Choosing the correct Ethernet cable for gaming can be a daunting task. With so many choices available and technical jargon thrown around, it’s easy to feel lost when considering which cable to use.
The higher the category of the Ethernet cable, the better. CAT8 cables are the highest-rated and fastest Ethernet cables available. Therefore, they are the top choice for gamers looking for the most reliable connection. However, CAT6 is more popular since they’re more affordable.
Ethernet cables are one of the essential gaming components, and it’s only wise to invest in the best quality cable possible. Here is a close comparison between the three most popular Ethernet cable categories for gaming.
What Ethernet Cables Do Gamers Use?
As a gamer, you always look for speed, reliability, and stability on your network connection. Therefore, the cable you choose should give you the best possible connection, allowing you to enjoy your gaming experience without lag or stuttering.
Three main Ethernet cable categories are relevant for gaming: CAT6, CAT7, and CAT8. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is crucial to understand their differences to choose the right one for your needs.
Ethernet cables’ different categories differ in transmission speed, noise reduction, cable length, and cost. Generally, the higher the CAT number of the cable, the better its performance will be.
Aside from the categories, it’s also essential to check for any special features your cable may have, such as a tangle-free design or built-in surge protection. The length of the cable is also important; longer cables can cause signal degradation and should be avoided if possible.
With that said, here’s a closer look at the three most popular Ethernet cables for gaming: CAT6, CAT7, and CAT8. And, since you’re probably here because you want to optimize your setup, we’ll start with the best option for gaming: CAT8.
CAT8 Ethernet Cable for Gaming
At the top of the pile, CAT8 (Category 8) cables offer even more speed and bandwidth than CAT7. They can support frequencies of up to 2GHz (2000 MHz) and speeds of up to 40 Gbps at 30 meters, making them the best choice for gamers.
CAT7 and CAT8 are also less prone to interference than CAT6, so your connection will be more stable and reliable. However, they are also much thicker, pricier, and harder to install.
These three products should help you get started.
- DbillionDa Cat8 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): This cable is designed with a slim, Snagless connector perfect for tight spaces. It can send data up to 40 Gbps over 30 meters and supports bandwidths of up to 2000 MHz. Plus, a bonus point for its relatively affordable price tag.
- DaCrown Cat 8 Ethernet Cable 20 ft (on Amazon): You know you’ve got a good product when a pro gamer endorses it. This cable is made with ultra-sturdy material and supports bandwidths of up to 2000 MHz, making it an excellent choice for gaming.
- DanYee Cat 8 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): DanYee may not be as well known as the other two brands, but they make excellent ethernet cables. This is one of those products.
CAT7 Ethernet Cable for Gaming
An upgrade from CAT6, Cat7 (Category 7) cable offers more speed and increased bandwidth. It supports frequencies up to 600 MHz and can handle speeds of 40 Gbps at 50 meters and 100 Gbps at 15 meters.
Such speeds make the CAT6 obsolete in comparison and make this cable better suited for streaming 4K video or intensive gaming. Aside from being thicker and more expensive, CAT7 cables are superior to CAT6 in every other way.
Here are some of the best products the market has to offer.
- UGREEN Cat 7 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): This cable is braided, making it more durable and tangle-free. It supports up to 10 Gbps and has a bandwidth of 600 MHz.
- Monoprice Cat7 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): This is one of the most cost-effective CAT7 cables in the market. Who said you had to spend a fortune for good quality?
- Mediabridge Cat7 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): This cable supports up to 10 Gbps and is available in various colors and lengths. It is also designed to reduce crosstalk, helping you achieve better speeds and performance.
CAT6 Ethernet Cable for Gaming
The sixth generation of Ethernet cables, CAT6 (Category 6), is the most common type for gaming. It is most widely preferred as a cost-effective way to connect your PC or gaming console to the internet.
Cat6 can achieve speeds of up to 10 Gbps and supports bandwidth frequencies up to 250 MHz. It also has a decent noise reduction capacity, a deal breaker for gamers. Compared to its predecessors, CAT5 and CAT5e, it outperforms them regarding data transfer speed.
Given that the ideal gaming speed is 20 Mbps, a CAT6 Ethernet cable should be more than enough for most gamers.
Here are some of the best products for you if you are in the market for a CAT6 cable.
- Cable Matters Snagless Cat 6 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): You cannot go wrong with this cable. It comes in various colors and lengths, has reliable performance, and is available at an affordable price.
- Jadaol Cat 6 Ethernet Cable (on Amazon): This cable is designed to minimize crosstalk and interference and increase data speed. It is flexible, lightweight, and easy to install and manage.
- Amazon Basics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Internet Cable (on Amazon): This cable is designed to deliver a reliable connection, making it an ideal choice for gamers. It is made of pure copper and is available in various sizes.
Does it Matter What Ethernet Cable You Use for Gaming?
Absolutely. The type of Ethernet cable you use can significantly impact your gaming experience. In most cases, the faster the cable, the better. As seen above, the different categories of Ethernet cables offer varying levels of speed and bandwidth, which can make a big difference in gaming.
While there isn’t much difference between CAT5 and CAT6 cables for most gamers, those who need peak performance should consider investing in CAT7 and CAT8 cables.
These are the fastest and most reliable cables. They provide an improved gaming experience compared to their predecessors.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you choose the right cable for your needs.
This means considering budget, speed requirements, and distance from the router. Once you have all that information, you can make an informed decision and choose the best Ethernet cable for gaming.
CAT 7 and 8 for the Best Gaming Experience
Now that you understand the differences between different Ethernet cables, it’s time to decide. CAT7 and CAT8 are the best options for gamers that need peak performance and the highest speeds.
But this isn’t to say that CAT6 cables are obsolete—they still work great for most gamers. The key is to determine what you need and choose the right one.
Regardless of which cable you choose, make sure it’s designed with gaming in mind and has the features you need for your setup. That way, you can be sure you’ve chosen the best Ethernet cable for gaming and have optimized your experience to the fullest.
Some Other Wired Options You May Want to Try
While Ethernet cables are the most reliable gaming connection, other wired options may provide a good connection.
MOCA Coax Adapters
MoCa coax adapters like this one (example on amazon) use the existing wiring in your home to send data over coaxial cables, allowing you to have a wired connection to the router without needing to run new cable.
While MoCa coax adapters may have lower latency than wifi, their performance and range are still decent.
Powerline adapters like this one (example on Amazon) send data over the existing electrical wiring in your home, much like MOCA Coax Adapters.
The main benefit of these is that they can provide very high speeds and have a much longer range than wireless connections.
Ultimately, the best Ethernet cable for gaming depends on your needs and budget. If you can’t get a wired connection to work, it may be time to consider wireless solutions or a mesh network.
Mesh networks use multiple access points throughout your home to optimize the overall coverage area, providing a much more reliable connection than traditional wifi routers. While this option may be more expensive, it can give you the best gaming experience.
You can have reliable internet speeds for gaming and other activities with the proper setup. Good luck, and happy gaming!