Legacy port

A legacy port is a computer port or connector that is considered by some to be fully or partially superseded.[1] The replacement ports usually provide most of the functionality of the legacy ports with higher speeds, more compact design, or plug and play and hot swap capabilities for greater ease of use. Modern PC motherboards use separate Super I/O controllers to provide legacy ports since current chipsets do not offer direct support for them. A category of computers called legacy-free PCs omits these ports, typically retaining only USB for external expansion.

USB adapters are often used to provide legacy ports if they are required on systems not equipped with them.

Common legacy ports

Legacy portTypical usesCommonly replaced by
Centronics parallel portPrinter[2], scanner, removable mediaUSB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
External parallel SCSIRemovable mediaUSB, Thunderbolt, Serial Attached SCSI
AT connector / DINKeyboardUSB
Serial port / RS-232console, modem, mouse[2]USB
PS/2 connector / 6-pin mini-DINkeyboard, mouse[2][3][4]USB
Game port / DA-15MIDI, gaming devices such as joysticks[2]USB
Apple Desktop Bus / mini-DINlow speed external peripherals; such as keyboard, mouse, or joystickUSB
Localtalk / mini-DINOldWorld Macintosh printer and LANUSB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) busConnect peripheral cards to motherboard[2]PCI Express
VGA / DE-15display connector[5]DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Parallel ATA[6]Internal hard drives, CD-ROMSerial ATA, M.2
Floppy drive connectorFloppy drives, tape drivesUSB
IEEE 1394 (FireWire)Video devices, external storageUSB 3.0, Thunderbolt
Accelerated Graphics PortVideo cardPCI Express
PC CardLaptop storage cards, other peripheralsExpressCard, USB

See also


  1. definition of legacy from Oxford Dictionaries Online
  2. "Archived White Papers". Microsoft.com. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. Computing (2002-09-17). "Build It: Legacy Free PC". ExtremeTech. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  4. Fisco, Richard (2005-03-22). "Top Ten Buying Tips - Desktop PCs: The Essential Consumer Buying Guide". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  5. Archived June 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "What Is PATA? (with picture)". Wisegeek.com. 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-21.

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