Are Motherboard Standoffs Necessary – Don’t Risk Your PC’s Health

Motherboard Standoffs

If you’ve looked inside a computer case, you’ve probably noticed those little metal cylinders screwed into the motherboard. If you install a motherboard without standoffs, you will end up sad. Those are motherboard standoffs, and they serve an important purpose.

Many motherboards have tiny plastic or metal standoffs that keep the motherboard elevated and away from the case… Without them, your motherboard would fall against the metal case, and your computer wouldn’t work.

What Are Motherboard Standoffs?

PC Building

Metal or nylon spacers called motherboard standoffs are used to separate the motherboard from the motherboard tray in a computer enclosure. To keep a motherboard stable and elevated above the case’s motherboard tray, it is necessary to use standoffs.

Circuit boards with an electric current running through them are called motherboards. This electricity may leak into the case and short the motherboard or other components if they make contact with the motherboard tray. By raising them to create room between the motherboard and PC casing, motherboard standoffs avoid this. Once you screw them in, they also help to secure your motherboard.

Standoffs must fit into certain holes on your motherboard, which are made to be secure points of contact for the standoffs. Your motherboard has holes that standoffs slip into when they are seated there. The motherboard is mounted by screwing screws into the mounting holes of the standoffs from above.

In order for static buildup on the motherboard to properly discharge through the standoffs, into the casing, and down to earth via the power supply, standoffs frequently also serve as grounding points.

Why Do I Need It?

In order to secure your motherboard and maintain the electrical safety of your system, motherboard standoffs are required.

If there are any points of contact between the Computer case and the motherboard, you run the risk of shorting, damaging, or even bricking your motherboard or other components if you don’t utilize standoffs.

Your motherboard won’t bend or droop if the required amount of standoffs are used, and they must be securely fastened to keep it and the related components stable inside the PC case.

Do Standoffs Come With Motherboards?


No, motherboard standoffs do not come with motherboards. Standoffs are used to keep the motherboard from shorting out on the case, and they need to be installed before the motherboard is placed in the case.

Most standoffs are made of plastic or metal and come in various sizes to fit different motherboard models.

What Happens if You Don’t Use Motherboard Standoffs?

If you don’t use motherboard standoffs when installing a motherboard, the motherboard can short circuit on the metal frame of the computer case.

This can cause severe damage to the motherboard and other components.

How Do You Install Motherboard Standoffs?

Installing motherboard standoffs can seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. First, you’ll need to identify where the standoffs need to go.

This will vary depending on the size and model of your motherboard, but there are typically four standoffs in the corners of the motherboard.

Once you’ve identified the locations, use a screwdriver to screw the standoffs into the case. Be careful not to overtighten the screws, as this can damage the motherboard.

Finally, place the motherboard on the standoffs and screw it into place. That’s it! Installing motherboard standoffs is a quick and easy process that anyone can do.

How Many Motherboard Standoffs Do You Need?

A motherboard has many standoffs, depending on the type of motherboard and the width of the board. For example, a mini-ITX motherboard has six standoffs.

A microATX motherboard has 9 standoffs. A full-size ATX motherboard has twelve standoffs. A P8Z68 (LGA 1151) motherboard has sixteen standoffs.

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Do Your Cases Include Motherboard Screws?


While your motherboard may have screws for M.2 and other SSDs, standoff screws are not included.

This is due to the fact that the motherboard is less important than the PC case when choosing the standoff screws to utilize.

Thus, motherboard standoffs typically ship with the computer casing rather than the motherboard. You probably already have a bag or package with a dozen or so standoffs and the associated screws once you’ve bought a PC case.

These should be either ‘6-32 UNC’ or ‘M3’ screws—if you aren’t sure which your case ships with, and you need to buy replacements, your case’s manual should tell you.

Where Can You Buy ?

If you are looking for a place to buy motherboard standoffs, a few options are available. You can purchase them at most computer stores or online through various retailers.

Standoffs are an important part of any computer build, as they keep the motherboard from shorting out on the case.

With so many options available, you should be able to find the perfect set of standoffs for your needs.


What size should motherboard standoffs be?

Motherboard standoffs come in various sizes to fit different motherboard models. It’s important to choose the right size for your motherboard to ensure a secure fit and proper grounding. Check your motherboard manual or consult with a knowledgeable professional to determine the correct size for your specific motherboard.

Can I reuse motherboard standoffs from an old build?

It’s generally not recommended to reuse motherboard standoffs from an old build, as they may not be the correct size or shape for your new motherboard. Additionally, standoffs can become worn or damaged over time and may not provide adequate support or grounding for your new components.

Are nylon or metal standoffs better?

Both nylon and metal standoffs can work well, but there are some differences to consider. Nylon standoffs are lightweight, non-conductive, and won’t scratch your motherboard or case. However, they may be less durable than metal standoffs and could potentially melt or warp if your system runs hot. Metal standoffs are more durable and conductive, which can be beneficial for grounding purposes, but they can scratch your motherboard or case if not handled carefully.

What if my motherboard doesn’t have pre-drilled standoff holes?

Some older or non-standard motherboards may not have pre-drilled holes for standoffs. In this case, it’s still important to use standoffs to elevate the motherboard and prevent it from making contact with the case. You can use adhesive standoffs or create custom standoffs using materials such as plastic or rubber.

Can I install extra standoffs for additional support?

It’s generally not necessary to install extra standoffs beyond what is required for your specific motherboard, as this could potentially cause damage or interfere with proper grounding. However, if you have a particularly heavy or large graphics card or other component, you may want to consider using additional support brackets or reinforcing the case with additional hardware.

Can I install motherboard standoffs after the motherboard is already mounted in the case?

It’s not recommended to install standoffs after the motherboard is already mounted, as this could cause damage to the motherboard or other components. It’s important to install standoffs before mounting the motherboard to ensure proper alignment and grounding. If you forget to install standoffs before mounting, you will need to remove the motherboard, install the standoffs, and then remount the motherboard.

Do I need to use washers with motherboard standoffs?

washers with motherboard standoffs

It’s not necessary to use washers with motherboard standoffs, as they are designed to provide a secure fit without additional hardware. However, if you want to add an extra layer of protection or insulation, you can use nylon or rubber washers between the standoff and the motherboard or case.

Can I use non-standard screws with motherboard standoffs?

It’s important to use the correct screws with your motherboard standoffs to ensure a secure fit and proper grounding. Most standoffs use ‘6-32 UNC’ or ‘M3’ screws, but it’s important to check your motherboard manual or case manual to confirm the correct size and type. Using non-standard screws could potentially damage the standoffs, motherboard, or other components.

Quick Summary

Metal risers called motherboard standoffs keep your motherboard elevated from the motherboard tray in your computer case.

Because if your motherboard touches your case, an electric discharge could short the circuits on your motherboard or possibly your RAM or CPU, standoffs are required to protect your components from harm.

Their installation is easy. You should know where to screw the standoffs into the motherboard tray once you know what form factor your motherboard is. Once the standoffs are mounted to the tray, slide your motherboard onto it by inserting the appropriate screws through the corresponding holes, and then tighten the screws firmly but not too.

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