A plea to PC motherboard makers: Stop making us BLEED!

The deadly non-integrated I/O shield
The deadly non-integrated I/O shield (Image credit: Windows Central)

Have you built yourself a shiny new gaming PC in recent times? Did you shed actual blood while trying to install your motherboard? If the answer is no, you probably got lucky or bought one of the best motherboards with an integrated I/O shield. I wish I had.

I finished recently reassembling my desktop gaming PC to put my new ASRock-flavored Intel Arc A770 to work and nearly severed the top of my finger clean off. Trying to install the I/O shield into the case, my finger slipped ever-so-slightly, and then I felt it. Like a hot knife through butter, the sharp edge of the I/O shield sunk cleanly into my finger.

I've never seen so much blood come from my finger in my entire life.

Cheap metal, dangerous to use

If the motherboard you want to buy looks like this, walk away. Your fingers will thank you.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

I get it. Businesses will always cut every corner imaginable to maximize their profits. But it also shouldn't come at the expense of the customer's well-being. And this isn't a new phenomenon. It doesn't take much time searching places like Reddit to find scores of injured PC builders.

I won't post pictures of my bloodied digit, but it wasn't good. It hurt. Bad. Overall, it took about two days to finally stop bleeding because I kept re-opening it every time I changed the dressing, and fortunately, it hasn't left a scar or anything.

But why is this even a thing? When you compare the quality of an integrated I/O shield with the garbage we get when it's not, why is this still happening in 2023? The metal used in these things is of poorer quality than cans of processed food. It's flimsy, it's nasty, and it's sharp as hell. Why?!

It also makes choosing a motherboard for your PC even more important. Beyond the specs, design, and expansion slots, you need to ensure you're getting one with an integrated I/O shield. Please don't make my mistake.

An easy fix

Every motherboard needs to be shipped like this.  (Image credit: Future)

There's an easy fix here; just stop shipping these things. There is absolutely no benefit to anyone in not having an integrated I/O shield. All it causes is pain and misery.

Motherboards are hardly cheap items, but if it meant adding $5 to the price of each of them to do away with these weapons of mass finger destruction, I don't think a single PC builder in the world would mind.

Integrated I/O shields look far superior, for one, but they also don't take big lumps out of your flesh. It's time to send these sheets of razor-sharp metal to the dumpster once and for all.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

  • TheFerrango
    It's the spilled blood that powers the PC Master Race, they can't fix it without making computers useless paperweights.
  • fjtorres5591
    The AlmighyJobú has always demanded blood from pc builders. Blood, or a bucket of KFC chicken. Just don't ask for help with the curveball.
  • Polycules
    If you're not growing kidney and liver organoids with your direct die cooling loop, you haven't really optimized your build. Or you bought a boss laptop.