Are Motherboard Standoffs Necessary?

What Is Standoffs?

Standoffs are typically plastic or metal components with a screw hole in the middle. They are attached to the motherboard prior to installing a CPU cooler, and have a function that is similar to spring washers.A device used in electronic packaging to position a printed circuit board away from a heat sink or other surface

Motherboard Standoffs?

Motherboard standoffs serve as spacers between the motherboard and chassis/heat sink in order to achieve better contact pressure on the screws that secure hardware onto the motherboard. The additional pressure on these screws increases solder flow, which — in turn — decreases thermal resistance by decreasing residual stress.

need for standoffs with built in ones on case

This improves overall cooling performance by reducing thermal resistance and increasing heat transfer efficiency. By using more standoffs, you can potentially decrease your system’s operating temperature without an increase in mechanical fan speed; however, it is always important to account for proper airflow within the chassis when it comes to cooling.

Benefits Of Standoffs:

A standoff is a bolt or screw that extends vertically and holds two parts of an electronic device at a distance from each other so they do not make contact. For example, these may be screws attached to a mother board and through the motherboard standoffs to secure it in place in the PC case. These are used to keep the PCB away from metal cases, which would otherwise short-circuit your system as well as cause excessive heat buildups.

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Size of Motherboard standoffs:

Motherboard standoffs come in different sizes but most modern cases use nylon threaded standoffs with M3 threads. The length can vary between 20mm to 80mm. Standoff height dimensions will also change depending on where they are placed on the motherboard, and how high/ low you want your components to be.

Differentiate between Motherboard standoffs & Motherboard Spacers:

Motherboard standoffs are often confused with motherboard spacers. Spacers, also known as washers or shims, are used to raise components such as disk drives above other parts of the computer for various reasons. They can keep a hard drive away from preventing heat dissipation or prevent shock damage due to uneven loads on the system if a heavy object is accidentally placed on top of the device.

motherboard standoff screws

Motherboard spacers come in different thicknesses and diameters and are up to 15mm in height. However, they do not protrude directly above a motherboard like mother board standoffs do so that others can be placed over them when building your PC case.

Importance of Motherboard Standoffs:

its provide an electrically-safe spacer between the motherboard and the case. This is important, as case paneling is often made of steel and would cause a short circuit if the motherboard were to make contact with the case.


Without Standoffs your computer may not boot or worse yet, you may damage your motherboard. we strongly suggest using standoffs for all systems especially larger ones. They will prevent your board from shorting out on the case or just look ugly without one. It is also good to have them if you plan on OC’ng and want better air flow around the CPU socket area as well as provide spacing for large heatsink coolers so they don’t touch any components near by (usually these are tall tower style CPUs).

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