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Wireless Networks Thread, Cat5e and Cat6 in Technical; Hi ya, Could someone give me a quick heads up as to why to choose Cat6 over Cat5e I know ...
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    Cat5e and Cat6

    Hi ya,

    Could someone give me a quick heads up as to why to choose Cat6 over Cat5e

    I know that cost is a little more for Cat6 but what is the main reason to use Cat6?

    Are the wires used any differently in Cat6 as opposed to cat5e?
    Does PoE still work over Cat6 since isn't the 2 additional wires supposed to be used for something?

    Do you need special Cat6 Patch panels to accomodate cat6 wiring?

    Sorry for the questions just need a couple of answers quickly as the boss has just asked and he is in a meeting at the mo discussing it.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Could someone give me a quick heads up as to why to choose Cat6 over Cat5e

    I know that cost is a little more for Cat6 but what is the main reason to use Cat6?
    Cat5e and Cat6 are essentially the same cable, but Cat6 is tested to a higher standard and is supposedly capable of 10Gbps over short distances. Cat5e supports up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps).

    Are the wires used any differently in Cat6 as opposed to Cat5e?
    Does PoE still work over Cat6 since isn't the 2 additional wires supposed to be used for something?
    There are still 4 pairs in both Cat5e and Cat6. PoE is also supported on both.

    Do you need special Cat6 Patch panels to accomodate cat6 wiring?
    No this isn't necessary, but if you need to buy new panels then I probably would buy Cat6. I believe most panels are sold as Cat5e/6 compatible however.

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    HodgeHi (8th April 2008)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Cat5e and Cat6 are essentially the same cable, but Cat6 is tested to a higher standard and is supposedly capable of 10Gbps over short distances. Cat5e supports up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps).



    There are still 4 pairs in both Cat5e and Cat6. PoE is also supported on both.



    No this isn't necessary, but if you need to buy new panels then I probably would buy Cat6. I believe most panels are sold as Cat5e/6 compatible however.
    Cat6a or cat6 augmented is the bare minimum variety of cable that is capable of 10gbps over very short distances....i think because of the effects of alien crosstalk.

    Cat 6 is more difficult to install than cat5 with more stringent requirements on things like bend radius. I would recommend cat6 for you're server patch panel to patch panel connections. New desktop cable runs, i don't think it really matters whether 5e or 6. There might quite a significant difference in install cost between the two.

  5. Thanks to torledo from:

    HodgeHi (8th April 2008)

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Here's a web link that explains it all.

    Compare the Cat5e vs Cat6 Cabling Standard

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    HodgeHi (8th April 2008)

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    @ Torledo,

    We are having a new school built and so thought instead of going for Cat5e again to go for the Cat6 instead. We had a quote back stating that if we wanted to go for Cat6 then there would be an additional cost of £14,500 - £15,000. This just sounded a little bit pricey to me.

    @ Geoff,

    Yeah i read that just but didn't know if it was current and still applicable as there was no date. Thanks for the link though.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Cat 6 is more difficult to install than cat5 with more stringent requirements on things like bend radius.
    You're absolutely right because Cat6 is also slightly thicker too, which means that the regulations for installation are a little tighter.

    To be honest though, who runs more than 1Gbps to the desktop? I don't know anyone who does and the additional expense of Cat6 probably isn't worth it. By all means though, if you can get Cat6 installed for the same price as Cat5e then I'd go with that.

    Edit: An additional 15K!!!??? I think they've been smoking something. I would definitely shop around.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Your lucky you have the choice, it is mandated here in NZ by the government that all new cabling is CAT6. As it is wider and thicker it is also tougher and more resistant to interference, well according to their advertising.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    @ Torledo,

    We are having a new school built and so thought instead of going for Cat5e again to go for the Cat6 instead. We had a quote back stating that if we wanted to go for Cat6 then there would be an additional cost of £14,500 - £15,000. This just sounded a little bit pricey to me.

    @ Geoff,

    Yeah i read that just but didn't know if it was current and still applicable as there was no date. Thanks for the link though.
    That does sound like an overly high premium, but that isn't an entirely surprisig figure becuase cat6 has that additional difficulty in installation and slightly higher cabling costs. Also i think any variety of cat6 has a greater diameter than cat5 although haven't checked geoffs link to confirm that - that adds to the difficulty and there's an overall need to take greater care during install to ensure you can certify the cable to that level....for instance very tightly bundled cables are a big no no with cat6.

    Cabling professionals have been predicting the demise of cat5e for new installs for years, but this has been because of future proofing for demanding applications - namely gigabit ethernet. So they've been saying new installs should be minium cat6.

    If you look at how things stand today, where are the killer apps that can take advantage of cat6....and can cat6 do a better job indelivering gigabit speeds and converged voice/data to the desktop than cat5e. Forget about 10gig to the desktop that isn't happening any time soon, but what are the advantages for existing 100meg environments and future 1gbps to the desk if you use cat6 in preference to cat5e....that's what you need to ask ?

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    We do a lot of music and vid-ed across the network so was maybe looking at that in future terms.

    All our OS X clients are networked accounts as well as the XP clients with (mandatory for pupils now) roaming profiles.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    For a new school 15k is peanuts, might as well get it all done as cat6. For our rather old and difficult building it's all being done with 5e as 6 would be nearly impossible.

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    A lot of cat6e installations are built and terminated in the workshop and then taken to site and installed as a unit rather than pulling individual cables due to the restrictions on pulling forces, bend radius etc...

    Ben

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    There are 2 Gigabit Copper standards, 1000Base-T and 1000Base-TX

    1000T WILL work with Cat5/5e and Cat6 (preferred)
    1000TX should only be used with Cat6

    Cat6 meets all of the specifications for gigabit networking over ethernet standards.
    There are too many factors that contribute to this such as Frequency, bandwidth, losses and crosstalk.

    I think we all generally accept the physical limitations of copper ethernet over Cat5 to be approx 100 meters. 1000T will normally work with this but 1000TX will not.

    In order to acheive reliable delivery of gigabit over similar distances we need higher quality cable with less loss, less reactance more frequency response etc etc...

    Hence the Cat6 standards. It heavier and bulkier because there are more twists per meter resulting in more copper which equals higher costs.

    As demands push us towards gigabit on the desktops Cat6 becomes fairly essential and not to consider it is likely to cause you problems later.

    I have already seen serious network issues where admins have rolled out Gigabit capable workstations connected to gigabit switches over 80 meters of Cat5 without realising what they had given birth to.

    The entire lan ground to a halt until we locked both switches and Nics to 100 FD. (Low grade Cat5 on an 80 meter run)

    1000 Base T also uses all four pairs like the old HP VG Anylan, so inadvertent connection to POE ports could result in a toasted Nic or Switch - be careful. Tag and colour code your Gigabit connections.

    Check your switches and server NIC's the 1000T vs 1000TX issue is often over looked and causes a lot of issues.

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    @geoff - when you talk about reliable delivery of gigabit ethernet over 80 meter distances are you referring specifically to cat 5 or cat5/cat5e ?

    My understanding was that 1000-TX never really took off as a standard, and that manufacturers never built it into their newer gigabit hardware because of it's reliance on cat6 cabling....

    Perhaps it was a technology too ahead of where the market was at. Although it's a shame as it only used two pairs and would have given true 1gbps PoE ports. I guess it would be an ideal standard built into Access points for PoE 1gbps ethernet connections, but i thinks it's unlikely the manufacturers will embrace 1000-TX. But i'm not sure what the alternative options are for having true 1gbps PoE connections for AP's using 1000T. Edit: just read up on 'phantom' power that seems to answer the gigabit PoE question.
    Last edited by torledo; 12th April 2008 at 05:37 PM.

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