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Possibly a dumb question about switches / cables

p3asa

Established Member
Is there any difference at all in the following set ups?

Setup 1:My dining room has 4 cat 5e cables running from TV, PS3, amp & Sky into a cupboard which has a switch which then goes into the router.

Setup 2:My living room will soon have very similar equipment but instead of running 4 cables back to the cupboard with the switch I thought I would have all the equipment plugged into a switch and then just one cable running back to the cupboard with the router!

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The only difference I can see is Setup 2 will have 2 switches. Will this create any problems?

If there are no obvious problems, why is it recommended to run several cables to each room rather than just one and use a switch apart from to send HDMI from room to room?

Cheers

Steven.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
No, this is pretty common, in fact I have the same basic setup.
 

cjed

Prominent Member
Is there any difference at all in the following set ups?
From a logical network point of view they are the same.

The only difference I can see is Setup 2 will have 2 switches. Will this create any problems?
No, as someone else has said, having a network backbone with a number of switches is common. I have 3, a 16-way upstairs in my "computer room", this connects to a 5-way downstairs which has my modem/router plugged in to it and also connects to a 3rd, 8-way switch in the living room for my AV kit.

If there are no obvious problems, why is it recommended to run several cables to each room rather than just one and use a switch apart from to send HDMI from room to room?
Although the setups are the same from a logical network point of view, they differ in the maximum throughput between devices. It's not so important in the example you give, but the bandwidth of a number of conversations (transfers) between pairs of devices on the same switch can exceed the bandwidth of a single port. If you have two switches connected by a single cable, the the total bandwidth of all transfers that go between the switches will be limited to the bandwidth of a single port.

This isn't a problem with the devices you list and a pair of gigabit switches. However it might be an issue if there are a number of NAS units and PCs spread across the switches.

There's also the issue of redundancy. If you have multiple cables and one fails you can simply switch to another. If there was just a single cable and it failed the link is lost until it can be replaced.
 

maf1970

Prominent Member
I personally prefer to run the PS3 connection directly to the router so it gets the best connection for gaming.
 

p3asa

Established Member
Thanks guys especially cjed as that makes perfect sense.

Can I just expand it a bit and ask if its the same principal for the router, in that I must have about 20 connections in my switch and obviously just the single cable going from there to the router.
 

cjed

Prominent Member
Can I just expand it a bit and ask if its the same principal for the router, in that I must have about 20 connections in my switch and obviously just the single cable going from there to the router.
Yes it's the same in principle. However, it's only recently that domestic Internet installations could saturate the bandwidth of a 100mbps Ethernet port, let alone a gigabit one, so having a single connection from the router to the (main) network switch is unlikely to cause a problem.

However, if you have a router that can take an external hard disk and act as a kind of NAS then it could conceivably be an issue, especially if the router is limited to a 100mbps connection (in which case the solution is to get a real NAS with it's own connection to the switch).

maf1970 is correct, a switch will introduce a slight extra latency in point to point transmission in your LAN. However, I would expect it to be negligible compared to the delays introduced once packets go out onto the internet (microseconds compared to milliseconds).
 

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