Computer Setup Guide

This computer setup guide will help you get familiar with the parts of your computer but before we go over how to plug your devices in lets cover a few things concerning your motherboard (depending on your model of computer it may or may not have all these options). The pictures below will show you the general locations of things and how they look plus a few new technologies (ASUS Z270-K Motherboard for 7th generation Intel CPUs is displayed for reference).

Computer Setup Guide ASUS Z270-K Motherboard

Computer Setup Guide ASUS M.2 Slot

Computer Setup Guide ASUS USB 3.1 Gen2 Ports

Now that you have some knowledge about the inside of your computer lets go over where all the devices attach to the back of the computer (your computer may or may not have all these ports on the back). The only things you can easily mess up on are the USB and Audio / Sound devices, pay careful attention to the colors and markings of the cables / plugs / ports.

Computer Setup Guide motherboard backpanel

A - PS/2 PORTS

For older keyboards, mice, and trackballs.

B - SUPER SPEED USB 3.0 900mA PORTS
(Some blue ports can be the new USB 3.1 Generation 1 or 2 with higher transfer speeds and special power capabilities - see your manual for more information)

For high speed devices like scanners, hard drives, flash drives, high end cameras and smart devices. If these ports are yellow refer to your motherboard manual about the special power output of the ports. If these ports are red that normally implies a special function, again refer to your motherboard manual for details. These ports will charge your device(s) faster than USB 2.0 ports.  You can plug USB 1.0 thru 2.0 devices in these ports as well but do not plug wireless transmitters into any USB 3.0 port if you can keep from it.

C - ANTENNA PORTS (WIFI/BLUETOOTH)

For built in WiFi, Bluetooth and sometimes Cellular Data Cards.

D - S/PDIF (OPTICAL AUDIO)

For digital audio output to high end computer speakers or to a stereo system.

E - HDMI PORT

For digital monitors, HDTVs, and 4K Ultra HDTVs.  This port can come in a mini and micro versions.

F - VGA PORT

For analog tube type monitors and low end flat panel monitors.

G - NETWORK PORT

For all of your wired network needs.

H - 5.1+ SURROUND SOUND SUBWOOFER / CENTER SPEAKER PORT (ANALOG)

For various surround sound speaker options, these colored ports often have different uses depending on the speaker model so always refer to your speaker manual when attaching them to these ports.

I - LINE IN PORT (ANALOG)

For inputting audio into the computer, most likely for recording from old records and tapes.  To record from digital devices you may want to look for a digital input, such as a custom USB device/interface.

J - 5.1+ SURROUND SOUND REAR SPEAKER PORT (ANALOG)

For various surround sound speaker options, these colored ports often have different uses depending on the speaker model so always refer to your speaker manual when attaching them to these ports.

K - SPEAKER IN PORT (ANALOG)

Plug your 3.5mm speaker cable in here.

L - MICROPHONE IN PORT (ANALOG)

Plug your 3.5mm microphone cable in here.

M - 5.1+ SURROUND SOUND SIDE SPEAKER PORT (ANALOG)

For various surround sound speaker options, these colored ports often have different uses depending on the speaker model so always refer to your speaker manual when attaching them to these ports.

N - DVI PORT

For digital DVI monitors.

O - DP (DISPLAYPORT)

For digital monitors, 4K monitors, and 8K Ultra HDTVs.  This port can also come in a miniDP version.

P - USB 2.0 500mA PORTS

For all USB 1.0 thru 2.0 devices. If these ports are yellow refer to your motherboard manual about the special power output of the ports.  If these ports are red that normally implies a special function, again refer to your motherboard manual for details.