I seem to be having horrendous luck with my PCs lately. Just finished troubleshooting a freezing issue on one, and then I notice the network performance on the other is being rather flaky.
Long story short: using DSLReports' flash speed test and the same Chicago, IL test site, I get tests that reflect my 16 MB / 2MB connection with one cable, and tests where the download speed is less than half that with, well... three other cables that I've had sitting around for who knows how long, and a brand new Belkin cat5e cable I just bought.
What's causing that? The good cable is just the one that came with my Xbox 360.
(Just as an aside, I have two PCs with identical hardware sitting here, plus a laptop that's connected wirelessly. I've been testing this all afternoon: it is definitely the cable. The one is good, and all the others appear to suck horribly.)
How can I tell the difference? The wiring in the good cable is orange, orange, green, green, which... I'm not familiar with. What the hell is it? All that's printed on it is:
"Foxconn E204149 (UL) Type CM 75[degrees]C STP 26AWG 2pairs patch cable"
Looking at the plug, it goes orange, orange, green, blank, blank, green, blank, blank. And I say blank in that there is no wire there; not even a white one (that I can see).
Basically, I want more of this cable, because it apparently doesn't suck like everything else I have, but I don't know what makes it different.
On second look, the "good" cable is the only 2-pair cable. The others are all 4-pair.