Is this a port to connect a monitor and if so, what kind of port is it?

Is this a port to connect a monitor and if so, what kind of port is it?


That’s a serial port. A 9-pin one (serial ports came in 9 and 25 pin varieties). They were the standard port you connected serial devices (such as mice, modems etc.) to before USB (Universal *Serial* Bus) became the standard (ie. around the turn of the millennium). In Windows device manager, this port will appear as a COM port (probably COM1 if there’s only one). Kind of unusual to see one on a motherboard that also has a lot of USB ports. Especially since some of those USB ports are USB 3 ports (the blue ones), meaning this machine can’t be older than about 2009-ish. Could also be a server: servers still commonly have serial ports. A lot of industrial equipment too.


And not just a serial port, but clearly has cut-outs for PS2 keyboard and mouse. Seems like a mobo built for backward compatibility... and yet, no parallel port or DB-25. Maybe just headers for those with a plate for the expansion ports.


You could still get motherboards with this kind of pinout during the late Diablo II era, I want to say Pentium 4 / Duron/Sempron era... long enough after standalone graphics cards were invented that it became normal to _not_ have integrated motherboard graphics. You're right, though, it's weird to not see parallel & DB25. EDIT: folks pointing out that the USB port is blue, which implies USB3 -> 2008. Weird!


I love how a year, like 2005, is hard for me to tell exactly when it was but you say late Diablo 2 era and I know exactly when you mean. I will now define time periods by their defining game.


>Especially since some of those USB ports are USB 3 ports (the blue ones), meaning this machine can’t be older than about 2009-ish. Thats what i was thinking, what board is this and what the heck is it for that it has USB3 ports AND a serial port, but no PS2. Thats a weird mix of supported peripherals. EDIT: I am dumb, my Plex server board has USB3 and a serial port. And parallel port. https://www.asrock.com/MB/AMD/AM1B-ITX/index.us.asp


PS2 ports are (were) only used for mice & keyboards. Long since been replaced by USB. There is still a lot of industrial/scientific equipment that has serial ports. Still a relevant interface in many environments. And a USB to serial adapter often does not work for this type of equipment. USB is, well, universal as its name implies.


Yeah in Enterprise networking hardware, it's still decently common to need need to use the serial port to access the configuration console


ASRock makes a bunch of really cheap passively cooled mITX boards with COM, Parallel, VGA and a soldiered on modern processor. I've used them before as low power servers because it's a 10W processor. Just add a couple of DDR4 SODIMMs and you've got a decent computer for like $150. The main drawback is the 8GB memory limitation. Current example with a Gemini Lake Refresh processor: https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/J4125B-ITX/index.us.asp


Devices with serial ports are still widely used in science and engineering.


And healthcare.


I now feel incredibly old, I have a serial port card on my computer and still use it.


I felt each and every wrinkle in my face pronounce itself when I saw this post. :(


Dust started falling from my skin, and a singular church bell rung spookily in the distance as everyone nearby got goosebumps.


Cobwebs stretch and spiders scuttle as my skeletal hand reaches for the cream-coloured PS/2 mouse...


The only sounds to be heard were the cracking of arthritic joints and the hum of the CRT monitor. My eyes could hardly discern the green letters...


My jaw just dropped and my dentures fell into my ovaltine. Clippy was so concerned he asked if I needed assistance.


The good ones are this far down because old men are so slow to respond.


I had to put on my bifocals to read this ^


I had to hitch up my britches.


took me a while to respond because I was cleaning the ball and rollers on my mouse


I groan in pain as I unscrew the bottom of the mouse. I begin the incantation, "God damn peice of shit mouse." My sigh is strained, labored as I close the benediction. The ball cleaning ritual has begun.


Don’t forget to remove the ball, and swab it out real good.


Might need to scrape the packed dust off the rollers


My bones began aching as my vision blurred and… what was I doing here again?


Push me out to sea, I’ve clearly become a burden with my age


"Can someone please tell me why this phone is connected to a cord in the wall?" Me: *cries*


"This phone has physical buttons. Anyone know why?"


"Mine has a wheel with holes in it. Do I need a special tool to use it?"


Curiosity question: what do you use it for?


I’ve got several FPGA dev boards that use a serial port for programming, and if you’re not using a LAN you can hook up things like a raspberry pi to a serial port. Edit: before PS/2 connectors were a thing mice were serial port devices as well. Keyboards used to have this chunky AT connector. Ps/2 mice and keyboards were dope though, instead of the computer just polling the device over usb the keyboard and mouse triggered their own interrupt on the cpu.


The best part was you never missed the bios prompt. I've had a few usb keyboards over the years that didn't initialise fast enough.


This. I remember keeping a ps/2 keyboard on hand just to interrupt boot because the USB one never worked. Nowadays it's all good though.


I wonder how many USB keyboards and mice remain backwards-compatible with PS/2?


I wonder if I even still have my USB > ps/2 adapter haha!


It's probably in the same box as the AT-PS/2 and PS/2-AT adapter cables.


Ah yes. The Box of Many Cables. Every legacy adapter and power cable you can think of, and then some. Someday my sons will inherit The Box and in turn their own children as well. It is my greatest legacy.


Ohh I have one of these boxes too, wife is always asking 2 questions, what are the the cables for and why do we need them, I tell her those are all my computer cables from over the years, as for why I need them, I never have a good answer, it’s always “just in case” she doesn’t like it, but it has come in handy more than a few times!


I keep a wired USB keyboard and mouse for the same reason with wireless sets. Found enough PCs won't accept wireless when in the BIOS


It was a real mess in the transition when many bios didn't even read the USB keyboard during startup well


There was Dell model that the bios allowed you to disable the USB ports but didn't have PS2 ports. It was a common prank in my IT vocational school to reboot and enter the bios and disable USB when someone left their pc. This effectively bricked the PC, no keyboard detected press F1 to continue. The only was to recover was to open the case and clear the CMOS. Suffice it to say most had their bios password protected after the first couple of weeks in class.




Very neat


Another use would be for modems, to connect to other computers/Bulletin boards/Internet. There was also two different serial-ports, 9 pin and 25 pin. If you needed a 9-pin port, you could use a dongle to go from 25 to 9. I assume you could not go the other way.


And then there were 25 pin 8 bit wide sub-d parallel connectors which were mainly used for printers but could also be used for higher speed file transfer between two PCs. Printers used 25 pin sub-d to 36 pin sub-d Centronics Connectors. Good ol' times


My brother and I used to play Doom and Duke Nukem 3D over a null modem cable. It *was* good times.


You can usually go the other way as a serial connection most of the time only use three pins (1,2,5 I think).


There is a lot of speciality equipment that still uses RS232. A mate of mine is an IT Manager for a hospital. One of his biggest challenges is making sure older medical equipment can be connected to newer computers. When a machine costs hundreds of thousands of dollars they don’t just dispose of it because a computer just stops working.


I once replaced a 60k$ FTIR spectrometer because the computer died. It needed an ISA card slot and Windows 3.1. The replacement used USB.


For 60k couldn't you build an external housing for the Isa to usb port and virtualize the windows 3.1 instance?


Depending on what the equipment is used for that may not be an option. Medical equipment is certified using a particular construction. If someone changes the way it works it needs to be re certified.


We have, I am not joking, 4 year old angiography machines that still run XP…. we isolated the shit out of that network.


I've got a pipe bender and a plate burning table that still run xp. As in they've got a CNC controller that's a custom piece of hardware running a custom piece of software to run the equipment, and it's all built on top of XP. It's not networked to anything important (in one case not to anything at all - there's no reason the pipe bender need to talk to anyone else, I'm not even sure why it has an Ethernet port).


we have entire production lines/facilities still running XP 10s to 100s of millions to retool or just deal with it and keep a lot of hold hardware around in case shit


Would be USB to ISA in that case. Those cards exist, but back in the ISA days a lot of things just got hacked together in a way that made them work, and nobody back then was expecting that their little hack that works fine under DOS and W3.1 will eventually face being under Win10 or whatever while also having completely new hardware thrown into the mix (USB to ISA). It then all comes down to common sense: Spend time and money to keep that old machine working a little longer (you don't know if you are successful with that until you literally are successful with that), or spend a bunch more money once and get a new machine that lasts the next couple decades.


Same as Steve, FPGA dev boards use it commonly, multimeters, other test equipment, lots of industrial gear, older development boards, rs232 is still fairly common inside products for debugging as well.


I use rs232 daily to interact with fire alarm systems. Its old school but it works fine for what we need.


It's rugged and solid and provides connection regardless the conditions. Excellent for low bitrate requirements in the field.


Exactly. It does what you tell it when you need it.


I work on navigation systems for boats and ships. In my field serial ports are still used to bring in external data to navigation software. Usually position from a gps receiver, heading from a compass, depth from a bottom sounder, that sort of thing. Because this data only needs to update once a second (although heading updates 10x/s) the baud rate is only 4800. Some inputs need 38400baud and then some which carry all that data from a canbus on one feed run at 921600 with plenty of overhead left over. Word is all marine electronics will soon adopt an all-ethernet standard. It'll simplify every install but I hope they figure out connectors because rj45s dont last around salt water vapor.


That is a COM port or serial port, not a video port. In the old days, these were used to connect peripherals to the computer. It is likely that this is included to support legacy scientific or engineering equipment.


Com ports are still a normal thing in industrial/professional applications.


Yep, still regularly read data over COM. Luckily rs232 to ethernet adapters exist now so mostly use virtual COM


Not always legacy. Managed switches often have serial ports, as do some new lab test equipment.


You'll also still find them on workstation PCs, for this reason. In some cases even parallel ports.


Umm... Serial port. VGA ports on MoBos were female ports.


And also had 15 pins, not 9.


What do you mean had? I am still running my 16 yo boy just fine


FBI! Open up!


You can't arrest an old man man for playing with his robo lover!


Look, I'm not gonna tell you that you aren't allowed to build and use your own fuck dolls but the reason you're under arrest is because you can't use them in the middle of a park full of kids.


I'm sorry, I thought this was America!


I still have my 4th gen i7/gtx 480 rig in my closet. makes more noise than pixels but it works.


Im running Destiny 2 on my i5 4670k just fine, [email protected] 4th gen is not that bad


I've had an odd gigabyte one where it was switchable between serial and vga and it came with an adapter.


Just Gigabyte things...


Lmfao, fuck me im old


Yeah I was trying to figure out if this was a joke


I’m willing to bet based on OP’s posts in other groups, that they are under 15 y/o. Anyone wanna bet $10 ETH?


OP already commented he is in mid 20s


Same here. lol Think about this: Many young adults haven't used a CD player.


Fuck me, I’m very old. I remember buying my first ever CD when my dad bought a CD player (£400!).


I remember when anti skip became a thing. I was so happy that i could go on my walks without having to hold the cd player still while walking down the road.


Omg same. I had a cd player the size of a brick that took 6 AA’s and drained all of them in 2 hours. Then I got a sony discman with 10sec antiskip that used 2 AA batteries and I felt like I just teleported into the future.


People thought I was a techno badass cause I got a CD mp3 player and had something like 300 songs on one CD.


I had a minidisk player that all my friends thought was amazing. Was the only cool thing about me back in high school! Then someone stole it when I was stoned at a party one time.


My friend took a minidisk recorder into the Radiohead show we saw when I was in college and gave us all CD copies of the show. Thanks for bringing up that memory.


I remember getting my ass whooped back in 1990 for putting lime green jello in my parents CD player.


How powerful would a simple 3.5" floppy and floppy drive be these days for storing your crypto wallet seed phrase


If you want to combine crypto with old style flair, print your keys onto a punch card.


Punch cards store 80 chars


Lots of punch cards


It was funny In my tech club I ran at school. Other then the teacher I was the only one who knew what a floppy disk was


Of course we know what that is; it’s 3D printed save icon.


It started as a meme but we're already at the point where people don't know the meaning of the save icon


... but why? Is there a reason to use it over flash ( aside from the obscurity-security of floppy drives not being everywhere anymore? )


You'll find the answer in your own comment 😘


just video it and put it on a cassette player. ;)


Ohhhh that's good


[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security\_through\_obscurity](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_through_obscurity) USB floppy drive costs like 5€ used 15€ new and TBH seeing someone have a floppy sparks more curiosity than a usb flashdrive - you might be actually harming your security by sticking out like a sore thumb. Let alone the dogshit quality of modern manufactured floppies and the possiblity of being memed on with a magnet. But you do you, it is probably more of an image thing than security thing :)


I had as kid in late 90s used Pentium 1 pc with no dedicated gpu no sound card and no CD rom.. only floppy .. i waited long to get upgrade - CD rom, sound card, TNT2 32mb gpu and hdd upgrade from 1,96gb to 80gb


That’s a gaming rig right there, some of us had onboard video. Nvidia’s TNT2 and TNT2 Ultra cards were monsters back then.


You should have told them you were just trying to listen to that metal three little pigs song from green jelly.


Little pig, little pig, let me in...


Yep i remember sticking a coin into the slot loading drive in our new car like a week after we got it, our first car with a cd drive (and a stacker in the boot too) Parents were not pleased.


I used to ride the bus with my Walkman tape in jr high and then upgraded to a CD player in HS and a MP3 player in college.


Have you used cassette player?Sony walkman.


I remember getting a yellow Walkman for my birthday. I think I was 8? Came with these garbage ass headphones. Strip of flat metal for the headband. Shitty soft foam over the speakers. Just absolute trash.


Yep. I grew up pre cassettes when we used 8 tracks and records. Cassettes became common when I was 9 or 10.


I remember an old friend of mine brag about his back then new cd player that would keep playing music even when you shake the player


The Discman added a few seconds of read-ahead (probably analog delay loop?) buffering so shaking it for a brief time didn't make a difference. Edit: not analog, CDs already digital. D'OH!


AFAIK it was digital memory, so the stream of data would get read from the disc faster than playback speed, and playback occured from the memory so if the player was shaken the laser had time to refocus and start filling the memory again.


Reminds me about some discussionwe had at school... "look! 30-sec antishock" ... Wow, look at mine, it has 45 seconds antishock, he he" ... The buffer lasted only some seconds, nowhere near 30 or 45 seconds


WHAT? I was born post-2000 and I grew up with tape players!




Or live in a third world country where technology are 5-15 years behind. My country caught up around 2010s. Before that, our PC was the ones Americans used in the 90s, still listened to radio with tapes (our player can play CDs too, which was a big deal lmao).


Did they use a Walkman tho?


I had to think hard if this was satire, sarcasm or a genuine question.


Who here remembers rewinding cassettes


Get the pen


Dixon-Ticonderoga #2 pencil fit perfectly in cassette reel teeth


Had a VHS rewinder shaped like an old ‘57 Chevy. Think was so cool.


Wooden pencils FTW (that's _For The Wind_)


Most networking equipment still has serial ports, so you're not that old 😂


My first thought was, "*Oh no*".


On the bright side, this Sub can be quite entertaining for old fucks like us... Hiw people ask shit in social than have a look into the manual for 5sec is still beyond me. (might not apply here, but more often than not, that's the case)


> this Sub can be quiet entertaining for old fucks like us... We old fucks do prefer our entertainment quiet.




Last time I used this port was to play MechWarrior with my MS Sidewinder 3D Pro Joystick.


Am i THAT old?


No, it's the children who are wrong!


Bruh I'm 18 and I feel old seeing this post.


you are of the younger or much older generation


Mid 20s. But I don't really deal with hardware too much. I'm just getting into it by grabbing free (or relatively cheap) hardware and trying to do various stuff with it.


I mean that board has USB 3 so it's not that old!


I thought that, doesn't have the old mouse and keyboard connectors


A fair few of the newer Mobos for gaming have PS/2 ports. Some gamers swear by them as they don't have ghosting for keebs and some have special mices preferences.


Extreme overclockers prefer them as well, because they function even at sub 0 temperatures, unlike the usb controllers wich are really unstable at those temps


Doesn’t PS2 go right into interrupt land and not “driver that relies on the OS not being shit?” (Which makes them lower level and more reliable back then.. IIRC unplugging one meant your OS would freak out if it was running at the time.)


Oooo, I’m interested in this gem of a comment. Thx


That's actually a very neat factoid, thanks.


Interesting, didn't know that. I guess PS/2 is dedicated port on mobo and has better interrupts at the hardware level compared to the universal bus. I don't know if that's true, just a wild guess.


From what I've seen it doesn't actually pan out too well. It's something that gives results if you're a monster, and won't do shit if you're not working at the level needed for that. I personally assume that the best use for Ps/2 is the keeb freaks who really like their old mechs "That they just don't make em like they used to."


Its also very usefull if you accidentally disable all usb devices while messing around too much in the bios. Not that that happened to me of course.


tbh I bought a PS/2 compatible mobo just because old mech keyboards in my country tend to be just thrown out cause many people dont have PS/2 ports anymore


Good point. Eight USB 2.x (or 1.x?) and built-in network card? (Yeah, I'm old enough to remember when that wasn't standard. You bought network cards as add-ins and they usually cost around $40 or so, like the cost of a WiFi card now.) And the back of that case is in very nice shape. To steal a quote from *The Silence of the Lambs*: "Somebody fed him honey. Kept him warm. Somebody loved him ..."


The USB 3.0 specification was released on 12 November 2008.


Ignore every comment that says this is a VGA port. It is not. It is a serial port, also known as a COM port.


Yeah, I know it's not vga. I've used VGA and I knew this wasn't that. Thank you for the support, though


“I was there, three thousand years ago…”


This thread is a reality check for those in the 30s and above


It's a cereal port so you can feed your computer breakfast


Thank you to everyone who answered 🙏 Edit: by consensus it seems the port is a RS-232 Serial port. Thank you all again for you insights.


Technically doesn't meet the true RS-232 spec with missing pins, but close enough.


Should I just say serial port, then?


Yeah folks will know what ya mean, either way. It's cool. It's just the old engineer in me thinking back to actually having to read specs like that one in detail that makes me say such things... I'm just glad I don't have to have EIA/TIA specs memorized to the point of knowing what voltage ranges are within spec on particular pins anymore... because some jackassery had been done in the circuit design and I'm at some customer site with a voltmeter or scope figuring out where it all went terribly wrong... Hahaha. I had a long time friend and mentor who'd ask "where the hell is your maintenance manual?" or "isn't the spec we nuy everybody in your laptop?" if anybody called him from the field asking those numbers. His way of teaching us there are no secrets in tech... It's all in a specification document somewhere... The 9 pin serial port was a pared down version that dropped stuff that wasn't truly needed in the original 25 pin version. It was a tad over engineered. :-)


I just realized that mobo doesnt have video out. What is this pc?


Probably as something over a decade old EDIT: but it has usb3 WTF That's gotta be some pro motherboard


"The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced on 17 November 2008 that the specification of version 3.0 had been completed" Timeline fits. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_3.0


Desktop version of /u/khaz_'s link: --- ^([)[^(opt out)](https://reddit.com/message/compose?to=WikiMobileLinkBot&message=OptOut&subject=OptOut)^(]) ^(Beep Boop. Downvote to delete)


I'll have to use the graphics card included in it for video out, probably. Someone mentioned that in the comments. Just ordered a cable for it a few minutes ago.


My old board for 4th generation intel CPUs had both a serial port, a parallel port and 2 USB 3 ports.


That’s Serial-ly old. Sorry. I’ll see myself out.




Tell me I’m old without telling me I’m old.


Oh no, does this mean I'm old?


It’s happening


This made me lol


Sit down son for i have q story to tell


Is this a serious question, or someone trying to see how old we are? That is a COM port, used for ancient crap I still have to deal with.


It was a series question. I kinda feel bad making everyone feel old. Like 80% of the commenters hate me now lol


No one hates you. Thanks for this nostalgic thread


Oh boi are we really getting old


RS-232 serial port. No, not a VGA port.


DB 9 Male serial port


Oof way to rip on anyone 35+ years young! Lol Serial port or sometimes called a game port for joysticks. Edit: a fellow redditor kindly corrected me. It's a serial port. Game ports were on sound cards 'back in the day'


Game port was like 15 pins, and yellow. Some joysticks did use the com port though, as did many mice.


Game ports are not the same as serial ports. Serial ports were either 9 pins (like this one) or 25 pins and usually directly built into the motherboard. Game ports/MIDI ports/joystick ports were 15 pin and usually on *sound cards* or other expansion cards.


Lmao. Very sorry my young friend ;p




Damn, am i this old already?


The number of people saying its VGA is kind of yikes. VGA is 15 pins. That is a COM / Serial port. Mostly redundant these days.


Wrong gender and everything!


I was away with work a while back and needed a female to female straight through serial cable (that I obviously didn't have with me). Went in to the local Maplins, kind of a small tech weirdness shop in the UK and asked the young girl behind the counter for a "9 way gender bender". I have never seen so much misunderstood rage from a person before her manager stepped in


I kid you not, I worked at Maplin and we would get asked this every so often! It would often just be phrased "looking for a gender bender" (no mention of pins or dsub) and I prided myself on knowing to answer "what flavor? Serial 9 pin?"


To all the people who say this port is obsolete, you couldn't be more wrong! You go into any theatre, factory, airport, supermarket or studio and looks at the back kit you will see a serial port running RS232 or RS485. Also present on most commercial displays and video walls. These port are slow but rock solid and still very much in use. They are also cheap and can run over long distances when compared to CATx cabling. Long live the humble serial ports.


That's an RS-232 serial port. It's used as an interface port for a lot of peripheral devices. It's obsolote and pretty much gone now. Some specialized devices still use them but they're super old now.


As someone working in industrial IT I have to deal with these all Time.


COM4 is my favourite.


I love all my COM ports equally (not really, COM4 is always going to be my favourite)


Yeah they're still pretty common on professional grade devices. Though a lot have USB as well.


Obsolete? As a systems engineer we use serial weekly. Outdated for sure


Definitely not obsolete. Just not used on every day computers anymore.


EE student here. They are still very much relavent and actually fun to work with.


Yeah i have my oscilloscope connected to my PC through one


It’s so weird seeing that port on a usb 3.0 equipped board.


That my young boy is an serial port 😂


For those saying they're old, I'm 16 and still know what this is.


It's a serial port. Nothing to do with a monitor. Console cables use it, back in the day printers or mouse could use it too.


that is a DB9 port, commonly used for Serial TTL (not UART). It is commonly used even now as a method of system control. You'd want these to connect via a Software (Windows: Putty or MobaXTerm, OSX/Linux: Screen) - USB Serial Adapter - https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-USB-Serial-Adapter-Prolific/dp/B00GRP8EZU - db9 female to female - https://www.amazon.co.uk/C2G-Female-Gender-Changer-Adapter-DB9/dp/B001U3ZOVG Depending on OS on the system, you'll either way a Login prompt (linux/embedded) or nothing (Windows). But the motherboard is likely configured to allow bios control etc.. so you could install a new OS with Serial (TTY) enabled as a interface. TLDR: Not a monitor port, older method of control without graphics.


Holy mother of usb slots