View Full Version : matching a motherboard and a casing for self-build project

08-25-2005, 02:25 PM
I am looking to purchase a motherboard for around 20GBP brand new from eBuyer.

Can anyone tell me how I know that the motherboard I buy will fit a casing? I also need a casing??

Is there a type that match up? AT/ATX?



08-25-2005, 05:26 PM
As far as motherboards go, there are a few different sizes available. When picking out a case, that is not the only thing you need to worry about. For example, how many hard drives/CD drives are you going to have. If you really want to load the thing up with HDDs and ROMs, then you should get a bigger case.

The two types of boards are ATX (big server-sized boards) and MicroATX. Intel motherboards also come in MicroBTX, but I dont really know anything about those.

You should matchup the kinds (form factor) of motherboards with the appropriate case. If the Motherboard is a MicroATX, buy a MicroATX case.

Oh and another thing you should watch for on cases is the included power supply (is it enough power for you?) and # of case fans (keep you stuff cool enough?). Feel free to ask any more ?s :D.

08-25-2005, 06:29 PM
If the motherboard is new as in the last like 7 years, it isn't going to be AT for sure.

You should be able to tell the difference between a ATX case and a BTX one, the BTX case will have everything flipped around, so instead of the motherboard being on the right side, it will be on the left.

08-26-2005, 12:43 PM
what are the most common?

I am just looking for a small home pc. not a server.



08-26-2005, 12:44 PM
most common cases/mobos that is.


08-26-2005, 12:47 PM
IMHO ATX is the standard, but i dont know much... :p

08-26-2005, 04:22 PM
Go with a MicroATX board and tower. It will save you a ton of money on the tower and mobo. Most PCs are the MicroATX form factor.

08-26-2005, 05:33 PM
Most PCs are the MicroATX form factor.

Not really...

And ATX is the most common form factor, yes.

08-29-2005, 02:44 PM
thanks guys!

10-04-2005, 10:18 AM
The PC that i previously talked about is now ready to be assembled. Does anyone have any tips to watch out for before I start? I have built a PC before, but it is for someone else this time and would rather not make any costly mistakes.

Any warning? Pitfalls?

It is a AMD Athlon XP 2200 that is going in, with 256MB RAM and a 40GB HDD with DVDRW.
MSI KT Mobo.

Is WinXP Home/Pro reccommended? I have purchased both. It is going to be mainly for browsing internet /email and using MS Office and the like. No gaming. Although there is a 128MB Video Card.


10-04-2005, 04:57 PM
I reccomend XP Pro however for general home office use, XP home would be fine as long as you're not running it on a network. Why have you purchased both?

In terms of assembly advice, always follow the anti-static regulations, however I've gotta confess, all the PC's I've built I've done without wearing an anti static wrist strap and they all work :p

Make sure you don't over tighten the mobo screws and make sure that everything is set correctly (FSB etc) and read documentation if you want.

BTW, 256mb ram is the bog minimum you want in a PC running XP - 512 would be better ;)

10-06-2005, 12:49 PM
yesh, i am planning to upgrade it to 512 MB RAM.

whereabouts do i set the FSB?



10-06-2005, 02:58 PM
my advice would be dont get lazy on the mobo screws... put in as many as you can - I've made that mistake twice and had to reassemble from scratch :S

10-07-2005, 11:31 AM
Make sure you ground yourself properly (touch the metal of the case, or other nearby metal) so you don't short out the nice new equipment you've bought.

Don't use a magnetic screw driver.

Make sure you use the grounding screws on the mobo, not the reg. hard drive mounting screws.
It'll create a short on the board and won't boot up (usually won't cause damage though).

10-11-2005, 01:03 PM
What are the grounding screws like?

The small ones with the flat bit at the bottom?

10-11-2005, 02:02 PM
whereabouts do i set the FSB?

On the FSB dip switches. Some Mobos have it set automatically and some CPUs come with a locked FSB that can't be changed.

In terms of screws, I can't remember. I *think* they are the round ones with the flat bit at the bottom - gotta go and have a look in my screw pot.

10-11-2005, 06:18 PM
Slightly OT, but when building a computer would you say the best way to ensure you're properly grounded is to install the PSU - screw it in, then plug it in at the wall, but leave the wall switch turned off ? That way you would ensure the case is properly grounded too?

10-11-2005, 07:08 PM
Yeah I suppose that's true, however I admit I've never grounded really grounded myself when building systems but I've never had any problems so far. An anti static wrist strap IMO is the best way to ground yourself.

10-11-2005, 07:13 PM
I always just touch the screw that holds in the outlet plate on the wall. That screw will ground you properly. However, you still run the risk of building up static as you sit there and work, which is one reason never to work on carpet, hehe. I've also heard that the anti-static wrist straps are one of the best and easiest ways though.


10-13-2005, 04:19 PM
After further inspection and realising that the Mobo was a eBuyer.co.uk return. I noticed the box said 'No Power' on it.

Are there any precautions to fitting a motherboard i should look out for next time?

Do i NEED to use the motherboard 'raisers' (the small brass screws that screw into the casing to lift the mobo).