Identify Your Computer Ports

Any self-respecting geek should know these, they do come in handy from time to time: Se...


Any self-respecting geek should know these, they do come in handy from time to time:

  • Serial Port: A serial communication physical interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time
  • PS/2 Connector: Is used for connecting some keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system. Its name comes from the IBM Personal System/2 series of personal computers
  • Parallel Port: Sends several data signals simultaneously over several parallel channels (as opposed to the Serial Port)
  • Games Port: The traditional connector for video game input devices on x86-based PCs
  • All these ports have been replaced by USB


  • Ethernet/RJ45: Martin’s illustration calls this RJ45, however according to Wikipedia, this is incorrect and should be called 8P8C (8 Position 8 Contact.) They are usedtypically used to terminate twisted pair cable
  • Modem/RJ11: a physical interface often used for terminating telephone wires, used to send a fax as well
  • VGA Port: Acronym for Video Graphic Array. Use this for external monitors
  • S-Video: Separate Video (not Super Video) carries the video data as two separate signals, lumen (luminance) and chroma (color)
  • HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data
  • DVI: Digital Video Interface is a video interface standard designed to provide very high visual quality on digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors
  • Mini-DVI: This connector is used on Apple computers as a digital alternative to the Mini-VGA connector
  • Micro-DVI: This port is a video connection port used by some Apple MacBook Air laptop computers produced between January-October 2008
  •  Audio Mini-Jacks Sockets are self-explainable, you can find more comprehensive description of this interface here
  • S/PDIF: Or Sony/Phillips Digital Interconnect Format






  • Firewire 400MB/s: Can transfer data between devices at 100, 200, or 400 Mbit/s half-duplex data rates
  • Firewire 800Mb/s: Can transfer data at a rate of 786.432 Mbit/s full-duplex

    • C5 / C6: “Cloverleaf” or “Mickey Mouse” power connectors can be seen on the majority of laptop power supplies and portable projectors
    • C7 / C8: C7 is also sometimes called “Shotgun.” These connectors can be found on  cassette recorders, battery/mains operated radios, some full size AV equipment, laptop computer power supplies, video game consoles
    • C13/C14: C14 is used as an inlet to attach the power cord to the power supply, as do many monitors, printers and other peripherals. While many older computers also provide a panel-mounting C13 outlet for powering the monitor
    •  USB-A: This kind of plug is most frequently seen on cables that are permanently attached to a device, such as one on a cable that connects a keyboard or mouse to the computer
    • USB-B: Typically plugs into an upstream receptacle on a device that uses a removable cable, e.g. a printer
    • Mini-A & Mini-B: Mini-A is now deprecated, but both these plugs are plugs are approximately 3 by 7 mm. These are used in PDA’s, mobile phone, and cameras
    • Micro-B: Micro plugs have a similar width as the Mini’s but approximately half the thickness. These enable integration into thinner portable devices.
    • Micro-AB: This receptacle is capable of accepting either a Micro-A plug or a Micro-B plug
    • eSata: External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, standardized in 2004, provides a variant of SATA meant for external connectivity
    • DisplayPort: Is a digital display interface standard put forth by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) since 2006
    • MiniDP:  A miniaturized version of the DisplayPort used by Apple
    • PCMCIA: Personal Computer Memory Card International Association is used in a wide range of products such as WiFi, networking and memory.
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      Mr Tricks: Identify Your Computer Ports
      Identify Your Computer Ports
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