Are they on topic? Should we make one big community wiki, about the different cat5(e)/6(a)/7?


Questions need to be formed such that a definitive answer can be provided and accepted. So, "what are the differences between CAT 5e and CAT 6?" would not be appropriate. However, I think if it was rephrased as "I have an existing CAT 5e cable plant and want to from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Do I need to upgrade to CAT 6?" then it would be acceptable (the answer would likely be something to the effect of "no, CAT 5e supports GigE because blah blah").

  • 2
    In other words, ask about specific problems you actually encounter in your day-to-day work. – Robert Cartaino May 8 '13 at 16:28

Yes, I think so.

The answer I would expect would NOT be a simple "5e support 100mb and 6 supports gig" (or whatever it is) -- such answers should be down-voted as "too simple."

I would expect an explicit explanation of frequency differences, bandwidth, testing, bend radiuses, mutual-inductance, cross-talk, emmitted EMF, etc. The differences between Cat 5, 5e and 6 are NOT AT ALL simple.

  • Another alternative it to make a wiki about EACH cable. Instead of the comparisons? – Frederik Spang May 9 '13 at 9:53

From the FAQ:

Remember, you get the site you build! Ask difficult, specific questions — the kind of questions pros and experts ask each other, not the kind of questions novices ask pros, because a site full of pros and experts will attract everybody, but a site full of novices rapidly becomes boring. No easy questions, no survey questions, no polls, no intro-level/basic questions, no unanswerable hypothetical questions.

In my opinion, questions like "Cat5e vs. Cat 6" falls into the following categories:

  • Easy question
  • Intro-level/basic question

Not what I would expect to get out of a "Network Engineering" expert community.

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    That sounds a little too selective. You would think a professional sysadmin would know what the different levels of RAID are, yet that question is referenced often. – rtf May 8 '13 at 14:31
  • +1 to @r.tanner.f , we should not limit this to the most specialized questions. (this might also drive the mods insane ;)) – Oluf Lorenzen May 8 '13 at 15:13
  • We could make a community wiki? One answer, per cable, just to keep it all centralized. This could be used as reference everytime we might get "What is the difference"? or "Which to use?". – Frederik Spang May 10 '13 at 6:21

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