Should Motherboard Standoffs be Grounded?

Should Motherboard Standoffs be Grounded?

Should motherboard standoffs be grounded?

You might have heard about motherboard standoffs while building your PC for the first time. They are like a regular screw but threaded on the inside from one end. They act as a spacer between the motherboard and the PC case.

So, should the motherboard standoffs be grounded?

Yes, because it protects your PC and ensures you won’t ever run at the risk of short-circuiting your motherboard and ending up sad. You should take your time and care to install the motherboard standoffs onto the PC case because entirely screwing your motherboard is something you would never want to happen.

Their main purpose is to lift the motherboard and add space between the board and the PC case. This prevents motherboard contact with the metallic PC case and hence avoids the short-circuit as soon as you turn your PC on.

Now let’s find out what motherboard standoffs are and how to install them.

How to install motherboard standoffs?

First, identify the form factor of your motherboard and then proceed with the installation process.

There are these types of motherboards available: AT, LPX, BTX, Pico BTX, mini-ITX, micro-ATX, and ATX. In addition, some motherboards are also available in the eATX form factor.

Mid-tower and full tower cases support all three types of motherboards. Some full tower cases can even support eATX motherboards. So before installing your motherboard, make sure your PC case supports your motherboard’s form factor.

If you have a dedicated PC case like a mini-tower case that only supports mini-ITX motherboards, you won’t have a problem installing the motherboard standoffs. However, if your PC case supports all three types of motherboards, you have to make sure the standoffs are placed only on the PC case holes that match your motherboard’s size.

The standoffs can be screwed with a hex driver, so make sure you have one since neither the board nor the case comes with it. Once the standoffs are mounted correctly on the case, you can now place the motherboard on top and tightly screw the motherboard.

In short, here’s what you should do to install the motherboard standoffs:

  • Check if your PC case is compatible with your motherboard’s form factor
  • Use a hex driver to mount the motherboard standoffs
  • Place the motherboard on top and tightly screw it

After installing the motherboard standoffs, you’ll notice a gap between the board and the PC case. You might feel like using the space and hiding your cables behind the board, but that’s what you shouldn’t do. Instead, you must leave the in-between space empty to allow the air to pass through for cooling purposes.

What happens if you don’t ground motherboard standoffs?

If you don’t use the standoffs, the motherboard will come into contact with your metal case, causing it to short-circuit the first time you switch it on. That’s why you must not allow the components to come into contact with any other metal, like your PC case. 

The motherboard standoffs are meant to fit slightly below the board’s mounting holes, creating a “safe zone” where metal may come into contact. Simply put, you will end up being sad if you fail to ground your motherboard standoffs. However, this is the best practice you can follow to keep your PC in a safe position and prevent the all-time risk of short-circuiting the board.

What are motherboard standoffs?

A motherboard standoff is a tiny cylindrical-shaped piece of metal, like screws, that is screwed into the PC case’s mounting holes. Unlike screws, motherboard standoffs don’t have heads. Instead, one side is used to mount the standoff onto the PC case, and the other side is where the motherboard is screwed into.

The number of motherboard standoffs required differs depending on the form factor of your motherboard, like eATX, ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX. These standoffs are then screwed into your PC case, and the motherboard is placed on top of these standoffs and tightly screwed. As mentioned above, these standoffs act as a spacer between your motherboard and PC case.

Do motherboard standoffs come with the motherboard?

No. Motherboard standoffs are mostly shipped with PC cases or come built-in with the case. Though sometimes, you might not get one with your PC case as it can happen. However, you don’t have to worry about it. Motherboard standoffs are easily available both offline and online. 

You can buy them from your nearby store or online marketplaces like Amazon and Newegg. They are pretty cheap and available in a pack of 10-15 screws.

The Takeaway

After identifying its form factor, you can mount your motherboard, provided your PC case supports it. Installing the motherboard standoffs is pretty easy and doesn’t take much time. However, you should take the proper time and care while installing your motherboard as it is one of the most important components of your PC.

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