How to install a motherboard in a computer

While it may not be the most visually appealing component of your computer, the motherboard is one of the most critical. It is also the largest component, which can make installation a bit more challenging, but it is not impossible if you proceed with caution. Regardless of the size of your motherboard or the type of case you have, you can follow step-by-step instructions for installing a new motherboard.


Gather Equipment


Before starting any PC component installation, it’s crucial to gather the necessary equipment and take steps to protect both your system and yourself. To do this, you should wear an anti-static wristband throughout the installation process and avoid working on carpeted floors. This helps prevent static electricity from damaging your components, ensuring a safe and successful installation. A long Phillips head screwdriver, particularly one with a weakly magnetic tip, is required for working on a motherboard. To get any lost screws out of your PC case, you’ll want to have a set of needle-nose pliers on hand. If you have doubts about your motherboard, consult its manual, which should be readily available in bright, well-lit areas.


Screw the Standoffs into Place


We don’t want your case’s conductive chassis to come into touch with your motherboard, which is a delicate piece of electronics. As a result, the standoffs must be installed before the motherboard You can screw the motherboard directly into these standoffs since they have male screws with female heads. These standoffs are typically made of brass, although they may be painted black. You should have found a few of them in a small bag that came with your motherboard or case. Some cases come with standoffs pre-installed, but they may not be suitable for the exact shape or size of your motherboard. 


Refer to your motherboard and case manual, or the notes on the motherboard tray, to determine which screws you need and where to place them. Once you’ve identified the correct spots, manually screw the standoffs in place. While it may be a bit challenging to screw them in, you shouldn’t need any special equipment. If you’re having difficulty, it may be because the standoff alignment isn’t quite right, so try readjusting and trying again. 


The I/O Shield Must Now be Installed


Installing the I/O shield is the last step before the motherboard is implemented. The silver or black panel, also known as the I/O shield, is included in the motherboard’s packaging. It serves to protect the motherboard’s backports and ensure a clean and secure fit inside the case. Locate it and insert it into your case’s back gap. The direction should be evident but double-check before pushing it in.


Install the Motherboard


Installing the CPU isn’t necessary, although it’s an option. Here’s how to install a CPU, regardless of whether it’s AMD or Intel. If your case has a front-facing opening, you may be able to drop the motherboard into the matter more quickly if you approach it from an upward angle. Make sure that the screw holes on the board are aligned with the spacers you’ve set before attaching them. It should also fit perfectly into the rear I/O shield, so no metal should be covering up any of the ports on the back.


Screws that came with your motherboard should be used. Initially, you may need to hold the motherboard in place while putting in the first few screws. However, once these screws are in, you should have no trouble installing the rest. If you feel like you’re forcing the screws or the motherboard isn’t aligning properly, unscrew the standoffs and start again. Before tightening the screws, walk around the motherboard and ensure each screw is positioned correctly. Then, tighten them one by one, making sure not to overtighten them, as this could damage the motherboard.


Connecting the Electrical Power Supplies


You’ll also need to plug in the motherboard’s power cords to provide it with electricity. Most boards will use a 24-pin long connection and a smaller, four or eight-pin connector for this purpose. If you’ve installed it correctly, the first screw should be on the right side of the motherboard, and the second screw should be at the top. This ensures that the motherboard is securely mounted and properly aligned within the case.


Proper screw placement helps prevent the motherboard from shifting or becoming loose during use. Refer to your motherboard’s documentation to make sure of the exact location. Afterward, carefully put the wires into the slot, ensuring they are oriented appropriately. If you’re unsure, examine the design of the power sockets, which are rounded and squared to prevent improper inputs. It’s time to proceed with the rest of your construction. Visit our PC building guide for more details.


Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Swap Out a Motherboard: 


  • Assess the Need: Determine the primary reason for upgrading your motherboard. Components can fail unexpectedly, and motherboards are no exception. If your motherboard is damaged due to reasons such as bad BIOS flashing or a faulty power supply, it may need replacement.
  • Prepare for Replacement: Replacing a motherboard can be time-consuming and requires careful work. Ensure you have all the necessary tools and equipment before starting the process.
  • Check for Damage: Before proceeding, double-check your motherboard to ensure it’s not already broken. Use diagnostic tools or flow charts to determine if there are any issues with your motherboard.
  • Remove Components: Disconnect all cables and components connected to the motherboard, including the CPU, RAM, GPU, and storage devices. Remove any screws or fasteners holding the motherboard in place.
  • Install New Motherboard: Carefully place the new motherboard into the case and align it with the mounting holes. Secure the motherboard with screws or fasteners.
  • Reconnect Components: Reconnect all cables and components to the new motherboard, including the CPU, RAM, GPU, and storage devices.
  • Power On: Power on the computer and check for any errors or issues. Ensure that the new motherboard is functioning properly.
  • Update Drivers: Install any necessary drivers or updates for the new motherboard to ensure optimal performance.
  • Test: Run tests or benchmarks to ensure that the new motherboard is working correctly and that all components are functioning as expected.
  • Finalize Installation: Once you’re confident that the new motherboard is working properly, secure all cables and components, and close the case. 


By following these steps, you can successfully swap out your motherboard and upgrade your system. 


New Motherboard Compatible With Your Processor


To ensure compatibility, it’s important to find a motherboard that is suitable for your current or future CPU. This means selecting a motherboard that supports the socket type and chipset of your CPU. Additionally, consider the features and expansion options you may need, such as support for multiple GPUs, M.2 slots for SSDs, and sufficient RAM slots. By choosing a motherboard that matches your CPU and meets your requirements, you can build a reliable and efficient system.


A wide range of processor sockets is used in both sectors. Socket FM2+ motherboards are required for AMD APUs, for example. Do a Google search for the socket form of your CPU, and then browse for motherboards compatible with that socket form. However, choosing a motherboard that matches your PC’s color scheme is ultimately your decision. We can’t help you in this area. You’ll need another if you don’t have enough ports on your motherboard. 


 The Motherboard’s Dimensions


Once you have a list of compatible motherboards, the next step is to consider the size of the board. This selection is heavily influenced by the motherboard size that your computer case can accommodate. Certain ATX circumstances can also handle mATX and even smaller ITX motherboards, but these are rare. 


Decide on a Spending Plan


After that, the only thing left to think about is how much it will cost. It is possible to purchase a good motherboard for approximately $80; however, until around $250, you can obtain substantially better motherboards for your money. The prices of similar motherboards from different manufacturers are typically within $10 of each other.


Removal Of An Old Motherboard is the Fourth Step


Removing a motherboard previously installed in a PC case is a straightforward task. (Confirm that the circumstances are favorable.) If you’re interested, here’s the procedure: 


Remove the Screws on the Back of the Case Holding the GPU.


  • Remove the clasp that holds the PCIe slot in place. This will be on right-hand side of the port.
  • Remove the graphics card (GPU) from the motherboard and restart the computer.
  • Remove all of the motherboard’s wires.
  • Remove a screw, and then continue.
  • Remove the motherboard from the casing by prying it out from the back. 

The New Motherboard is Ready to be Installed


To install it, we need to reverse the process of removing the old one. Since the motherboard can do it previously, we won’t go into the process of installing the CPU or the cooler. It’s important to remember that the board’s size will dictate the standoffs’ location.