When building a PC, the last thing you want to find out is that you do not have the screws to properly mount your motherboard to the PC case. When building a PC, you expect to have everything you need to complete the build, including the screws. If you’ve purchased a motherboard, you’ve probably quickly realized that there are no screws to mount it, this can be quite frustrating.
You use the standoff and screws to mount the motherboard to the PC case, the standoffs are responsible for raising the motherboard to prevent physical and electrical damage. The standoffs are a near essential piece of hardware that will prevent your motherboard from short-circuiting due to the conductivity of the metal chassis. Some crazy individuals will attempt to mount their motherboards without the standoffs.
Answer: Motherboards do not come with screws or any mounting hardware/equipment because it all comes with the Chassis/PC case. If you do not have a PC case but have some old standoffs and screws, you will be pleased to find out that they’re standardized/universal, so you can use any motherboard screws/standoffs with it. If you do not have any screws/standoffs, then you can pick them up from any PC/Hardware stores for pretty cheap.
Do Motherboards Come With All The Screws
The standoffs that you use to mount the motherboard to prevent short circuits and physical damage do not come with the motherboard. They come with a PC case, so if you do not have a PC case, then you essentially have no equipment to mount the motherboard. The screws also come with the PC case, so you will need to purchase a PC case, or find a hardware/PC store to obtain the screws and standoffs.
If you do not have any standoffs and are looking to purchase some, then the name for the universal standoffs is called 6-32 Brass Motherboard Standoffs, and you can pick them up online or at any hardware store. To install these standoffs, you will need a #2 Phillips head screwdriver to attach it to the motherboard. Place and position the motherboard on top of the standoffs then screw in the screws that came with the PC case. You’ll find out that a lot of random screws can be used to mount a motherboard, but they have to meet a certain specification typically 6–32 x 3/16.
However, some motherboards will come with the M.2 screws that are used to install M.2 drives. If your motherboard supports M.2 drives, then it will most likely come with these screws. These screws and standoffs should not be mistaken for motherboard mounting screws, they are used for the M.2 SSD. M.2 drives come in different sizes, so you will need to check your motherboard manual to ensure that you can install that M.2 drive.
Are Motherboard Screws Universal?
The motherboard screws or the screws that come with the PC case are universal and can be used to mount different motherboards in different cases. This is great news for the consumer as you are not forced to purchase new screws for a different motherboard and case, this will save you money. Just like the screws are universal, the standoffs are also universal so there is no need to worry about motherboard screws and standoffs.
Even with motherboard form factors, you can use ATX standoffs and screws with Mini-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, the specifications are all the same. If you build a lot of PCs, then you’ve probably stockpiled a lot of these screws that you can reuse and use for backup. When you purchase a PC case, the chances that the standoffs are already pre-installed is pretty common, so if you feel like the case did not come with the standoffs, just check inside the case.
There is a slim chance that the motherboard standoffs are not universal and are in fact proprietary to the case that made it, these types of cases are typically special in some sort of way, they may use a weird way of mounting the motherboard. If you’ve purchased one of these cases, then you won’t be able to reuse the standoffs. Often, test benches require standoffs that are different from those used in PC cases, they can be bigger or smaller than PC case standoffs.
Do Motherboards Need Standoffs
The purpose of standoffs is to prop the motherboard up so it isn’t directly touching the PC case, some motherboards come with standoffs preinstalled in the case, so you won’t always need to purchase or use old standoffs. But if you’re wondering if you need standoffs in the case where your PC case does not come with them pre-installed then yes, the standoffs are there to protect your motherboard.
When building a PC, there are practices you should follow to protect you and your PC, installing the PC case without standoffs can cause problems but it is physically possible. Your motherboard will be at high risk of short-circuiting due to the motherboard’s traces being in direct contact with the metal chassis, but these components are not absolutely necessary to have the motherboard work. It is possible to build a PC without a PC case.
When you build your first PC you will want it to work perfectly fine when you first turn it on, but if you hear a loud pop when you turn it on, then it’s likely you’ve short-circuited the motherboard and the components on it. If you do not want to use standoffs for whatever reason, then you will need to apply something non-conductive between the motherboard traces and the motherboard chassis, perhaps cardboard.
Motherboards will usually come with screws used to secure the M.2 SSD drive, the screws should already be present inside the pre-threaded holes on the motherboard. These holes are there to secure different sized M.2 drives, the common sizes for M.2 drives are 30mm (2230), 42mm (2242), 60mm (2260), 80mm (2280), and 110mm (22110), and without these screws, the M.2 drive won’t stay in place and won’t work due to insufficient contact.
Always check your motherboard to see if the screw is pre-installed, if not then you can either consult the motherboard manufacturer to see if they can send you some, or purchase some online. There are plenty of ways you can find M2X3MM screws, you can find them in hardware stores or purchase them online from Amazon.
If you’re looking to install an M.2 SSD, and your motherboard does not have it preinstalled, then you will need to purchase the screw online. The screw for the M.2 SSD drive is called M2X3MM, and it’s very small and easy to lose. If you’re not using the screw, then we recommend just installing it anyways so you don’t lose it in the future. The standoff should already come preinstalled so you won’t have to worry about that.
The verdict is that motherboards do not come with the screws and standoffs necessary for mounting, these components come with the PC case. If you’ve lost the mounting components, then you can easily purchase the mounting screws and standoffs online, they’re pretty much universal and should work with any motherboard and case.
Do not install your motherboard without standoffs without any non-conductive material insulating it, this can cause your motherboard to short circuit which is the last thing you want. If your motherboard short circuits then you will likely hear an audible pop when you first try to turn it on.