With the release of the Xbox Series X console there has been a lot of buzz in the gaming community surrounding it and how to get the best performance out of it. One popular question is about what kind of ethernet cable to use and whether to spend extra on “premium” cables. Nobody likes to wait hours for downloads to complete and certainly at one point or another everyone has though about ways to hopefully speed up their downloads. One of the best methods is switching from a wireless to a wired ethernet connection. With that change comes the questions of cables. What do I really need, and what is blatantly overkill? Fortunately the answer is quite simple.
Any Cat 5e or higher cable produced by a reputable vendor will allow you to achieve maximum speeds on the Xbox Series X console. If you want to step up to a Cat 6 cable that is also a good choice given that the cost is pretty comparable to a Cat 5e cable. What you do not need is anything that says Cat 7 or Cat 8 on them. Cat 7+ cables are specialty cables that are meant to be used in large enterprise networks with connection speeds of 10 Gbps or even 40 Gbps. Cat 6 cables are certified for up to 10 Gbps speeds at lengths of up to 55 meters (180 feet). This is longer than what would typically be used in any home network environment. The ethernet port on the Xbox Series X is rated at 1 Gbps. A Cat 5e cable is certified for 1 Gbps for up to 100 meters (328 feet).
Best Ethernet Cables for Xbox Series X in 2022
The bottom line when it comes to ethernet cables for connecting the Xbox Series X is don’t over buy. You will never ever see any improvement going with a Cat 7 or higher cable. It is simply not possible. Ethernet cables are tested and certified to the TIA/EIA-568 standard. The TIA/EIA-568 standard is designed for the mission critical enterprise networking market where any disruption of data can result in millions of dollars of financial impact. When a cable is certified to a particular Cat rating you can be 100% sure that your cable will perform as designed. A Cat 5e cable certified to deliver speeds of 1 Gbps for up to 100 meters (328 feet) will perform as expected and max out the connection speed on your Xbox Series X.
What you do want to avoid is generic unbranded ethernet cables that may not meet the TIA/EIA-568 specification. Using a non certified cable means that your mileage may vary and you may not get consistent performance. When it comes to length you want to get a cable that is long enough to reach without any sharp bends or kinks in the cable. Sharp bends can damage the wires inside and compromise the reliability if the connection. There is no need to worry about the cable being a few feet longer than necessary. Remember even Cat 5e cables are certified for up to 100 meters (328 feet) without loss of performance. The difference between using a 20 foot vs a 25 foot cable is nonexistent.
Some popular yet affordable brands of ethernet cables include Monoprice, StarTech, Tripp Lite, Cable Matters, and Mediabridge. You can purchase these brands of cables in various lengths at retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Target, and Walmart.
Here is my Top Pick for 2022
Reasons to Buy
- Affordable cable with outstanding build quality
- Does not snag or kink under normal use
- ANSI/TIA-568 certified to ensure data integrity under all circumstances
- Corrosion resistant gold plated conductors
Overall choosing the right ethernet cable for your Xbox Series X console is an easy task, as long as you can see clearly through all of the marketing hype that floods the gaming industry.
A Cat 7 ethernet cable is no better for gaming thang a Cat 6 cable. Gaming is not able to take advantage of speeds higher than 1 Gbps. Any standard Cat 5e or higher cable will max out a gigabit connection. A Cat 7 cable will work just fine but is completely unnecessary and offers no benefits.
You should use a minimum of Cat 5e for best results. A Cat 6 cable is a great choice for Xbox. A Cat 5e or higher cable will be able to max out the ethernet port speed on your Xbox which is limited to 1 Gbps. There is no reason to go with a Cat 7 or Cat 8 cable outside of a datacenter environment.
No, Cat 8 cable offer absolutely no benefits for gaming. A Cat 6 cable can already max out a gigabit connection. A Cat 8 cable supports up to 40 Gbps but that is completely irrelevant outside of datacenter environments. For gaming a Cat 8 cable is a complete waste of money. Get a quality Cat 6 cable and call it a day.
A Cat 6 cable is faster if you are dealing with short distances and equipment that supports 10 gigabit ethernet. For 99.9% of users there will be no difference between using Cat 5e and Cat 6 as their equipment maxes out a 1 Gbps. Both Cat 5e and Cat 6 will easily do 1 Gbps up to 328 feet (100 meters) in length.
A Cat 8 cable will not lower your ping when compared to a Cat 6 cable. However switching to using an ethernet cable in place of a wireless connection can certainly lower your ping. A wired connection is much more stable than a Wi-FI connection. This is important for gaming because you want your ping as low as possible and your packet loss as low as possible.
Yes Cat 5e is more than good enough for 4K. Most 4K streams need about 25 Mbps for optimal performance. A Cat 5e cable is able to handle speeds of up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) at distances of up to 328 feet (100 meters). There is no need to use a higher category of cable for 4K.