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Cat 5 vs Cat 7 wiring for office computer systems

Last response: in Business Computing
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December 5, 2012 10:16:51 AM

Hello,
WhAT WIRING SYSTEM IF MOST APPROPRIATE FOR MY OFFICE COMPUTER SYSTEMS. We are a large dental office utilizing paperless systems, x-rays, and billing a1nd paperless patient charts. We need lots of speed !!!
December 5, 2012 10:33:18 AM

You would be looking at cat5e/cat6. Cat 6 is barely faster than cat5e so I would say isn't worth the price. You won't get the speeds from either unless you have a full gigabit network.
December 5, 2012 12:43:13 PM

CAT5E is standard for an office, If you have a Gigbit network, then CAT6 is better for streaming HD video or if you have a lot of electrical interferrence, but costs more.

So in your case, I would pay extra and use CAT6 to avoid any issues.
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December 5, 2012 12:48:58 PM

You posted your question twice....but I agree that you should get Cat6 to rule out interference with all the dental equipment.
December 5, 2012 1:00:14 PM

Cat6 has thicker copper cores and more twists than Cat5e. Cat6 can handle more electromagnetic inteference without having problems. If you are installing the wire into walls, go with Cat6 because it is supposed to be capable of 10 Gigabit ethernet. So you would be ready when it goes mainstream instead of having to install new wire for it in the future.
December 12, 2012 10:07:35 PM

definately cat5e or cat6. I don't wanna sound like im stating the same thing as the others, lol, but cat5e is protected by copper so it protects from interference, but on the other hand cat6 does everything the cat5e does but better. It handles interference a lot better plus you should get better results with it. Spend any extra dough if you can and get cat6. :) 
January 20, 2013 11:30:53 PM

I'd like to point out that there is cat "6a" which doubles the minimum supported length from 55m to 110m if anyone is looking for 10GB at 110m length.
January 20, 2013 11:52:29 PM

Just going to point out that if you are a large dental office, then why on earth are you not hiring experts do the planning and installation? Asking the question on a forum makes me worry about the quality of your practice.
January 21, 2013 12:15:32 AM

If you're dental office is anything like the ones I've worked with, your X-Rays are shot, sent and stored at your local server running Dentrix, Genesis or SoftDent. Your billing system may or may not be on the same network/server. Due to the high RF power environment, you really should use Category 6a (augmented) cabling throughout. And, while Cat6a will support 10GbE data rates, you aren't likely to ever approach a need for that speed.

To your original question Cat7 isn't required for your purposes. Cat7 cable is a class F cable with shielding (foil) around every twisted pair and again around all pairs. It is very well shielded but overkill in your application.
January 21, 2013 12:21:10 AM

mazty said:
Just going to point out that if you are a large dental office, then why on earth are you not hiring experts do the planning and installation? Asking the question on a forum makes me worry about the quality of your practice.


Because the Office Manager (bless her heart) is usually the poor schmuck designated by the dentist (or partners) to handle the arrangements for the professional services for the practice.

Forewarned is forearmed.
!