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Cat-6, is it worth it?

By matrix86
Mar 16, 2010
  1. *EDIT: Thread is now closed. Thank you raybay and SNGX for your quick and simple answers. Exactly what I needed to know. Thread closed.
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    So i've been seriously considering upgrading my Ethernet card and start using the cat-6 cable...but is it really worth it for me?

    I'm currently using a Dell Dimension 3000, a Linksys WRT54G router, a Motorola modem, with a 1.5Mbps internet speed from AT&T (yeah, I went the cheap rout, i'm poor, lol). There are currently 4 computers connected to our internet connection (3 by wireless, 1 connected to the router via Ethernet cat-5).

    So with that in mind, would I really notice any difference going from my cat-5 to a cat-6 if I get a new card to support cat-6? (the current card is an integrated Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection) I just need to know if it's worth it before buying a card and 2 cat-6 cables (one to run from the modem to the router and the other to run from the router to my desktop).

    Thanks!
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    In big buildings, elevator shafts, roof tops, and complex equipment with many connectors, yes it is worth it... But it doesn't make any difference at all in a small office or your home.

    It is somewhat more reliable as it ages... everything depends on how well the connectors are stamped on.
     
  3. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 812   +26

    Cool, thanks. So would cat-5e even be worth the upgrade? I doubt it but it never hurts to ask. And would I need to buy a new card or would my current one still work?

    I meant to ask this in my original post, sorry.
     
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,673   +1,874

  5. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 812   +26

    Believe me, you didn't have to link me to newegg. It's the ONLY place I shop for electronics and hardware, lol. Although i'll only need 2 cables (if the upgrade will make difference), so i'll probably actually go by an actual, physical store (with Best Buy being last on my list...most things are WAY to overpriced for my taste). But either way, i'm not buying anything until I know it's worth it.
     
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,673   +1,874

    Dude, Microcenter is a bust for this type of thing also. It's where they make their money after selling 1-3 530s under cost($89.95 this month). Just get together a decent small parts order and go for it. I usually order cables, case fans and feet, and maybe a DVD burner or tuner together. The shipping hurts, but I can generally still sit down afterwards.

    I sometimes have doubts whether similar cables are specificationed by testing, and not by manufacture. Sort of the duck test, if it walks like CAT-6, Quacks like CAT 6, etc, then it is CAT-6. There is more BS in that sector of the electronics market than any other. In fact, Monster Cable has built an empire out of creating a perceived need where one doesn't actually exist.
     
  7. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 812   +26

    A.) I'm not buying stuff I don't need just to get a discount on 2 cables that will cost me only a few bucks at the store.

    B.) If you don't have an answer to my original questions, please don't post. Thank you.
     
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,673   +1,874

    I actually did answer your question. I think most CAT-5 cables will meet CAT-6 spec. At this point there are probably very few CAT-5 cables around, except as old stock.

    If it doesn't really make sense to argue over something as trivial as, " 2 cables that will cost me only a few bucks at the store", then perhaps you should just shut up and buy them, without a lot of corroboration, soul searching, and moral support.

    If it's really that big a drama, and you have to agonize over being absolutely certain a couple of cables will change your computing world, maybe you should see if your neighborhood community college has a survey course in consumerism.

    Jeez, I bought the parts for a whole computer recently, without enlisting the help of a support group.

    Opps, was I not supposed to say that?
     
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Your router is only 10/100 as opposed to 10/100/1000, so absolutely no need for 6 or 5e over 5.
     
  10. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 812   +26

    Dude, I came here asking if I would notice any speed difference between the 3 different type of cables. I wasn't "soul searching" as you put it. I asked a simple question that required either a "yes" or a "no."

    And just because I don't want to buy in bulk to buy $7 worth a cable, you think I should take a course in consumerism? REALLY?!

    "Jeez, I bought the parts for a whole computer recently, without enlisting the help of a support group."
    I'm not here for a friggin support group, i'm here for technical advice on whether or not it's smart to upgrade parts since I clearly know nothing about cable. You're turning this into something it's not. I'm just looking for a simple "yes it'll help to upgrade" or a "no it won't help to upgrade."

    Thank you raybay and SNGX for your answers. Exactly what I needed to know. Thread closed.
     
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