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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | The Motherboard | Parts of the Motherboard ]

I/O Cables / Connectors

If your motherboard uses the ATX, LPX or NLX form factors, it has integrated serial and parallel port connectors. If it is AT or Baby AT style, then you normally should get three ribbon cables with the motherboard to connect the serial and parallel connectors to the motherboard. The serial cables normally have 9 wires each (even if they go to 25-pin connectors) and the parallel cable has 25. These connectors normally come pre-mounted into metal inserts intended to be installed into the case where expansion cards go. See this procedure for instructions on mounting these connectors to the case and attaching them to the motherboard.

Warning: These cables are not entirely "universal". In most cases using older cables with a newer motherboard or swapping motherboards between machines while leaving the cables behind in the case will work. However, it is possible that it will not. If you are doing this type of swap, beware of problems with the I/O ports and install new cables if necessary.

Next: Floppy Cable

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