Data Center Cabling Solutions
Cat6 Cabling: What is the BIG DEAL about AWG (American Wire Gauge)?

Cat6 Cabling: What is the BIG DEAL about AWG (American Wire Gauge)?

  • Jan 8, 2020
  • Cat6, American Wire Gauge, AWG, cable advise
  • Steve Napoli

By Steve Napoli | Senior Strategic Account Executive

“Why does the gauge matter in my network’s racks? I mean, I use standard Cat6 cabling, and it works for me!” 

American Wire Gauge (AWG) is an index that inversely and logarithmically tells us the thickness of conductive wires. AWG may not seem important to keep in mind, but let’s imagine this hypothetical of cabling up 48 ports with Cat6:

Cat6 cabling standards typically utilize 23-AWG conductor. That = .0226 inches in diameter per wire. So what? In terms of area, that = .2582 mm². Multiply that by your 48 cables. That quickly adds up to a healthy bundle of goodness.

The smaller the gauge, the bigger the conductor, but the relationship is logarithmic not linear. For example, a 40-AWG solid wire has a circular mil area, as specified by the National Bureau of Standards, of 9.61, a 30-AWG wire has a circular mil area of 100.5, a 20-AWG wire comes in at 1020, and a 10-AWG at 10380.

*These are what are commonly seen in the industry, however there are variations between manufacturers
** Max length is 90m for the installed cable and 10m for patch cords

Where am I going with this?

The typical 23-AWG Cat6 occupies .2582 mm², while the 28-AWG Mini Cat6 is significantly smaller at just .0810mm². When you compare the two sizes, you quickly realize having all those wires bundled together in your rack/cabinet would be much easier to manage with the latter. 

The answer is simple - reducing the size of your CAT6 cables means simpler maintenance, which saves time and money.

The Mini Cat6 is great for high density switching in the data center or any patching environment where density is a potential issue.

So how do you get your hands on thinner, sleeker, and more attractive Cat6 cables? Contact CABLExpress today. And remember, it is the size of the conductor, not the size of the cable with its insulation, that is measured in AWG.

To read Napoli's original article click here.

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