written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 8/25/2010
What are the green expansion slots or ports used for on computer motherboards?
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Identifying Motherboard Slots
Motherboard components are color coded to make it easy for technicians to identify expansion slots at a glance.The expansion ports are also color coded to help end users to identify ports for connecting peripherals.In this article we will look at the various colors that motherboard manufacturers use for peripheral connection ports and expansion slots.
ATX motherboards generally use the same colors to denote the different types of expansion slots. In addition to having standardized dimensions that can help identify ports, there are special colors that are used. ISA slots are usually black, PCI slots are usually white or beige, and the AGP slots are usually brown.
The colors not only designate the type of slot, but they may also represent versions or iterations of a technology. You may find AGP slot in green, orange or light blue, and these colors may signify that the AGP slot is 8x/4x-AGP 3.0 or PCI Express compliant.
Ensure that any new computer you purchase has PCI-Express slots, as these are faster than the older PCI slots. The best way to ensure that a motherboard has a PCI Express slot is to check the documentation that accompanies the board or ask a sales representative.
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The Other Green Motherboard Green Slot/Port
Expansion slots aren’t the only things that are color coded on motherboards. The peripheral connection ports that are located at the back of the system unit also have color designations. The peripheral connection ports at the back of the computer usually include the mouse, keyboard, parallel printer, RJ45 Ethernet, video, USB and audio ports.
The green port is where you connect the PS/2 mouse. Normally, the PS/2 mouse port sits beside a PS/2 keyboard port, which has the same size and shaped but is purple.The other ports and their colors are:
HDMI – White
VGA – Blue
Parallel Port – Pink-Purple
Audio in – light blue
Microphone – light pink
Audio out – light green
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The color-coding that is used on motherboard expansion slots and peripheral connections ports are so designed to help technicians quickly identify the standard or specification that is supported by a particular expansion slot and also helps end-users to find the right port in which to install their devices.
Some manufacturers may depart from the established conventions and color various components of the board solely for aesthetic value.Because of this, it is always a good idea to check the motherboard documentation to verify what slots are present.