Do Motherboards Come with Screws and Standoffs?

The short is no! Motherboards DO NOT come with screws. The screws you need in order to mount the motherboard to the PC case come WITH the PC CASE itself.

But to thoroughly answer the question, you need to understand that there are different types of screws that a motherboard uses for different purposes:

  • Standoffs for mounting the motherboard on the PC case.
  • Screws for mounting the motherboard on to the standoffs on the case.
  • Screws for securing the M.2 drives on the M.2 slots
  • Screws for securing the add-in expansion cards on the PCIe expansion slots

Again, it should be noted that both the standoffs and the mounting screws come with the PC Case.

In the following text I will answer the question “Do motherboards come with screws and standoffs?” in detail and also look at where you can find the screws for different components.

Do Motherboards Come with Screws and Standoffs?

As mentioned earlier, no, motherboards DO NOT come with screws or standoffs.

These are provided with the PC Case.

Also for the uninitiated, you have to understand the difference between motherboard mounting screws and standoffs.

motherboard standoff
Brass Standoffs go into the case and hold the motherboard off from the metallic case surface.

Standoffs are small cylindrical shaped metallic objects with threads that look a lot like a screw on one end. These go into the PC Case and act as spacers between the motherboard and the PC Case.

What are Motherboard Standoffs
Standoffs can be loosened and tightened just like screws. You have to make sure that you place the standoff in holes that coincide with the form factor of your motherboard.

So essentially:

  1. The standoffs are installed into the case in positions that correspond to the screw hole locations on the motherboard
  2. The motherboard is placed onto the standoffs.
  3. The motherboard is screwed into the standoffs.

Also Read in Detail: What are Motherboard Standoffs?

Do Motherboard Have Screws in the Same Location?

No, the location of the screws on a given motherboard depends upon the form factor of the motherboard.

motherboard form factors
Different motherboard form factors have different screw locations

There are three popular form factors:

  • ATX: 12 x 9.6 inches
  • Micro ATX: 9.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Mini-ITX: 6.7 x 6.7 inches

As such, the location of the screws on a motherboard is uniform across a given form factor.

Also Read: How to Check Form Factor of Your Motherboard?

In other words, while all ATX motherboards have the same location for screws, when you compare a Mini ITX with an ATX motherboard, the location of the screws will be different.

This in turn means that you will need to make sure that the standoffs in the Case are aligned correctly with the form factor of your motherboard.

Do Motherboards Come with Screws and Standoffs
Red circles highlight the location of the standoffs. Source: Renhotecic.com

Note that it is not necessary for all of the standoff holes to be occupied in the PC Case. Depending upon the form factor of your motherboard, some will go unoccupied.

Also, it is a common practice for the larger ATX cases to have the standoff holes for the smaller form factor motherboards i.e Micro ATX and Mini ITX.

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with Cables? 

What are Add-in Card Fastening Screws?

Along with the standoffs and the mounting screws, you also need to have the add-in card or the PCIe expansion card fastening screws.

These are also NOT provided with the motherboard. They are either provided with the case or with the expansion card itself.

Expansion card screws are required in order to fasten the card to the PC Case while it is plugged into the PCIe slot on the motherboard.

expansion card mounting screws
Image Courtesy: HP

The fastening screws hold the expansion card in place so that they do not accidentally unplug from the PCIe slot. A slight nudge or a bump can displace a card.

Even the slightest displacement of an expansion card from its PCIe slot can render it inoperable. Hence the fastening screws are very important.

Some expansion cards, such as the graphics card are heavy and can easily move around if not fastened with a screw to the case.

What are M.2 SSD Screws?

M.2 SSDs also require to be screwed into the motherboard once plugged into the M.2 slots.

samsung 980 pro
Samsung 980 Pro. An M.2 SSD that would need to be screwed into the M.2 slot on the motherboard.
M.2 Slot Length
A typical M.2 slot with the different length marked. The holes at different length interval are where you would screw in your SSD. Source: Rog.Asus.com

There are different sizes of M.2 SSDs and a typical M.2 slot on the motherboard has several holes, as shown above, for different sized SSDs.

The screws for the M.2 SSDs come WITH THE motherboard.

Also Read: How to Check SSD Compatibility With Laptop or Desktop?

Summary: Which Screws Come with What?

So the following table basically summarizes where you can find the respective screws of different components:

  Components the Screws Comes with
Motherboard Standoffs PC Case
Motherboard Mounting Screws
PC Case
Expansion Card Fastening Screws
PC Case or the Expansion Card itself
M.2 SSD Fastening Screws
Motherboard
Screws for Mounting PSU to the Case Power Supply Unit
Screws for Mounting Hard Disk Drives
PC Case

Therefore, other than the M.2 SSD screws, motherboards do NOT come with any other screws.

Also Read: Do All Motherboards Fit in Any Case?

FAQ

What Size are Motherboard Screws?

The most common size for  screws and standoffs for commercial motherboards is the #6–32 x 3/16″ (M3 in metric).

Are Motherboard Screws Universal?

Yes, motherboard screws are mostly universal for the commercial models.

Do You Have to Screw In All the Motherboard Holes?

Ideally, yes, you should screw in all the motherboard holes to the standoffs on the PC case for two reasons:

  1. Firstly the screws would hold the motherboard secure.
  2. Secondly, and more importantly, each hole provides grounding protection and can help your motherboard from short circuiting. 

However, in case, if you are are missing a screw or two, you don’t need to worry much. Your motherboard will work just fine. It will just be a tad bit less protected from the electrical hazards.

Do Motherboards Come with Screwdrivers?

No, motherboards do not come with screwdriver. In fact, none of the PC components come with a screwdriver.

As such, if you are building your own PC, it is recommended that you have a precision screw driver set in hand. 

Also Read: Do Motherboards Come with CPU and RAM?

Final Words

So the answer to the question “do motherboards come with screws and standoffs” is negative. They do not.

Motherboard only come with screws for the M.2 SSD drive. 

Motherboard screws and standoffs are provided with the PC case.

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Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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