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Thread: Cat6/cat 6e

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Cat6/cat 6e

    Is there a difference between Cat6 and Cat 6e? Customer is specifying "e" and the supply house I go to is telling me they are the same. I know there is a difference between riser and plenum rated, but what about performance? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    From what little I know there was a Cat5 and cat5e but I don't know of a cat6e. There is also a cat6a I just learned from my google. Someone is bound to chime in soon.

    Cat5e was cat5 cable enhanced

    Here is the difference between them

    [Q] What's the difference between CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable?
    [A] CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable have several differences, the most important are as follows:

    • Network support - CAT 5 cable will support 10/100 Ethernet. That is, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. CAT 5e cable will support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. CAT 5e Cable is completely backwards compatible, and can be used in any application in which you would normally use CAT 5 cable.
    • Less cross talk - Cross talk is the electrical interference that results when one wire's signal effects another wire's signal. CAT 5e cable has been improved over CAT 5 cable in this respect, and cross talk has been greatly reduced.
    • Bandwidth - This is directly related to network support, in the sense that the bandwidth is the information-carrying capacity of a system. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity in a given period of time. CAT 5e cable is rated at 350 megahertz, and it is this increased bandwidth (compared to CAT 5 cable) that allows it to support Gigabit Ethernet.

    If you are unsure whether to order CAT 5 OR CAT 5e, we recommend ordering CAT 5e. CAT 5e is completely backwards compatible and we do not charge any additional amount for it. The improvements made in CAT 5e over the original CAT 5 Cable are astonishing, so it will always be the right choice between the two.
    CAT 5 Cable will still be sufficient for many applications. In fact, there are still companies operating today that have special requirements for CAT 5. These will be the exceptions of course, because almost all new installations are being done with CAT 5e. The improved signal carrying capacity of the cable is the primary reason.
    CAT 5e Cable also has improved durability, due to improvements in the quality and thickness of the PVC protective jacket. It is more than suitable for most data cabling requirements.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    From what I've read, twisted-pair will be replaced by fiber-optic (or something else) before CAT6 and above will ever become necessary.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    I don't know of a cat6e.
    I have both cat6 and 6e on my kitchen counter as we speak. I can't tell you the difference, but I can tell you I'm too old to get connectors on them.:grin:

  5. #5
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    Seems there would be some difference in performance, but really can't get a definitive answer anywhere.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris kennedy View Post
    I have both cat6 and 6e on my kitchen counter as we speak. I can't tell you the difference, but I can tell you I'm too old to get connectors on them.:grin:
    Interesting because I thought I used Cat 6e but when I did a search at least 3 places said cat 6e does not exist. :-? Perhaps they were old websites because it exists-- just saw it on amazon.

    I assume the "e" means enhanced--faster etc. I guess.
    Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 05-18-10 at 08:26 AM.

  7. #7
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    Cat 3: 16MHz or 10Mbits/s
    Cat 5e: 100MHz, 100Mbits/s, 1000Base-T
    Cat 6: 250MHz
    Cat 6a: 500MHz or 10GBase-T
    Cat 7: 600MHz
    Cat 7a: 1000MHz

    Added: Note that Cat's 6 and 7 have 'a' as a suffix instead of 'e'.
    Last edited by LarryFine; 05-18-10 at 12:33 PM.
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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