Computer Cables Guide - Computer Cable Management

Computer Cables Guide - Computer Cable Management
Page content

Plugging In

Getting a computer and its peripherals (keyboard, screen, printer, etc.) to work requires connecting many different cables. Sometimes, only one will do to the trick, and the challenge is making sure you have exactly the right one and connecting it properly. At other times, however, you have options as to which cable to use. Having options may seem nice, and it is in a pinch. But usually one option is better, and the others are just making due. You need to choose the best one, then do everything right.

Though USB is a popular external storage connection, it isn’t a very good one.

External Drive Cables

This is one of the situations where you have many choices, but some are better than others.

Another facet of dealing with cables is that, like in all things computing related, change is the only constant. New versions of all of these connectors are on their way, arriving as soon as the end of this year. FireWire S3200, USB 3.0, SATA 6, and power over SATA are discussed here.

SATA is not used just for external drives. Let’s talk about the cables found inside the computer.

Internal Computer Cables

eSATA’s speed advantage is based on the fact that it offers a connection identical (electronically if not physically) to what SATA offers internally.

While we are inside the computer, we’ll look at some of the other cables in here.

Though not cables, PCI and PCI-E are connection interfaces. While we have the case open and are talking about graphics cards, it is best to understand expansion slots as well.

You’ve hooked up just about everything except your monitor…

Cables for Video Screens

Hooking up a monitor used to involve very few options. While we have lost that simplicity, we have gained not only a far better picture, but some interesting features: