[Beowulf] Minimum cable length

steve_heaton at iinet.net.au steve_heaton at iinet.net.au
Wed Mar 22 19:41:14 PST 2006

Dear Great Minds

Not strictly a Beowulf question but I suspect knowledge on the topic lurks herein.

I can't seem to find a straight answer on the "real" *minimum* cable length for
gigabit ethernet. I'm looking to make things on my new toy nice and tidy. 

Assume Cat5e/Cat6 cable, Intel e1000 NICs pushing the data rate to 'maximum',
jumbo packets, cut through switching, titanium alloy mounting bracket screws
etc. Minimum physical target length of 200mm.

>From my limited understanding of such things, surely there would be some sort of
electrical issue with too short a cable corrupting signalling/bits etc?

The Net seems to vary between selling you a 0.5m cable v's "never use less than
1.0m" v's "there's no practical limit to how short".

Thoughts and comments appreciated. Worse case I'll prolly try a 1m v's a 0.25m
and check error rates :)


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