A Complete Guide to DB Style Connectors & Cables

Originally known as ‘D-subminiature’ DB style connectors are common UFD connectors or say monitor cables which operate in computing devices, audio/video, and data applications. DB25 and DB9 serial cables are the renowned types of D-sub connectors, used in PCs for serial and parallel ports.

The High-Density DB style is another type of D-sub connector which looks like a regular DB connector. Often called ‘HD’ connectors they have three rows of pins instead of two. HD15 is the most common type of connector used for video cards and monitors.

Micro DB connector comes with smaller pins than the HD connector pins. It is commonly known as a ‘half-pitch’ DB connector. Majorly, SCSI applications use them. MD50 and MD68 are the most popular connections types.

The D-sub connectors’ names are equivalent with the total number of pins that they can hold. For example, DB9 Series Cables contain 9 pins. However, in some cases, a DB25 connector has 4 to 5 loaded pins. Another product is the HD15 connector used by monitors. In most cases, monitor cables contains 14 pins but still called an HD15 connector.

To know all about the ins and outs of the DB connectors, you can refer the detailed guide we have prepare for you.

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DB9 Connectors

These types of connectors have 9 pins arranged in two rows. The first 5 pins are in the top and 4 pins in the bottom row. Each shell size is related to a certain number of pins or socket. Hence, DB9 denotes sub with a 9-position shell size and 9-position contact configuration. Rs-232 applications commonly use this interface.

For several years, these ports have been standard equipment on PCs. The serial port on usual Computer system is DB9 male. This connector supports full-duplex data transfer.

DB25 Connectors

In DB25 connector, the top row has 13 pins and the lower row has 12 pins.

SCSI applications or RS-232 serial uses DB25 connectors. In parallel applications, the DB25 connector is sometimes known as IEEE-1284 Type A Connector. In older systems normally, there was one DB25 female parallel port. Even you will find male DB25 serial port instead of DB9 sometimes. The DB25 SCSI connections are female and are available on older Apple computers as well as on expansion cards for SCSI devices.

Just like the DB9 connectors, serial connections with the transmission of data provided by standard RS-232 uses these connectors. Initially they were used to connect printers. Hence, they are also known as ‘Printer Port’.

DB15 Connectors

With 15 pins arranged in two rows, the top row has 8 pins and a lower row has 7. Make sure that you don’t get confused with HD15 connectors which include three rows. The DB15 connector has two rows of pins found on sound cards, older AUI network cards and devices, legacy Macintosh® monitors. The most common peripheral for this port was a joystick or video game controller, therefore, it is known as a ‘Game Port’.

This VGA socket is one of the typical examples of DB15 connectors. You can find the same on Windows-based laptops and entry-level PCs.

DB37 Connectors

This type of connector has 37 pins arranged in two rows. The top row has 19 pins and rest of the 18 pins arranged in two rows. Cisco® networking hardware and other applications that use RS-449 serial communication often uses these type of connectors.

Another various models of sensors, switches, satellite antennas, control systems, video hardware, security control systems, and so on utilize these connectors.

HD15 Connectors

As mentioned above this connector has 15 pins arranged in three rows. Each of the row divided into 5 pins with the middle row slightly offset from the top and bottom. This connector is a High-Density DB-style connector. Another popular name is ‘VGA connector’ mostly used in video applications that support high resolutions like SVGA, XGA, UXGA. On most HD15 male connectors, there is one pin missing from the middle row.

This is a commonly used connector as a video interface for computers and monitors. You can also find them on HD displays, satellite receivers, and cable boxes.


You can often find D-sub connectors on communication ports to create communication between different monitors, printers, and power supply devices. Token ring network and other controller area networks also use DB9 serial cables. Other applications include video output, game controller ports, multi-channel analog, and AES digital audio.

Over the years, there have been additions of new connectors with the evolution of technology. However, you can still consider using them. The DB connectors are still popular because of their usage, form factor, size, density, and cost which offers significant value to the end users.