For gamers speed is important. Many gamers will find that the wifi speeds in their home just can’t get the job done as well as a direct ethernet connection. What only the most dedicated gamers can tell you is that performance will also vary greatly depending on what ethernet cables you are using for your connection. Believe it or not, there are several different types of ethernet cable used in networks and they all have different specifications which make them uniquely better for some applications over others.
The right ethernet cable can provide uninterrupted gaming and strong downloads. However, choosing the right cable can be overly complicated. They can vary in make quality, material, speed, and length. We’re here to help make that process of finding the best cable for your needs that much easier. Here are the different qualities of cable that are on the market and the best options we have found.
Category of Ethernet Cable
Ethernet cables are manufactured into a handful of classifications which are determined by the type of construction and the cables abilities. The typical household cable in use as a general consumer option is either Cat 5 or Cat 5E. These are network connectivity cables capable of speeds up to 100mbps. While this option is a very capable and affordable cable, dedicated gamers who won’t settle for anything less than the fastest speeds are going to want the next highest option, Cat 6 and Cat 6A.
Cat 6 and 6A are cables which are for more well-performing than their predecessors. It is because of this that these network cables are used in more commercial settings. The Cat 6 cables are capable of speeds up to 10gbps! Furthermore, Cat 5E is rated up to 350MHz while Cat 6 can work up to 550MHz. Theoretically, this type of cable should provide lightning fast downloads and an entirely lag-free game-play.
The length of Ethernet cables is something which not only needs to be considered for practicality reasons in terms of your personal space requirements but for quality purposes as well. The length of an ethernet cord is directly related to the end resulting signal strength. The further the data is forced to travel along the wire, the lower the quality gets as transfer rates of data are reduced by the foot. This is why you should always instruct your cable provider to install the modem as close to your PC as possible.
In either case, it is highly recommended that gamers interested in optimizing their network quality measure the distance between devices within their individual network so that when purchasing the right ethernet cable, the shortest cable possible to do the job can be acquired.
Another one of the most necessary things to consider for gamers who are looking to upgrade ethernet cables is device compatibility. While ethernet cables inherently feature a “universal” head jack format, the truth is that the compatibility varies by manufacturer. Whenever possible, you should always seek original manufacturer equipment or cables marked with the make of the brand which happens to have manufactured the female jacks used in your gaming systems. That way there can be no doubt as to the total connectivity between male and female ends of the Ethernet network.
Upgrading to Cat 6
The most dedicated gamers are not overly fond of lag times or interruptions which stall game play or game downloads. That is why it is important to consider a number of things when upgrading to a higher class of cable as, if not done correctly, it could make up a complete waste of time and money. The thing is, while Cat 6 is significantly faster than Cat 5, that distinction means nothing when there is a Cat 5 elsewhere on the network.
Your Wi-Fi network can only operate as fast as its slowest member and that goes for cables as well. If you have a brand new, high fidelity Cat 6A cable running to your PS4 but also have Cat 5E cables running to other devices, your Cat 6A cord is going to redound to the speed of the other cables. This, unfortunately, means that if you want a serious upgrade to your ethernet quality, you simply have to upgrade every cable to be in the same category.
If you are using a DSL modem, you’ll want to go through the manual to determine whether or not you need to be connecting devices to it via an Ethernet Crossover Cable. Some devices are designed to have this extra step in their specifications and every model is different. This is when it becomes essential to make sure your ethernet and patch cable choices have RJ45 male jacks. Most are gold plated. This feature simply allows for universal connectivity among any make of ethernet cable. Also, in the event that this set up is necessary, they come in a large inventory of colors for easy differentiation between crossover cables and patch cables
The Best Ethernet Cables for Gaming
Now that we’ve gone over what type of cables there are on the market and why being meticulous about a cable’s specifications is of paramount importance to heavy gamers, we can take a look at what are the best performing cables available.
The Best Cat 5E Cable: Mediabridge RJ45 Cat 5E
- Compatible with Any Ethernet Device
- 10x The Speed of Basic Cat6 Cables
- Safe for In-Wall Install
- Premium Construction that Last long
- Supports Cat6/Cat5e/Cat5
Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5
The Mediabridge RJ45 is a very impressive cord with gold-plated connectors that provide a nice aesthetic and stronger and faster data transfer. This cable is capable of data transmission up to a very strong 1000Mbps and it features the universal RJ45 connectors which allow this Ethernet cable to communicate with almost any device efficiently. In addition to being universal, the ends of this cord are actually quite robust and can stand up to a fair amount of abuse without damage. Despite this strong quality, the connectors are very accessible and easy to connect to female jacks without a struggle.
The outer coating on this model is the typical PVC material; however, it is surprisingly flexible compared to other models with the same plastic outer coatings. Manipulating this cable around desk legs and wall moldings were particularly easy and never kinked or twisted. Perhaps that flexibility can be viewed as a weakness for users who are enacting an excessive amount of tugging or manipulation upon this cable; however, I can’t see this being a downside in most contexts.
For the very reasonable price point of this cable, it performs remarkably well without ever encountering any form of network error or lag which is ideal for gamers. Neither streaming nor downloading sizable files ever hit a wall of the speed of data transfer.
The Best Cat 6A Cable: Right AV Cat 6A
- Category 6 Network (Ethernet) Cable
- Color: Blue
- Length: 50 feet
- Bulk Package
Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5
Now, if you are in the market for upgrading your system to Cat6, look no further than the RightAV 50ft cable. The RightAV features male to male connectivity and a snag-free guard of thick plastic around the connector for safety. The outer coating of this model is PVC and a fair bit stiffer than the previous entry. Once this cord gets manipulated into shape, it tends to stay that way. That feature can pose an inconvenience to particularly picky consumers; however, given the price tag and strong performance of this cable, we’d give that a pass. It certainly won’t be torn easily.
The marketing for this cable boasts that the connectors are 50-micron gold plated for the fastest and clearest transmission. Download speeds are lightning fast and this cable exhibited no lags or network errors. The RightAV is capable of supporting up to 1gb. This is definitely the cable for gamers who are frustrated with slow Wi-Fi speeds and laggy inconsistencies in their gaming performance. At 50ft, this model is a very long, very powerful performer for an affordable price.
Well, I hope we have cleared up some of the complicated technicalities of the Ethernet game for all of you who are looking to beef up your gaming systems. Finding the right cable can be tough, especially considering the variety of specifications available and diverse needs. When making the switch, remember to consider Ethernet cable length, category, connectivity, and context. Before you choose one of the cables on this list, examine your equipment and maybe read the manuals to determine which is most applicable to your unique situation.
As a gamer, you won’t settle for less than the best and I hope one of the cords listed met all the requirements to be just so. Both the Mediabridge RJ45 5E and the RightAV 6A are the highest quality and most powerful cables in their respective classes. Good luck in achieving top performance; remember all of our tips and you should be right on your way.