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The Cat6 slim patch cable is the perfect solution for high density datacentre applications. Smaller patch lead size helps alleviate congestion as well as improving airflow within the racks. Snaggles boot prevents unwanted cable snags during installation and provides extra strain relief. For fast Ethernet and Gigabit computer networks, Category 6 copper cable supports speeds up to 10 Gbps over 37-55 meters of cable and 100 meters for slower (the 10/100/1000BASE-T standards) network.
The larger the gauge, the slimmer the Ethernet patch cable. 28AWG Ethernet cable is obviously thinner than 24AWG cable. The outer diameter (OD) of a typical 24AWG Cat5e patch cable is about 0.215 inches. The OD of 24AWG Cat6 cable is 0.235 inches and 0.275-inch OD of 24AWG Cat6a. Usually the larger the gauge, the smaller the wire. So, the cords that use 28AWG conductors have smaller outer diameter. In the following figure, you can clearly see that the OD of a 28AWG Cat5e cable is 0.149 inches. The ODs of 28AWG Cat6 and 28AWG Cat6a cables are respectively 0.15 and 0.185 inches. With such small OD, what benefits does 28WG cable have? Please keep reading the following article.
28AWG Cable Benefits for Data Center Application
As mentioned above, the cord size of 28 AWG cable is much smaller than that of 24 AWG wire. The use of 28 AWG wire can significantly save more space compared with traditional 24 AWG wire. As the figure below shows, there is a big difference of the bundle size between 24 AWG and 28 AWG Cat6 patch cords.
28AWG cable is thinner than 24AWG cable which means it can bring more open space. With more open space, it’s good for airflow and equipment cooling, particularly for large switches.
Easy Cable Management
It’s easier for cable management because of more space for finger plugging access and running cords, thus saving you valuable time and labor. Besides, it also improve the use effectiveness of high-density panels because the patching bulk is reduced.
28AWG Cable Power Over Ethernet Application
PoE technology has been increasingly utilized these years. 28AWG patch cords can support the highest PoE levels today. When connecting PoE with copper patch cords, the number of cables per bundle should be restricted considering the temperature rise. For 24AWG wires, the maximum cables of a bundle is 96. When using 28AWG cable, because of its smaller size, more heat can occur since the cables are closer together. So 28AWG cable must be grouped in smaller bundles such as 24 or 48 cables per bundle to stay within the recommended temperature rise. For 802.3af and 802.3at standard, 48x28AWG cables can be bundled together. But for 802.3bt standard with higher power level, 24x28AWG cables is the maximum per bundle.
24AWG vs 28AWG Cable
Gauge of the conductors mainly affects the size of an Ethernet cable. The above content has mentioned that 28AWG cable have many advantages compared with 24AWG cable. It can solve some troubles in current telecom rooms and data centers and offer the benefits of space saving, higher-density layouts, easy cable management, cost and time reduction. But the smaller the diameter of a wire, the more electrical resistance when it carries signals. So Ethernet cable with a smaller gauge can support longer data transmission distance since it offers less electrical resistance. While Ethernet cables with 28AWG conductors are not very suitable for long distance network applications because they offer more resistance, which generates more heat. Thus, if you need to build a network requiring further distance transmission, you are suggested to choose 24AWG cable. Of course, there are many other factors you should consider, including network speed (Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a), shielded or unshielded cable for indoor or outdoor use.