Network Speed / Cables

Posted on 2011-02-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We seem to have a mixture of CAT 5 and CAT 6 cables.  I know the ports and switches are set up for different speeds.
Does the CAT5 and CAT6 cables make that much of a difference on a desktop and laptop that is connect to the network?
Question by:wball1217
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Expert Comment

ID: 34917501
CAT5, or CAT5e?

What speed is your network?

Generally with CAT5e and CAT6 there is not a difference. Some of the newer Cisco switches can auto switch for crossconnects and straighthrough but as far as speed goes there should not be a difference.

Expert Comment

ID: 34917568
CAT5 Cables, specificallty CAT5e cables do 100Mbs per second and CAT6 do 1Gb per second, that being said you also need to have a nic card on the computer and a switch that can handle 1Gb speeds for it to be worth using CAT6 cables.  Does it make a differnce yes it does make a difference if your network is setup properly and you are doing things on your network that warrant it.

Expert Comment

ID: 34917588
Yes, big different in cat 5 and cat6 especially if you want or using faster network equipment and faster network cards. Cat6 is more expensive, but the standard on any new tech projects, buildings and so forth.

Here is an blirp I read on a tech manual site...

What is the general difference between category 5e and category 6?

The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 200 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications.

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Expert Comment

ID: 34917605
i should say actually you can do 1GB speed over CAT5 but its not recommended
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 34917641
CAT5e does support 10/100/1000Mbps.

CAT5 can too, but both CAT5e and CAT6 perform better with 1Gbps.

Accepted Solution

Noduzz earned 500 total points
ID: 34917779
CAT5 can only do 100Mbps CAT5e can do 1Gbs per second but I wouldn't recommend it as CAT6 is the new standard and it performs much better than CAT5e and usually you cant get 1Gbps speeds out of CAT5e.

Expert Comment

ID: 34917788
Then again i work for a media company so top performance is necessary for our network.

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