3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 10, 2011 11:42 PM by deko

    Mainboard and Screw Pads


      Good morning!



      I have a question about installing mainboard in case. Generally we install boards in case using screws (six in ATX boards).



      I've heard that it is a good idea to put a pad between a screw and a board to allow the board to "work" [physically] to avoid micro-cracks.


      I've also heard that there is an electrical ground connected to places where screws are installed (so screw will connect mainboard with case) so pads shouldn't be installed.




      I would like to hear from Intel Experts what is the right choose, because I'm really confused and I don't want to install board incorrectly. The pads I'm thinking about looks like this: http://www.windplus.co.uk/supplies/pad_screw_washer.jpg (generally are red).




      Thank you very much!





        • 1. Re: Mainboard and Screw Pads

          I've been building systems for almost two decades and have never used "pads".  If you're are referring to fiber washers, that's another story.  Those were sometimes used with older boards where a ground fault was a concern.  Newer boards don't need them if you use the right hardware. If you're worried about damage to the board, having the right bumpers in place is the thing to worry about.  Another question is what material your standoffs and screws are made of. I prefer nickel-plated brass for standoffs and screws (from insudtrial screw suppliers, NOT the junk that comes with consumer grade boards), and brass washers between the screw cap and the board. never use serrated screws on a mb.

          • 2. Re: Mainboard and Screw Pads

            Hi deko, thank you for your answer!



            I've used word 'pads' because this is direct translation from my native language - I didn't know about terms like fiber washer or brass washer. I've looked on Google Images and those fiber and brash washers looks same for me:


            - fiber washer: CLICK

            - brash washer: CLICK

            - and same like image I posted in first post: CLICK




            1) Could you tell me please where are differences between those three washers?

            2) Is the ground fault concern not applicable to new boards (Socket 775 and up) so there is no need to electrically connect mainboard with case via screws?

            3) Should I put any washer or not?






            • 3. Re: Mainboard and Screw Pads

              The difference between those washers is the material they are made of. It's difficult to know from the picture if the white ones are also fiber or some other material. As for ground faults, you don't need to worry about this. So forget about fiber washers. Just install your motherboard in the chassis according to the vendor's instructions. As for whether or not to use washers, the only reason to use a washer is to protect the motherboard when tightening the screw. If you use non-serrated screws and don't over tighten them, you will not damage the board. But I assemble/dissemble/reassemble a lot of systems so I like to use brass washers. The properties of brass make it a good choice for use with circuit boards, and washers provide additional protection during repeated installations. You probably don't need to bother with them.