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1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX vs 1000BASE-X, What’s the Difference?

AuthorDerek

Date08/18/2022

What are 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-X? What are the differences between 1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX vs 1000BASE-X? How to choose between them? Find answers in this blog.

If you are deploying a Gigabit Ethernet, you may have come across products that use 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-X technologies. All of them are Gigabit Ethernet standard varieties. But what are the differences between 1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX vs 1000BASE-X? And which one should you choose for your business? This blog post will break down each of these standards and help you decide which is right for you.

What is 1000BASE-T?

1000BASE-T is a Gigabit Ethernet standard approved by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) as IEEE 802.3ab in 1999. It is designed to provide a speed of up to 1000Mbps over UTP (Unshielded twisted pair) Cat5 copper wiring, which was the most widely installed LAN (local area network) wiring structure at that time. 1000BAE-T is backward compatible with the previous 100BASE-T, which means 1000BASET-T provides a smooth upgrading method from 100Mbps to 1000Mbps. In a word, 1000BASE-T UTP was introduced to meet the rapid expansion of bandwidth by using much of the existing Category 5 cabling, so it was an instant hit since came out.

 

The key attributes of 1000BASE-T include:

• Operating over four pairs of unshielded twisted-pair Cat5 copper cables.

• Uses four lanes over all four cable pairs in both directions.

• Max data rate up to 1000Mbps.

• Max transmission distance up to 100 meters.

• Backward compatible with 10/100BASE-T.

 

What is 1000BASE-TX?

1000BASE-TX came out after 1000BASE-T, promoted by TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) as TIA/EIA-854 in 2001. It is quite similar to the 1000BASE-T standard, using four pairs of twisted-pair as transmission media, supporting a data rate of up to 1000Mbit/s, and reaching 100 meters. However, it only uses two lanes for simultaneous transmission, two pairs for transmitting, and two pairs for receiving in an undirectional way instead of four lanes of bidirectional pairs. 

1000BASE-TX is a commercial failure eventually, why?

The benefit of 1000BASE-TX is reducing the crosstalk between cable wires since each pair does not conduct bidirectional transmission. However, 1000BASE-TX also has a drawback. Due to the reduction of cable utilization efficiency, to realize 1000Mbps speed, the cable bandwidth must exceed 100 Mhz, and the max bandwidth of Cat5 is just 100 Mhz, so Cat5 doesn’t support 1000BASE-TX. A higher grade of Cat6 or Cat6A is required for the 1000BASE-TX solution. However, the cost of installing Cat6 cabling (including cables, cords & connectors) exceeds that of Cat5 UTP, also, with the maturity of the 1000BASE-T technology, the costs of 1000BASE-T products fell rapidly, eventually, 1000BASE-TX didn’t gain wide adoption.

What is 1000BASE-X?

Same as 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX, 1000BASE-X is also used in Gigabit Ethernet, but it operates over fiber cabling including single-mode fiber and multimode fiber, while 1000BASE-T/TX uses UTP twisted-pair copper cabling. 1000BASE is defined by the IEEE 802.3z standard in 1998. It has two types of hot-pluggable form factor types, including SFP and GBIC.

 

1000BASE-X has many options include 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX, 1000BASE-LX10, 1000BASE-BX10, 1000BASE-EX, 1000BASE-ZX/EZX, 1000BASE-CWDM, 1000BASE-DWDM, etc. Their major specifications are concluded as follows.

 

1000BASE-X Options

Form Factor

Transmission Media

Distance

Connector

Wavelength

1000BASE-SX

SFP

MMF

OM1: 275m

OM2: 550m

Duplex LC

850nm

1000BASE-LX

SFP
GBIC

MMF/SMF

MMF: 550m

SMF: 10km

Duplex LC/SC

1310nm

1000BASE-BX1

SFP

SMF

10km

Simplex LC

TX: 1260 – 1360 nm

RX: 1480 – 1500 nm

1000BASE-EX

SFP
GBIC

SMF

40km

Duplex LC/SC

1310nm

1000BASE-ZX

SFP
GBIC

SMF

80km

Duplex LC/SC

1550nm

1000BASE-EZX

SFP
GBIC

SMF

100km+

Duplex LC/SC

1550nm

1000BASE-CWDM

SFP

SMF

40km-100km

Duplex LC

1270 – 1610 nm

1000BASE-DWDM

SFP

SMF

40km-120km

Duplex LC

1528 – 1565 nm

 

What are the differences between 1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX vs 1000BASE-X

1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX

1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX have commonalities in most ways. Both of them operated on four pairs of unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling, providing a data rate up to 1000Mbps and reaching 100 meters at most. Their major differences are as follows.

 

• Cable Type - 1000BASE-T works on Cat5, whereas 1000BASE-TX must operate on higher grade copper wire of Cat6.

• Lanes Per Direction - 1000BASE-T uses four lanes over four bidirectional pairs for simultaneous transmission in both directions, whereas 1000BASE-TX supports two lanes over four unidirectional pairs (two pairs for transmitting and two pairs for receiving).

• Cost - 1000BASE-TX products are more costly than 1000BASE-T products due to the higher cost of the 1000BASE-TX required Cat6 copper wire and mature 1000BASE-T technology and the rapidly decreasing cost of 1000BASE-T products.

 

1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-X

Both 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-X are used in Gigabit Ethernet applications, providing a data rate of up to 1000Mbps. The major differences between BASE-T vs BASE-X are as follows.

 

• Transmission Media - 1000BASE-T is designed to work on UTP copper cabling, whereas 1000BASE-X is a fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet solution.

• Reaching - The transmission distance is limited to 100 meters with UTP in 1000BASE-T, whereas 1000BASE-X supports links length of up to 550m over multimode fiber and even beyond 100km over single-mode fiber.

• Cost - The cost of the ber-based 1000BASE-X system (including Ethernet switch, optical transceiver, and fiber cabling) is higher than the copper-based 1000BASE-T Ethernet system.

 

How to convert 1000BASE-T to 1000BASE-X

If you have a switch with only copper Gigabit interfaces, how do you realize transmission distance beyond 100 meters? Then you may need a Media converter. It allows you to convert 1000BASE-T to 1000BASE-X, like 1000BASE-SX/LX, offering great flexibility to extend your copper Gigabit Ethernet distances based on your existing copper interfaces and copper cabling. The following is an example of using two 1000BASE-T to 1000BASE-X media converters to extend a Gigabit copper link of 30m to a Gigabit fiber link over three hundred meters.

 

Convert 1000BASE-T to 1000BASE-X with media converters

 

Convert 1000BASE-T to 1000BASE-X with media converters



1000BASE-T vs 1000BASE-TX vs 1000BASE-X

 

 

1000BASE-T

1000BASE-TX

1000BASE-X

Cable

UTP Cat5 copper cabling

UTP Cat6 copper cabling

MMF/SMF Fiber cabling

Standard

IEEE 802.3ab

TIA/EIA-854

IEEE 802.3z

Status

Current

Obsolete

Current

Speed

1000Mbps

1000Mbps

1000Mbps

Pairs required

4

4

2/1

Lanes per direction

4

2

1

Max Distance

100m

100m

120km

Conclusion

The above article gives a comprehensive introduction to 1000BASE-T, 1000BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-X, and also compares the differences between them. When considering between 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX, since 1000BASE-TX has been a commercial failure due to the higher cost, 1000BASE-T is definitely your choice for Gigabit copper Ethernet. When considering between 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-X, the choice mainly depends on actual applications and device interface types of switches, routers, or NICs. Both 1000BASE copper and fiber products are available at QSFPTEK, including 1000BASE-T SFP modules, 1000BASE-SR/LR modules, etc. Welcome to consult via sales@qsfptek.com.

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