I’ve looked for this answer elsewhere, but I think this forum will finally provide an answer. For jacks, patch panels, and cable ends, does the category label make a difference? Is there any chance that terminating a Cat 6 cable on a patch panel labeled as Cat 5(a) or crimping a Cat 6 cable with ends labeled as Cat 5 will lower its throughput?
Connectors, punch-downs are all engineered to work together with the same electrical properties. The wires are of different diameters and have different twists per inch. Siemon makes plugs and jacks that are ideal for Cat 6 and 6a Z-MAX https://www.siemon.com/en/home/systems/copper/category6.
It will make a difference for the certification. The connection will only be rated according to the lowest rated component used. So if you use a CAT 6a cable and a CAT 5 jack on either end, it’s going to be a rated a CAT 5 line.
However, that doesn’t mean that the speeds listed in the CAT 5 specification is your actual upper limit. It is possible, for example, to get 10Gbe speeds with a CAT 5 line, there’s just no guarantee. NIC’s aren’t aware of what cable is used either.
Thank you, I’m more concerned about performance than official rating. I was asking out of curiosity because twist rate obviously has nothing to do with the connectors. I was wondering if there was anything actually different between jacks, patch panels, or cable ends with different Category labeling.
here is a link to a knowledge base post on Fluke’s site. Always good to stick to standards https://www.flukenetworks.com/knowledge-base/application-or-standards-articles-copper/1000base-t-over-category-5