- Woohoo, I've got this new super duper powerful computer and I'm really excited to do something with it but there's a problem. The problem is I don't have any peripherals. I don't have a monitor, a keyboard or a printer or all those other fun things we need to make our computers work. So what I want to talk about right now is the idea of ports. There's all kinds of different standardized ports we see on the typical PC today and let's make a point to tour around this system and discover the names of all of these different ports.
(Latin music) Now we're looking on the back of my system here and you notice there's all kinds of different connectors here but let's start with probably the most important one and that's USB. So what you're looking at here is what's called a USB A connector but for right now, I just want you to recognize this as a USB connector. USB is used for just about everything. You would be hard pressed to come up with a peripheral that doesn't have a USB connection to it. So what I want to do is you'll notice on the back of the system there are lots and lots and lots of USB connectors and there's a reason for that.
That's because people use a lot of USB. So, that is a very typical, very standard USB A connector. (Latin music) If you take a look right here, you're going to see what we call an ethernet connector. This is used by networks. If you have a wired network, you're almost certainly gonna be using one of these guys. This is an eight pin ethernet connector. Its official name is RJ45.
So these guys just plug in and assuming that the other end of this cable is going to the right stuff, you are now on a network. So that is an ethernet connector. (Latin music) All right now the next connector I want to show you is right here, these green ones. These are ESATA. ESATA connectors are designed almost exclusively for external hard drives. It's a super fast connection. And very very powerful.
Here we go. So the main reason you're gonna see someone use an ESATA connection like this is more than anything else is for a removable hard drive. (Latin music) Now this connector right here is actually kind of interesting. That's called a S/PDIF. S/PDIF connectors are believe it or not fiber optic cables. There's also a version that comes as a, looks like a coax connector kind of similar to the one you'd screw into the back of a television but S/PDIF is used for all things audio.
And this is a great to do really high quality home theater sound. If you see a S/PDIF on the back of your system, odds are good that you've got pretty good home theater capabilities. (Latin music) Now if you take a look at these two connectors right here. These guys are called DVI. DVI is the primary video output for systems today. So odds are good that this connector right here is heading out to a monitor or to a projector.
(Latin music) Right, now the next connector I want to talk about is called HDMI. Now if you take a look right here on this video card you'll see there's this little connector, that's actually, that is an HDMI connector but it's a, it's called mini HDMI. And the reason they're using it there is because there isn't enough room to put on the connector I really want to show you which is this guy right here. This is an HDMI connector. Now over here is an HDMI plug and this is gonna go out to a television, or a blu-ray player or a home theater receiver or whatever it might be.
HDMI carries both audio and video and it's very unique in being one of the few types of connectors that carries both audio and video. So make sure when you see these you can say HDMI. (Latin music) Now if you take a look at these six little connectors right here, what you're looking at is a one eighth inch or mini RCA jack. These are really popular, used all over the place.
In a computer, they're used as a direct connection to either microphones or to speakers themselves. Now if you look, those of you who have HDMI and we also have S/DIF, so the only time you tend to use these is when you actually have speakers you directly connect to the PC itself. Now, there are six different connectors. The blue one is line in so you can take it from another input source. The green one is probably the most famous one and that's stereo speakers.
The pink are for microphone and then the top three here are for 5.1 sound systems. So here we have side speakers, then we have rear speakers and then we have the center speaker and the subwoofer. Keep in mind each one of these connectors is designed to support two different speakers. So, those are your sound one eighth inch jacks. (Latin music) Not too terribly exciting but very very important for your computer, is your power connection.
Power is well power. Without this guy, nothing is gonna go. So this is your very very standard PC power connector. It only goes in one way and that is how you get juice to your computer. (Latin music) Lots of systems today are gonna have a front panel like this. Front panels are really just here for convenience. This is my on off switch. I got a reset button but it's the connections that I'm most interested in. Notice for example we have two USB ports.
Always nice if you want to plug in a flash drive or something like that. But also over here we've got a microphone and headphones. So you don't have to drive your neighbors crazy listening to all that crazy music you like so much. But the most important thing, the whole reason I really wanted to bring this attention to you is 'cause of this guy right here. This is something called FireWire. FireWire has been around for a while. And it's kind of actually losing to USB. But it works pretty much the same principle as USB.
For the most part, about the only thing you'll see using FireWire at all anymore will be the occasional video camera and that's about it. FireWire is on its way out but make sure you recognize this connector 'cause you will see it on the A+. It's great to be the cool kid on the block with the new super duper system with all the latest and greatest types of connectivity options. But not everybody gets to play with the newest toys. CompTIA A+ knows this. And as a result of that, they talk about a lot of older connectors that you're really not seeing on newer systems today.
These are known generically as legacy types of connections and in order for me to show you these 'cause they're on the A+, I had to go into the vaults and find an old motherboard. So what I want to do now is let's take a look at these old connections and discuss legacy connections. (Latin music) So as we take a look over here, we see we have two types. We got these little round connections. These are called, the physical type of connection is called a mini DIN, D-I-N, and it's a German name.
I don't remember what it stands for but if you'll notice these three connections, notice that they look kind of similar. They're all well if I tipped them, they're kind of D shaped and that's why these types of connections are generically called D sub connections. Now some of them have holes in them like this, those are female. And some of them have pins and those are what we call male connectors. These two connectors right here are known on a PC as PS 2 connectors 'cause that was the model of the computer that first used these. The one on the bottom is used for keyboards and the one on top is used for mice.
So back in the day, these were very very convenient. They've pretty much disappeared now 'cause USB has replaced both of these. Now coming over here, we see this green connector. This green connector is the granddaddy of all input output. This is a serial port. You'll notice it has nine pins so it's a nine pin male DB connector. So that's what you wanna be able to call it. So on the board itself it's male but anything you connect into it is gonna be female.
This is what we used to use for things like mice and even printers back in the old days. So, this is a serial port. Directly above it is a parallel port. Parallel ports were also original connections on the first IBM computers 30 years ago and they're still out there a little bit. These guys are used more than anything else they're used for printers. So what we have here is a 25 pin female D sub connector.
And this guys is going to be for more often than anything else you're gonna see this for a printer. That's a parallel port. Now the last one I want to talk about here is right here. You'll notice that this is a D sub but it has three rows and five pins in each row. This connector is a VGA connector. And it is about the oldest type of video connector there ever was. So, this was used more than anything else, this was gonna be plugged into, this is coming from a monitor or from a projector.
Let me plug that guy in and ta da. That is a VGA connector. Make sure that you recognize all four of these different types of ports. Be able to name them by the nomenclature I just used and be able to name some of the devices that these old ports used to connect to. In this episode we've taken a look at a lot of different types of connectors. Keep in mind our only goal here is visual recognition. If on the A+ they show a picture of a FireWire connector, you need to be able to say FireWire.
If they show a picture of an old parallel port, oh I hope they don't, you need to be able to recognize those as well. The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to all of these different connectors is that if it isn't going in easily or coming out easily, you're probably doing it wrong. Everything in the back of your computer is keyed. Everything is color coded. You can't really break anything by putting in something into the wrong connection, it just won't work. So don't be afraid to play around a little bit and just do whatever you've gotta do to make whatever dumaflache you're plugging in work.
The CompTIA A+ 220-901 exam is comprised of six key parts. The first, core processing, is covered by this course. Instructor Mike Meyers explains the fundamentals of PCs, microprocessors, RAM, and BIOS. He also shows you how to set up, connect, maintain, and troubleshoot the main components of a computer.
Note: The six courses designed for the CompTIA A+ (220-901) exam preparation include core processing, core hardware, peripherals and building a PC, displays and printers, networking, and laptops and mobile devices.
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- How do personal computers (PCs) work?
- What is a central processing unit (CPU)?
- When is random access memory (RAM) used?
- What is a basic input/output system (BIOS)?
- Installing a CPU
- Working with extensions and sockets
- Troubleshooting RAM
- Setting up a BIOS