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from apple. the final word about this question - when you need and when you don't need a cross-over cable

Here is the entire article in case Apple ever deletes is or dumps the URL, which can be found at the bottom.

Macintosh: Apple Products That Require an Ethernet Crossover Cable
Modified: 42717

This document outlines which Apple products require an Ethernet crossover cable, and which can use a standard Ethernet cable when connecting directly to another Apple product.

You can connect two computers together using an Ethernet cable to form a small network. Depending on the computer model, you may need to use a crossover Ethernet cable instead of a straight-through Ethernet cable.

Most later Macintosh computers are able to use either a straight-through Ethernet cable or a crossover Ethernet cable automatically through the use of Auto-Medium Dependent Interface Crossover (Auto-MDIX). Other Macintosh computers require the use of an Ethernet crossover cable because they only work with the Medium Dependent Interface (MDI) .

Auto-MDIX automatically switches between MDI and MDI-X, which allows either type of cable to be connected regardless of whether you are connecting two computers directly, or you are connecting to a hub or switch.

Note: MDI devices connected to Auto-MDIX devices do not require a crossover Ethernet cable.

Products that do not require a crossover cable

* Power Mac G4 (Gigabit Ethernet)
* Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio)
* Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver)
* Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver 2002)
* Xserve
* Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors)
* PowerMac G4 (FW 800)

* PowerBook G4
* PowerBook G4 (Gigabit Ethernet)
* PowerBook G4 (DVI)
* PowerBook G4 (1 GHz/867 MHz)
* PowerBook G4 (12-inch)
* PowerBook G4 (17-inch)

* iMac (17-inch 1GHz)

* iBook (Dual USB)
* iBook (Late 2001)
* iBook (14.1 LCD)
* iBook (16 VRAM)
* iBook (14.1 LCD 16VRAM)
* iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM)
* iBook (32 VRAM)
* iBook (14.1 LCD 32 VRAM)

* AirPort Base Station (Dual Ethernet)
* AirPort Extreme Base Station

Products that do require a crossover cable if connecting to another product from this list

* Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White)
* Power Mac G4 (PCI Graphics)
* Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics)
* Power Mac G4 Cube

* iMac
* iMac (Slot Loading)
* iMac (Summer 2000) (See Note 1.)
* iMac (Early 2001)
* iMac (Summer 2001) (See Note 1.)
* iMac (Flat Panel)
* iMac (17-inch Flat Panel)

* eMac

* PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard)
* PowerBook (FireWire)

* iBook
* iBook (FireWire)

* AirPort Base Station (Graphite)
Related documents

* 106658 "Macintosh: How to Create a Small Ethernet Network"
* 30722 "Ethernet: Crossover Cable Pinout"
* 106655 "Ethernet: Speed of Ethernet Cabling"

1. The parenthetical product descriptions (Summer 2000) and (Summer 2001) refer to the summer of the Northern Hemisphere.
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