Does A Motherboard Come With Mounting Screws?

Computer parts — like motherboards — can look like alien equipment from another dimension if you aren’t familiar with them. Fortunately, these tools are generally straightforward to install and easy to understand. But when it comes to installing a new motherboard, many people wonder if screws come included.

Mounting screws and standoffs don’t come with a motherboard; instead, they come with the computer case. They typically come pre-attached or in a separate bag inside the case. Standoffs raise the motherboard off the case and prevent it from short-circuiting. Never install a motherboard without them.

So, if you need to install your new motherboard onto a computer case, there’s no need to worry. There are some important things to consider if it’s your first time or if you encounter issues, but we’ll cover everything you need to know.

What Is the Purpose of a Motherboard?

Female electronic engineer examining computer motherboard in lab

The motherboard is the primary printed circuit board found in a PC. It’s the primary component of circuity that all the other pieces connect to and “communicate” through. Essentially, the motherboard is the foundation of the computer.

Without the motherboard, none of the other components, like the processor, graphics card, or hard drive, could communicate. A working motherboard is fundamental to a working computer.

Common Motherboard Components

Because the motherboard is such an essential tool in your computer, it’s important to have a general understanding of the different components.

The motherboard looks like a flat board with metal designs, wires, slots, and raised pieces. Some of the pieces include power and data connectors, capacitors, heat sinks, and fans.

You’ll also see mounting holes across the board for mounting it to the computer chassis. Raised expansion slots will help you add additional computer components, like RAM or GPUs. Some of the other components that connect to the motherboard include the following:

  • DVD and CD Drives
  • Video and Graphic Cards
  • Sound Cards
  • Hard Drives
  • Solid State Drives
  • Computer Processes
  • RAM
  • Solid State Drives
  • CPU Coolers and Fans

Generally speaking, if your PC uses it, it’s probably plugged into the motherboard. Without the motherboard, parts can’t work with one another or function correctly.

That said, you’ll need to mount the motherboard to the computer case before you proceed with anything else. Let’s take a look at more details to help you get started.

Do Motherboards Come With Mounting Screws?

Motherboards don’t come with mounting screws. Instead, the screws to attach the motherboard come with the computer chassis. Computer cases typically include standoff and mounting screws.

Both standoffs and screws are required to secure a motherboard to a computer case. You can’t use just screws to install a motherboard.

Standoffs are typically metal or plastic with a hexagonal design. Standoffs raise the motherboard away from the case so that it doesn’t contact the metal chassis and short circuit. The screws attach the motherboard to the standoffs and the case.

Many computer cases include standoffs that are pre-attached, but this isn’t always the case. Many manufacturers include loose components like screws and standoffs in an individual plastic bag or box. Other manufacturers store the screws and standoffs in the hard drive bays, so be sure to look around if you can’t find them.

Should You Screw in All Motherboard Holes?

It’s not always necessary to screw in all of the motherboard screws — but it is recommended.

Most motherboards will have 4–9 holes for standoffs and screws. You might only use a limited amount of screws if you lose one or if one of the holes is stripped. In some cases, you can get away with only using screws on opposite diagonal sides, but this has risks.

If you have a particularly heavy CPU cooler, you might place unnecessary stress on the motherboard if you don’t use all of the screws. The motherboard might fall off or snap in a worst-case scenario.

In short, it’s best to connect the motherboard with all of the standoffs and screws. This will help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls or accidents.

Can I Install a Motherboard With Only Screws?

No! Be sure to install a motherboard onto a computer case with the standoffs. As we mentioned earlier, the standoffs can be metal or plastic and raise the board of the chassis. They prevent the motherboard from contacting the metal case, preventing it from short-circuiting.

If you only use screws, your motherboard and the connected components can short-circuit and break. You may hear a loud “pop” sound when you turn on the computer, and all of your hard work and money will go down the drain.

Instead, install a motherboard with standoffs and screws to avoid any unnecessary issues. Carefully insert the standoffs into each hole, tighten them by hand, and attach the screws.

Tighten each screw about halfway, starting with the opposite corners of the motherboard. Doing so will ensure the torque is balanced and there isn’t additional stress on the board. Afterward, you can finish tightening each screw following the same pattern.

If you lose your standoffs and screws, you can easily purchase replacement parts (on Amazon).

Are Motherboard Screws Universal?

Generally speaking, motherboard screws and standoffs are universal. Computer cases will typically include a #6-32 UNC male thread standoff that attaches to the back plate of the chassis. They will have a hollow top to insert the screws.

You can typically turn the standoffs by hand and tighten the screws with a #2 Phillips screwdriver (on Amazon).

It’s best to begin by loosely tightening each screw in opposite corners of the motherboard. This method ensures the torque is balanced and places less stress on the board. Afterward, you can finish tightening each screw following the same pattern.  

Some Motherboards Come With Screws for M.2 Drives

Several new motherboards include support for M.2 drives and a small-sized SSD drive. M.2 drives can be mounted directly onto the board, so compatible models include slots and M.2 screws.

M.2 drives are available in different sizes, so ensure you have accurate measurements before installing the motherboard. The slots under the M.2 drive don’t require standoffs or screws, as you won’t be screwing the board into the back plate.

If you lose your M.2 drive screws or don’t have any, you can easily find replacements (on Amazon) at affordable prices. That said, always consult the instruction manual or manufacturer’s website if you’re uncertain how to proceed.

What Type of Screws Do Motherboards Use?

Screwdriver bolt on motherboard. Close up

Motherboards typically use #6-32 UNC male threaded standoffs and screws. The standoffs raise the board from contacting the metal computer case and prevent it from short-circuiting. The screws attach to the standoffs, securing the board in place.

The standoffs and screws aren’t included with the motherboard but come with the computer chassis.

They’re typically included in a separate plastic bag or box, but some manufacturers include pre-attached standoffs. If you lose your standoffs and screws, you can easily purchase replacements (on Amazon).

#6-32 UNC screws are also often used on 3.5″ hard disk drives and across the computer chassis body.