We use cables almost every day but their importance remains relatively underestimated. With so many types of cables available today, however, it might be confusing for users to fully comprehend their users. Hence, here is an overview of the most common computer cables that you will encounter and how they are used.
Another connector that can be commonly found is the USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable. Almost every type of computer peripheral device – mice, flash drives, keyboards, headsets, et cetera – can be connected to the computer via a USB port.
The designs of the USB have continually evolved over the years, hence there's a variety of USB available in the market today. The USB 1.0/1.1 can transmit data at speeds up to 12Mbps, the USB 2.0 transfers data at speeds up to 480Mbps and is the most common version in the market, while the USB 3.0 can send data up to 4.8 Gbps. There are also the mini and micro USB variants for smaller devices such as PDAs and phones.
High-definition broadcasts are the new standards today to define high quality. HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cables are connectors that can deliver digital signals from one device to another. HDMI cables can send both video and audio signals together. Since HDMI cables only transmit digital devices, these connectors are only compatible with newer devices.
There are four types of HDMI connectors available in the market. Type A HDMI cables are the most common and can usually be identified by the 19 pins on the male head. Type B is larger than Type A with 29 pins on the male head. Type C is a 19-pin cable that often comes with portable devices. The last type, Type D has 19 pins on its head and also looks like a micro-USB cord.
Video Graphics Array (VGA) cables were created back in the 1980s. Since then, they have been the standard cables that are used to connect a computer to an external monitor. Recently though, these cables have slowly been substituted due to the preference of using digital connections over analog. However, many display apparatus today such as projectors and monitors still come with a complementary VGA port.
VGA cables and ports can be identified by their 15-pin configuration – arranged in 3 rows with 5 on each row. Each of this row corresponds to the three different colour channels typically used in a display which are red, green, and blue.
DVI (Digital Visual Interface) cables became the eventual replacement to VGA cables after analog connections transitioned towards digital. DVI cables are available in 3 varieties – DVI-A, DVI-D, and DVI-I. DVI-A can also be used to transmit analog signals, which enables it to be backwards compatible with VGA. This makes the DVI-A very suitable for CRT monitors or lower quality LCD monitors.