Why do we still have PS/2 ports on motherboards?

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by The Neo Zero, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Aluminum

    Aluminum Limp Gawd

    Sep 18, 2015
    Most of my asrock boards have a com header, as do just about any server board I run across. Recent motherboard designs are all using a LPC "SoC" of sorts which support this and many other legacy things, whether or not they provide connections to those pins is up to the OEM.

    They all have SMbus and similar for fans, temps, voltage etc stuff, so serial is never going to "die".
  2. grim4593

    grim4593 Limp Gawd

    Nov 30, 2014
    I have found that USB to Serial connectors with FTDI chips are great for compatibility and I have yet to find a system that cannot use them as if they are native, even old plasma cutters.
  3. Luke M

    Luke M Limp Gawd

    Apr 20, 2016
    I miss parallel ports a little. Those were handy for interfacing random oddball stuff, e.g. Atari joysticks.
  4. NamelessPFG

    NamelessPFG Limp Gawd

    Oct 16, 2016
    PS/2 ports stuck around for keyboard use due to full NKRO support and being interrupt-based vs. polled. It's a legitimately superior option for enthusiasts, which is why enthusiast boards keep it - and on top of that, it enumerates during the POST process much faster than USB does, as already mentioned.

    And since people are mentioning RS-232 DE-9 serial ports in here, any serious bit of server/workstation equipment has at least one so that you can hook up a serial terminal (as every UNIX system and deriative thereof supports) and figure out what the heck is going on in the system if the graphics and USB adapters aren't doing their usual jobs.

    Small wonder why UART serial headers can be found on just about anything embedded - it just works, without all of the cruft that USB brings. (And if you read the documentation on USBUHCI drivers for DOS, you'll quickly find out that USB is anything but universal at a low level, hence the UHCI/OHCI distinction. Those drivers don't work on OHCI, Power Macs can't use UHCI...)

    Parallel ports, though? I admittedly don't have nearly as much use for those, since my printers of choice are networked and nothing else I have peripheral-wise really uses them. My Zip 100 drives are SCSI and USB, in the event that I need to mess around with a popular but obsoleted storage medium.

    Perhaps I'd feel differently if I had that MPEG decoder some people plop onto their Amigas for multimedia playback on anything less than a Vampire board, or the joystick adapter that allows for 4-player support in certain titles (two on the built-in ports, two on the adapter).
    Ebernanut and /dev/null like this.
  5. johnnysd

    johnnysd [H]Lite

    Oct 6, 2007
    Arent there some sleep wake functions that only work from PS/2 as well?
  6. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

    Nov 7, 2005
    About 6 weeks ago I finally sold my "old" PS/2 KVM off my test bench and bought a USB one. Prior to that, having a PS2 port on the motherboard was a must... even the USB adapter dongles didn't always pick up right on the KVM. Now... maybe not so much. But it's nice to have options. I have certainly worked on enough computers with USB keyboards that don't initialize fast enough to get into BIOS. Seems less of an issue now, but so many times I have been happy to have a real PS2 keyboard in the closet when I needed it.
    pendragon1 and mvmiller12 like this.