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. 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? 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.

  • 2
    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 ;)) 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?". May 10 '13 at 6:21

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