Motherboard Tray: Types, Uses, Buying Guide, Installation, DIY

A motherboard tray is a piece of equipment used in computers.

It is a flat, rectangular piece of metal or plastic that holds the motherboard in place.

The motherboard tray also has slots and holes that allow for the installation of various components, such as the processor, memory, and expansion cards.

Since the motherboard tray is used in such a wide variety of computer types, the size and shape will vary.

This guide will help you understand the purpose of a motherboard tray, and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when buying one.

We’ll also show you some DIY installation tips!

Let’s get started!

Motherboard Tray: Types, Uses, Buying Guide, Installation, DIY

What Is a Motherboard Tray?

A motherboard tray is an essential part of a computer case. It is the metal or plastic frame that the motherboard sits on inside the case. The tray holds the motherboard in place and provides a mounting point for the other components in the system. Many cases have removable trays, which makes it easy to install or remove the motherboard.

Some trays are also designed to support motherboards with large heatsinks or water-cooling systems.

Key Considerations

A motherboard tray is a large, heavy component and should be matched to the case it’s installed in.

You also need to consider the size of the motherboard and how much space it takes up when installed in the tray.

To ensure that it will fit in the case, make sure you measure the inside dimensions of the case before you purchase it. 

Once you have the measurements, you can find a tray from Newegg or Amazon.

Types of Motherboard Trays

There are two types of trays: fixed and removable.

Fixed trays are usually made from metal or plastic, and are permanently attached to the case.

They can be bolted or screwed into position.

Removable trays come in a variety of materials, with plastic being the most common.

Their benefit over fixed trays is that they can be removed and replaced if damaged or otherwise not needed.

The most common removable tray is a plastic sheet mounted to a metal frame that is screwed into the case.

Many cases have built-in trays.

These trays may be removable or fixed and are often positioned near the front of the case.

Some cases have a “dust filter” which is an extra layer of plastic that goes over the front of the case.

This layer prevents dust from getting into your components and can be removed to access the motherboard.

Advantages of Using a Motherboard Tray

There are many advantages to using a motherboard tray when building a computer.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage is that it makes installing the motherboard much easier.

The tray provides a stable platform on which to work, and it also holds the motherboard in place so that it doesn’t move around while you are installing the other components.

Another advantage of using a motherboard tray is that it can help keep your system cooler.

By providing an extra layer of insulation between the motherboard and the rest of the case, you can help keep temperatures down.

This is especially important if you are overclocking your system or if you are using a high-performance graphics card.

The most important advantage of a motherboard tray is that it allows you to install the motherboard into the case without having to remove any components from your current computer.

This makes it very quick and easy to set up your computer because you don’t have to open your PC’s chassis and make sure nothing is blocking the board.

The advantages of using a motherboard tray include: 

  • It helps keep the motherboard in place and prevents it from sliding around. 
  • It makes it easier to install and remove the motherboard. 
  • It provides protection for the motherboard during transport. 
  • It prevents damage to the motherboard from scratches and other damage.
  • It makes it easier to find a replacement motherboard for your computer. 
  • It provides a more organized look for your computer.

If you are building a computer, I recommend using a motherboard tray. It will make your life easier and will help protect your motherboard during transport.

Disadvantages of Using a Motherboard Tray

While a motherboard tray is a convenient way of keeping the motherboard and other components safe, there are some disadvantages.

For instance, if the motherboard tray is not positioned correctly, it can impede airflow, resulting in poor cooling.

Moreover, the motherboard tray may be difficult to remove and insert without damaging it. 

They may interfere with the ability to install or remove parts of the motherboard and can make it harder to work on your computer in general. 

Best Motherboard Trays

To make the process of picking a motherboard tray quick and easy, we have compiled a list of some of our favorites.

You can check out our pick for the best tray on the market here.

How to Install a Motherboard Tray?

Once you have your motherboard, CPU, and other components, it is time to install the motherboard tray.

The motherboard tray is what will hold the motherboard in place.

There are a few different ways to install it, so be sure to read the instructions that come with your motherboard tray.

The most common way to install a motherboard tray is by using screws.

There will be a number of holes in the back of the tray that line up with holes on the case.

You will then use screws to attach the tray to the case.

This is a very secure way to attach the tray and will keep it from moving around.

Another way to install a motherboard tray is by using metal brackets that come with the tray.

These brackets fit over the edges of the motherboard and then get attached to the case with screws or clamps.

There are also some motherboard trays that snap onto the case, but these are not as secure and will move around.

Installing a motherboard tray is very important because it keeps the motherboard from moving around in the case.

This can cause damage to both the motherboard and the case.

Can You DIY a Motherboard Tray?

DIY motherboard trays are popular among PC builders because they allow for more flexibility when it comes to component placement and cooling.

There are a few different ways to make your own motherboard tray, but the most common is to use a piece of wood or metal.

If you’re using wood, make sure to use a sturdy, moisture-resistant variety like oak or maple.

The metal option is better for cases that have limited internal space.

The first step is to measure the dimensions of your motherboard and then cut the appropriate size hole in your chosen material.

Some people also like to add mounting points for fans or radiators at this point.

Once the hole is cut, you can attach the motherboard tray to the case with screws or bolts.

If you’re using metal, you may also want to add some insulation between the tray and the case wall to prevent heat transfer.

After that, you can insert the motherboard and connect the power, SATA and other cables.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Motherboard Tray

There are several points you have to consider before buying a motherboard tray.


Compatibility is key when it comes to selecting the right motherboard tray for your system.

Some motherboards are wider than others, and some cases have specific cutouts or openings that are designed to accommodate certain models of motherboards.

It is important to do your research and make sure that the motherboard tray you choose will be a compatible fit for both your motherboard and your case.

If you are not sure which motherboard tray is right for you, there are a number of online resources available that can help.

One such resource is the website, which offers a comprehensive list of motherboard trays and their specifications.

This website can help you find the perfect motherboard tray for your needs, whether you are looking for a specific model or just want to explore your options.

When choosing a motherboard tray, it is also important to consider the features that you need.

Weight of The Tray

If your motherboard tray is going to be used in a heavy-duty configuration, it might be worth investing in a heavier tray.

This will help keep the entire system stable and prevent any issues with the motherboard moving around, which can cause damage to other components.

This will also dramatically increase the weight of the system, so you will want to take this into consideration when assembling your PC.

If you’re building a gaming rig (which is probably what you are doing), it’s definitely worth investing in a heavier motherboard tray.

But if you’re building a workstation or other more delicate system, it’s probably not worth the extra cost.

Material of The Tray

When you’re shopping for a motherboard tray, take into consideration the material it’s made out of.

There are several different materials that can be used to make a tray, but the most common is plastic.

Plastic is definitely the cheapest option, but it’s also one of the most common.

It’s also the least durable material available.

There are other materials that can be used, but they just aren’t as common.

The tray should ideally be made of thick plastic so you can easily slide the motherboard in and out, without having to worry about scratching it.

A tray that is too thin will be a pain to work with and will also make it difficult to slide the motherboard in and out.

The tray should also be made of a non-slip material so you don’t have to worry about any potential issues regarding movement.

Form Factors

It’s important to choose a motherboard tray that is the correct size and shape for your motherboard.

The most common form factors are ATX and microATX.

Most motherboards use the ATX form factor, so there are many more choices for trays for ATX motherboards than there are for microATX motherboards.

The microATX form factor is a little smaller than the ATX form factor, so not all ATX trays will fit a microATX motherboard.

Expansion slots

The next consideration is the number of expansion slots.

Most motherboards have at least four slots, but some have more or less.

Make sure the tray has enough slots to accommodate the motherboard and any add-on cards you plan to use.