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Cat 8 ethernet, don't fall for it.

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:05 pm
by v2k
Hello everyone,
Some HiFi shops now market Cat 8 ethernet cables as the one true solution to getting excellent audio when streaming.

Ethernet cables are made to different specifications which determine how fast the cable reliably can transmit data over a given distance, refered to as "CAT" followed by a number. Most cables these days are marked 5e (good for 1Gb/s over 100m), 6 (10Gb/s for 55m) or 6a (10GB/s for 100m) all of these are perfectly good for home use.

So what is the case for using Cat 8 cables then that has a whooping 40Gb/s maximum transfer rate? Well, apart from separating you from your hard earned there is none. How can I be sure of that, well all your home networking equipment uses 1GB/s interfaces (devices that use faster interfaces are expensive, a singe 10GB/s network card is about ten times the price of a five port switch) so using cables that can handle more data than that is pointless.

The sales person or some site might claim better noise insulation but if you have a so much noise in you home that it affects your network then getting a shielded cables (marked STP or S/UTP as opposed to UTP) for a little more than an unshielded cable will fix it for you.

Take care!

Edit: Spelling and phrasing.