Is IO shield necessary and comes with Motherboard? How to install one?

Is IO shield necessary and comes with Motherboard? How to install one?

Is IO shield necessary? Does the io shield come with the motherboard? How to install one?

An IO shield, also known as a “motherboard input-output shield,” is a metal plate that comes with almost every motherboard on the marketplace. These plates are meant to be mounted at the back of a PC case, where there will be a precisely sized cutting hole. Each IO shield is built to work with the ports on the motherboard that came with it. 

The IO shields play an essential role in operating the computer and keeping the user safe. In this article, we will discuss if an IO shield in a computer is necessary or not.

Role of IO shields

  • It is used to cover the back of the computer and protect your inputs/outputs from being thrown around and damaged. 
  • When you plugin and remove electrical components, the IO shield prevents the user from getting electrocuted.
  • Shield to keep electromagnetic radiation inside of the case

Purpose of IO shield?

The primary function of a PC IO shield is to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) between your motherboard and the components as these be connected to the IO panel (USB, HDMI, ethernet, etc.).

The second function is to serve as an additional physical barrier on the back of the case. Without the IO shield, you will have a massive hole in your computer for dust (and potentially insects) to enter.

How to Install an IO shield?

  1. Align the metal I/O plate with the cut-out on the back of your PC case inside; the simplest way to determine which way your plate should be and see how it aligns with your motherboard. Then match that position with the orientation of the motherboard that you are going to install. For example, the IO panel on the right side, if you align this motherboard with the back of your PC case and notice the circular audio ports are on the bottom side, you will know that the computer’s IO plate with the circular ports should be faced downwards.
  2. Suppose your IO shield already has bent metal prongs/tongs. In that case, they should be pointing into the casing as they are supposed to make light contact with the motherboard once you install.
  3. Once the IO shield is aligned, apply pressure and push it into the case hole (from the inside). You should hear a “clicking” or “popping” noise when you use light force to the shield to check it has adhered to the case.
  4. That’s all there is to the IO shield installation process. When installing your motherboard, make sure that the ports neatly match the IO shield. If the prongs/tongs of the IO shields are not touching the metal of the motherboard ports. Gently bend them to do so; however, most should be set up to do so automatically.
  5. On the other hand, the IO shield usually contacts the back of the motherboard connectors with spring-loaded contacts. Therefore, if you have not pushed the motherboard back into the IO shield when installing your first couple of screws, it will not align and may crack the motherboard.
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Note: This is positioned at the back of the chassis, where the motherboard connections for your monitor, USB devices, and other accessories stretch. Most cases come with a default panel shield installed, which must be removed and replaced with the panel that came with your motherboard.

Apply pressure to all four corners of the panel to secure it into the casing. It should snap into place.

Check that you are placing the panel in the right direction. To ensure that it is moving in the appropriate direction, compare it to the real arrangement of the connections on the motherboard.

Is an IO shield necessary? Does the io shield come with the motherboard?

IO shields are not necessary for your computer. Still, it is safe to install one to prevent any misconduct while using your computer. The io shield comes with the motherboard unless it’s a fancy motherboard amidst a “pre-applied” io shield. It arrives with the board because each is distinct to its I/O.

  • You can use your computer without an IO shield but have a higher chance of entry of insects and dust from the ports, which can damage your computer components.
  • The IO shield also provides EMI or RFI shielding. Electromagnetic Interference(EMI) is an external radio frequency disturbance generated by electrical circuits. The disruption can affect the performance of the computer or ultimately damage the circuits. 
  • IO shields are also used for Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection. ESD means the static charge around a cable in which electrical current is flowing. If the static charge increases due to heavy load on the computer, you may get shocked, but the probability is low.
  • Power supply (PSU) fans suck the air in the casing. If there’s no l/O shield in the release, it’s like a hole in the casing, and the air will leave that hole without cooling down the PSU, and it may damage the power supply.
  • Another purpose of IO is to provide good airflow to the computer motherboard and GPU components. Removing the IO shield will create a negative impact on it. 
  • IT gives your computer a sleek look and helps with electrical grounding, as discussed above.
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In this article, we discussed the importance of the IO shield and whether it is necessary for your computer. After researching, we can say that your computer will work flawlessly with an IO shield. But not for long, there will be chances of dust and debris, Poor airflow, Insufficient air to the PSU, and much more. So, it is better to install an IO shield for your computer to keep yourself and your computer safe and get long-lasting performance from your device.