For many people who like to tinker and upgrade their motherboard, a USB-C port can be highly useful. However, finding a USB-C port on your motherboard can be quite the hassle – so what is the point, and is this a common thing to find?
Newer generation motherboards come with a USB-C port built in. However, older generation motherboards come with a USB-A (Gen 2) port instead. This is primarily dependent on the most common USB standard when a motherboard is being produced.
The great thing about connecting a USB-C port to your motherboard is that it opens up a world of new opportunities. However, to learn more about motherboard USB ports, how to upgrade your motherboard, and what benefits it offers, keep reading!
Does A Motherboard Have A USB-C Port?
When it comes to most modern motherboards, you will notice that there are USB pin headers. These are there so you can connect USB ports on the system case, depending on what device you are using.
In most cases, the USB pin headers come with 10 pins, which are arranged in two rows. However, not all of these pins are usable. In fact, two pins may be marked as no contact and so, are unusable. In other cases, you may see less than 10 pins at the very start. Therefore, the availability of pins depends on the motherboard.
However, if you are looking for more USB-C ports on the motherboard, there are ways that you can make that happen. In fact, you can, at times, plug a USB device directly into the motherboard in some cases. You will most likely see this option available for server motherboards and newer generation motherboards (especially ones released after 2017-2018).
This allows these motherboards to carry out some important functions:
- Loading new operating systems directly into the motherboard
- Gathering information into flash media devices.
However, you should know that such internal ports on motherboards are rare. There is a specific reason for this – most customers don’t need them. Therefore, you are unlikely to find such a port on the motherboard for your desktop computer.
That being said, you can still upgrade your motherboard, provided you have available USB header pins. With a combination of adapters and a sharp mind, you can convert available USB header pins into new USB ports.
Especially on a desktop computer, all this will require is for you to open up the casing, and plug in the new USB ports. Depending on the kind of port you are looking for, you can create USB-C, 2.0, and 3.0 ports with ease. Sadly, this process isn’t possible on laptops as their motherboards do not allow for additional expansions in terms of internal PCIe.
There are also motherboards available specifically for this purpose. If you do not want to upgrade an existing motherboard and have the cost to spare, you can invest in a new motherboard that gives you all the internal and external USB-C ports you need. Generally, the more expensive a motherboard, the greater the number of ports available for you from the get-go.
Do You Need A USB-C Port On A Motherboard?
Whether or not you need a USB-C port on your motherboard really depends on what you intend to do with it. The average consumer of a motherboard does not need extra USB ports. However, to understand whether this is the right choice for you, the best starting point is to consider what the USB port can offer as a benefit.
In general, having a USB port in the motherboard is effective because it can help with a few key tasks, such as:
- Transferring data in a quick and effective manner.
- Connecting your system’s audio or video to another monitor or device.
- Adding a new GPU system to the computer.
- Connecting and powering other external devices, such as monitors.
While most devices available do not require a connection directly to the motherboard, with new technology, that need may change. Therefore, it is better to be ahead of the curve (if this is your area of interest) so you can adapt faster.
USB-C is a specific USB port that you can use because it allows you to transfer more power and offers a slim and easy-to-use alternative. You can use this for effective, fast charging for external devices, and at the same time, this USB port is also very fast when it comes to data transfer, especially at huge file sizes.
The USB-C is the newest standard in the world of computing. The idea behind this port is for it to support faster and better-equipped data transfer and for it to be able to support a broader range of functionalities (such as fast charging and reversibility.)
Here’s a quick look at the differences between the previous USB-A standard compared to USB-C
|Transfer Rate||5 Gbps (USB-3 Type A)||20 Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen 2×2)|
Moreover, with the rising tide of PCVR, you will need to upgrade to USB-C to use high-bandwidth (1 Gbps) transfer rates to be able to enjoy a smooth gaming experience. There is no PCVR setup that’s compatible with USB-A (Gen 2) since the transfer rate is locked in at a measly 150 Mbps.
How Do USB-C Upgrades Work?
When thinking of upgrading your motherboard, you need to understand a few key concepts. The Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, PCIe is a component that allows your motherboard to connect to important parts of the computer.
This helps to keep everything functioning smoothly and effectively. One of the ways that PCIe slots stand out is that you can use them to customize your computer’s capabilities – including graphics processing and available space.
You can also use these slots to add new USB-C slots to your computer. However, to do this, there are two kinds of expansions (available on Amazon.com) to think about the size and the generation.
FebSmart 2X 10Gbps Max Speed USB-C Ports PCIE USB 3.1 Gen 2 Expansion Card for Windows, MAC OS and Linux Systems
Size helps you understand whether you have the space available to add in a USB-C port while at the same time continuing to use other components of the PC.
Generations, on the other hand, help to explain the transfer rates that you can get with the USB-C port. Newer generations offer greater data transfer rates, along with higher bandwidth. This will let you share and transfer data much more easily.
Therefore, the greater the space and the more recent the generation of your PCIe, the greater the chance that you will be able to effectively upgrade your motherboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions about the USB-C port and the PC motherboard? Here are some common questions and their answers.
Q1. Do PC cases have a USB-C port part of it?
Despite the growing popularity of USB-C ports, most PC cases do not have a USB-C port available. However, modern cases are likely to include this type of USB port.
Q2. Will I need a USB-C port for a gaming computer?
You are very likely to need a USB-C port on your gaming computer. This may be to attach accessories such as a headphone, or to connect enhanced performance tools such as a GPU processor etc.
All in all, the motherboard is where all of the main components of the PC are. However, upgrading the motherboard to include more ports can be complicated, but it is not impossible. We hope this guide helped clarify the benefits of more USB-C ports and what you need to consider before upgrading the motherboard.