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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Motherboard Screws

    The last two motherboards and cases I ordered have come with the trapezoid shaped metal spacers, screws, and all other necessary hardware, but no nylon washers. Prior to these, the hardware kit has always included several round nylon-type washers to be inserted between the screw and the top of the motherboard.

    I am supposing that these washers are primarily to ensure that the screw does not back out at some point, but they might also have some insulating capacity. Any ideas about whether to put the system together without the washers or wait until I go buy some nylon washers?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    I would look at the tracking on the board around the screw holes. Usually - and preferably - NO tracks are placed where they would be under the head of a screw, regardless of whether or not an insulating washer is used.

    If you look where the screw and pillar touch the pcb, is it silver coloured? If so, t is quite likely that it is meant to make electrical contact with the fixing hardware as it is an earth connection between the board and the chassis. (Quite often you will see contact areas around the fixing points tracked between each other.)

    If where the screw/pillar will touch the board is green but there is no tracking underneath, insulating washers are optional.

    If where the screw/pillar will touch the board is green and there is tracking underneath (that is obviously not just meant to link the mechanical fixing points electrically) the board has been badly designed (in my view) and insulating washers must be used.

  3. #3
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Well, it's a Lian Li case and a Soyo Dragon Lite mobo and it does have a silver circle around the screw holes. I did read late last night after I posted that some mobo manufacturers are not including the washers because they have stopped running the traces so close to the screw holes (don't know why it took them until now to figure that this might be a good idea). Anyway, I think I'll stop and pick some up today just to be on the safe side however.

    Thanks Leif and Cowboy.

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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Actually most motherboards now have a small metal ring around the screw hole. It is important that either on top or bottom that that metal ring come in contact with the case. It' keeps at an equal electrical potential.

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    As Dean suggests - I think it is advisable that you do not insulate the screws. It may be worth checking with the manufacturer, but my instinct is that the design is for the board to electrically connect with the chassis - not as stated above simply a means to afix the board.

  6. #6
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Thanks, I did it without the nylon washers and seems to work fine, well on my way to dual booting Windows/Linux now.

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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    I don't know if this answers your question, but I have put several in without the nylon washers and have yet to have a problem. It's just a way to secure the board. And I don't think you have to worry about any of them backing out on you. Now my Harley is a different story. But thats due to a large amount of vibration. Just make sure the screw head is not sticking out over any tracking. It shouldn't if you use the screws that come with the board.

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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    If that Motherboard in any way makes electrical contact with the Chassis you will have yourself a real problem.
    According to every article I read on the internet these screws are for securing the motherboard.
    MOUNTING MOTHERBOARD/CPU TO THE CHASSIS: We normally ship our motherboard with CPU mounted and test, unless you specified otherwise. Properly mounting the motherboard to the chassis is crucial. Short circuit in mounting the mainboard is very common, and once the mainboard is short circuited it can cause other attached devices to fail as well. Most chassis will have mounting holes (few have mounting dimples) on it base that <big>allows the motherboard to be securely attached </big>. { motherboard from touching chassis}. There are two ways to attach the motherboard to the base of the chassis: with studs and with combination of stud and spacer. In principle, the best way to attach the motherboard is to use as many as studs as you can. Only if you are unable to use stud (because there is no stud hole) that you use spacer. Take a careful look at the motherboard and the position of the mounting holes (usually indicated by a silver ring). Line these holes up with the mounting holes on the base of the chassis. If the holes line up and there are screw holes this means you can attach the motherboard with studs. If the holes line up and there are only slots, this means that you have to use spacer. Insert spacers and or studs to their position. Align and secure the motherboard by using screws on the studs. Make sure that you account all of the studs. If any stud do not show through the motherboard mounting hole, then that stud is in wrong position and is hidden under the board. It should be removed or corrected before securing the mainboard. That stud will surely cause the mainboard to be short circuited. If the motherboard has mounting holes, but the don't line up with the holes on the base and there are no slots to attach spacers, you can still attach the spacer to mounting holes on the mainboard. Just cut the bottom portion of the spacers (recommended to use good diagonal cutter, the botton portion can fly out dangerously; cut it away from you and every body else). In this way you can secure that part of the motherboard without worrying about short circuits. Sometimes you may need to use plastic washer because the circuit wire may be near the hole . Don't let the screw contact any printed circuit wire or parts on the circuit board.

  9. #9
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Very good Mike. I have built several Computers and the washers are not needed unless you feel like the screw head might touch some of the tracking. At one time plastic spacers that screwed into the chassis and snaped on to the Motherboard were the choice of many but they are not as stable as the metal screws. Now they have the silver lining around the holes where you can use the metal screws safly without taking a chance on shorting out the board on the chassis.{ no disrespect to you Leif } but the screws serve no other purpose other then to secure the Motherboard. The Motherboard is grounded by the power source when it is pluged into the Motherboard. The Chassis is grounded from the power box being screwed to the Chassis and a power cord from that box being pluged into an outlet that has a proper ground from the outside from an Earth Ground. In which all houses have running to the electrical panal.The only other way your Chassis could be grounded is if you had it setting in the dirt.

    I double checked with ECS and ASUS and that is what they said also.

  10. #10
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Not every mobo/case needs spacers.

    I would expect that this is covered in the installation instructions for the mobo/case.

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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    All Motherboards must have some type of spacer { even if it's built in } to keep the Motherboard from touching the Chassis. I guess a person could call it what they want, but in my book, anything that seperates the Motherboard from the Chassis is a Spacer, even if it's a piece of foam { although that would not be a good idea }. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> By the way Howard, how is your Computer Building Project coming along? I remember you were looking for some books on how to build one not to long ago. Did it come out OK?

  12. #12
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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    Lemmee clarify.

    Some cases (or mobos, I forget which) have built-in spacers so you do not need separate spacers.

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    Re: Motherboard Screws

    True. Very True. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Ya still didn't tell me how your project went.

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