Why and When To Use Cat5e Plenum Pure Copper Cable

  • Last modified: February 26, 2024

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cat5e Cable

The first ever cable that is in top demand regarding networking is “Cat5E Plenum Pure Copper Cable”. The reality check is the cable has a Pure copper conductor inside the cable, its gigabit speed, improved bandwidth, and the last cost-effective choice for many consumers. But apart from this cat5e plenum ethernet cable can still be used for residential and commercial purposes to cater to the smallest to largest needs of networking. 

After the outdated version of Cat5, Cat5E ethernet cable has been hyped so much due to its improved specs, and also the bare copper marked this cable a network winner for SMEs and for house connections. In this blog, you will get familiar with the installation guide about cat5e plenum cable and how to identify the plenum-rated cable. Moreover, what are the length specs of the cable to install? Also, Cat5e wiring standards why they are color-coded? To get a clear understanding go through this informative guide. 

Internal Structure And Speed

It’s not wrong that every ethernet cable has 8 wires made of bare copper or pure copper conductors but besides this information why they are twisted and does twisting help in transmitting signals to the longer runs? 

Just cut open the jacket of Cat5e bare copper cable and you will see 4 twisted pairs of different colors. These colors identify the pairing of twisted pairs together and also help in terminating the cable with the RJ45 connector. The twisted pair of Cat5e plenum ethernet cables helps in reducing the outside resistance known as crosstalk — Signal Overlapping. Also, the UTP cat5e bare copper cable lowers the effect of EMI and RFI to streamline the data transmission. The bare copper conductor in Cat5e cable brings joy to the data transfer rate and improves the performance of the network. 

Furthermore, the cat5e cable bears 24 AWG (American Wire Gauge) which indicates the thickness of the wires inside the cable. AWG is the standard for measuring ethernet conductor diameters. The impact of 24 AWG in Cat5e ethernet cable suggests lower resistance (Less Signal Loss, Better Performance), higher power handling (PoE), and more durability. The 24 AWG diameter of Cat5e increases its bandwidth with the previous version which is a maximum of 350 MHz and also offers gigabit speed. 

What Distance Is Cat5e Cable Good For?

For every ethernet cable, there are possible two length specifications shorter and longer. Still, it is typically the choice of the user to install the cable at a longer length or less than 55 meters. In the case of Cat5 e ethernet cable, the cable shows better performance when installed at shorter lengths less than 55 meters and the maximum speed it delivers is 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps, whereas, at longer lengths of 100 meters (328ft) the maximum speed is 100 Mbps. 

So it means the Cat5 e bare copper cable can only be used less than 100 meters or with a patch cord 90 meters bulk length or 10 meters patch cable. The reason is that if you increase the length of the cable the cable becomes more susceptible to alien crosstalk (AXT) and near-end crosstalk (NEXT). Make sure you use the cable below 328ft or with patch cables. Sometimes you might neglect the length factor and try to find the issue of slow speed within the cable. 

Must Read: Cat5e Cable – Safe Bend Radius, Data Transfer Speeds & Testing Explained

Where To Install Cat5e Plenum Cable?

The speed is the major factor but the installation location also deviates the attraction of the user to install the cable so it may remain undamaged. For plenum, we use CMP for your ease and it’s printed on the cable. The CMP means “Communication Multipurpose Plenum” and is rated as an FEP material jacket to show maximum properties against fire and temperature resistance. 

Fluorinated Ethylene Polymers in plenum jackets make it rigid to stand against flames and also protect the cable’s conductors from damage. Another key feature of Cat5e Plenum Cable is its LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogens) which limits the emission of non-toxic smoke. 

Why and When To Use Cat5e Plenum Pure Copper Cable

The cat5e plenum cable is a cost-effective way to get access to gigabit speed and can also be used in residential applications and commercial setups to cater to networking needs at home or within the office. For hardcore gamers who used to play online games, data centers, data closets, and SMEs who have a small need for networking. 

What Are the Cat5e Wiring Standards?

The first step in Cat 5e wiring is to understand the terminology of the 8 separated conductors that have a specific color code to identify the Cat 5e wiring while terminating. The wires are color-coded as 

  • Green/White-Green
  • Orange/White-Orange
  • Blue/White-Blue
  • Brown/White-Brown

The need for this color will allow you to terminate the Cat5e wires with RJ45 connectors. Similarly, there are two types of Cat5e wiring termination process, one is through T568A and the other is T568B, T568B is the standard for Cat5e wiring. You can also find the difference between these two wiring standards. Ideally, T568B is the wiring standard for the latest ethernet cables and equipment. For the best understanding look at the cat5e wiring diagram for termination explaining the T568A and T568B schemes. 

Why and When To Use Cat5e Plenum Pure Copper Cable

What is the Difference Between Cat5 and Cat5e Cable?

No doubt Cat5 was the first cable to provide 100 Mbps speed with 100 MHz bandwidth. The internal structure of the cable also reduces crosstalk and fights with EMI for smooth data transfer. But there is a need for the upgrade model as the internet speed was the demand for the high-speed cables. 

Cat5 cable was known for 10/100 Mbps speed specs which is not needed in this era where you are dealing with the gigabit speed. In the year 2001, the cat5 was replaced with the Enhanced Category 5 cable (Cat5E). The cable shows improved bandwidth and the gigabit speed makes this cable suitable for fast data networking applications. The major difference between cat5 and cat5e is the speed and the bandwidth, also cat5e is good for PoE applications sending bulk data and power simultaneously. 

Is Cat5e Good For Gaming?

Nonetheless, ethernet cables are always bought as a reason for running business operations smoothly and for house connections, the education sector, healthcare centers (Hospitals), etc.

But at home, there is also a reason to plug it into your smart TV or to get it attached to your gaming console. It is said that you can enjoy the pleasing moment while gaming with the Cat5e Pure copper cable and therefore this cable is the best source to buy for gaming. The gigabit speed is more than enough to provide you lag-free gaming experience. 

Why and When To Use Cat5e Plenum Pure Copper Cable

With the new gaming consoles, speed should be the same unless you are playing UHD-resolution games. Still, it will support the gaming console and give you a vivid experience when you want online access to the game. 

Enhanced Category 5 Cable is the ultimate need for networking and it includes gaming consoles such as Xbox, PS4, and PS5. 

How Do I Know If My Cat5e Is Plenum Rated?

When you make plans to buy an ethernet cable for your home or office network, the first thing you need to remember is the speed specs you want for your network. Identifying plenum cable is so simple just read the title on the ethernet cable (Cat5e Pure Copper CMP 350 MHz UTP) here CMP is used as an acronym for plenum and UTP identifies Unshielded Twisted Pair. 

There is another easy way to know whether the Cat5e pure copper cable is plenum rated by asking the cable experts by explaining your location for installation. The Cat5e plenum cable can accommodate both horizontal and vertical locations but this indoor-rated jacket cannot be installed outdoors. The cat5e plenum pure copper cable installation temperature ranges from -10℃ 60℃ and is UV-resistant. 

Recommended: Things You Should Know About Cat5e Plenum Bare Copper Cable

What Is the Code For Plenum?

The code for plenum is not a numeric figure instead, the plenum is the space in the building with a maximum air supply that makes it more prone to catch fire and it includes air ducts, attics, raised floors, ventilation systems, HVAC systems of the buildings, and drop ceilings. Such places only need high fire resistance ethernet cables to be used for installation. 

The reason behind the plenum spaces is that if the cable catches fire it starts progressing along the floor and the toxic smoke may cause serious consequences. So all these standards set a code for plenum to use for horizontal and vertical spaces of the building. You can install Cat5e plenum pure copper cable in

  • Horizontal Shafts of the buildings
  • Vertical shafts of the buildings
  • Attics
  • Drop ceilings
  • Data centers
  • HVAC systems
  • Raised floors
  • Ventilation systems of the buildings

The code for plenum cable might affect your cable lifespan and it also caters to the longevity of your cable performance which means if you obey the code for a plenum-rated jacket your cable might work efficiently. 

Cat5e Plenum Pure Copper Cable Applications?

The speed associated with cat5e cable indicates the working of cable and also Fast Ethernet Applications which is the ultimate need for buying ethernet cable. Cat5e bare copper cable shows better performance regarding data transmission and there are few applications that you can run using Cat5e plenum Pure copper cable

  • 10/100/1000BASE-T the numeric figure shows the speed and T is for twisted pair cable
  • Audio/Video Streaming
  • PoE (Power over Internet)
  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
  • IoT devices (Internet of Things)
  • ATM 155 Mbps
  • Home theaters and recording studios
  • Gaming consoles

Do not get confused with the terminology of 100BASE-T it only indicates the speed ratings that cat5e cable is capable of. Similarly, the Cat5e plenum ethernet cable is an ideal solution for your networking needs. All you have to do is follow the instructions regarding the length of the cable, speed requirements, location, and network demands. Most consumers buy this cable to cater to temporary needs of networking but in reality, the cat5e works for your network, if you want to upgrade the speed then things go differently. 

Final Verdict

Cat5e bare copper cable, the unsung hero in the ethernet category, is a cost-effective networking solution. Using bare copper cable will automatically enhance your working experience, on the other hand, the jacket plenum (CMP) adds additional protection to the cable structure and makes it less vulnerable. 

The selection of wired cables is tough but not impossible so if you are still stuck in deciding the category I suggest you start with this first-gigabit ethernet cable “Cat5E Plenum Bare Copper Cable”. If you want speed here it is. Happy Networking!

Specification Cat5e Cat6 Cat6a
Cable Jacket Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum & Riser
Wire Gauge 24-AWG 23-AWG 23-AWG Highly Twisted
Frequencies 350 MHZ 550 MHZ 750 MHZ
Installation Temp 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C
Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs
Package Easy Pull Box Easy Pull Box Wood Spool
Colors Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow
Max Sterling

Max Sterling, our Cat5e Ethernet maestro, distills networking complexities into accessible insights. With years of expertise, his blogs ensure your wired connections are as robust as they are reliable.

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