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Difference between CAT rated network cables.

1,737 276 February 13, 2018 at 04:55 PM
I have google gigabit fiber and have been playing around with some of the patch cables the installers used when setting my system up. They hooked up my system using my existing CAT 5E everything is fine and my network is showing as a 1000mbit connections. For giggles I had some CAT 7 cable laying around and swapped out my cables and my speed test runs results run faster than the 5E cable. This makes no sense to me though because they're both rated for gigabit speed right? Thoughts on how this is possible?

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Quote from studville
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I have google gigabit fiber and have been playing around with some of the patch cables the installers used when setting my system up. They hooked up my system using my existing CAT 5E everything is fine and my network is showing as a 1000mbit connections. For giggles I had some CAT 7 cable laying around and swapped out my cables and my speed test runs results run faster than the 5E cable. This makes no sense to me though because they're both rated for gigabit speed right? Thoughts on how this is possible?

Because cat 7 is made for less losses\noise. In this day and age, given the costs and the fact that it was designed for gigabit networks, it really makes no sense to use anything less than cat 6 for home gigabit networks as the price point is almost the same as cat5e.

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#3
Out of curiosity what sort of speeds differences were you seeing with the different cables?
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Quote from jkee
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Out of curiosity what sort of speeds differences were you seeing with the different cables?
This - Network and server speed vary. To have a good test one would need to do several tests and average them together to have any meaningful result. I can't think the difference is much especially on what is probably a very short run.
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#5
Yeah a lan to lan test would be more meaningful, but it's hard to do that without expensive hardware or software.
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#6
Quote from studville
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I have google gigabit fiber and have been playing around with some of the patch cables the installers used when setting my system up. They hooked up my system using my existing CAT 5E everything is fine and my network is showing as a 1000mbit connections. For giggles I had some CAT 7 cable laying around and swapped out my cables and my speed test runs results run faster than the 5E cable. This makes no sense to me though because they're both rated for gigabit speed right? Thoughts on how this is possible?
When running both speed tests, was your network ONLY talking to the pc you were running the speed test on?

For stuff like this, I'd turn off the WiFi and make sure that only the testing PC is connected.
Then run the test as you do not have any interference/load from another device on your network to skew the results.

As noted by others, you'd need to run several tests to get a good working average for each cable.

Bottom line is that a Cat 7 is better, but the cost per foot vs. performance gains is the key question.

Similar to guys upgrading parts on their bicycle to Titanium or such to save a few ounces. Is the cost per pound worth it?
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#7
this has some good information
SD blocked the link which makes no sense?

Conductors
The first consideration should be familiar to anyone who has ever shopped for speaker wire. The gold standard for conductivity is copper. Cables at the lower end of the Cat spectrum employ slightly lighter gauge conductor composed of copper-clad aluminum (CCA) while at the higher performing end of the spectrum they employ heavier gauge pure copper conductor (bare copper or BC). For more on the differences between CCA and BC see the article X. Pretty much what this all boils down to is this: the more copper you have in your cable, the less resistance there is across the length of the run, and the quicker and more accurately a system on one end can communicate with a system on the other.

Countering cross-talk
For the next factor we'll jump back to Alexander Graham Bell's twisted pairs (brace yourself for a lot of less-s and more-s). The twists in the wire reduce cross-talk, or interference from one twisted pair to another. More precise and more consistent twists equal less interference; less interference means more efficient transmission of data. In addition, more twists means more copper, which means less resistance as we covered above. Most Ethernet cables rely solely on their twists to counteract electromagnetic interference whether it's from neighboring twisted pairs, or external electromagnetic force, however, if you're going to run cables outside, through walls, or in any environment where you suspect electromagnetic interference might influence your network, you should consider getting shielded Cat cables.

One more critical link in the chain
One last thing to consider if you'll be terminating Cat cables yourself: not all RJ45 connectors are created equal. You'll need to spring for connectors and jacks of the same rating as your cable because as in most systems skimping on one link in the chain can potentially lower the output of the whole.

When you combine all of these considerations—quality conductor, lots of twists, shielding where necessary, and appropriately rated terminations—you get a really high-performance network cable. If you want to guarantee that your cables exhibit the qualities above, Cat-5e is a good choice with good transfer speeds and respectable bandwidth. Cat-6 takes it up a level with tighter tolerances and higher performance. See the infographic below for a visual breakdown of the differences between these cables.


it could even just be your connectors or if the wiring is all copper or copper clad.
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Last edited by komondor February 14, 2018 at 07:42 PM.
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#8
Cat5 ethernet cable is typically too slow for business networks, allowing the user to get up to 100 Mb/second speed at 100 Mhz
•Cat5e ethernet cable allows up to 1 Gb/s internet speed with 100 Mhz
•Cat6 ethernet cable allows up to 1 Gb/s, but cable lengths up to 55 meters can get internet speeds of 10 Gb/s at 250 Mhz
•Cat6a ethernet cable can get speeds up to 10 Gb/s, even at 100 meters of cable length, operating at 500 Mhz
•Cat7 ethernet cable is the newest cable category, operating at speeds of 10 Gb/s at 100 meters of cable and transmitting frequencies up to 600 Mhz.
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