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[Link Layer] Should Cat6 cables be used for servers (‘important hosts’) rather than Cat5-E?

What is the difference between CAT 5e and CAT 6 network cable?

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marked as duplicate by Kyle Brandt, Antoine Benkemoun, Dennis Williamson, Zoredache, splattne Jun 24 '10 at 9:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Sounds like a homework question? –  Bart Silverstrim Jun 22 '10 at 12:18
    
You might also find this question interesting - serverfault.com/questions/107172/… –  Matt Simmons Jun 22 '10 at 16:32
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1 Answer

Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit" network. This is not the case. Unless every single component in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device. Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speed. It becomes a matter of whether or not you want to pay all that extra money, for little or no noticeable improvement in the performance of you network. In most cases, it makes more sense to go with Cat5e. It is for this reason that most of your new installations in the private sector are going with Cat5e. It is more economical, performs well, and is readily available in many colors. Many IT professionals when asked about why they specified Cat6 for a specific job, often responded stated that they "wanted the best they could get." This is the line of thought behind many purchases of cable. The average consumer often times is not aware that there is no real benefit to them to use Cat6, so they let someone talk them in to buying it. CAT 5 Cable Company is committed to helping people make good decisions about cable purchases and we are always standing by to help you.

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Cat5e is perfectly fine for Gigabit speeds. 1000GBase-T was specifically designed for Cat5e. I think you're adding to the confusion by saying things like "Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speeds". And the company plug at the end seems inappropriate. The top link by Kyle Brandt is a great resource. –  Joel K Jun 23 '10 at 14:58
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