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CAT6 cable advice needed

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Abe18

Occasional Visitor
Are all CAT6 cables the same? I just purchased a D-Link DIR-655 router and an Intel PWLA8391GT PCI PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter 1 x RJ45, for which I will need a 10 foot cable. Are all CAT6 cable brands the same? If not which do you recommend. Also, this cable will be sitting amoung a dozen other types of wires, so I need to have it shielded? Is an "ethernet" cable and a "patch" cable the same thing?

Abe18
 
Unless it's from a really sloppy manufacturer, all cables with the same CAT rating can be considered equal. And especially for short cables, you are not going to see a performance difference.

The cable does not need to be shielded. "Patch", "Ethernet", "CAT", etc. are all names for the same thing.
 
10 foot cable from the DIR-655 to the PC? No need to bother with CAT6. Save yourself a few $$ and get a Cat5e cable. Works the same as Cat6 for Gigabit at short distances.

The only time I recommend you specify Cat6a is when prewiring a house or upgrading house wiring. This is for future proofing in the event 10G becomes a reality anytime soon (for consumer use). Another good use of 6a wiring is when distributing HDMI over ethernet.

Notice I mentioned Cat6a and not Cat6. Cat6 is a dead standard now being replaced with 6a. Some Cat6a cables are still labeled Cat6 but say 500Mhz.
 
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10 foot cable from the DIR-655 to the PC? No need to bother with CAT6. Save yourself a few $$ and get a Cat5e cable. Works the same as Cat6 for Gigabit at short distances.

The only time I recommend you specify Cat6a is when prewiring a house or upgrading house wiring.

What about for longer distances from 25ft to 50ft, would it be better to use Cat6a with those longer distance applications?
 
As long as you don't have sloppy crimps, Cat5e should be enough for gigabit operation at max length (100 m).
 
You wouldn't see a benefit now. You may see a benefit a few years from now if future standards (4 Gbit? 10 Gbit?) use the same cable type, and the cable survives that long.

If you feel an additional $2 is a worthwhile investment, go for it. Possibly due to the downturn in the economy, copper prices are much lower than they've been in recent years; it's a good time to stock up for future projects as well.
 
I don't see $2 as an investment at all. But I reckon if I will see no benefit in transfer speeds, then it doesn't make any sense to buy the more costly cable and so I see your point. However, transferring HDMI over Ethernet, such as streaming Netflix to a BDP, would justify the use of a Cat 6 cable though?

Thanks for the help.
 
The only way the cable would have an impact on performance was if it was out of spec in some way (>100 m, damaged, defective, etc). Cat5e and 6 perform equivalently at gigabit speeds.
 

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