Which Cat 6 cable

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Phillie14586, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Phillie14586 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2010
    I know this isn't exactly networking but I need some help on network cable. I am going to use a HDMI to Cat 5/6 cable extender to connect my Mac to the TV. The run will be about 80ft so I was going to use Cat6 just to make sure things go well. When looking at Cat 6 some say it performs up to 250 MHz and others that say 550 MHz. Then there is stranded vs solid. What is the in use difference between the 250 MHz and the 550 MHz and which would work for my use?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I don't know the specific answer to your question but by sheer personal experience, Cat 6 hates being bent around corners. Think about that when you lay it and also consider whether or not you network can take advantage of such speed. I also know that Cat 6a is the 500mhz and cat 6 is 250 mhz. I think both would work but since I am not 100%, I'm going to stand by my other statement and say I don't know the specific answer. :)
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Cat6 = 1Gb/s Ethernet
    Cat6a = 10Gb/s Ethernet

    Considering that HDMI has a real life throughput of about 8Gb/s, I'd definitely buy a Cat6a cable.
    They aren't necessarily cheap, but I figure still way cheaper than a 80ft HDMI cable.

    With reference to laying the cables around corners, no Cat cable likes that, but that's why there are flat cables. ;)
  4. hmmfe macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2003
    Typically, you will want solid cable for stationary runs. This would be your "in-wall" cabling. You use stranded cable for patch cables and cables that will move and bend.

    Regarding Cat6 vs Cat6a/e: Get whatever the manufacturer recommends. Most of the ones I've seen (not big into this, though) are designed for Cat5e or Cat6 cable. But, the cost is not that much different so I'd err in favor of Cat6 over Cat5e. I'm not sure if you will see any difference in using Cat6a/e (i.e. 500Mhz).

    It is quite difficult to terminate Cat6 to spec if you are a beginner. So, I'd recommend getting a pre-made patch cable of 100ft. if that would work in your situation.

    Regarding 250 vs 500/550Mhz: Generally, the higher the number the higher max. bandwidth at distance you will achieve. As mentioned already, Cat6 is rated at 250Mhz and Cat6a is 500/550Mhz. Again, generally, Cat6a is designed to support 10G Ethernet at a greater distance than Cat6.

    Hope that helps.
  5. Phillie14586 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks for the help. These are the extenders I was looking at http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-E...TF8&coliid=I2UEHMFQZW1RHS&colid=2DYJGBMC8TB6Q

    They say cat 5e/6. I am thinking erring on the fast side and getting the 6a cables. Is it really that difficult to terminate? I have one hole in the floor that I can't get a terminated end through. I was hoping to terminate that end myself. Other than flexibility what difference is there between the stranded and solid? I ask since they don't always list the type of wire especially the patch cables if I need to go factory terminated.
  6. hmmfe macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2003
    It really isn't that difficult, but it takes time and experience to terminate correctly as to preserve Cat6 certification. If you simply can't use pre-terminated cable, then here is what I'd do...

    Run your cable. In this case, use solid cable. Terminate your cable into a Cat6 rated keystone jack. Purchase a surface mount box that accepts keystone jacks. Use a short Cat6a/e patch cable to connect your HDMI extender to the surface mount box. Alternatively, if you have a wall plate already in place you can just replace the face plate with one that will accept the keystone jack.

    Keep your terminations tight. Cut away only enough of the sheath as necessary and keep the twist as close to the termination as possible without deforming the strands too much. You will need a 110 termination tool. You can pick up a cheap one that will push the pairs into place then you can use scissors to trim the ends off. You can also get a proper punch tool but they are a bit more expensive.

    This approach is easier than getting Cat6 rated 8P8C connectors and learning how to keep everything tight.
  7. Phillie14586 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2010
    I was thinking about using a keystone jack at the end I would terminate. Are the 5e/6/6a jacks really different? Newegg has a bunch of 5e or 6 jacks but only a green 6a jack, wife wont like that. I was then going to use the excess cable to make short patch cables to go from the adapter to the wall.
  8. hmmfe macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2003
    Well, if you want to have Cat6a/e specs you will need to have all components rated as such (this is a little bit of a white lie but generally true). You can get Cat6 and Cat6a/e rated jacks online in many colors. Just search around. I get most of my stuff from a local source but sometimes purchase from http://www.cablestogo.com They have a selection of colors.

    You can use a leftover bit of the solid cable for the patch but then you still need to terminate in an 8P8C which (at least) I was trying to avoid. It's up to you though... it will definitely work. Buying a patch will be cheaper than the connectors and crimp tool though.
  9. ThatGuy5 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
  10. nicenik macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2012
    cat 6 wirings

    All cat 6 cables are just good for networking. You can select cat 6 wirings depending upon the place where you are going to use it and your uses. It is good for both office and residential uses. IT provide fast, robust and secure networking.
  11. davidoloan Suspended

    Apr 28, 2009
    Anybody have any recommendations on were to buy a Cat 6a 305m reel for UK delivery?

    Or 100m?

    It seems hard to find compared to Cat 5.

    Also, any opinions on whether shielding around each pair or a single shielding around all 8 wires makes much difference?
  12. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    And there's a learning curve involved, too. Re-orienting the wires in order to get them into the plug can be tricky. It's not like RJ11 (telephone) connections, where the cable slips in flat and that's that.

    Of course you can learn to do it. But is it worth it? And the tool you'll have to buy isn't cheap, and you may never use it again.

    I'd buy the patch cables.
  13. davidoloan Suspended

    Apr 28, 2009
    Mine was £4.59. and its very good quality.

    It took about 3 minutes to learn how to do it.

    And being fussy each one takes about 3 minutes to fit.
  14. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    That's a good price ($7.30 US). Mine was part of a kit that included a tester (a very handy device), a stripper, and a bag of plugs. I think it was something like $50 or $60 US, but that was back in the last century. Maybe prices were a lot higher then.

    I don't want to hijack this guy's thread, and I suspect that if you and I were sitting around talking we'd find little or nothing to disagree about.

    But I stand by "tricky," because if the OP has never stripped or crimped a cable (ethernet or otherwise) he'll have to learn to strip without nicking, unwind wires twisted together that don't enter the plug next to each other, keep the stripped portion short enough so that he doesn't lose bandwidth, get them pushed into the plug, and then crimp.

    I think that qualifies for "tricky," even though after he gets used to it, it won't be.

    The way I'm reading it, he only needs two cables. Learning new techniques is always good, but in this case I don't see much of a payoff.
  15. Warfel005 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    If you go to monoprice.com you can pick up a 80ft hdmi cable for cheap and they are very good quality. $50-$60 might be worth it just to not have to bother with the Cat6e and it might cost less to because technically you need 160 feet of Cat6e which could wind up costing you big bucks.
  16. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Do not cut costs when it comes to utp cabling. There are a lot of el cheapo ones out there where only some of the wires are real copper, the others are made of a different material with a very tiny layer of copper on them. They will work ok-ish over very short distances (certainly no more than 10 meters) but are completely crap over longer ones. Do it properly the first time and get good quality cable because in the end it will be an awful lot cheaper than buying el cheapo cabling.

    With hdmi things are differently. I think most will use cables of max 1.8 meters. These are so short that you can buy virtually any kind of hdmi cable, it will simply work. For longer distances like 10+ meters good materials in terms of cable and connectors become more important. It is over longer distances you'll see the difference in quality.

    Btw, cat6e doesn't exist yet. There is cat5e, cat6 and cat6a. Cat7 is an entirely different story since it is a different kind of cable which also uses different kind of connectors.

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