I'm going to be running a 2nd Ethernet cable into my basement for use with a pc. The one i have is being used with an xbox. The one i have is a Cat 5E with 24 AWG. Now the only thing that sorta made sense to me from the last sentence is the Cat 5E part. I literally just read the cable. I'd like to know if I should get another Cat 5E or if I should go down to Cat 5 or up to Cat 6 or even Cat 7. Does the color of the cable matter or is it just for looks or keeping cables straight from others? Also is a higher or lower AWG better? (and if it is dependent on length, I'll be using a 100 ft cable)
and also what is the difference between cat 6a and cat 6e and plain cat 6
The nominal length of a cat 5e cable from point to point should be no more than 100m in a single run.
After that you can experience signal loss or signal leakage, resistance.
Or more external magnetic field noise or pollution of the cable.
If run for example parallel to a mains electrical run.
Or numerous multiple runs side by side.
Cat 6E is a better or higher grade of copper used in the gauges of each wire.
So it allows you to a slightly longer over all run from point to point.
It is also the outer shield is also better quality to stop any signal cross over or interference.
It depends on the environment. But a 100m run of Cat 5E or 6E is recommended. As a max run.
So for gaming with an Xbox and also a PC along with quite a bit of internet browsing, i don't need 6? (in terms of data transfer speeds) and also is it worth the $2 extra on newegg to just get the 6 now and not worry about speed in the future?
Cat 6 and cat6e (normally called cat6a) are not the same. Cat6 cable is rated to 1g at 100m it will not go any further than cat5e. The distance is a function of the interfaces in the equipment and not the cable itself. Cat6a or cat7 cable is rated for 10g. At the current time 10g interfaces in equipment is only used in high end servers. Even with a server it must be specially built to be able to pass data faster than 1g since you start to see limitation in the disk. Still cat6a or cat7 cable will go no further than cat 5e. It can just run 10g at 100m rather than 1g at 100m.
The only reason to buy cat6 cable is if you can find it cheaper it has no advantage over cat5e since it is the ports that limit the speed not the cable.
There are other difference in the cable that are personal preference. The color of the jackets or the types of boots on the ends. With patch cables you can also get stranded rather than solid cable which makes them more flexible. You should not run stranded cable in the walls though.