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I have seen so many cases with front usb ports etc, but obviously they couldn't fit every motherboard, so I was wondering how they connect, do they come with a plug that connects to a sata port or pci express or something, my question is just: how do those front i/o ports connect and interact with the computer

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

They are pretty much standardized and are just little pins that stick up in a certain configuration:enter image description here

These pins look like this: enter image description here

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They're just electrical extensions of ports already found on the motherboard, just as an extension cord is an electrical extension of the wall socket.

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as in, if my motherboard doesn't fit, too bad? – Luke San Antonio Feb 2 '11 at 0:36
Yes, though they're pretty common these days. You may also be able to buy a PCI card that gives you additional ports including internally, but don't quote me, check around for that. – Mark Allen Feb 2 '11 at 1:01

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