How to install a motherboard?

How to install a motherboard?

This tutorial on how to install a motherboard is one of the first steps in building a computer. All the components in a computer connect to the motherboard, so it is important that the motherboard is installed correctly. This tutorial will hopefully help you to do that.

You do have the option of installing the other components in the motherboard first and then installing the motherboard into the case. However, my tutorials install the motherboard first and then proceed with the rest. It is really up to you. The only advantage to installing the motherboard last is that there will be less clutter to work with and more space. If you own a large case then its going to be easy enough to install the components later.


There are a number of steps in this tutorial on how to install a motherboard. First you need to do research about what motherboard you need and what motherboard will suit your needs. You need a motherboard that fits inside your case, is functional with your CPU, fits inside the budgetand suits your needs. For more information go to this page on how to choose a motherboard or find the best motherboards on the to install a motherboard

Preparing the Case

The second step is to get your case ready for the motherboard. If necessary remove the old motherboard from the case and clean out any dirt or dust (a vacuum cleaner and a dry rag usually do the best job).

Your case may come with a power supply connected or you may need to install one later. It doesn’t really matter whether you install the motherboard before the power supply or not. Your empty case should look similar to the case on the right.

There will probably be a little metal plate that covers your outputs from your motherboard. This generally comes with your new motherboard. You need to put this metal cover in your case before you install your motherboard. This metal plate will look similar to the image below.

metal plate that covers the motherboard ports

metalized holes and non metalized holes

Installing the Motherboard

The third step in this tutorial on how to install a motherboard is the actual process of screwing your motherboard in the case. However, before we do that let’s cover a few safety issues.


Your motherboard may have come with little cartonboard washers. These are only needed for non-metalized holes, while the more common metalized holes do not need them. The metalized hole is designed to make a proper grounding with the system case, so only use the washers on the non-metalized holes.

Another common problem is leaving the foam with your motherboard. Firstly it prevents the motherboard contacting the system case, which prevents grounding and second it will create extra warming which can result in a burnt out motherboard. The motherboard will heat up and needs as much ventilation as possible.

So when your motherboard is ready put in all the screws and tighten them till the motherboard is tight in position. Some of the holes will match up, but possibly not all of them. Just screw as many as you can screws


The last step in this tutorial, is a lengthy one and it involves connecting all the cables to the motherboard. At this stage you will only need to connect the Power Supply cables. This can only happen if you have a power supply in the case. If not install the power supply now.

Now the most important cable to connect to your motherboard is the power connector. Follow this tutorial on how to connect the main power connector. It has images to help you. You may also need to connect the 4 Pin Power Connector for extra power for the motherboard.

After the main power connector is connected it is time to connect the rest of the motherboard cables. These cables are the ones that you use when you switch off your pc, and when you restart and the speaker cable is the little beep you here when your computer starts. You will need to find the following cables that come from your computer case.

  • Power Switch
  • Reset Switch
  • Power LED
  • Speaker

Next just find the appropriate positions on the motherboard. They are usually marked with an abbreviation on the motherboard and sometimes with colors appropriate to the correct cable. If all else fails, the motherboard manual will usually give you some tips on how to connect these cables. There is also a + and – on the Power LED, HDD LED and the Speaker cable so make sure you attach these the correct way.

The last things that you may need to connect to the motherboard from the case is the frontal USB, or the frontal audio ports. Follow these tutorials on how to install them if you have them.

  • Installing the Frontal Audio Plugs
  • Installing the Frontal USB Ports

Once all the appropriate cables are connected to your motherboard then you are finished and the computer with all its cables will look similar to the picture below.

this is what the computer looked like after the motherboard and power supply had been installed


It won’t work yet because you still need to install the CPU, Memory, Hard Drives and other components. So if you have completed this tutorial on how to install a motherboard, congrantulations and let’s head on to the next tutorial.

Still need to buy a motherboard? Check out TigerDirect.comtiger direct for the best online deals.

Proceed to How to install computer memory

Go to the Build Your Own Computer Guide

Leave How to install a Motherboard and Go to more Computer Tutorials

Leave How to install a Motherboard and Return to the Homepage