What are Motherboard Standoffs? Know By Experts

Do you want to know what are motherboard standoffs?

A motherboard standoff is a small cylindrical-shaped metallic device that screws into the PC case’s specific mounting holes. The function of motherboard standoffs is to separate the motherboard from the CPU casing. Thus, in the most basic sense, a standoff is a spacer between the motherboard and the case.

On the rear of the motherboard, there are hundreds of solder spots and electrical terminals, as well as sophisticated electrical circuitry. As a result, it is critical that the motherboard be raised so that it does not come into touch with the metallic PC casing, which could cause a short circuit. While motherboard standoffs may seem small, tiny, and unimportant, they are an essential component of PC construction.

What exactly are they? What is the objective of installing them? And why is it sometimes so difficult to get them to unwind? How to install them? Where can you buy them? Well, wait no more because I will explain all of these questions in my ultimate guide on everything you need to know about motherboard standoffs!

What Are Motherboard Standoffs?


Every motherboard requires standoffs to keep it secure and elevated above the motherboard tray of the chassis. Motherboards are electronic circuit boards that carry an electric current. If they come into contact with the motherboard tray, the electricity may go into the case and short out the motherboard or other components. Motherboard standoffs prevent this by allowing space between the motherboard and the PC casing. Once screwed in, they also keep your motherboard secure.

Standoffs will fit into particular holes on your motherboard, and these holes are designed to be safe points of contact for the standoffs. Standoffs are mounted on your motherboard and slide into these holes. Screws are inserted into the mounting holes of the standoffs from above, securing the motherboard in place. Standoffs frequently serve as grounding points, allowing static electricity to discharge safely through the standoffs, into the case, and down to earth via the power supply.

Why Are Motherboard Standoffs Necessary?

Motherboard standoffs are an essential component in the assembly of every computer. Because most motherboard casings are made of metal, a standoff is utilized to separate the motherboard from the metal case so that none of the components are damaged. These smallholders not just to maintain your motherboard attached to the PC casing, but they also keep the two from making contact. These contacts, which are typically soldered points, will carry current during operation.

While manufacturers often do their part to isolate the various circuits, we as users must also do our part to avoid shorting out the motherboard. Here are motherboard standoffs necessary. As the name implies, motherboard standoffs are intended to keep the motherboard’s bottom side away from any surface, particularly the casing.

Can A Motherboard Be Installed Without Standoffs?

Without standoffs, you cannot install a motherboard unless you want to use a computer without a case. All the hardware is kept in one small location inside the PC case. Additionally, motherboard standoffs are required when using a case.

Without standoffs, the motherboard can still receive power and distribute it to various components. Furthermore, these components are not essential to the motherboard’s real operation. But in order to keep using the computer in a secure and long-lasting manner, you still need the standoffs.

Furthermore, a motherboard won’t be long-lasting without standoffs. because if the motherboard is uncovered, other metal surfaces will come into contact with it, which could cause problems.

Do Motherboard Standoffs Come With The PC Case?

Yes, Motherboard standoffs come with the case.

Some PC cases include standoffs, while others require you to install them manually depending on the size of your motherboard. Motherboards are standardized among form factors, but cases can vary widely in shape, size, and depth, hence screws and standoffs are included to ensure compatibility.

When it comes to screws and standoffs in modern computing, however, there is a lot of consistency. Most certainly, if you already have standoffs from an ATX case, for instance, you can use those standoffs with any ATX board in any ATX case.

What Type Of Motherboard Standoffs Are Available?

Motherboard standoffs come in a wide variety of forms, including plastic, metallic, and a wide range of colors, kind of lengths, etc. Therefore, there are many different types of motherboard standoffs that you may learn.

Motherboard Standoff Sizes and Types

However, the majority of motherboard standoffs are typically 1 cm long and made of brass. That being said, they are still standardized. The majority of market motherboard standoffs follow the ISO M3 or UTS standard #6-32 UNC. Therefore, your standoffs may screw into pretty much any PC case and accept any standard #6-32 UNC or M3 screw, regardless of color, length, or material type.

What If the Motherboard Standoff Screws Won’t Screw In?

An M3 screw or a #6-32 UNC type screw are the only two types of screws that motherboard standoffs will accept.

Motherboard's Manual
Motherboard’s Manual

Look at the parts index or package contents page in your case’s manual. Most likely, you’ll discover a diagram showing what kind of screw you need and where to obtain it. Never force a screw in! It’s most likely not meant to be used with the motherboard standoffs if it doesn’t fit.

Where Can I Buy The Motherboard Standoffs?

Usually, when you purchase the whole computer, or at the very least the case, they come with the package. You can acquire more from the nearby hardware store if you want a new batch. Although it is advisable to get in touch with the vendor who sold you the computer or case since they are more likely to have the ideal fit.

For these parts, you can also search internet retailers like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc. Make sure to read the product’s description to determine whether it meets the requirements for your specific PC case.

How To Install Motherboard Standoffs? 4 Easy Steps

sTeps to install Motherboard standoffs
It’s easy to install motherboard standoffs, but it’s necessary to do it correctly to ensure the security and stability of your system.
Check The Form Factor Of Your Motherboard
Your motherboard’s form factor, which is often Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, or ATX, should be verified before doing anything.
1. Standard-ATX –> 12 x 9.6 inches
2. Micro-ATX –> 9.6 x 9.6 inches
3. Mini-ATX –> 6.7 x 6.7 inches

The mounting holes would be located differently depending on the form factor you have. It will depend on the form factor of your motherboard where you should mount the standoffs in your case. Fortunately, these are standardized, thus standoff solutions will be available for all popular motherboard form factors in the most popular PC case sizes.

The standoff locations on the motherboard tray of your case are typically identified with their form factor, such as “M” for Mini-ITX. You should be able to find installation instructions for standoffs for various motherboard form factors in your case’s documentation.
Screw The Standoffs In
Clear all wires to make space for the motherboard if you’re still unsure of the standoff locations to use. Check the location of the standoff holes on the motherboard by positioning it above the case’s motherboard tray.

If you’re unsure where to put the standoffs, compare the motherboard’s standoff holes to prospective standoff locations on the motherboard tray. Place the standoffs in their corresponding standoff holes on the motherboard tray and use your fingers to screw them in.
Mount Your Motherboard
You can mount your motherboard onto the standoffs after they have been properly fastened into your motherboard tray. Check for any blocks first, moving all cables away from the motherboard tray. The motherboard tray should have an alignment pin that serves as a center standoff for your motherboard’s central standoff hole to slot onto.

Next, align your motherboard with this pin. Making sure that the other standoff holes are lined up with the standoffs you’ve installed, gently lower the motherboard down onto this pin. Give the motherboard a moderate wiggle once it has been mounted on all standoffs to make sure it is in place securely
Put Screws In The Motherboard
Using a screwdriver, tighten the provided 6-32 UNC or M3 standoff screws into the standoffs once the motherboard has been installed on them to ensure stability.

Make sure the screw heads are flush with the motherboard and that they are tight enough to prevent the motherboard from shifting, but avoid overtightening them to avoid damaging the motherboard.

How Can I Remove Motherboard Standoffs?

Due to the metal warping with time and heat—or simply from being overtightened—motherboard standoffs may occasionally be held tightly to the case. If so, the simplest solution is to get a set of needle-nose pliers—or any pair of pliers with an appropriate size—and then release the standoff. Then you may just use your hand to unscrew it.

Conclusion On What Are Motherboard Standoffs

Hopefully, now you have cleared what the motherboard standoffs are through this article. You should ensure that each and every one of the motherboard standoffs are securely fastened because they are there for a reason. If you don’t, you’ll have a fried motherboard and have to buy a new one.

Metal risers are called motherboard standoffs to 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.

If you have any queries, feel free to drop a comment below.

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