What is the Difference Between Plenum, Riser, and PVC Cat6 Ethernet Cables?

The Cat6 cable 1000ft ethernet cables come in three variants:

  • Plenum
  • Riser
  • PVC

For a novice, it is difficult to fathom what differentiates one from the other. If you are a novice too, there’s no need to worry whatsoever as our experts have got your back. So, let’s begin. 

Cat6 Plenum Cable

The plenum variant of Cat6 Cable 1000ft comes with a supreme-quality CMP-rated jacket. A CMP jacket carries the highest rating when it comes to the quality of the outer jacket. In case you don’t know, CMP stands for Communications Multipurpose Cable and these cables find their best usage in plenum spaces of the buildings. As plenum spaces carry a higher risk of fire eruption, these CMP-rated Cat6 Plenum Cable stops fire progression altogether and emits no toxicity such as hazardous gases and smoke. 

You can also use Cat6 Plenum Cable in the riser/vertical spaces of the buildings and for a run in the outdoor spaces. However, you can’t use riser or PVC cables in plenum spaces owing to safety concerns. 

As far as the data speed of the Cat6 Plenum cable is concerned, it stands at a mammoth 10 Gbps over lengths of up to 50 meters or 164 feet. The same plummets to 1 Gbps for lengths of up to 100 meters or 328 feet. Still, these data transfer rates — both maximum and minimum — are 10 times faster than the previous Cat5e cable. As this cable enjoys a bandwidth capacity of up to 550 MHz, it means you enjoy optimum and seamless connectivity as your signal quality remains supreme. 

The inner structure of plenum 6th generation ethernet cable consists of 8 conductors bundled together in 4 twisted pairs. The insulation separates the 4 twisted pairs to prevent EMI and crosstalk. Conductors can be either made up of pure copper or copper-clad aluminum. The cable runs 23 AWG and the jacket is UV resistant.

Cat6 Riser Cable 

The Cat6 Riser Cable comes with a CMR-rated outer jacket and this cable finds its best usage in the riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. These spaces too facilitate return airflows and carry the risk of fire eruption. Thanks to the CMR-rated outer jacket of riser cables, fire progression is halted whereas the cable emits extremely low toxicity such as gases or smoke. You can use this cable in outdoor spaces too but can’t use a PVC cable as a riser alternative due to safety concerns. 

As Cat6 Riser Cable is categorized as 6th generation cable, it supports maximum data transfer rates of 10 Gbps but up to a length of 50 meters of 164 feet. The minimum data transfer rate supported by 6th generation riser cable stands at 1 Gbps but up to a length of 100 meters or 328 feet. The cable comes with a bandwidth capacity of up to 550 MHz. 

Just like its plenum counterpart, the inner structure of the riser Cat6 Cable 1000ft consists of 8 conductors bundled together in 4 twisted pairs. The insulation separates the 4 twisted pairs to prevent EMI and crosstalk. Conductors can be either made up of pure copper or copper-clad aluminum. The cable runs 23 AWG and the jacket is UV resistant.

Cat6 PVC Cable 

The Cat6 PVC Cable is 6th generation ethernet cable that comes with a PVC jacket designed for outdoor installations. As you need this cable for installation in harsh outdoor environments, the jacket is sunlight resistant, UV resistant, and chemical resistant. When compared with Cat6 plenum and Cat6 riser cables, this cable is relatively cheaper. 

However, the outer jacket is the only thing that distinguishes PVC cable from the riser and plenum. The data transfer rates and bandwidth capacities remain the same.  It supports maximum data transfer rates of 10 Gbps but up to a length of 50 meters of 164 feet. The minimum data transfer rate supported by 6th generation riser cable stands at 1 Gbps but up to a length of 100 meters or 328 feet. The cable comes with a bandwidth capacity of up to 550 MHz. 

Applications

All three Cat6 Cable 1000ft have been designed to support high-speed applications such as IEEE 802.12:100 Base-VG, ATM PMD 155 Mbps IEEE 802.3 Fast Ethernet:10 Base-T, 100 Base-T4, ANSI X3T9.5 TP-PMD (FDDI), and 100 Base-X IEEE 802.5:4/16 Mbps Token Ring. 

While Cat6 plenum and Cat6 riser come in two types of conductors (pure copper and copper-clad aluminum), the PVC cable only comes in CCA conductors. The pure copper conductor Cat6 cable carries a much higher price tag than the CCA conductor Cat6 cable. All three types run 23 AWG and usually meet and exceed FCC, CSE, CE, ISO/IES standards and are also in compliance with RoHS. This cable is the best for residential, commercial, and gaming applications, and installing it means you have future-proof your network for possible upgrades. 

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