Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Which is better in 2023?

cat-7-vs-cat-8

We have compared Cat 6 vs Cat 7 in the past, so what’s new with Cat 8?

Both Cat 7 and Cat 8 are capable of delivering improved performance over previous generations of cables, but each have their own distinct advantages.

In this article, I’ll be discussing the differences between Cat 7 and Cat 8 Ethernet cables in terms of performance, cabling length, pricing, shielding and more.

Let’s get to it!

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Bandwidth

Cat 7 cables can support up to 40 Gbps for 10 meters, whereas Cat 8 cables support up to 40 Gbps for 30 meters. That’s a huge difference in terms of speed and range.

If you need a long-distance connection or want more speed then Cat 8 is the obvious choice. However, if you don’t need that much speed or distance then opting for Cat 7 might be the wiser decision. Not only will it save you money but also provide enough bandwidth for most applications like gaming and streaming services.

Cat 8 cables are designed with shielding for noise resistance and high frequencies which gives them an edge over their predecessor when it comes to data transmission quality. They also have specially designed connectors known as GG45 or RJ-45 which may require extra cost during installation but make up for it in other ways such as improved shielding against interference from external sources like electrical lines and radio signals.

The extra investment might be worth it if you’re using your cable in an area where interference could be an issue.

Cat 7 cables are also well shielded with four connectors which eliminates any crosstalk reasonably well; however, its maximum frequency is 600MHz compared to 2000MHz of Cat 8 making it slower than its successor although not by much since 10Gbps is still considered quite fast.

Furthermore, they tend to be less expensive than Cat 8 due to their lower performance capabilities and use of older technology; so if budget isn’t an issue then going with the newer technology would likely yield better results in terms of reliability and data transfer speeds over time — especially if using a high-traffic network such as those found in commercial facilities or apartment complexes.

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Frequency

With up to 2000MHz capabilities, Cat 8 provides substantially faster speeds than its predecessor. This increased frequency offers a much wider range of data transfer rates and allows for more efficient communication between two devices.

Cat 8 cables are able to achieve speeds of up to 40 Gbps within 30 meters, which is double what Cat 7 can provide, making them an ideal choice for large data centers or cloud servers that require high-speed connections.

Cat 7 cables also have their own advantages as they offer an operating frequency of 600 MHz, allowing them to reach up to 10 Gbps within 10 meters. This makes them suitable for commercial facilities or apartment complexes where the distance between two devices may not allow for the use of a Cat 8 cable. Additionally, they come with special GG45 connectors that help minimize interference and cross-talk while providing reliable performance.

For home networks and other small applications, however, neither cable is necessary as both are overkill in terms of speed and price. In these instances, users should opt for either Cat 5e or 6a cables instead since they cost significantly less and still offer decent performance without having to worry about extra shielding or costly installation fees.

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Shielding

Shielding is an important factor to consider when selecting ethernet cables, as it helps reduce interference and ensures reliable performance regardless of the environment.

CAT7 cables have shielding for noise resistance and high frequency operation, providing up to 10 Gbps constant speed.

On the other hand, CAT8 cables use a two connector channel with a frequency of up to 2,000MHz and feature extra protective shielding for better quality transmission. This additional shielding provides improved attenuation compared to CAT7 cabling systems. In addition, CAT8 cables are backward compatible with all previous generation connections, making them ideal for upgrading existing networks without having to rewire everything from scratch.

CAT7 and CAT8 both offer extensive shielding capabilities; however, there are some notable differences between them in terms of performance and cost.

For example, CAT7 is more affordable than its counterpart but offers less speed at 40 Gbps over 10 meters only. Meanwhile, CAT8 is much faster at 40 Gbps over 30 meters but requires shielded cabling which can increase installation costs significantly due to its complexity.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that neither category has official recognition from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

In summary then, while both categories offer effective shielding against outside interference and offer fast speeds depending on their length limits – Cat 7 being limited up to 10m whereas Cat 8 offering speeds up to 30m – it’s important to assess your needs carefully before deciding whether or not either type will suit your specific requirements best.

It’s also wise to take into account factors such as price versus performance when weighing up the pros and cons of each cable type before committing your money into a purchase decision.

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Connector Types

You’ll need to consider the connector types when deciding between CAT7 and CAT8 cables, as both require different connectors for installation. CAT7 cables use a non-RJ45 connector, which can add on extra expenses during installation. Additionally, they have four connectors and are well shielded for improved noise resistance.

On the other hand, CAT8 cables require RJ45 connectors for Class I cables or non-RJ45 connectors for Class II cables. They also have two-connectors only and feature shielded twisted pairs of cables inside providing up to 15 dB in reducing alien crosstalk. Moreover, their construction is quite similar to that of a CAT5 or CAT6 shielded design but with different connectors.

So depending on your requirements and budget, you can easily decide whether you should go with a CAT7 or a CAT8 cable. Both will provide great performance when it comes to data transfer rates and reliability.

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Cost

Both CAT7 and CAT8 cables offer great performance when it comes to data transfer rates and reliability, but their cost can be a deciding factor in choosing the right one.

CAT7 cables are more affordable than CAT8. This is due to the fact that they have less shielding and don’t require special connectors like the ones used for CAT8 cables. Additionally, the installation process is simpler and faster with fewer components needed.

On the other hand, while more expensive, CAT8 cables are worth it if you want to maximize your data speeds up to 40Gbps or 25Gbps over short distances of 30m or 15m respectively.

CAT7 cables also have a longer transmission range of up to 100 meters compared to 30 meters for Cat 8, which allows them to cover larger areas with no degradation in speed or signal strength. If you need an ethernet cable for a large-area network such as an office complex or apartment building then getting a Cat 7 cable makes sense since it will provide good performance without breaking your budget.

However, if you need something that can deliver maximum speed within limited distance then investing in Cat 8 might be well worth it despite its higher price tag since it will give you better performance than any previous version of ethernet cabling system available in the market today.

You should also consider whether or not upgrading from Cat 7 to Cat 8 (Class II) is necessary since this could increase prices significantly even though there may not be much of a difference in actual performance gains depending on what type of environment you’re using them for.

Cat 7 vs Cat 8: Compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, you’ll find that both cables are compatible with a variety of networks.

Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are backward compatible with previous categories including Cat 5e and Cat 6. Furthermore, they work with two classes of connectors – RJ45 for Class I cables and non-RJ45 for Class II.

Here’s a quick list of the networks each cable is compatible with:

  • Cat 7: Compatible with Cat 5e, 6, and 6a networks
  • Cat 8: Compatible with all backward versions

It’s important to note that when using either cable type in your network, you should make sure all components in the setup are also up to date. This means making sure your modem or router is compatible as well. If any device isn’t up to date then this could cause problems down the line.

Furthermore, if you’re upgrading from a lower category cable (e.g., from Cat 5e to either one) then you need to ensure that all components can handle the increased performance capabilities of the new cable before beginning your upgrade process.

Choosing between these two options really depends on what kind of network environment you have and what kind of performance level you want out of your setup. While both provide great data speeds, there are some differences between them which could make one more suitable than the other depending on your needs.

Cat 8 vs Cat 7: Durability

You’re looking for something that’s durable and reliable, and both Cat 7 and Cat 8 Ethernet cables can provide just that. With advanced shielding, they resist interference from outside signals while providing dependable data transmission. The shielding also means they’re less likely to fray or be damaged by any external forces.

In addition, Cat 8 cables are made of thicker materials than previous generations, making them sturdier over time. Cat 7 cables have a maximum channel length of 100 meters, while Cat 8 is limited to 30 meters. This makes the latter more suitable for home networks where distances are much shorter than in large-scale environments like industrial warehouses or office buildings.

While both categories of cable come with RJ45 connectors, only the Class I version of the Cat 8 has this type of connector; Class II requires GG45 connections instead. The biggest difference between these two types of cabling is in their speed capabilities: Cat 7 offers up to 10 Gbps while Cat 8 can support speeds up to 40 Gbps with an additional frequency range of 2 GHz – significantly faster than its predecessor.

Though this higher transfer rate comes at a price – both monetary and physical – it may be worth it if you need lightning-fast downloads or uploads on your network.

Network Speed

Continuing on the topic of network speed, it’s important to note that both Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are capable of delivering very high speeds.

The main difference between them is in their length and frequency range. Cat 7 cables can reach up to 10Gbps over a distance of 100 meters, while Cat 8 cables can deliver up to 25Gbps or 40Gbps at a max distance of 30 meters.

However, if you’re looking for shorter distances then either option should be more than sufficient.

For those working with data-intensive applications such as cloud computing and gaming, using Cat 8 cabling would be the preferred choice due to its higher transmission speed and lower latency.

With its extra shielding, it also offers better protection against interference from other nearby networks so your connection won’t suffer from degraded performance due to outside sources. Additionally, using shielded cabling helps reduce alien crosstalk which further increases the reliability of your connection.

In short, if you require faster speeds over short distances then Cat 8 is definitely worth considering as an upgrade from your current network setup. On the other hand, if you need longer runs or simply don’t need that much speed then Cat 7 might be the better option given its affordability and compatibility with previous generations of ethernet cable standards.

Data Protection

Protecting your data is essential for a reliable network connection, and both Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables offer great safeguards.

Both are shielded to reduce interference and have twisted pairs of wires inside the main jacket for further protection. The shielding on Cat 7 cables helps shield it from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). It also helps reduce alien crosstalk, which can degrade the quality of the signal being sent over the cable.

Cat 8 cables offer additional protections against EMI and RFI through their extra shielding layers. This increased protection makes it ideal for use in areas with high levels of electrical noise or where there is a greater likelihood of signal degradation due to environmental factors.

Because of this, Cat 8 cables are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional Cat 5/6/7 cables in commercial setups such as offices, schools, hospitals, etc., where high-quality data transmission is required.

The differences between these two types of Ethernet cable come down mostly to speed, price, length and shielding. While both will provide excellent protection against EMI and RFI noise contamination when properly installed and tested, if you need higher speeds or longer runs then you should consider going with a Cat 8 cable rather than a Cat 7 one.

Applications

No matter your setup, you’ll find Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are both great options for reliable data protection. When it comes to applications, Cat 7 cables are ideal for the home or office LAN connection. They are shielded for better noise resistance and high frequency transmissions up to 10 Gbps at 100m in length.

CAT8 cables offer even more speed but have a limited connection distance of 30m. Their shielding also offers improved alien crosstalk reduction of up to 15dB compared to previous generations. Whether you need a long-distance cable or one that can handle faster speeds, there’s an Ethernet cable that fits the bill.

CAT7 cables work well in large-area applications with their extended cabling length while CAT8 is perfect for personal use due to its massive data transfer rate of 25Gbps/40Gbps at short distances. Some key features include:

  • Shielded pairs inside the main jacket – providing improved alien crosstalk reduction and better noise resistance
  • Non-RJ45 connectors – Account for extra expenses during installation
  • Backward compatibility – Compatible with all previous generation connections
  • Frequency – Up to 2000MHz with CAT8 and 600MHz with CAT7

Conclusion

In conclusion, both Cat 7 and Cat 8 Ethernet cables are great options for those looking to upgrade their network.

When it comes to bandwidth, frequency, shielding, connector types, and cost, Cat 8 cables have a clear advantage over their counterparts. However, when it comes to data protection, durability, and speed of the network, Cat 7 cables may be the better choice.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you – weigh up the pros and cons of each cable type before deciding which one will best suit your needs.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...