While building a computer by yourself is fairly easy these days, you still need to ensure that you are installing everything correctly. And while you may know about installing the CPU correctly, how to insert a RAM stick, and how to install the GPU, most new PC builders forget about the motherboard itself.
This is due to the reason that if a motherboard is not installed correctly, you may even short-circuit it. To be more precise, we are talking about using motherboard standoffs while installing a motherboard inside a computer. And today we are here with a full guide on what are motherboard standoff screws, how to use motherboard standoffs, types of motherboard standoffs, and much more.
Usage of Motherboard Standoff Screws
In case you are hearing about motherboard standoffs for the first time, you might be wondering about what exactly they are and their primary usage. To put it in easy terms, motherboard standoffs are essentially spacers for your motherboard. These are meant to go between your computer’s motherboard and the computer case’s motherboard mounting points.
And these are highly important to use as if there is no space between your motherboard and the computer case, the metal used in a computer case will short-circuit the circuits present on the back of your motherboard. And in many cases, this may even kill your motherboard and render it useless.
Types of Motherboard Standoff Screws
Whether you already have motherboard standoffs included with your case or you are buying new ones, you will find most of them to be of the same type. And this common type of motherboard standoff happens to be made out of brass and has a length of about 1 cm.
Even though there are other types of motherboard standoff screws available as well, all of them will use either the UTS standard #6-32 UNC or the ISO M3 standard for accepting motherboard screws. Speaking of other types of motherboard standoff screws, you will find stand-offs of different colors as well as lengths.
In case you are wondering about the type of motherboard standoff screws that you should use in your computer, you can go with the standard type if you want something functional and get the job done. But if you are going for a particular color scheme inside your computer case, then you can also go with colored motherboard stand-off screws. And if you are using a test bench or want a particular kind of airflow inside your computer, then you can also go with much longer lengths of up to 6 inches.
How to Install Motherboard Using Standoff Screws?
Now that you know the usage of motherboard standoff screws and the type of motherboard standoffs, you would also want to install them in your computer if you are building a new one. Thankfully, installing a motherboard using standoff screws is much easier than you think. You can get it done by following these simple 4 steps:
- Form Factor: Before installing motherboard standoffs or the motherboard itself, you first need to consider the form factor of your motherboard. You need to ensure that you have enough standoff screws depending on the form factor and the size of your motherboard.
- Screwing Stand-Offs: Once you have made sure that you have enough standoff screws, you can go ahead and start installing them. For that, you first need to screw down the stand-offs themselves inside your computer case. You can do so by screwing them in using your fingers.
- Mounting Motherboard: After installing the motherboard standoffs in the correct places according to your motherboard’s form factor, you need to mount your motherboard on the stand-offs. You simply need to align the center mounting point of your motherboard with the center standoff and then align the rest to mount your motherboard.
- Adding Screws: Finally, you need to add screws to your motherboard to secure it in place on top of the standoffs. You can find these screws included inside your motherboard box as well as the computer case box. Just use a standard four-head screwdriver to screw in these screws and you will have successfully installed a motherboard using standoff screws.
Installing a Motherboard Without Stand Off Screws
If you don’t have any standoff screws lying around, you might be figuring out a way to install a motherboard without using standoff screws. Unfortunately, while the same is technically possible, it is highly recommended not to do so.
Because as mentioned earlier, if you install a motherboard inside a computer case without any standoff screws, there will be no space left between the motherboard and the computer case. And because of this, the back of your motherboard will come in contact with the metal construction of your computer case which will lead to short circuit and which can possibly kill your motherboard in the process.
Where to Buy Motherboard Standoff Screws?
Since all computer hardware has been standardized for years now, you will find most computer cases out there to include stand screws in the box. In fact, most high-end computer cases will come with these standoff screws already installed in the computer case by default. But if your computer case didn’t include any standoff screws or you want to get different ones, you can easily find them on online stores like Amazon, Newegg, eBay, and pretty much all other websites where you can get computer parts. In fact, you may even be able to find motherboard standoff screws at a local hardware store.
Motherboard Standoff Screws – FAQs
Ans: If you do not install motherboard standoff screws inside your computer, your motherboard may come in touch with the metal used for the construction of your computer case. And since this can lead to short circuits inside your computer, you should definitely install standoff screws before mounting your motherboard inside a computer.
Ans: While all motherboard stand-off screws available in the market support the same size of screws, there are multiple types of standoff screws you can find out there. This can include standoff screws of different lengths and colors that can be used as per your needs.
Ans: Even though it is recommended to install all the standoff screws inside your computer case, you strictly don’t need all of them. As long as you are installing the center stand-off screw and all the corner ones, you can mount your computer motherboard without any issues.
Ans: As mentioned earlier, unless you are okay with risking accidentally short-circuiting your motherboard, it is highly recommended and essentially necessary to install standoff screws inside your computer case.
If you are building a computer for the first time, then it is highly important that you are doing everything correctly. Because even a small mistake may lead to various issues down the road. And in the worst-case scenario, you may even damage different parts of your computer. Since the motherboard of your computer is one of the major ones, you need to be careful with it as well. And one of the most important things to consider while installing a motherboard is to use standoff screws. For the same, we have already listed a complete guide on motherboard standoff screws up above. And if it has helped you correctly install a motherboard, make sure to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section down below.