Are Motherboard Standoffs Necessary?

Your PC building journey may be simple if you’re doing it for the GA zillionth time, but for beginners, it is no less than a roller coaster. While you build your PC you may come up with the new term “Motherboard Standoffs” Did a friend mention motherboard standoffs or did you read on the internet? No matter what the source was, we are glad that you were introduced to them. Are motherboard Standoffs necessary? Yes, they are!

Teaser: They can prevent system burnouts.

Read along to find out why they are so necessary and how to install motherboard standoffs.

Are Motherboard Standoffs Necessary?

Computers are complex devices and are made up of several components. Each of these components has a designated place where they should be placed. Any variability or change in position can cause serious damage to other peripherals of the system and thus these small details must be kept in mind.

The most important of these is the motherboard. The motherboard acts as a plate and a base for other components of the computer to connect with each other. It serves as a coordinator for the entire system and thus has numerous circuits on it.

These circuits need to be kept away from any external parts of the computer and that is exactly where the motherboard standoffs play their part. They ensure that the peripherals are being safely installed and are not coming in contact with each other. The standoffs protect the integrity of your machine. They protect your machine from damage such as short/open circuits, burnouts, catching fire, or from overheating severely.

The motherboard is not supposed to touch the CPU case. In fact, it is not supposed to come in contact with any other metallic component of the CPU, as the functionality will be altered. The system may even stop working, may have to be replaced too.

What Are Motherboard Standoffs?

A motherboard standoff is part of the hardware that acts as a spacer between the motherboard and the metallic CPU case. They are small and hexagonal cylindrical screws that are made up of metal or plastic. It keeps the case and the motherboard fairly apart from each other.

They are one of the most essential components of the system that are often ignored, but without them, the PC cannot be assembled properly.

What Happens If you don’t Install Motherboard Standoffs?

Precaution is better than cure, and that is why motherboard standoffs are necessary to be installed.

When two electrical components that are not meant to be near each other come into contact we experience a short circuit. The short circuit may completely burn out your motherboard affecting adjacent components also. Not only will your work be interrupted but the financial loss will also be experienced.

In severe cases, the motherboard is also likely to catch fire, and by that, we mean actual flames that have to be put out with fire extinguishers. That is a higher level of damage that may occur if motherboard standoffs are not installed.

The system must be allowed to cool down and breathe therefore there are numerous fans installed in the CPU. Even GPUs have separate fans installed in them.

The system must be allowed to breathe and cool down after it begins to heat up. Installing motherboard standoffs will also provide extra room for your motherboard for breathing because if it doesn’t burn out and catch fire, it definitely will heat up more in the absence of motherboard standoffs.

Do all motherboards come with Standoffs?

The standoffs usually come with the computer case, and not the motherboard itself. They may even come with the motherboard, or sometimes with neither of them.

In that case, you will have to purchase them separately, but before you do so look around properly for the small packet they are enclosed in.

How to Install Motherboard Standoffs?

Now that we have established that the motherboard standoffs are necessary, let’s go through the simplest way of how to install them. Since you will be using them to prevent your motherboard from touching the metallic case of a CPU, you must know how to fit these in properly.

Step 1: Create a template

Take a piece of paper larger than the size of the motherboard. Place it beneath the motherboard to mark over the standoff holes. Push through the paper to create holes that will help you identify where to place the standoffs.

Step 2: Install the standoffs

Tighten all the standoffs with the correct driver size. For the outer edge where you may not see holes in the motherboard, use the plastic standoffs.

Step 3: Secure your motherboard

While you secure the motherboard to the position make sure you are using the right screws. They often are identical to the ones used for the hard drive. Pick a hole and align the motherboard with it. Then slowly rotate the motherboard to ensure all the holes are aligned.


Are motherboard standoffs necessary? Of course, they are. They prevent your motherboard from touching the case of the CPU, which in turn prevents short circuits and in extreme cases fires. It also keeps the motherboard secure and sustainable and increases its life.

Motherboard Standoffs are easy to install, the step-by-step guide has also been mentioned in the article. You do not require any outsider’s help. You can do it all by yourself, at your home in a couple of minutes.

In case you have not already installed motherboard standoffs, or are planning to skip this step, move that extra muscle right now and get this done as soon as possible.


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