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Why do Mobos still have Parallel ports?

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September 19, 2006 3:14:28 PM

In today's world of USB and networking, etc. I can't see why Mobos still have Parallel ports? Or even serial Com ports, for that matter. Yet the vast majority of them still do.

Plus, I can't think of hardware out there that's exclusively Parallel port connected. There network attached print servers, that do parallel on the back end. (I've got two on my printers)

Is there a hardware/technical reason parallel ports still exist?

Just thought I'd ask....

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September 19, 2006 4:17:52 PM

It's one of those things that, as soon as you take them off the board, people ask "Why did they get rid of the Parallel port?" If there's another feature that people want, that replaces that space on the board, but it seems to me they are able to fit everything onto the panel that is needed, while keeping legacy support. Take for instance the mobo's that have the Toslink, and Analog Audio ports on them, while keeping the 4+ USB, 7.1 Audio, serial, mouse, keyboard, etc. You'd be surprised how many people *Aren't* using a motherboard that's newer than 2 years old, and still have printer's that work with the only connection being a parellal port.
September 19, 2006 4:24:07 PM

Personally I still use my Serial port due to my diabeties glucose reader. The only connection it has is a standard serial port. I use it becuase i have to, not because i want a serial port. I'd drop it in an instant if possible, BUT my meter won't transmit information any other way.....
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September 19, 2006 4:41:11 PM

Quote:
In today's world of USB and networking, etc. I can't see why Mobos still have Parallel ports? Or even serial Com ports, for that matter. Yet the vast majority of them still do.

Plus, I can't think of hardware out there that's exclusively Parallel port connected. There network attached print servers, that do parallel on the back end. (I've got two on my printers)

Is there a hardware/technical reason parallel ports still exist?

Just thought I'd ask....

The simple answer is 1 mobo company would include them and get all the sales from those who need the extra's. The mobo would also get its market share and gain this extra from the other mobo makers. Its marketing 101 with a little PC logic.

The major reason for these controlling sales are the high priced older tech items that need them. If you had a $10000 color laser printer that needed a Parallel port what would you buy?
September 19, 2006 5:05:16 PM

Well, if you're an engineer then you need the serial port on the back in order to connect to various types of apparatus that are analog only or would be very expensive to make a digital one and in some cases just not practical. The parallel ports are for parallel drives like cd burners and hard drives are are still a viable solution when you look at the performance of the larger Seagate parallel drives.
September 19, 2006 5:13:45 PM

The major part of microcontrollers/processors programmers and emulators works on LPT or COM ports only, and many of them require a TRUE physical port and don't work with an USB adapter.
And quite all the banking automation machines, bar code readers, POS terminals and such devices (even the most modern ones) require true serial ports.
The USB bus is not simple to manage as the serial port, it requires a specific protocol, drivers and, most of all, even if it has a much higher bandwidth it's absolutely not realtime and has very high latency!
On USB bus every device is a slave, it can't initiate a data transfer by itself, it's the host PC that asks it at fixed intervals if it has some data to send.
These queries for new data are performed every 1ms multiplied by the number of the USB devices connected to the host: if you have 4 devices it takes up to 4ms for a device to initiate a data transfer (yes, 4ms latency!) while a 115200bps COM port has a maximum latency of 10us... 400 times less! And, on buffered systems like the linux/windows serial drivers a serial device can initiate a data transfer at any time, without requiring any acknolwdge from the host PC.
September 19, 2006 5:20:05 PM

Note that higher end gaming boards don't have them, because the people that buy those boards don't need them. For those that do, there are other options. Everyone wins as far as I can tell.
September 19, 2006 6:17:25 PM

Also, many older applications required parallel ports for security dongles. Autodesk used them for a while and I still run into folks using the dongles on old unix boxes that haven't been turned off for 15 years running old business management software. As for serial ports, I curse whoever decided to stop putting these on laptops. I recently purchased a new laptop and sent it back right after I opened the box and noticed the lack of serial ports. I didn't even unwrap the plastic. RS-232 ports are probably the most widely used config ports in existence.
September 19, 2006 7:13:01 PM

I knew that there is older hardware out there that uses only parrallel or com ports. I have an old Epson pin printer myself.. (All right, its still in the box since I moved.)

But I didn't think new hardware was being built that is exclusive to these connections.

I remember seeing a Mobo where the parrallel port and others were removed in favor of a cooling vent for the power capaciters etc.

I'd think with modern CPUs and their power requirements, with modern chipsets and their cooling needs, that more mobos would go this route. Then put parrallel and com ports as a header on the Mobo, or use a PCI-1x slot and an optional card.

But I was wondering if the parrallel port was used for Mobo diagnosis or something like that made it beneficial to have it. No one has said this yet, so I'm assuming not...
a b V Motherboard
September 19, 2006 7:42:08 PM

Quote:

But I didn't think new hardware was being built that is exclusive to these connections.


Have you ever tried to connect to the console port of an enterprise class router? Most of them use serial ports, not to mention an additional serial port to connect a modem to in case the network goes down and remote dial-up is your last resort of communication.
September 19, 2006 8:05:29 PM

Quote:
In today's world of USB and networking, etc. I can't see why Mobos still have Parallel ports? Or even serial Com ports, for that matter. Yet the vast majority of them still do.

Plus, I can't think of hardware out there that's exclusively Parallel port connected. There network attached print servers, that do parallel on the back end. (I've got two on my printers)

Is there a hardware/technical reason parallel ports still exist?

Just thought I'd ask....

probably for the same reason that there are still floppy disks and parallel ata optical drives, instead of serial.

edit: and ps/2 keyboard and mouse
September 19, 2006 8:07:29 PM

Quote:
In today's world of USB and networking, etc. I can't see why Mobos still have Parallel ports?

Is there a hardware/technical reason parallel ports still exist?

Just thought I'd ask....


Why should I buy a new laser printer?
September 19, 2006 8:09:01 PM

The manufacturers do market research and as of yet, the parallel port is still being requested.

I'll give it another year or two. We need to loose the paralel, serial, and ps/2 connectors... and of course the floppy drive. With all that gone, we would could save space and money on the Mobo.
September 21, 2006 6:04:23 PM

backwards compadibility... gotta love it :D 
October 1, 2006 6:27:38 PM

The good old parallel port, you need to have it for a PC to be named a PC... At least if you look at it the "oldschool" way hehe... Notice I still have my 720kb drive installed on my rig, mainly to make backup of my ISOs... :wink:
October 1, 2006 7:10:35 PM

Quote:
The manufacturers do market research and as of yet, the parallel port is still being requested.

I'll give it another year or two. We need to loose the paralel, serial, and ps/2 connectors... and of course the floppy drive. With all that gone, we would could save space and money on the Mobo.


Noooo Noooo not my PS/2 connector !!! (I like PS/2 Mice better then USB) lol I imagine one day I shall be forced to use a USB mouse....
October 1, 2006 7:12:10 PM

Quote:
The manufacturers do market research and as of yet, the parallel port is still being requested.

I'll give it another year or two. We need to loose the paralel, serial, and ps/2 connectors... and of course the floppy drive. With all that gone, we would could save space and money on the Mobo.


Noooo Noooo not my PS/2 connector !!! (I like PS/2 Mice better then USB) lol I imagine one day I shall be forced to use a USB mouse....
oh man, i migrated from serial mouse directly from usb... come on, it wont hurt :p 
October 2, 2006 1:03:41 AM

I dont know man I just recently went to a wireless AND Optical mouse... lol I guess on certain things I dont like change :)  (I held out against a wheel mouse for like 2 years but Unreal Tournament finaly convinced me to give it a whirl and wow it did play better then using the numbers to select a weapon !!!)
February 14, 2013 2:57:49 PM

ranger90 said:
In today's world of USB and networking, etc. I can't see why Mobos still have Parallel ports? Or even serial Com ports, for that matter. Yet the vast majority of them still do.

Plus, I can't think of hardware out there that's exclusively Parallel port connected. There network attached print servers, that do parallel on the back end. (I've got two on my printers)

Is there a hardware/technical reason parallel ports still exist?

Just thought I'd ask....


I am working in telecommunication field. Majority of networking equipment needs a serial port to configure it. Without serial port I feel like I am blind. My company employes 5000 engineers who need a computer system with serial port. I think this is enough for computer makers to include serial ports. Do not forget, all of your Hi-Fi hand held gagets need the network to function which in other hand needs a serial port to configure and maintain. Without serial ports you will not have facebook, google and worse coverage in your mobile.
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