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Ports and Headers
Ports are connectors used to connect external cables and devices to the motherboard. In addition to the keyboard and PS/2 mouse connectors, some types of motherboards (such as the ATX) have on the back edge of the motherboard integrated serial and parallel ports.
Motherboards that don't use integrated ports, use headers on the motherboard instead. Headers are groups of pins used to connect devices or ports to the motherboard. A cable runs from the port and is plugged into the header on the board. The following are the headers that are commonly found on a typical Baby AT style motherboard (though some of the functions are provided as headers to ATX style boards as well, if an integrated port is not provided):
Note: Older motherboards
that don't have integrated serial, parallel, floppy disk and IDE hard disk headers or
ports use an I/O controller board that plugs into an expansion slot, to provide these
functions. The connections are almost identical, although in some cases additional jumpers
have to be set. Consult the manual for the I/O controller board for details.
Next: Pin Connectors