Advice Needed on Category 6 Patch Cables

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ScarletRed, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. ScarletRed macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #1
    Now that I've decided on Linksys WRT54GC for the router for my MacBook Pro, I started looking at ethernet cables (patch cables?). To ensure that the cables themselves won't be the network bottleneck (both at present and in the near future) and among other reasons, I've decided to go with the best quality patch cables I could find. Hence, category 6.

    When it comes to technical aspects of networking, I am about as savvy as a kindergarten child, albeit an extremely bright one at that. So it did take me several hours just to sort out the differences among patch cables, ethernet cables, snagless cables, cables with boots, crossover cables, ...etc. In the end, I decided that patch cables are what I need. But I could be wrong. If that's the case, then now would be a good time for you to let me know.

    Anyway, google search for category 6 patch cables generated lot of results. Category 6 patch cables vary in brands and prices. If I go with Belkin, then databazaar.com is the best place. However, Belkin cables are extremely pricey for a reason I don't understand. Is it just because of the name? Could it be the 50 micron layer of gold coating on electrical contacts? There are other vendors such as greatcables.com that offer category 6 cables at fraction of the Belkin's price. So I searched online for category 6 patch cable reviews. I couldn't find any. So this is where I need your help. I don't know how many of you have had experience with category 6 but what would be a really good brand and what should I avoid? Your inputs would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. reh macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I've had good luck buying cables from www.cables4sure.com . Nice quality and not insanely overpriced like most retailers. Here's all their Cat6 cables. Just choose your length, then color. You can buy multiple cables at once and save a bit.

    No, I'm not affiliated with them. Just a satisfied customer.
     
  3. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #3
    Real quick: I'd recommend against Cat 6 for price reasons - your router is going to be a bottleneck here, not Cat5e. There's really no point in getting gigabit cable if you're using a 10/100 router.

    Cat5e is also gigabit-capable, so that's even more reason not to bother with Cat6. Believe me, it won't hurt anything.
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    Cat6 cable is more or less the same as Cat5e. Most of what makes it Cat6 is the installation methods.
     
  5. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #5
    This is not true... cat6 has a much tighter twist to the 4 pair (and usually has bonded pairs where 5e doen not) and is also a slightly larger gauge which allows information to travel MUCH faster than c5e....

    But i would also suggest getting a C5e cable.... reason why.... i can almost guarantee that you do not have cat 6 cable wiring in your house /apt...

    your network is only as fast as your slowest component... therefore you are going to get the same speed from a 5e patch cord as a c6 patch cord in this situation... not to mention a c6 cable will be alot more expensive than a 5e...
    might i also suggest not buying from a retail store as their markups are insane.... i work for a datacommunications distributor and we sell a 3' c5e patch cord for around $1.00 to our customers whereas best buy and the like will charge 12 or 13! :eek:

    loook in the yellow pages and see if you can find a Rexel (Company i work for), Graybar, Accu-Tech, Annixter, Wesco,....etc...

    any of these distributors will sell to a walk in customer at a much better price than a retail establishmnet.... ;)

    Edit: just saw that you live in new york... any of the distributors i listed above should have several offices within a decent distance from you.... check one of em out....
     
  6. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #6
    Wow...

    Thank you for providing me with that link. That place is awesome! Their prices are simply amazing.
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #7

    Sorry, but are you saying that the thickness of the copper cabling enables electricity/data to move much faster. Just want to clarify... :)
     
  8. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #8
    True and not true. Both Cat5e AND Cat6 are capable of full gigabit speeds. Cat6a will be capable of 10-gigabit speeds, but we're not really there yet.
     
  9. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #9
    no... but the tighter twist on the c6 pairs allows for less near/far/alien crosstalk than the 5e does so allows for faster transmission than c5e does....

    C5e minimal compliant must meet at leas 100mhz...

    C5E (read as bigE) is around 350-450mhz depending on the manufacturer...

    C6 minimal compliant has to at least meet the standard of 200Mhz...
    Where a C6Enhanced can get up to 650 - 1000 mhz....

    Basically comes down to a tighter twist and bonded pairs in the C6 which allows for faster transmission and larger bandwidth...

    sorry that i was not more clear about that in my original post..;)

    maybe this sound a little better:

    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.
     
  10. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #10
    not sure if our industry will ever support c6a.... i believe fiber to the home will be a much better and cheaper solution by the time c6a is available....

    multimode fiber is already cheaper that c6 right now.... the problem is the electronics at the head ends is still very expensive.... once the price on repeaters/fusion splicers/media converters....etc come down fiber to the home will be very affordable and MUCH MUCH faster that any copper.....
     
  11. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #11
    I'm still waiting for FiOS in my neighborhood. ^.^

    You sound like quite a networking junkie. Profession or hobby?
     
  12. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #12
    profession.... Area manager for a company called Rexel...

    www.rexelusa.com

    i sell everything that goes into a structured cabling system from the entrance facility to the wallplate... outside plant as well....

    And i love my job! :D
     
  13. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #13
    By the way BLue.... dont ever change your Tar.... i think its the best one on the site.... Damn i love that movie!
     
  14. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    #14

    only reason it could increase speed at all is having a lower restainces in the wiring but yeah. It mostly may just inscrease bandwith. But I dont understand all that jazz in the diffence in the cables or all that stuff much at all so dont listen to me. I running on a very limited understanding of the stuff. Personly I see no diffence bettween the 2 cables

    Like others are saying just get cat 5 cables. Your router is going to be the bottle neck and using diffence cables is not going to effect your speed since can not even get close to maxing them out. Heck I ran though 100ft of Cat 5 cable and 3ft of it on teh same router same computer. no differnce in speed. Ping times where still the same. Data transfer rates where still the same. The router was my bottle neck.

    Also the cat 5 can handle the gigibyte but your router can not so dont ways you money on them.
     

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