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Why are motherboard trays conductive?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Wasn't quite sure which section to post this in but anyway.
I just realised - why are motherboard trays still made out of conductive material (or conductive on the outside)? Or better, why don't motherboards have backplates like some graphics cards have? With this, there wouldn't be the need for standoffs and all that nonsense anymore.
post #2 of 7
For grounding purposes.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

For grounding purposes.
But the motherboard is normally isolated from the tray anyway, so what difference would that make?
post #4 of 7
The motherboard is isolated how?
It stands on metal pins, screwed on with metal screws onto the metal tray.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogalD View Post

But the motherboard is normally isolated from the tray anyway, so what difference would that make?

Really? Normally the standoffs are made of brass which used to conduct electricity just fine last I looked wink.gif And there is a reason why there are contacts on the motherboards under the screw heads (which go into the brass standoffs through the holes in motherboard).

Sure, you can run mobo without "grounding" it by using, for example, aftermarket nylon standoffs but I would not suggest doing it unless you have some very specific reason to do so. Static discharge can be lethal to components on motherboard if you are unlucky and if mobo "ground" and case are not connected its relatively easy to get charge on the case which then snaps to your mobo if you are unlucky.
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RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
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Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Corsair LE 480HB Sythe big shuriken rev B 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Nexxos 280mm radiator DC-LT Alphacool GPX 390M04 Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
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CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Significantly modded Jupiter .. something alumi... Logitech G700s 
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3M Ergonomic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandlaf View Post

The motherboard is isolated how?
It stands on metal pins, screwed on with metal screws onto the metal tray.
The circuits and traces are isolated... otherwise the motherboard would short itself out everytime you turned it on...
I was under the impression that static only damages things if they are grounded, just like if you are not grounded you won't be electrocuted
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogalD View Post

The circuits and traces are isolated... otherwise the motherboard would short itself out everytime you turned it on...
I was under the impression that static only damages things if they are grounded, just like if you are not grounded you won't be electrocuted

Isolated from what? Every electronic circuit needs a ground.

But circuits also usually have a circuit ground (return) and an Earth bond. The motherboard, and the chassis, as well as the entire electronic circuit, are all somewhere connected to this ground source. It is what protects you and the electronic components from being electrocuted should stray voltage end up where it doesn't belong (the Earth bond having the lowest potential that is where the current will flow.)
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