Gamers know the importance of a super fast connection, so we don’t have to underline that having the right gadgets can be vital to your vitals in an online game.
Choosing a gaming router, to buying the best gaming gadgets makes a huge difference to your gaming experience, but one which will really boost your game is buying the best Ethernet cable for gaming (you’ll end up deciding between Cat5 vs Cat6 vs Cat7).
Anyone who games knows that being wired is the best way to game, to get uninterrupted connectivity, with no drops, lower latency issues, faster speeds and more.
Who Can Benefit From an Ethernet Cable?
People who are looking to get faster speeds than their wireless connection can allow, to better data transfers, better overall performance can simply get hardwired with Cat5, Cat6 or Cat7 Ethernet cables.
What are the Different Types of Ethernet Cables?
There are different types which specifically perform given tasks and Ethernet cables are manufactured in two forms – solid and stranded.
- Solid: These are preferred when you want better performance and are popularly used in business networks.
- Stranded: They are sturdier and can withstand wear and tear – making them a durable and better option for those who constantly are on the move or for home networks.
To simply break it down, there are Cat5 vs Cat6 vs Cat7 cables which our BlueGadgetTooth team will scrutinize to check which is the better option for your gaming needs and why.
What to Look For in an Ethernet Cable For Gaming
If you’re on the hunt for the best Ethernet Cable for gaming, you’ll probably come across a variety of them which will range from the older Cat5 to the newest and fastest cable on the block – the Cat7.
As the cable you choose could differ in speeds (important for split second gaming actions), cable length, frequency and noise resistance. But not to worry, even a Cat5 can enable gigabit speeds, so you’ll still be in good hands if that’s all you can get your hands on.
Keep these points in mind when selecting the best Ethernet cable for gaming:
Ethernet Gaming Cable length:
Important when considering how far your laptop or gaming device is located. It is better to err on the side of caution when buying your cable, so but a longer one to avoid the headache and heartache when you find out that it’s too short after setting up everything for an epic gaming weekend. But don’t shoot over 100 meters in length, it may not be too optimal for your gaming experience as even though your speed won’t be reduced, but you may face more data packet loss.
Remember, your gaming network is only as good as your weakest link. If you buy a superfast Ethernet cable (which are all backwards compatible btw), you’ll still be stuck with the speeds you pay for. If your ISP delivers a speed of 50Mbps, don’t expect that speed to go up to Gigabit speeds just because it is a gigabit Ethernet cable. Also, if you are using Cat6 vs Cat7, you have to keep in mind that if there are other Ethernet cables like Cat5 being used, they will slow down the performance. However, you will enjoy faster LAN speeds with better Ethernet cables.
Your ports control the speed, so if you hook up a Cat7 cable to a port that runs 100m, you’ll only get that speed.
Best Ethernet Cable For Gaming (Cat6 vs Cat7)
Understanding Ethernet Types – Cat5 vs Cat6 vs Cat7
Ethernet is the wired lifeline of the internet and many ISPs are quite familiar with Cat5e and Cat6 cables – which are most commonly used with RJ45 connectors. But Ethernet, as a term on its own, encompasses a broad spectrum of twisted pair & fiber cables that constantly evolve in different standards for our use.
Each different Ethernet standard or category represents faster bandwidth speeds, with improvements on noise cancellation.
Different Generations Of Ethernet Categories
You may not notice the subtle differences in cables with the naked eye, but each new generation of cables has tighter twists in the copper pairs, with the older generations becoming obsolete as newer generations of Ethernet categories are released.
Cat3 (Category 3)
One of the earliest generations of Ethernet, it could support a max frequency of 16MHz which was most commonly used for 10BASE-T networks, alarm system installations and two lines telephone systems. They usually have copper pairs ranging from 2, 3 and 4.
Cat5 (Category 5)
There may be some instances where Cat5 cables are used, but it has been rendered as obsolete, being replaced by the popular Cat5e cable. The Cat5 cable brought 10/100 Mbps Ethernet over a distance of 100 meters – which heralded the era of Fast internet to most homes.
Cat5e (Category 5e)
The ‘E’ in Cat5e signifies ‘enhanced’ and follows a stricter IEEE standard. This version of the Cat5 cable reduces interference from adjacent wires – which is a lower noise version. Admittedly, when you look at a Cat5 or a Cat5e cable, they look pretty much the same. However, Cat5e cables have 1.5 – 2 twists / cm.
Cat5e cables are the preferred type of cabling due to its budget friendly cost, while providing Gigabit speeds. The previous Cat3 cable used 2 data pairs and the Cat5e uses 4 data pairs and this type of cabling supports speeds up to 1000Mbps. This type is great for both commercial as well as residential spaces due to its flexibility in small spaces.
Cat 6 (Category 6)
More tightly twisted than its predecessor, a Cat6 cable has 2 or more twists per cm (although this differs from manufacturer to manufacturer). Cat6 cables support speeds up to 10Gbps and frequencies up to 250MHz, but their thicker covering helps protect from NEXT and AXT. However, this thicker cover only transmits 10Gbps speeds over 37 – 55 meters instead of the standard 100 meters.
Admittedly, Cat6 and Cat6a cables deliver better performance rates, but theCat5e cable is still the preferred favourite due to its cost effective pricing while providing Gigabit speeds.
Cat6a (Category 6a)
Supporting 10Gbps like the Cat6 cable, the Cat6a cable can support bandwidth frequencies reaching up to 500MHz, which is double of what the Cat6 cable supports. Unlike the Cat6 able, this type of cabling can transmit 10Gbps speeds at 100 meters instead of the 37 meters of its predecessor.
It also has a tougher cover, which helps in protecting against AXT (Alien Crosstalk) and improves the SNR (signal to noise ratio). This same tougher covering also makes the Cat6a cable less flexible than its predecessors, making it ideal for industrial spaces.
Cat 7 (Category 7)
This type of cabling is still relatively new and has not been approved as yet to replace Cat5e cables for telecommunications as the new standard. It does transmit up to 100 Gb at a distance of 15 meters, but all these results are in lab testing environments. However, it can definitely support 10Gbps and can support frequencies up to 600MHz.
What makes the Cat7 cable different is its extensive shielding on both the cable cover as well as the individual pairs within. This substantial shielding needs to be grounded and a special GigaGate45 (GG45) connector is needed to really utilise the higher performance features.
The Cat7 cable is better suited for large enterprise networks and data centers. It should be noted that the Cat6a cable can pretty do whatever the Cat7 cable can, but is available at a cheaper price point, making the Cat6a preferable over the Cat7.
Cat 8 (Category 8)
This type of cabling is still in the testing stages and according to sources; it will be able to support 25GB and 40Gb Ethernet with awesome faster transmission rates.
In conclusion, you would be future proofing your home when it comes to Cat7, and that’s the way to go for being on top of things, especially when it comes to gaming. But as of now, we recommend the budget friendly, Cat6 cable that is still future proofing your home, without having to break your bank.
Best Ethernet Cable For Gaming Tested
1. Vandesail CAT7 6.5 feet cable
Best Cat7 Ethernet Cable for Gaming
Sure, you’ve invested in the best gaming devices money can buy, but your cable is your weak link? Vandesail’s Cat7 cable has taken the wired world by storm. When we first tested the Cat7 cable from Vandesail, we were honestly just relieved that we were replacing the old bulky cables we had which took up more space than we actually wanted.
These cables are perfect if you want excellent performance. We connected our router to our gaming devices and we noticed no packet losses and no deterioration in signal strength! This is exactly what we needed to boost our gaming experience, and once we had these all installed, it was a breeze being the top scorer in our team, leaving everyone else behind in the dust.
As the cables were shorter, they provided better performance, rather than getting a 100 meter one. Don’t get us wrong, the long cables are still great, but the shorter they are, the more optimum performance they deliver. Also, this meant, less cables to trip over. As they have shielded connectors, EMI/ RFI interference doesn’t get through to provide optimal transfers of data.
2. Mediabridge Ethernet Cable 100 feet cable
Best Ethernet Cable For Gaming (Editor’s Choice)
When it comes to getting the best buy, there is nothing better than the Mediabridge Ethernet Cable. This is Cat 6 and is backwards compatible and not only that; it is also 100 feet long. That gives you more than enough cable length to reach your gaming devices or electronic gadgets that you want hard wired to your modem/router.
Because of the length, we were able to easily connect and set up a larger networking hub so that our gaming devices could all be connected. Mediabridge is a brand that is synonymous with quality, and you can tell that the quality and make of the cables are superior to other market brands. Our space does have a great wireless router and APs installed all over the place for great connectivity, but honestly, nothing beasts being hard wired.
This may be just a small detail that may seem inconsequential, but the Velcro tie strips included in the package are just so useful when it comes to rolling up the excess cable length or even when putting it away if you’re travelling. When it comes to performance, it delivers. No wonder this is our Editor’s pick for the best Ethernet cable for gaming!
3. Cable Matters 160021 5 feet cable
You know you’ll be needing Ethernet cables when you’re planning to have a full on online gaming weekend with your buddies. But why settle for a single colour when you can have 5? These are all little details that can add a bit of colour to your room. Sometimes, it is the little details that matter, but in this case, it is both the little details as well as the inner details that make it count.
These 5 feet cables were perfect to get our devices connected, without having to deal with coils of cables lying around, waiting to trip an unsuspecting someone. The convenient length and affordable price make it a great deal; the fact that it supports Cat6 protocols makes it better. Colour coding helps with organizing your cables as well – at least now it’s easy to know which cable goes where.
The cables are easy to roll up and are flexible enough to place around sharp corners and the build quality is great.
4. Vandesail CAT7 10 feet cables
This takes being Gigabit connected to a next level of classy. A white body and a gold coloured plug is quite a startling color combination. Being a CAT7 cable which has a length of 10 feet also makes it convenient for usage without worrying about oodles of cables lying around, while you enjoy the super fast performance it delivers.
This is an excellent cable if you need to take one with you if you’re travelling somewhere and want to be gigabit Ethernet wired. It rolls flat into a convenient size which makes it easy to travel with, unlike others which will have a rounded surface, taking more space than neccessary.
The BlueGadgetTooth team had no electronic problems with this cable, unlike older Ethernet cables we had tested out a while back. You can tell that they are good quality and we know that Cat7 cables may be overkill for the average home, but with gigabit speeds being made available in many homes all over the country, it makes sense to be prepared for what is coming.
5. Jadaol Cat6 14 feet Cable
It offers cable performance at 250MHz and it has a stranded cable structure. Having 100% copper as the conductor material offer better tensile strength as well as conductivity which makes a noticeable difference in overall flawless performance.
The cable clips attached with the package do come in handy when you’re setting up your space. We could connect it easily to our Xbox One, and PS4 and even better, instead of lying on the floor like a snaky mess, we could pin it to the wall easily, so it was hidden behind the screen. The flat surface does make it much easier to do so and also to roll up if you’re travelling.
It comes well packaged and is slightly thinner than other Cat6 cables we tested. 14 feet is the perfect length if you’re looking to get connected comfortably without having to sit eye to eye with your gaming devices. We could get connected easily and continued our cable testing well into the weekend – Ahem, all in the name of research!
Why Are Copper Wires Twisted
This type of wiring involves two conductors of a circuit to be twisted in order to reduce electromagnetic radiation, crosstalk Caand interference from adjacent wiring.
In a nutshell, two wires are used for differential signalling and this starts to falter when external noise sources cause interference. When two wires are placed side to side over long distances, like in telecommunication cables, this problem becomes exaggerated. Twisting the cables with unequal twist rates helps in keeping the benefits of the differential mode.
Shielded (FTP) vs Unshielded (UTP)
Both types may differ in terms of design as well as construction, but they both are created to deliver reliable connectivity in your electronic devices.
STP (Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable)
This type has a protective shield that helps to reduce noise and cross-talk. But how effective it is depends on the type of material used in the protective covering, the distance of the noise source from the shield and the grounding/ earthing practices.
UTP (Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable)
This type of cabling has no protective shielding to prevent noise interference but uses balancing and filtering techniques to achieve the same results. When manufactured and designed properly, a UTP cable has easier maintenance than a STP cable due to its stringent grounding requirements. This is cheaper, more flexible and lighter which makes this as a preferred wiring for high data rate applications.
Flat vs Round Cable
Round cables have been the preferred cable standard for industrial applications, but flat cables are currently a new solution to an old wiring problem.
Round cables have many layers of insulated covering which help to shield it from external noise sources and interference. This round shape also minimizes the heating that can occur in Ethernet cables due to constant friction. The external covers shield the wires from external elements and are commonly used in industrial environments. Round cables are more durable and easier to install in tight spaces.
Due to the shape and design, flat cables are the preferred choice for the military, aerospace and robotics industry as the flat shape provides better packaging efficiency, flexibility of usage, and better reduction of electronic noise and interference. Flat cables require higher maintenance than round cables, but are lighter due to the omission of fillers and other cables which are present in round Ethernet cables.
Getting your gaming consoles and gaming devices hard wired to your modem or router is the best way to go if you wish to reduce latency issues and overall performance problems. But you should also take a closer look at getting the best Ethernet cable for gaming (be it Cat5 vs Cat6 vs Cat7) for you. Don’t pick up anything off the shelf, go through our picks in this guide which could help steer you in the right direction.
As covered in one section, the length does matter and so does knowing how many devices you want to be playing with so you know how many ports are free on your router or modem. But if you’re looking to upgrade those as well, you should check out our recommendations for the best routers for gaming here. All in all, you can’t lose in the virtual world if you have the skill to do what it takes, while having the best Ethernet cable for gaming.