Do I need an I/O shield?

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A friend gave me a mother board, an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe.
but not what I think I saw called the I/O shield, the thin metal plate
that surrounds all the port and jacks.  I could  make one I suppose,
or buy one somewhere maybe.  It its absence going to cause problems?

Thank you.

Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

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It'll only let more dust and muck in. Cut one out of a bit of card just
to cover the gaps.


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Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

On Wed, 01 Jul 2009 11:21:29 -0400, mm

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Without one you have a little less support for the ports,
that usually isn't a problem if you are careful plugging
things in and don't have a long heavy cord pulling sideways
on it without support (like a thick monitor or parallel port
cable, though that board might not have video or parallel
ports on the IO panel).

Without one you have potential EMI issues since it serves as
shielding.  If you listen to AM radio and find more noise
you may want to cover the area.

Without one you change the airflow of the case.  Sometimes
for the better, other times for the worse.  Usually for the
worse as the typical case has a rear exhaust fan right above
that area which creates a short loop, air comes in that port
area covering the ports with dust, then only a couple inches
of travel before being exhausted instead of the intended
airflow pattern where air travels as far through the system
as possible (in through the lower and upper areas of the
front bezel).  

If the case has a front intake fan blowing across the hard
drive rack and under the video card the negative effect of
the short loop would be minimized, assuming that front
intake fan also has a mostly unobstructed mount to the case
frame and  ample intake area in front of it on the bezel.

Every now and then I get an Asus board without the IO panel
whether it be refurbished or salvage, abandoned and
repaired, etc.  I often think about leaving the I/O panel
open but ultimately do one of three things.

1)  Make a template on single-ply cardboard either by
holding up as nearly similar as possible an I/O panel I have
lying around, or holding the motherboard on edge on a
scanner bed, then using the template to trace out the ports
on thin sheet aluminum and cut, drill, file the thing out.
This is fairly laborious but if you have experience, the
tools and metal it doesn't take as long as you might imagine
if it doesn't need be absolutely perfect.

2)  Select a spare I/O plate which has the most solid,
non-cut-out area matching what the correct I/O plate for the
board would have, hold that I/O plate up to the board and
mark on it with a permanent marker what areas still need
removed to make it work.  Then I've a heavy duty office
paper punch that can punch out round holes... it doesn't
look pretty but is the quickest way to get the job done and
being creative with punching partial holes it's not all that

3)  Order the right I/O plate from Asus, last time I did
they were $5 each, or depending on how many accessory items
come with a board the whole accessory kit is about $25.

Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

mm wrote:
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If you live in North America, you can order one here.

A8N-SLI DLX/PREM I/O Shield    13-020113000    $6.50


Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

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It never occurred to me that I could buy one from Asus.  :(   And I
thought it would be hard to get one from anywhere.

By accident today, I came across one on ebay, for 14 dollars including
shipping.  It seemed like a lot, even before I read your post.
(Shipping from Asus is 5 dollars, plus 6.50 is 11.50 total.) But I
never expected one to be on ebay either. I still have to buy a case
etc. so it's going to be while before this is finished.

I guess I will assemble it without one and see how it goes.  It it
works fine and the tv and radio in the room work fine, I'll make one
out of cardboard, and if not I'll buy one or make one out of metal.

Interestingly, maybe I have a diffrent tv now, but for a while, when
windows was starting the computer, which didn't have a cover on the
side, interfered with the tv picture, until the GUI came up.   The
picture wsa still there but the contrast was lower.

My radio is broken and pretty much I just listen to one FM station.
If I need another, I listen throught the computer.

Thanks to Conor, Kony, and you Paul.
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Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

mm wrote:
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Very unlikely to be a problem

Re: Do I need an I/O shield?

mm wrote:
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As far as I know, the IO shield really only does 3 things:

1. Covers up the gaping hole that's not covered up by your connectors.
While it's not very good at keeping dust out, it's better than nothing.

2. RF shielding.  In theory, outside radio interference can cause weird
behaviour in some components, and some of the components inside also
generate RF interference that can screw with other equipment nearby.
I'm not sure if it's really that big a deal, but larger holes are gaps
in that shielding.  The I/O shield is partially intended to plug that gap.

3. Grounding.   Some motherboards use it as an additional point of
grounding to the case.  On the newer motherboards that have a LAN
connector, the I/O shield usually has a metal piece that sticks out and
contacts the LAN connector housing (also metal).  It's to reduce the
likelihood of killing the board if you have a static discharge while
plugging something into one of those connectors.

The board is usually grounded elsewhere, so everything will still work
if it's not there.  I guess it's just added insurance, because not all
cases can ground through the standoffs (some cases use plastic ones).

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