Patch Cables FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Tom VanDyke posted 04 May 2007
 Patch Cables
If you wire a building with Cat 6 cable and punch down to a Cat 6 patch panel, should you use Cat 6 patch cables to connect to your switch? I am getting told conflicting theories on this. Thank you.
 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 09 Jun 2007
Dear Tom,

There should not be any conflicting points of view on this. It is just common sense - the least performing link defines the overall performance of the chain. If you use CAT5E patch cable with CAT6 horizontal cable, you will get CAT5E performance. if you use CAT6A (Augmented) patch cable with CAT6 (Standard) horizontal cable, you will get CAT6 (Standard) performance.

That said, however, if your quickest application is still Gigabit Ethernet, it works just fine over CAT5E and so using CAT5E patch cords will not disrupt your application. The cabling will fail to certify with a specialized testing instrument but your network will not notice any difference.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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