Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm seriously considering buying 300 feet of Cat6 cable, trimming it, and selling it for cheap at my college. Since the cable itself is Cat6, is it worth it to pay $20 more for a pack of 100 Cat6 connectors than for 100 Cat5E connectors?

I assume since the basic design for the connector stays the same, there only a few micrometers more worth of gold on the connector, and the majority of the time is spent along the cable, that it's not, but I would like your input.

share|improve this question
I'd say you won't even notice the difference, since the cable is what's important here. – user3463 Nov 23 '10 at 2:54
probably won't notice the difference, but the trimming will be more complicated...I personally can trim cable REALLY fast by splitting the rubber coating and ripping instead of making perfect cuts in metal medium. – RobotHumans Nov 23 '10 at 3:05
Also, since you're going to be selling "for cheap" anyway, why bother if it'll be "good enough" with CAT5 connectors? – user3463 Nov 23 '10 at 3:15
The cable and connectors will be good. I didn't mean cheap as in shoddy, just cheap as in much less than Walmart and our bookstore. – Jazzy Josh Nov 23 '10 at 3:22
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Cat 5E v. Cat 6 connectors will make a negligible difference. The math suggests that you are building 6 foot cables (72 inches). The metal conductors in the connectors are not twisted, so there is some mild signal degradation no matter what. This will occur over about 3/4", or 1% of the overall signal path.

What really makes a difference is a good strong crimp to bind the 8 strands to the metal of the connectors. Chances are, that you will find that the process variation in crimping vary so much, that any degradation will be overwhelmed by the spread of attenuation/crosstalk between your best and your worst construction. In other words, of some 1-3% of 100 crimps that are a bit weak, or even faulty, a 6E will make no difference.

Note, that the connectors will be even less of a factor if you are working with longer than 6 foot cables.

share|improve this answer

I've been told by a few people in reputable electronics stores that the ends aren't so much what makes a difference as the cable itself and the way it is stranded. Just don't by connectors that say Cat5 on them, just get one that is not labeled.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer, I upvoted you, but I think Rolnik's answer edges you out on the math. – Jazzy Josh Nov 23 '10 at 3:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .