Ethernet abling - Cat 6 vs Cat 5

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Alan, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Hi All,

    Can anyone give me a one line answer to whether I can and should be
    buying Cat 6 Ethernet cabling now?

    Can I plug in a Cat 6 cable between a switch and a PC and it will
    still work, even though there is Cat 5 cable between the switch and
    the upstream connection in the wall? I have been told different
    things by different people.

    My inclination is to buy Cat 6 cable so that we gradually have it
    available for when our PCs have gigabit cards, and all the
    infrastructure will eventually match.

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
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  2. Alan

    juicyjuice Guest

    cat6 is backwards compatible.. dosn't mater you still have cat5 on your
    network
    cat6 can handle the new gigbit speeds is all.
     
    juicyjuice, Apr 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. Alan

    Ewen McNeill Guest

    Unless the price is dramatically better for Cat5e cabling, then I'd buy
    Cat6 cable these days. Cat5e will pass Gigabit Ethernet if it's properly
    installed; Cat6 will definitely do so. Cat 5e is rated to 100Mhz (per pair)
    IIRC; Cat 6 is rated to 250MHz per pair. (Gigabit Ethernet in particular
    does some clever tricks to fit 1000Mbps over two pairs in each direction.)

    Cat 6 is likely to be required for any future (faster) Ethernet standard
    over copper, as they've pretty much reached the limits of Cat5e. (In fact
    I think some people were surprised they managed to get Gigabit ethernet
    over Cat5e.)

    If you have a switch in between the two cables you should have no trouble
    using Cat5e on one segment and Cat6 on the other. Especially if it's a
    100Mbps switch or slower.

    Ewen
     
    Ewen McNeill, Apr 12, 2006
    #3
  4. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Great - So I should definately start buying Cat 6 now so that when we
    have gigabit cards and switches etc we can take advantage of it?

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Alan

    juicyjuice Guest

    uhuh, I would, and have :)
    cat5e also handles gigbit, but cat6 is better quality designed to handle
    1-250mhz wheras 5e can only handle 1-100mhz
     
    juicyjuice, Apr 12, 2006
    #5
  6. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Great - thanks for your help.

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Hi,

    Follow up question - If I can be so cheeky!

    Is there any way to tell from either a PC or a console / session on a
    server, what the maximum throughput is between two endpoints?

    We have Cat 5(a?), Cat5e, and soon to be some Cat6 cabling around. We
    have 1000 megabit and 100 megabit switches, and we have PCs with both
    types of cards.

    I would really like to be able to know what the capacity is between
    two endpoints without having to go to the location, crawl around under
    the tables etc, and read cables, switches and stuff.

    Thanks,
    --

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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
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  8. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Hi Ewan,

    I was planning on putting gigabit switches in that segment (it is
    actually three segments at that point - two switches) so that when I
    buy another cable (Cat6) I can move towards those PCs getting full
    gigabit service (they have the NICs necessary).

    Does that make any difference (you said I would be okay if the
    switches are 100 megabits or slower)?

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
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  9. Alan

    Alan Guest

    I should have said that we are running Windows SBS 2003 Premium and
    Windows Server 2003 at one end and Windows XP SP3 on the workstations.

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
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  10. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Darn - Spellchecker doesn't help with SP3!

    I meant XP SP2 of course

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Alan

    Ewen McNeill Guest

    If you're putting in Gigabit switches I'd definitely get Cat6 cable.

    You will probably be okay with Gigabit on Cat5/Cat5e runs as well
    providing they're (a) well installed, and (b) fairly short (up to 20m
    or so should be no problem, up to about 100m if well installed and
    you have a fair wind. The difference between Cat5 and Cat5e is primarily
    quality control, both on making the cable and installation).

    Ewen
     
    Ewen McNeill, Apr 13, 2006
    #11
  12. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Thanks!

    --

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    Alan, Apr 13, 2006
    #12
  13. Go with your inclination. Cat6 cabling is the better stuff - that's why it
    is spec'd to work over greater distances at greater speed.


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 13, 2006
    #13
  14. Have you considered reading the packaging that you bought the cables in?


    Have A Nice Cup of Tea
     
    Have A Nice Cup of Tea, Apr 13, 2006
    #14
  15. Alan

    juicyjuice Guest

    do you mean to find out what cables you have already?
    like between cat5, 5e and 6
    apart from windows telling you wether you have connection at 100mbit or
    1000mbit then no.. the cables are just wires, not very smart in that sense
    but can transmit smart stuff lol

    btw, the e in 5e stands for 'extended' not version as it would appear.

    if you do go round every cable make a net diagram noting the cable cats -
    then you can x em off as you upgrade em.
     
    juicyjuice, Apr 13, 2006
    #15
  16. Alan

    juicyjuice Guest

    oh, and you could also physically tag the new cables at both ends with tape
    to know visually which ones are new and old =)
     
    juicyjuice, Apr 13, 2006
    #16
  17. Alan

    SNOman Guest

    Been using cat 6 here for close to 3 years
     
    SNOman, Apr 13, 2006
    #17
  18. Alan

    Alan Guest

    I hadn't thought of that.

    Now, where is that time machine so I go back a few years and find out
    who bought the cables and what they did with the packaging?

    Any ideas on the actual question of how to do it from the console or
    workstation - or even if it is possible?

    Thanks,

    Alan.
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    Alan, Apr 13, 2006
    #18
  19. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Good advice - I will start doing that.

    Thanks
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    Alan, Apr 13, 2006
    #19
  20. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Will do then.

    Thanks for your advice,

    Alan.
    --

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
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    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

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    Alan, Apr 13, 2006
    #20
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