Running gigabit over cat5e?

1,110 pts.
Tags:
CAT5
CAT5e
Ethernet
Ethernet connection
Gigabit ethernet
Gigabit network adapters
What happens if we run gigabit over cat5e? Will we get a connection? Is it reliable? What would be my max possible speed?
ASKED: November 1, 2010  9:02 PM
UPDATED: November 16, 2010  4:33 PM

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Yes you will get a connection. 1000baseT was based to run on Cat 5 cable but can not run at the gigabyte speeds. Cat5e can run at or very close to 1000baseT speeds. It is rated for 1000baseT networks and should operate just fine. If you wanted to the next step is Cat6 cable but I don’t think you would notice a speed difference between the two.

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  • Hitsquadcomputerservices
    The move from 10M bit/sec or 100M bit/sec Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet is frequently perceived as requiring a costly upgrade from copper cable to fiber-optic cable. However, that's not necessarily true. In most cases in which Fast Ethernet is run in an enterprise on copper, the existing Category 5 cable can also provide reliable support for Gigabit Ethernet. The IEEE 1000Base-T specification supports the use of Cat 5, or enhanced Cat 5 cable, for successful gigabit transmission. The jump from 100M bit/sec to gigabit over existing cable is accomplished by a number of signaling changes that take additional advantage of the cable already installed in most enterprise networks. Cat 5 cable is typically unshielded twisted pair, containing four twisted wire pairs. Fast Ethernet (100Base-T) and 10Base-T use only two of these pairs, leaving two pairs unused. Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T) uses all four pairs. Similar to full-duplex Fast Ethernet, 1000Base-T transmits and receives simultaneously. The difference is that 1000Base-T uses four transmit/receive pairs, each pair operating at 250M bit/sec. In some respects, running Gigabit Ethernet on Cat 5 cabling is easier than wiring for 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet. The 1000Base-T specification provides for the automatic negotiation of link characteristics, including automatic crossed cable correction. Automatic negotiation enables successful cable connections between 1000Base-T network interface cards (NIC), hubs, switches or other devices that may operate at half-duplex when the ports are initialized.
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  • NewnanIT
    [...] 7. Check out the in-depth answers Hitsquadcomputerservices and FrankTheTank gave to a user wondering about running gigabit over Cat5e. [...]
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  • Labnuke99
    One thing you have to remember is that your internet or WAN connection size is probably going to be a limiting factor in your environment. 1Gbps on internal networks is one thing but getting 1G WAN or internet connections is another.
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