Which Port to Choose

Understanding your options.

When it comes to the physical ports on your computer, the choices are fewer than they used to be in earlier years. SCSI, PS/2, and parallel ports may be long gone, but that doesn't change the fact that there can still be some confusion regarding which port to use for which device.

There are multiple types of display ports and this article from Michael Brown of PCWorld discusses the pros and cons of two of them - HDMI and DisplayPort. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolt port, originally found on Apple computers, is making its way to other devices. Tyler Lacoma from Digital Trends provides some useful information about what Thunderbolt does. Meanwhile, for some handy advice on USB-C, check out this article from Windows Central by Jerry Hildenbrand.

Supporting Web Links
Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. This is a good opportunity to discuss the various ports found on typical computing devices. Consider sharing the Ultimate Chart of Computer Connectors and Ports infographic (from the Supporting Web Links section) with the class. How many of the ports shown can students identify? 
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a port, or type of port, to research. The groups should create a presentation that identifies the port and its purpose, provides its history and/or variations, and provide any additional details that might be useful or interesting.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to research a legacy port or one of the newer types of ports. Students should write a brief paper identifying the port and its uses, discussing its history, and providing any additional information.


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