When building a PC, it is important to test all of your components. The motherboard is one of the most important parts and it would be great to test it, but what can you do if your CPU still has not arrived? Will motherboard turn on without CPU?
The answer is not a definite yes or no. This really depends on the exact motherboard that you have. Some motherboards will not turn on at all, whereas others can be turned on normally and even allow the BIOS to be updated. These motherboards have something called BIOS flashback. If your motherboard does not have BIOS flashback, it is unlikely that it will turn on without the CPU.
But will motherboard turn on without CPU if you do not have BIOS flashback? Is starting the motherboard without the CPU dangerous to your hardware? Should you even do it in the first place? You can read more about this and find out the answers to the questions below!
Will Motherboard Turn on Without CPU?
If you have assembled your PC but do not have a CPU installed, it means that you still can’t use the computer. This is because the CPU is the most important processing unit inside your computer and does the majority of the work required for the computer to operate. Note that you can turn on the motherboard without the GPU, though.
So, if your motherboard supports the feature “BIOS flashback“, you can turn on the motherboard without the CPU. You still need to have the RAM, storage, and power supply cables installed before trying to do this. This feature is convenient as it allows you to both test the motherboard without the CPU and update its BIOS.
And if you are waiting for the CPU to arrive or you already have it with you but need a BIOS update to make it work with your motherboard, this feature will save your day. Just follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer on how to update the BIOS and you are good to go.
Will motherboard turn on without CPU if it does not have BIOS flashback?
The answer to this question largely depends on the motherboard you have. Some will refuse to turn on at all, others will get to POST and then shut down. If you want to check whether your motherboard works or not, it is worth turning it on even without the BIOS flashback feature. When you turn the motherboard on, the LEDs, if your motherboard has them, will illuminate.
And if your motherboard has a built-in speaker or one connected to it, you may get some beeps. You will have to check the motherboard manual to see what those beeps mean for your model. But is turning on the motherboard without the CPU like this dangerous?
There is a somewhat common belief that turning on the motherboard without the CPU will permanently damage the motherboard. However, this is not true, especially when it comes to modern motherboards. If your motherboard refuses to start even with the CPU installed afterward, chances are it came broken in the first place and should be returned.
why should you test the motherboard without the CPU?
If your warranty is going to run out before you get the CPU, this could be a good reason. Another potential reason would be that you are experiencing some issues with your computer and are trying to troubleshoot. A faulty motherboard will most likely not allow you to turn the computer on and boot into Windows.
Motherboards that support the BIOS flashback feature can be easily booted and will POST even without the CPU. This is because the feature was created to allow users to update the motherboard BIOS before installing the CPU in the case of compatibility issues. If the motherboard is an older model and does not support your CPU, this feature can be a true life saver.
But if you do not have BIOS flashback on your motherboard, your options are limited. Some motherboards will not turn on without the CPU at all, but many of them will. You can check the motherboard LEDs to see if it turned on, but you won’t be able to do anything on the computer without the CPU.