Ports and Connections
When you are buying a motherboard you need to keep an eye on the ports and connections that the motherboard offers. Purchasing a new motherboard, only to find that it is missing a port you need, can be a major frustration. Here are some common ports to look out for.
DVI: This remains the most common computer display connection. Virtually every modern motherboard comes with a DVI port.
eSATA: The e in eSATA stands for external. An eSATA port is literally a normal SATA hard drive connection that is available for connection to external devices. This is a very useful port if you often use external storage.
FireWire: Also known as IEEE1394, FireWire is a method of connecting devices that is focused on high performance. It is commonly used by digital photography and video equipment, and is also sometimes used by external hard drives.
HDMI: This display connection, pioneered by HDTVs, is becoming common on computer displays as well. It isn’t absolutely essential if you don’t have an HDMI display, but can be useful in case you decide to upgrade in the future.
S/PDIF: This connection is used to output digital audio to some audio equipment. It isn’t needed for use with standard desktop PC speakers, but will be useful if you want to hook up a high-end sound system.
USB: USB is the most popular method of connecting devices to a computer. Everything from keyboards to cell phones needs USB ports to connect to your PC, so you’ll want as many of these as possible.
VGA: This is an old-school display connection. It isn’t common any longer, and is only useful for connecting to very old monitors.