From HDMI to Ethernet, what are the most commonly used computer cables

For the proper functioning of your computer, you need to know the cables inside the case. The most famous are the USB cables, but they are not the only ones

When assembling a computer, the most difficult part is definitely to place all the cables correctly. The components of the pc must be connected to the motherboard so that everything works for the best. Untangling the cables of the hard drive and fans is not easy at all.

Also, you have to add the Ethernet cables to connect the router with the network card and the HDMI cable to connect the video card with the monitor. If you are not a computer expert, untangling all these cables can be very complicated and can lead to computer malfunctions. For this reason, it is necessary to know every single "wire" used to connect the components of the computer, so as not to have problems in solving small failures.

USB cables

The most common cables are definitely the USB ones, used both to connect other devices to your computer and to charge your smartphone. Universal Serial Bus cables are undoubtedly the most easily recognized and used by users. They are very pliable and, above all, can be found almost everywhere. It must be said, however, that USB cables are not all the same. But what is the difference between the various types of USB cables? The transmission speed changes. A USB 1.0 port can transmit data at a speed of up to 12 Mbps. USB 2.0 can transmit data at a speed of up to 480 Mbps and is backwards compatible.

USB 3.0, on the other hand, can transmit data at a much higher speed of up to 4.8Gbps. This port is also backwards compatible. The micro and mini variants are used with small electronic devices and often in portable ones.


The Digital Visual Interface cable is the direct successor of VGA. DVI connectors are divided into three variants, each with a particular technical feature. DVI-A technology is capable of transmitting analog signals, and is useful for CRT and LCD monitors of lower quality. DVI-D on the other hand is the technology to be used for transmitting digital signals. While with DVI-I is the useful solution for transmitting both digital and analog.


This is a connector that has been made famous over the years by gaming consoles and televisions. It's a fairly new technology, and therefore not compatible with older electronic devices, and relies heavily on a very good quality signal. There are four types of HDMI cable. There are the type A ones, the most popular and used. Those of type B, then those of type C (used mostly for camcorders and cameras) and finally those of type D.


These are connectors that are widely used but not everyone knows about. They are mainly found in connections between a motherboard and external storage devices. The acronym IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics.


Newer hard drives use SATA ports instead of IDE, which stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. Why this change? Because SATA ports allow for much faster data exchange than IDE cables. Almost all motherboards nowadays have SATA compatibility.


As the name suggests, ESATA (External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) connectors are an improvement of SATA cables. The differences concern mainly the compatibility. An ESATA connector allows, in fact, to connect to devices such as external hard drives and optical drives. Also, the data transfer speed is better.


The purpose of FireWire ports and cables is similar to USB: to transfer data in the shortest possible time. They are very common in devices such as scanners and printers. It must be said, however, that FireWires have never managed to reach the popularity of USBs. There are two types, the first has a maximum speed of 400Mbps and the other 800Mbps.


Ethernet cables are used to set up local networks. In most cases, they are used to connect routers and to computers. There are three versions of them at the moment. The basic model are the Cat 5s that offer speeds between 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps. Then there are the Cat 5e, which means Cat 5 Enhanced, which allows faster data transmission, up to 1,000mbps. And finally, the Cat 6s that develop speeds of up to 10Gbps.