1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What's the difference between Cat5 and Cat5e?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Triggaaar, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    I've run Cat5e cable around the house, and bought a Cat5e patch panel and hub.

    I then tried to buy some Cat5e patch cables to link the hub to the patch panel, but the cables say Cat5 on them (not Cat5e). I want to know if that will mean my whole set-up is now reduced to Cat5, or if it makes no difference over a 30cm cable.

    Thanks
     
  2. 9761

    9761
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    499
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2
    I think cat5 does 10/100 speeds and cat5e does 10/100/1000 speeds.
     
  3. Xelon

    Xelon
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Messages:
    391
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +53
    Can confirm CAT5e supports 1000 Mbps speeds, unlike CAT 5 (10/100)
     
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    So that means my 30cm cables will limit my data transfer to 100Mbps?

    How can I test the transfer rate between 2PCs (without a stop watch)? If I know the cables I've bought aren't cat5e, I can happily ask for my money back.
     
  5. lisag

    lisag
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,985
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Essex
    Ratings:
    +397
    I think it is the equipment either end that will determine the speed as much as the cable... you need 1000mbps compatible network cards and also the hard drive speed could limit the data transfer rates.

    lisa
     
  6. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    I very much doubt your Cat5 patch cables will cause any difference, they may well be Cat5e certified even if it doesn't say so on the cables themselves.

    The whole Cat5/Cat5e thing is pretty much still up in the air at the moment, there is no consensus even in the cabling industry as to the effects of mixing standards, there are even different standards for termininating cat5 (568A, 568B), which both work as well as each other... :rolleyes:

    Cat5e is just an enhanced version of Cat5, a (sometimes) better conductor tested and certified to a higher rating (350Mhz).. I think you'd need a cable run of 10m or more to be limited by Cat5.

    You can test by plugging everything together, setting the network card driver on a PC to 1000mb only, and see if it connects to the network. If it isn't getting a 1000mb connection through to the hub, you'll get no 'green light', no throughput... for an even more definite test, set two machines up like this, and see if they can copy files to one another..

    If you can swap the cables without hassle then do so, but I doubt they'll make a difference that you'll notice. And as i say, they may actually be cat5E rated anyhow..
     
  7. jaymz

    jaymz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,011
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Sunny Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +60
    Do not forget that Cat5e (also know as Cat6) are capable of rtransmitting data a 1000Mbps or 1Gigabit.

    These easiest way to test the transfer rate is to use "ftp" (file transfer protocol)
    start>run>cmd and then in the dos prompt type
    "ftp machine name" or "ftp ip address" if you do not use WINS/DNS.

    Then change to a directory and "get" a file (grab a file from the remote machine)
    Then change to a directory and "put" a file (put a file to the remote machine)
    You will get a response similar to below;

    ftp: 2849 bytes received in 0.19Seconds 15.15Kbytes/sec.

    This tells my speed was 15.5Kbps even though i am on a 100Mbps network with a Gigabit backbone.

    Do not forget that file transfer speed is a function of network speed (10/100/1000Mbps),network noise (usually network broadcasts TCP/IP, AppleTalk etc) collision domains, routing tables, host and receiving PC utilisation, firmware on the switch itself etc etc etc.

    Cat5 cables are capable of transfering at 1000Mbps but they are not certified for this.
     
  8. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    Thanks people.

    It is because you only got 15.5Kbps on a 100Mbps network, that I can't use this method to test.

    While I know for a fact that I don't need 1000Mbps at the moment, I might need it for something in 5 years time. It has cost virtually no extra to wire the house with cat5e, and I just thought it would be stupid if everything was 1000Mbps, except for a bunch of 30cm patch cables, that suddenly limited the entire network to 100Mbps.

    I'll try that method dude, with these Patch cables, and some cat5e, and see if there's a difference.
     
  9. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    I don't think that Cat5e and Cat6 are the same. Cat6 has an overall shield in it's specification which isn't present in Cat5e. :)
     
  10. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    yep, cat5e and cat6 are different animals... EJ is quite right about the difference.
     
  11. HiZ

    HiZ
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    Cat 6 installation standards are higher, not just the cable itself. There are a higher ammount of twists per meter and also when terminating the ends into a face plate for instance you must ensure its not un-twisted over a certain length. The RJ45 ends are often different too, they sometimes have a metal shield which is crimped to the foil wrapper.

    Twisting the two "hot and cold" conductors together improves "common mode rejection". Ie noise recieved on the non-inverting conductor is also received on the inverting conductor. When the receiver cirucuit compares the two cores the voltage difference is the same even when they have been influenced by noise/spkies.
     
  12. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    that's all quite true, but the installation instructions quoted apply to any network cable, nothing particular to cat6 there. The big difference with cat6 is in external noise rejection due to the screening.
     
  13. HiZ

    HiZ
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    Anyway....this is all a waste of time if your connecting it to a hub. If you have enough cables and connections to warrant a patch pannel and structured wiring then I'd be connecting it a switch. Hubs are generally 10Mb. Yes you can get 100Mb but not too common. There are a 101 issues with hubs where a switch out-performs. Hubs are OK for small LANs and low non-realtime traffic but as we're on AVForums one might guess you want to stream audio/video maybe. Basically a hub is a bi-directional amplifier. The biggest problem is the network capacity is common to the whole LAN as such, only one device can speak to another at once.
     
  14. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    yeah.. if you've already run Cat5e, I'd go straight for a gigabit capable switch,

    the Netgear GS105 is a steal at £50 ;)
     
  15. jaymz

    jaymz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,011
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Sunny Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +60
    :oops:

    I was not aware of the differences but i am now :smashin:
     
  16. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    Dude
    That Netgear switch would be perfect - if I didn't have 22 cables to connect.

    Good point. I've bought a cheap 24 port hub off ebay for £12 inc p&p (10/100Mbps).

    I'll just use the patch cables I bought (20 for £13.50, inc p&p), and if I need 1000Mbps in the future, I'll get rid of the hub, and get new cables if necessary.
     
  17. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    jeez Triggaar, are you cabling up your house, or an office ??

    22 data outlets... that's a serious install!

    ( you do only need switch/hub ports for the sockets that are gonna be 'live' and in use by PCs etc.... you're installing a patch panel aren't you..? ) :confused:

    if you really do need 22 gigabit data outlets.. something like the GS524T would do, you'll get one for around £300.
     
  18. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    I'm putting a patch panel in, because the connections of my Cat5e cable to the patch panel are more secure than putting rj45 plugs on the end of the cable.
    While I could patch a cable in each time I needed it, why bother. I've spent £40 total on the patch panel, hub, and connecting cables, meaning I never need to go and switch things around.
    I've got 5 bedrooms (inc study) a kitchen and living room, with a few cables in each. 5 rooms have a squeezebox for streemed music from the PC. As rooms change function (study becomes a kids room etc) I can move control of the PC to any room with my bargain KVM extender. And the room with the kvm can also use USB over a spare Cat5 in that room. Last thing I want is to be under the stairs working out which lead goes where. Sorted :)
     
  19. rdhir

    rdhir
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    471
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +8
    I've got two Netgear GS108s

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=47407

    and all my PCs have gigabit now.

    A quick way of telling how much of your network bandwidth is in use is by clicking on the Networking tab in Windows Task Manager on XP. You can start it by pressing <Ctrl><Alt><Del>. Then copy a large file(s) (100MB and above) and watch the utilisation increase.

    BEFORE all the Gigabit bods write to complain why they only get 25%-30% utilisation, this is quite normal, gigabit runs faster than your PC is likely too, although owners of very modern machines with chipsets having gigabit attached to the Northbridge may do a bit better, and dont't forget that network speed is in BITS not Bytes so divide by 10 to get an idea of how fast a file should transfer
     
  20. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    From the Networking tab, it says at the bottom of the page what your connection speed is. My 1st connection is showing as 100Mbps (limited by router), and the 2nd (which isn't connected) is showing 1000Mbps.

    Cheers.
     
  21. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    I wasn't questioning the patch panel mate, just the number of switch ports req'd.. if you've got so much kit already then you're right.. no point messing about.
     
  22. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    are you gonna be terminating the stuff yourself Triggaaar ?

    If you're getting someone in to do it, I'll chop their prices in half.. ;)
     
  23. HiZ

    HiZ
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +25
    Grab a bag of RJ45 ends/boots and crimp tool from CPC. Cheap and easy to do if your semi handy with your paws. Then contract yourself out to your mates and do their ends too!

    http://www.cpc.co.uk

    CPC are a supplier not just a shop who double the prices for a laugh. Very good service and a good range of stuff. Ever looked at the prices of SCART connectors in Dixons....

    As far as patch leads go, stranded is better but more expensive. Solid core is for structured wiring.
     
  24. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    he's already got the patch cables Hiz... I was wondering about the panel and the data outlets..?
     
  25. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    No I know you weren't - I was just explaining what I've done.
    Yes. I was planning on getting a krone style punch down tool. Any will do won't it?
    This was my original plan, but I had seem some cable with home made RJ45, and didn't think much of the connection, so I decided to end the cable with sockets, then use patch cables.

    I bought my cable from CPC - on my favourites list.
     
  26. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    A mate was going to help for a fiver, but I'll gladly take your offer of £2.50. Let's call it a beer. What time are you free?
     
  27. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    hehe.. maybe in the next lifetime..:D

    yeah, just get yourself any Krone punchdown tool, they should only cost you a tenner or so.. :smashin:

    I'm probably preaching to the converted here too... but make sure you terminate to either T568A or T568B standard if you plan on using gigabit networking at any point in the future..
     
  28. rdhir

    rdhir
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Messages:
    471
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +8
    I read somewhere that T568B was preferred in home installs, at least I think I got that out of some literature from Leviton accessories (big US make of plugs, sockets etc. - think MK electrical over here). No I don't know why, I think the advice was use T568A if its already there, otherwise go for T568B in a new install.

    Cheers

    Rajiv
     
  29. The Dude

    The Dude
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,208
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Beverley, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +1,499
    T568B is the more popular definitely, most pre-made cables will come terminated to 568B. I'd always use 568B too...

    although they're as good as each other TBH, as long as you do the same at both ends...! :rotfl:

    568A - Green wires in 1&2, Orange in 3&6
    568B - Orange wires in 1&2, Green in 3&6


    For some unknown and scary reason, a lot of sparkys terminate Cat5 in pairs, ie orange blue green brown.... cue muchos head scratching when it comes to your gigabit switch not working... :rolleyes:
     
  30. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,592
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,022
    Would this have done (£1.80 inc) or do I need better?

    You're certainly not. I've never done any networking or cabling before. I assumed it made no difference, as long as they were the same each end - I didn't know there were 2 (or more) standards to choose from. How can it make a difference if you go gigabit in the future?
     

Share This Page

Loading...