What are USB Headers on Motherboard? 2.0 vs 3.0 vs 3.1 vs 3.2

If you are new to PC terms and don’t know much about PC building, you have fortunately reached the right place to comprehend it all with decent details. A PC consists of various headers (connectors) and has different roles.

One of these headers is a USB header, which comes in many alternatives. If you are wondering, what are USB headers and what do they do on a PC? I’ll tell you all. But, before we go to the types, I’ll give you an overview of its various versions. The header versions are so rambling that it takes a lot of patience and effort to know them well.

But, don’t worry; I have done all the homework on your behalf already; all you have to do is read the facts below, and everything will be obvious and transparent. I’ll talk about eight preliminary versions, and later we’ll move toward the types, functions, and more of headers.

How Many USB Headers on A Motherboard?

You can find the USB headers on a motherboard, which are the connectors that give the gateway to the USB ports on a PC case. While building a PC with USB ports, you must connect with the headers correctly. However, to make it perfect, you need to know the versions, types, and functions of headers in detail. So, USB headers are crucial in connecting USB ports on a PC case. If you are interested in knowing about USB headers, let’s look at the data below.

Versions of USB Headers

Versions of USB Headers

Before we move further, I would like to present a table to make you understand the eight prior versions of USB headers. To understand the functionality and course of action, you must first understand the USB versions. So, let’s get started with the table.

USB VersionsRelease yearInterfaceTransfer speed (Gbps)Transfer mode
USB 2.02000Type A0.48High speed
USB 3.02008Type A5.0SuperSpeed
USB 3.1 Gen 12013Type A/Type C5.0SuperSpeed
USB 3.1 gen 22013Type A/Type C10.0SuperSpeed+
USB 3.2 gen 1×12017Type A/Type C5.0SuperSpeed
USB 3.2 gen 1×22017Type C10.0SuperSpeed
USB 3.2 gen 2×12017Type A/Type C10.0SuperSpeed+
USB 3.2 gen 2×22017Type C20.0SuperSpeed++

As you have seen in the table, the word USB creates a similarity that confuses the users. If we look at the specifications of 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 gen 1×1, and 3.2 gen 1×2, all are the same. There is no such difference you can find in these USB headers. All are good to submit super speed transfer mode. Then a combo of 3.1 and 3.2 gen 2×1, both submit SuperSpeed+.

So, the same way other USB headers share some differences, and you get max connectivity options by having these choices. If you wonder, do motherboards come with Wifi? It depends. It might be possible you sacrificed some ports to attain wifi connectivity.

Some motherboards come with wifi and do not have VGA ports resultantly. Returning to the topic, the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 is the only option that comes with dual power. It gives an enormous super Speed++, and all these headers will go to the same ports for a perfect match. 

Types of USB Headers

There are four types of USB headers, and I’ll talk about each one after the other. Which USB header you need to use depends on the type of port that your pc case submits. It goes like the USB port 2.0 will support header 2.0, port 2.1 will support header 2.1, and it goes the same for each header. Let’s talk about the four one after the other.

USB 2.0 Header:

USB 2.0 Header

These are the simplest and most useful headers that come with nine pins. So, if you have a PC case that has a USB 2.0 port, you are good to connect it with it. Pins come in an arrangement of 5×2, but the 10th one is missing because it gives margin to the aligning of the plus. It gives room to make it rectified if needed. Most PC cases offer a 2.0 port, and you can easily attach it with the header having the same specification figures.

USB 3.0 Header:

USB 3.0 Header

The USB 3.0 header comes with an enormous amount of pins. The arrangement of pins is in the shape of 10×2. One is spare, and it gives 19 pins in total. This header has various names, depending on when the motherboard was manufactured. So, if you seek its use, it will go smooth for the 3.0 and 3.1 gen 1 USB ports. If you have any of these ports in your PC case, you are good to use this header for the ultimate connectivity.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 Header:

USB 3.1 Gen 2 Header

The USB 3.1 gen 2 is an amazing header, and it comes with a distinct form factor as it doesn’t provide you with a bunch of pins. The rest of the headers come with pins, but not this one. You are good to attach it with the relevant port if your PC case offers. All the cables you get with each header may look similar, but inside, the setup of pins greatly differs in serving the purpose with the same port.

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Header:

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Header

These are not such common headers, and you can only use them with some topline motherboards. They come up with dual channels with the name of 3.2 gen 2×2. It gives a great backup to transfer speed up to 20 Gbps. It is an ultimate source of connectivity if you attach it with the relevant port on your PC case. 

So, these are the USB header types, and you can go for any of them as your PC case offers a port. Moreover, USB C header motherboards can achieve the max smooth connectivity between hosts and devices. 

Different Ways to Locate USB Headers

Finding the USB header on the motherboard is not difficult at all; all you need to do is look at the right edge or the bottom of the board, and you can find them easily. But, if we categorize the locating procedure, it has two aspects. To know them in detail, let’s find the breakdown below.

What are USB Headers on Motherboard?

Physical Inspection

I hope you know well now; what are USB Headers? And in this section, I’ll tell you about the physical inspection method for locating the USB header. You can spot them on the board easily; the version and type will all be in other written forms. You can analyze the counts and size to establish the right port for it. There is no special effort you need to put into the process.

Through the Manual

The other way to find the headers is to follow the motherboard manual. When you buy a motherboard for your PC, you also get a manual for installing and using it correctly. By carefully studying the manual, you can easily spot the headers, and it won’t take more than a few minutes. So, it is how you can make it up with the locating assignment, and after that, you need to pair it up with the ideal port. 

What are USB connectors, or what are USB headers? It is the most overrated question, and I have answered it in detail above. Headers are the connectors you may find on the motherboard, with various types and versions. You can make it connect with the right port until and unless you establish the version and type; after doing so, you will be able to form a good pair with the same port for connectivity.
What are USB Ports?

USB ports are the sources of connectivity. When you intend to connect devices with the board, you need a combo of ports and USB headers. You can find USB ports on the PC case, and headers will be on the board. If you pair it up with the exact header, you are good to go for the connectivity. USB ports come in multiple numbers, but the count may vary with the type and size of the PC case.

What are USB Header Splitters?

The USB header splitter is an excellent assistant to the PC, and they play an immensely extraordinary role in connecting additional devices. It increases the options for adding, and you can add a printer, camera, scanner, etc., by using a USB header splitter. These are the ultimate sources to get the max kick out of the connectivity head in the given PC, although there is a lack of options.


Hi, I am Robert. I made myself expert in all PC components. I tested and taken reviews from users, specially Gamers to make a reliable buying guide and best product descriptions. It will help to find compatible parts and save your money on PC custom build.

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