In this article, I am going to talk about motherboard standoffs. I am going to cover topics like what a motherboard standoff is and why they are important for your computer.
In short, motherboard standoffs (also called spacers) are small cylindrical objects with screw holes on both ends. They are used to attach a motherboard to the case of your computer.
Keep reading to learn why they are so important for your computer and how to install them properly.
What are motherboard standoffs?
A motherboard standoff, also known as a mounting post, is a fastener with a threaded stud and hex nut that attaches to the bottom of your PC computer case. Its actual purpose is for the installation of the motherboard (the main circuit board in your PC).
You screw them into threaded holes that are pre-drilled on the inside of your PC case. Normally, the standoff is made of a sturdy plastic or metal material with a hex head on top and is screw-in style to be flush inside the bottom of your computer case after installation.
The purpose of the standoff is to elevate the motherboard above the surface of your computer case. This ensures adequate airflow between your PC components and your PC case, resulting in better cooling performance for your entire system.
Why are motherboard standoffs important?
As I mentioned above, motherboard standoffs are important because they ensure that the motherboard is getting adequate airflow and the circuits on the backside of the motherboard are not touching the case.
This is very important for the longevity of your computer because if the motherboard touches the metal case, your computer components can short out and stop working.
So, when you are setting up your computer, you need to make sure that you place the motherboard correctly, so the electrical connections are not touching any metal. If your case comes with pre-installed standoffs, then you are good to go and do not have to worry about anything.
If your computer does not come with the pre-installed standoffs, which most cases don’t, then you need to install them yourself.
How to install motherboard standoffs?
The installation of the standoffs is easy, but it can be dangerous if you are not careful. You can easily damage your computer case or your motherboard if you screw things up.
So this is what you have to do in simple steps.
- First, take your PC case and remove it from its package.
- Open your computer case by removing the screws on the back of your PC case.
- Once you have opened up your PC case, find out where the motherboard is going to be installed. To do so, you will have to place the motherboard inside your PC and align it with the mounting holes of your case.
- At this point, you should keep in mind that not all motherboards have the same size. There are three form factors of motherboards the standard ATX board, the smaller mATX (micro ATX), and the much smaller mini ITX.
- So depending on the size of your motherboard, you should choose the appropriate mounting holes. Bigger cases have mounting holes for all three sizes.
- Once you have done that, take the motherboard standoffs and screw them into the mountings hole inside your PC case by using a hex driver.
- Finally, after you have screwed all the standoffs, align your motherboard to the standoffs and screw the motherboard screws into the standoffs. At his point, you need to be careful not to over-tighten the screws. If you over-tighten them, they can damage your motherboard.
This process sounds a lot harder than it actually is, and you can do it by yourself without any help from anyone else.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, I suggest that you ask someone to help you or just take the computer case to a computer store and have them install the standoffs for you.
Related Article: How To Connect The Power Button To The Motherboard
Related post: What Are Front Panel Connectors?
Are motherboard standoffs standard?
Motherboard standoffs are standard for all computer cases. They have the same size and thread but different lengths depending on the manufacturer.
The number of standoffs included with the case is usually 9 to meet the ATX specs.
Do you need all 9 motherboard standoffs?
No, you do not need all of them. In most cases, 6 motherboard standoffs are enough because the ATX specifications require 6 standoffs.
What is the Size of Motherboard Standoffs?
The size of the motherboard standoffs is #6–32 x 3/16, but you can find them in different sizes.
Are standoffs pre-installed?
There are some cases where the standoffs are pre-installed, but you need to install them yourself in most cases.
Do motherboards come with standoff screws?
No, they don’t. The motherboard standoffs don’t come with the motherboard; they come with the computer case.
What size screwdriver is needed?
For most cases, you will need a small or medium hex head screwdriver for the installation of the computer case standoffs.
I hope I have covered everything you need to know about motherboard standoffs and how to install them.
As you now understand, motherboard standoffs are easy to install by yourself, and you don’t need to be an expert in computers to do it. Not only will they protect your motherboard from any damage, but they will also let you place it correctly so that it fits inside your computer case more precisely without any trouble.
I hope this article has been informative for you. You can share your opinion with us by leaving a comment below or you can contact us using the form on our website.
Nick Ryley is a computer architect and the owner of The Pc Geekz.
His love for playing games got him interested in computers in the first place. He wanted to be able to build a gaming PC that could run all the latest games at max settings, and this has him pursuing a major in computer architecture!
He started this blog to help people out and answer some of the most common questions about computer building