Legacy port

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A parallel port implemented as a PCI card. Users can use expansion cards to add deprecated legacy ports to newer computer systems that do not provide them.

A legacy port is a computer port or connector that is considered by some to be fully or partially superseded.[1] The replacement ports usually provide most of the functionality of the legacy ports with higher speeds, more compact design, or plug and play and hot swap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[edit]

Legacy port Typical uses Commonly replaced by
Centronics parallel port Printer[2], scanner, removable media USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
External parallel SCSI Removable media USB, Thunderbolt, Serial Attached SCSI
AT connector / DIN Keyboard USB
Serial port / RS-232 console, modem, mouse[2] USB
PS/2 connector / 6-pin mini-DIN keyboard, mouse[2][3][4] USB
Game port / DA-15 MIDI, gaming devices such as joysticks[2] USB
Apple Desktop Bus / mini-DIN low speed external peripherals; such as keyboard, mouse, or joystick USB
Localtalk / mini-DIN OldWorld Macintosh printer and LAN USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus Connect peripheral cards to motherboard[2] PCI Express
VGA / DE-15 display connector[5] DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Parallel ATA[6] Internal hard drives, CD-ROM Serial ATA, M.2
Floppy drive connector Floppy drives, tape drives USB
IEEE 1394 (FireWire) Video devices, external storage USB 3.0, Thunderbolt
Accelerated Graphics Port Video card PCI Express
PC Card Laptop storage cards, other peripherals ExpressCard, USB

See also[edit]


  1. ^ definition of legacy from Oxford Dictionaries Online
  2. ^ a b c d e "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. ^ [1] Archived June 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "What Is PATA? (with picture)". Wisegeek.com. 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-21.