Are Motherboard Screws Universal | Definitive Guide For Beginners

Written By Steven Arends

Let me guess, you’ve finally bought yourself a fresh new motherboard and case and now you realize that your motherboard screws are nowhere to be found.

You don’t have to tell me that that’s super frustrating. Now, you are wondering whether you need to look for a specific set of screws or whether a general set of screws will work.

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Are Motherboard Screws Universal?

Yes, all motherboard screws and standoffs are compatible with every motherboard out there. The only thing you need to think about is how many screws and standoffs you will need because that varies between motherboards.

Don’t worry, this is no reason to panic. I know this because I have been in the same situation years ago before I became a tech expert. Since this is a common confusion, I decided to write this article in simple words so you can understand everything clearly.

Just keep reading until the end and watch all your doubts disappear.

Don’t have time to read? Well, check out Best Motherboard For The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Do Motherboard Come With Screws?

Well, it’s a yes and no. Yes, a motherboard will come with M 2 screws. No, the screws needed to fit the motherboard and other components into a case do not come with the motherboard. However, you can get those screws when you buy a case.

The things that do come with the motherboard are the following:

  1. Input and Output plate for the back of the computer.
  2. Some input and output cables.
  3. Cables that plug into the parallel ports.

In motherboards that don’t belong in this generation, you would also get PATA and floppy cables, but newer motherboards won’t even have parts for these.

The other things you get include a user manual and a CD which would contain some basic drivers.

Check out our separate post whether Motherboard Bottleneck GPU or not.

What Size Are Motherboard Screws?

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The standard size of any motherboard screws is usually 6-32 in US standard and M3x0.5 in metric. Every motherboard or MOBO will come with a set of screws and posts that hold the MOBO off the side of the case for airflow.

For ATX motherboards, the standard size for the provided standoff has to be a minimum of 6.5 mm and the cross section  which is external has to be able to fit into a 10 mm by 10 mm area around the standoff hole.

Just remember that the screw size will depend entirely on the size of the threads in the motherboard standoffs.

Follow our guide to fix Motherboard Standoffs.

How Many Screws Are Needed For The Motherboard?

I personally recommend that you don’t leave anything unscrewed but you might find yourself in a situation where you have fewer screws then the requirement. In  that scenario, you must make sure to put in the screws that are near the processor.

You should also make sure to screw in the diagonal opposites on the motherboard. The main purpose of the majority of the screws is just to keep the motherboard and case properly aligned.

Furthermore, check and see that you have filled all the corners and the middle screw of the motherboard.

If you are working with a GPU that is bigger than the average, then you should make it a point to screw another one around the GPU as well.

However, if you don’t want to have that constant fear of your motherboard being vulnerable, you should definitely go out and get extra screws.

Also, check how to Apply & Remove Thermal Paste On Motherboard PCB.

Can You Install A Motherboard Without Standoffs?

Nope, don’t even think about installing your motherboard if you don’t have any standoffs. If you are in a hurry and need to improvise, put a non conductive sheet in between the motherboard and case material.

Whatever you do, just be absolutely sure that the bottom of the motherboard isn’t touching the metal directly.

Now, you might be wondering whether these standoffs should come with the motherboard?

Most people you ask about this might say those standoffs do come with motherboards. Believe me, I know because I asked some people myself.

However, they are simply misinformed. Standoffs are always included and sometimes built into the case.

While motherboards have specific and generalized form factors, the cases typically differ greatly in terms of shape, size, or depth. This is why you need screws and standoffs. You need them to boost compatibility with more motherboards.

In a hurry? Check out my 7 Best Motherboard for i7 10700K.

FAQ

Question: Does Walmart have motherboard screws?

Answer: Yes, you can get an entire motherboard screw pack mounting screws, washers, and standoffs for installing motherboards. Just visit their website for more details.

Question: Do I need standoff screws?

Answer: Yes, you definitely need them. Good news is there’s a chance you don’t need to install the standoffs yourself. Nowadays, most computer cases come with standoffs already built in. Nevertheless, always check that the case you are buying is compatible with your motherboard.

Question: What happens if you don’t use motherboard standoffs?

Answer: You might end up with an unbootable computer, or worse, your motherboard or your CPU might become permanently unusable. So, don’t ever think about using a computer without making sure the standoffs are properly installed.

Question:  How many standoffs does ATX motherboard have?

Answer: In general terms, ATX motherboards typically use 6 and if you have a particularly small board, it might need even lower than that. The case, however, usually comes with 2 more standoffs to meet ATX standards.

Question: Where do you put motherboard standoff?

Answer: First step is to find out the place where you will install the standoffs. The wall on the interior of your case will have threaded screw holes. Don’t just randomly screw in the standoffs as you have to only use the ones that are specifically made for your motherboard.

Question: Should motherboard screws be tight?

Answer: It’s not necessary to make the screws extra tight. Just make sure that the screw is firm to the case and doesn’t move. If you make them too tight, you might end up with a stripped screw, which means the screw might get stuck in the hole.

Question: What do motherboard standoffs look like?

Answer: There are two types of standoffs which are metal and plastic. The metal ones have a hexagonal shape whereas the plastic ones typically have a flat bottom and they are usually pointed to the top.

Question: Can A Screw Damage Motherboard?

Answer: It’s highly unlikely but it has happened that the entire motherboard was destroyed only because of just one loose screw. So, you have to make sure that the screws are sufficiently tight.

Final Thoughts

It can be very confusing for beginners to understand motherboard screws without some background first.

I hope I was able to provide that background and that you don’t have any more questions related to motherboard screws.

If you do have some questions, we are always here waiting for your inquiries. Do stay with us for more tech updates and guides.

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