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Colorful USB sockets and their meaning


Anyone who owns a PC has certainly already connected a USB device to the PC and had to take a look at the back of their case. Very attentive observers may have noticed that not every USB socket is the same color.

In part, this has to do with standardization, as the USB 3.0 specification appeared for the first time in 2008. With the transmission mode Superspeed, which offers fast data rates of up to 5 GBit / s, a new standard for higher speeds has been introduced. In order to differentiate this faster connection more easily from the old sockets of the high-speed and full-speed (USB 2.0) and low-speed (USB 1.1) types, the industry association USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) recommended introducing colored labeling. The USB 3.0 socket was given the blue color.

Some major manufacturers in the computer industry are not entirely happy with this and are boycotting the choice of colors. For this reason, black-colored plastics are often found as insulating material on the Superspeed sockets.

The different colors of the USB connections are used to point out different speeds or special functions to the user.

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The different colors of the USB connections are used to point out different speeds or special functions to the user.

A yellow socket, on the other hand, is intended to indicate a connection with a special charging function to supply smartphones or other devices with new energy. They often offer more current than the intended 500 mA or are also active in standby mode. It can happen to you that your keyboard remains lit even though you have switched off the computer. In this case, the keyboard is connected via such a socket.

The red and turquoise USB sockets indicate an even faster standard than USB 3.0. Then it is mostly about Superspeed + with up to 10 GBit / s, also called USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Older PCs usually only have white and black USB sockets. At that time the difference between USB 1.0 / 1.1 (white socket) and USB 2.0 (black socket) was made clear. Even if the USB-IF recommends color coding, there is no uniform specification of these colors. Unfortunately, only a look at the manual of the respective mainboard helps.

Tip:

Mainboard purchase advice: That is what matters

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