Martin Owens over at DoctorMo’s blog designed an impressive set of visuals detailing a wide range of computer ports. 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 computer

  • 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  • All these ports have been replaced by USB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 used typically used to terminate twisted pair

  • Modem/RJ11: a physical interface often used for terminating telephone wires


  • 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 SonyPhillips Digital Interconnect Format



  • 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

other ports

  • 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

Images are Copyright 2009, Martin Owens, Creative Commons BY-SA