How To Test Motherboard Outside Of Case

How to Test Motherboard Outside of Case?

When building a PC, one of the most important things is to make sure that all of your hardware works properly. Thankfully, you can quickly connect all the parts outside the case before doing any complicated cable management to make sure that they are working and are not DOA. So, how to test motherboard outside of case?

You first have to connect the CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, and essential power cables from the power supply to the computer. You also have to use thermal paste because you could damage your components if you do not. Connecting the GPU is optional but recommended. Once you connect everything to the motherboard, you just have to turn on the motherboard or jump-start it if there is no button.

That is a summary of what you should do. But how to test motherboard outside of case in more detail? Do you really need to do it? You can learn all that by reading the rest of the article below.

How to Test Motherboard Outside of Case

So, it is obvious that testing all your hardware before putting it inside of your case is the best method, right? In case a component is dead on arrival (DOA), it will be much easier to just return it and get a replacement. Imagine your motherboard does not work at all but you spent two hours assembling your computer.

Sure, when you turn a new build on for the first time, the feeling of relief and excitement that you get because everything works as intended is amazing. But testing parts is definitely good practice and should be done, especially if you are building multiple machines at once. That way, you will know which components you have to return instead of guessing.

So, how to test motherboard outside of case? Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow at home while building your machine:

  1. Ground yourself by touching a large piece of metal from time to time. Or, even better, use an antistatic wrist strap. This will ensure that you will not damage your components by short-circuiting them
  2. Connect all core parts to the motherboard. These are your CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, and, if you do not have an integrated GPU on the CPU, then the graphics card as well. Make sure to use thermal paste for the CPU
  3. Connect the power supply cables to the motherboard. You only need to connect the 24-pin ATX cable and the 8-pin CPU cable. If you installed the graphics card, connect the required power supply cables to it as well
  4. Connect the power supply to the wall and turn it on
  5. Turn on the motherboard using the on-board button. Most motherboards do not have one, so you will have to jump-start it. Locate the case front panel connector pins and check the motherboard manual to see which pins are for the power switch. Next, use a screwdriver to gently tap the two power pins together. This will bridge the two pins together and turn on the motherboard
  6. Open the BIOS to make sure that everything works as intended
  7. Check the CPU temperature after a few minutes of running

If everything looks fine and if your computer is not overheating, then you are good to go. You can unplug and disassemble the components and put them into the case. You do not have to remove the CPU and CPU cooler and RAM, but you will have to get the graphics card and power supply cables out.

If your computer did not start, then you might have a faulty component. Try removing all the parts and putting them back in. You can try some troubleshooting methods to determine which part is at fault.


Testing your motherboard outside your case is not that difficult. It is an extra step that you should do to make sure everything works well and to save some time. If you have to return a part because it is faulty, it is much easier to do it by testing the motherboard outside of the case rather than putting everything together only to find out that you have to return something.

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