Originally Posted by amb7247
actualy, cat5 to my knowledge and personal experience that you can run up to 50 ft reliably before droppage. Problem is when you run a cable that long it is possible for the cable to drop network packets which lessens the connection quality. Which is what happened to my buddy when he has a 50ft network cable and could not get the xbox to connect on live whereas wireless worked to perfection.
Now if you run a gigabit switch over cat 5 your still using 10/100. CAT5 has a bandwidth threshold so if you use CAT5 on a gigabit switch or router that cable may not able to transfer HD movies as easily whereas CAT6 could. Cat6 cables are rated for 10/100/1000 which is the standard for a gigabit network. Obviously still backward compatible with 10/100. This is why Sony ships with the PS3 a CAT6 cable because the PS3 has a gigabit network card.
Cat5(it's not even made anymore) can have problems but Cat5e has no problems running gigabit at 100 meters in length. We've never had any problems running a gigabit connection over cat5E at close to 330 feet(100 meters) at work. And i've been running a gigabit network over cat5e at home since 2001 with no problems.
And also some of the cat5 cable that was made to higher specs, before cat5e came out, also will have no problems with gigabit speeds at up to 100 meters.
We use a Fluke tester at work to test the various cables(cat5 , cat5e and cat6) to make sure it can run at the gigabit speeds. If the cable passes the various tests, then they always have no problem running at gigabit speeds.
Cat5e and cat6 cables will always pass(since the gigabit spec was designed for that cable) it's the cat5 cables that will be questionable until we test it to make sure it's OK.