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Motherboard Cardboard Spacers

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February 24, 2009 5:28:39 PM

The case and motherboard I purchased didn't come with any cardboard spacers to place between the case screws and the motherboard. Is this still a requirement for modern PCs? If so, anyone know where I can purchase some?

Case: Thermaltake V9 Black Edition - material SECC Steel
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
February 24, 2009 6:16:54 PM

Are you talking about some kind of cardboard washers that go between the motherboard and the standoffs? I've never seen or used anything like that, just place the screw holes over the installed standoffs and screw the board down. There's a pretty good amount of blank area around most motherboards to prevent any components from shorting to the case, and the standoffs hold the back of the board off the metal inside of the case.
a b V Motherboard
February 24, 2009 7:23:19 PM



Your case may have come with something like these brass standoff screws.
They keep the motherboard raised above the metal tray and accept the screws needed to tighten the motherboard into the tray. Match the pattern of screw holes on your motherboard to the motherboard tray standoff holes.
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February 24, 2009 8:13:39 PM

Yes, I was talking about cardboard washers. So they aren't needed anymore?

I did receive quite a few of the pictured standoff screws. The case also has some built in stands. All of my previous systems had cardboard washers to prevent the screw from touching the MB, and possibly another underneath to prevent the stands from touching as well.

The washers are really thin, maybe 2-3 times thicker than paper.
February 24, 2009 8:40:18 PM

I'm not sure why they were needed before, to be honest. I've built a couple systems without even knowing they used to be needed. Looking at photos of your motherboard, do you see the little metal contacts surrounding the screwholes? Those are designed to touch the screws and bond electrically to the grounded case. If the board needed to be insulated from the screws, the designers wouldn't put the metal contacts right where the screws touch, I assume. That said, I always wonder about electrical engineers.
a b V Motherboard
February 24, 2009 8:43:49 PM

atomiktoaster said:
I'm not sure why they were needed before, to be honest. I've built a couple systems without even knowing they used to be needed. Looking at photos of your motherboard, do you see the little metal contacts surrounding the screwholes? Those are designed to touch the screws and bond electrically to the grounded case. If the board needed to be insulated from the screws, the designers wouldn't put the metal contacts right where the screws touch, I assume. That said, I always wonder about electrical engineers.


Yes, I recall how the standoffs used to come with those washers, and wondered the same thing.
a b V Motherboard
February 24, 2009 10:35:40 PM

IIRC the washers were used to prevent possible shorts with some motherboards a long while back as the stand offs were used for some kind of grounding.
April 8, 2009 1:26:11 PM

The cardboard washers are normally not needed but at times the motherboard will incorrectly ground to the standoffs if not used. I had a system that ran fine for 2 years, then suddenly it would power on for 1-2 seconds and then die. After sending it in for RMA repair it came back doing the same thing. The Asus tech pointed out that they test them on a non-conductive surface, not in a case. Adding the cardboard washers both above and under the motherboard fixed the issue. I'd say if you have some, use them.
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