up to 100 MHz and Cat6 is certified up to 260 MHz.

What does all of that mean? Cat6 cables can handle more data at a higher throughput than Cat5e. Specifically, Cat6 cables are rated for 1000 Mbps (gigabit) whereas Cat5e is only rater for 100 Mbps; however, in Chris’s experience, Cat5e can push close to gigabit speeds.

If you are considering building a home network, or upgrading your current one, you may want to consider going gigabit as this will allow you to push your data (music, movies, games) across your network much faster than with traditional 10/100 based networks.

But, if you are going to go gigabit, you need to remember that everything – the router, switches, hubs, cables, and network interface cards – need to be rated for gigabit speeds if you’re going to get the most out of your network.

What’s the main difference between Cat5e and Cat6? Cat6 is faster, more reliable, and can push more data through the wire than Cat5e.

What do you think? Should you upgrade to gigabit? Should you go wireless?

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5 thoughts on “Gigabit Network”

  1. About 8 years ago, I wired my house with cat5. Then, 3 years ago, I bought a motherboard that had a gigabit port. At the same time, I upgraded all my switches. I now have 7 computers in my house on the gigE network, and all work fine. Some of my cable runs are 120′ long and I have found no issues whatsoever. I get transfer speeds about 6 times greater than on 100Mbit – definitely useful for moving around video files.

  2. About 8 years ago, I wired my house with cat5. Then, 3 years ago, I bought a motherboard that had a gigabit port. At the same time, I upgraded all my switches. I now have 7 computers in my house on the gigE network, and all work fine. Some of my cable runs are 120′ long and I have found no issues whatsoever. I get transfer speeds about 6 times greater than on 100Mbit – definitely useful for moving around video files.

  3. One other thing to keep in mind is that cat 6 cable is not as flexible as cat 5e, as it has an inner core to keep the twisted pairs of wires properly spaced. If cat 6 is bent too much it can have an adverse effect on the throughputs achieved.

    Having said that it makes more sense to run cat 6 cable if possible as it is usually easier to upgrade the equipment at each end than the cable itself.

  4. I have worked on gigabit (1000Base-T) algorithm and chip development and the 1000Base-T standard (802.3ab) is actually designed to operate up to 100m on Category 5 cable. One does not necessarily need Cat-5e or Cat-6 to meet these requirements.

    The major speed improvement in Gigabit Ethernet is accomplished by transmitting and receiving on all four pairs in the cabling (10Base-T and 100Base-TX used only two pairs — one for TX and one for RX). It transmits at 125 Mbaud on each pair with an effective 2-bits per symbol. This gives 4 pairs * 125M sym/sec * 2 bits/sym = 1000 Mbps.

    One of the major impairments for 1000Base-T operation is something called NEXT (near-end crosstalk) which occurs when data from one pair couples on to another. This mainly occurs at the jacks/patch panels where the twists in the pair are undone to crimp a RJ-45 jack or attach to a panel. To maximize performance in a network, one should keep the connections to a panel or jack as short as possible so that each pair is kept twisted as much as possible. A poor installation will have a much more dramatic effect on 1000Base-T operation than the category type of cabling.

  5. how does the physical construction of cat 5e & Cat 6 cables different from each other? If one goes through the specifications – it says Cat 6 is 12 times less noisy ?? Also the bandwidth of Cat 6 is twice of Cat 5e ??

    How is it accomplished ??

    After all cable is a cable !!!! May be the thickness will change & may be the copper purity may change !!!

    can any one throw more light on this

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