Cables and Connectors – PC Reference Library – Provided by

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Cables Connectors Heading Image

Without a cable connecting your sound card to your computer speakers you won’t hear sound; without a USB cable connecting your external hard drive to the computer, you won’t be able to access files on the hard drive. Without a power cable connected from your computer monitor’s power source to an electrical outlet in a wall, you won’t be able to power on your computer monitor. Cables and connectors are integral components for the proper flow of information and data internally and externally within the computer. Without all of the required cables and connectors, the personal computer is just another big piece of metal.

Cables allow your computer to do fun things such as produce sound, print documents, and relaying output to your computer’s monitor. Without connectors, cables would cease to function. A connector is a way cables can perform their duties.

In the PC world, there are a variety of cables that connect peripheral components within the actual computer tower. Every component inside the PC’s case connects to the motherboard in some way typically through an interface cable. These types of cables vary depending on the nature of the component being used. This page will introduce you to the more common internal cables that facilitate the flow of information between components inside the PC.

Much like the human body has veins, arteries, and pathways to control the blood flow to other parts of the human body, the computer has cables and connectors that complete these tasks digitally through the personal computer. Cables control the flow of information; connectors provide a means for connecting the information that flows through the cables.

There are a wide variety of cables and connectors available for the personal computer and these pages will highlight the main types and functions of each type of connector and cable used in a PC.

The only type of technology that does not require any kind of cabling is wireless network technology. Wireless technology permits for the transmission of data through radio wave signals, invisible to the human eye. Wireless is still predominately used for networking technologies, but other technologies such as keyboards, mice, and computer based remote controls, have also employed wireless communications in the form of infrared protocols.

Internal computer cables control the flow of information to components internally within the computer. These cables are not visible until you open the metal case of the computer tower. Every component within the computer must be connected to the computer’s motherboard to serve a purpose.

Most cables are different in color and functionality and are based on the type of component being connected. This area will attempt to explain the various types of PC cables and connectors through illustrated guides that pin point what a cable does and what each pin on a connector is for.

Click on any of the sample images listed below you can view a complete overview of what the particular cable does and how it connects inside the computer.

Floppy Drive Ribbon Cable
Floppy Drive Ribbon Cable - this cable will connect older floppy drives to the computer motherboard using 34 pin connection.
ATA IDE 40 Pin One 40 pin female connector for connecting a secondary hard disk drive. The device connected to this connector must be configured as a slave device to function properly.
EIDE 40 Pin Hard Disk Drive Interface Cable - this IDE cable will connect a hard drive or optical drive to your computer's motherboard.
Sata Cable Illustration
SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) Cables - this cable will connect your hard drive or optical drive to your computer's motherboard.
SCSI Cable Illustration
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) - this cable will connect your SCSI hard drive or optical drive to your computer's motherboard.
Older Generation Floppy Disk Drive Cable Illustration
Floppy Drive Ribbon Cable - this older generation floppy drive cable can support two 3.5" floppy drives and two 5.25" floppy drives or 1 of each type.
DB25 Parallel Port Printer Cable Illustration
DB25 Male to Male Parellel Port Cable - this type of cable connects printers to the personal computer and is listed as refernce only.
24in MPC2 CD-ROM Audio Cable F/F
24in MPC2 CD-ROM Audio Cable F/F - this type of cable connects audio cd-rom drives to your computer sound card for playback of Audio CD media.

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