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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

By California Dead Head ·
We are moving. I know it sucks. We have the oportunity to wire the new building with Cat 6. I can also upgrade to GB switches and NIC's in the servers. I have been doing some reading and am a little confused.

Cat 5e runs at 100 mhz. Cat 6 at200 mhz.
I have 100 mb NIC cards and switches.

How does a mb compare to a mhz?

If I go with GB NIC cards and switches is the cat 5e at 100 mhz retarding my speed?

If I go with GB NIC's .... and Cat 6 at 200 mhz am I still retarding my speed?

Do I need special medium between a GB NIC and GB Switch or is cat 5e at 100 mhz way faster than GB's/sec???

Explain this stuff to me? How does a Mhz relate to GB's etc..............

Thanks in advance.

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

by TheChas In reply to Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB ...

Wire and cable are analog devices.
Thus, the wire industry rates cable based on the highest frequency the cable can reliably handle (bandwidth).

So, yes CAT5e at 100MHz will be slower than CAT6 at 200MHz. You have 1/2 the bandwidth with the CAT5 as compared to the CAT6.

Frequency (MHz) is the number of cycles per second for the waveform.
Generally, a cycle runs from
0 volts to the high level,
back down to 0 volts,
down to a negative level, (equal to the high level)
back up to 0 volts.

The data rate (MB, GB) depends on how the signal is modulated onto the carrier signal.

I have not researched GB Ethernet, so i cannot tell you how much degradation you will get with the CAT5 cable.

I would go ahead and run CAT6.
Lookat it this way, even if CAT5e will do the job now, do you want to replace the wire with CAT6 in a year or 2?

Chas

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

by Oldefar In reply to Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB ...

Here is a link to some analysis down by DSS. http://tinyurl.com/d0ib

The quick answer is Cat 5 will support GB ethernet. You gain some distance using fiber. However, GB ethernet is not intended as an end user solution, but rather as a server farm solution.

Performance for the user has several elements. First is the workstation performance (CPU, memory, protocol stack), next is the bandwidth, next is the distance, next is latency of comm devices if present, next are the servers (CPU, memory, protocol stack), and finally the application. In a LAN, bandwidth, distance, and latency is typically less that 10 percent of total task time, so any gains in communications will only impact that 10 percent. In effect, double your performance in LAN comm and get a 5 percent total improvement.

Your profile indicates an NT and earlier environment. Spend those funds to look at desktop enhancements, not more bandwidth.

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB ...

For most environments the difference is irrelevant, 1GB and better is only really useful for high transfer areas and for backbones. The cost difference between Cat6 and Cat5 does not give you a worthwhile return for the majority of local area networks, but there is no cost difference between Cat5 and Cat5e in most areas and Cat5e will also allow you the 1GB if needed.

Nowdays most new installs use Cat5e for their PC to switch/router links and then fibre or Cat6 as the backbone between switches/routers in a major network. In small networks Cat5e all the way is usually sufficient.

Remember to upgrade to Cat6 will require new switches, routers, and network cards. Using Cat5e will allow you to use existing ethernet hardware (as it is fully compatible with Cat5) and then just have a 1GB switch to connect the segments if you feel it is needed.

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Cat 5e, Cat 6, GB Nic, GB Switches

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