Many modern-day motherboards provide a number of USB pin headers that allow connection to USB ports mounted on the front of the system case. A header will generally contain 10 pins arranged in two rows of five. On some motherboards one or two pins may be marked as NC, for no contact. These pins a redundant. On other motherboards one pin may be missing in either one or both rows.
This is not a problem, since the connection between motherboard and a pair of front-mounted USB ports will generally involve the use of only eight connectors.
You’ll need to consult your motherboard to ascertain the precise pin-out positions.
Generally, these will be labelled along the following lines:
- Power pins: A power pin on each row, labelled as Power, Vcc, or +5V.
- Ground pins: A ground pin on each row, labelled Ground, or GND.
- Data pins: Two plus data pins and two minus data pins, both one on each row. These are typically marked as USBD2+/USBD3+ and USBD2-/USBD3-, or USBP2+/USBP3+ and USBP2-/USBP3-, respectively.
The Intel Front Panel Connectivity Guide recommends the following design for a pair of front panel USB connectors. If your motherboard is a recent design, it’s likely it will be identical, or at least similar. The Wiring column indicates how the system case wiring illustrated above would be connected:
|1||VREG_FP_USBPWR0||Front Panel USB Power (Ports 0,1)||+5V connector 1|
|2||VREG_FP_USBPWR0||Front Panel USB Power (Ports 0,1)||+5V connector 2|
|3||USB_FP_P0-||Front Panel USB Port 0 Negative Signal||-D connector1|
|4||USB_FP_P1-||Front Panel USB Port 1 Negative Signal||-D connector 2|
|5||USB_FP_P0+||Front Panel USB Port 0 Positive Signal||+D connector1|
|6||USB_FP_P1+||Front Panel USB Port 1 Positive Signal||+D connector2|
|7||Ground||GROUND connector 1|
|8||Ground||GROUND connector 2|
|10||USB_FP_OC0||Front Panel USB Overcurrent signal (Ports 0,1)||n/a|
- Motherboard Upgrade Reasons
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