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PC Building

Adept III

Cable Management-Making your build look clean and professional

This is a topic most DIY builders are faced with at one time or another. I personally have a few builds I took extra time and effort to make it "look" good. Whether to chose a modular or semi modular PSU. I know that PSUs with flat cables are easier to hide, as long as they are long enough for the routing path. Sata cables, right and left 45 degree and straight, all serve different cabling needs. I know some now only use ssd drives and the M.2 drives don't need any cabling but some still use mechanical drives. Your case will dictate a lot on cable routing and with today's cases(glass and plastic panes to view the good stuff) there is a lot of stuff on display. I wonder if anyone has any tips and tricks to add in this area to give your build a finished look.  Cable management also helps with air flow. Is it best to build it first to see if its all gonna mesh or do you go ahead and do the cable management as you build? This came up because the posting of photos of your rig to enter the sweepstakes made me think that what really constitutes a clean build. I have had some builds that I am glad I didn't have a window so no one could see the rats nest of wires.

12 Replies
Volunteer Moderator

I love this! Cables drive me nuts, I'm all about cable management and having a clean build. For me, nothing ruins a beautiful setup like a rat's nest of cables all over the floor. Maybe I'm a little OCD as well lol

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Volunteer Moderator

Cable management 101 is the one class I missed in my career of building computers.  I am getting better at it, but it's a distant second priority for me, with a successful boot being the first priority.

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".
Volunteer Moderator

I wish we had an expert on cable management that was willing to write an 'How To' article of how you can do cable management on your PC at home in your spare time.  It would be posted under our 'PC Building How To Articles' section where we have other articles on building and maintaining computers.  

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

cable management is so reliant on the case youre using that its kinda hard to write an article about it beyond 'have zip ties and velcro straps'

lets talk about rtbh99
Volunteer Moderator

Well, those sticky pads that hold the wires to the back of the motherboard and the cable clips that keep the wires nicely separated are something that could be discussed.  Just dealing with the PCIe cables from the video card and the motherboard power cable would help some of us.  

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

Cable management expert does not exist. It is whatever solution you come up with. How about something like this:



The first step is, use an opaque side panel.  After that, it becomes similar to Schrodinger's cat where the cabling inside the case can be imagined as extremely neat. 


I will never buy into cable management. Especially if we are talking about on the backside of a case where it is meant for storage of those wires and never to be seen. Kind of like a J-box for electrical wires. Making your wires on the back of the case look good does absolutely nothing for system stability and does not let the electricity flow through the wires more efficiently than if they were jammed in there and/or kinked somehow. Now the side of the PC that you see, I completely agree. It should look clean. If it is a wire labeling issue where you just want to remember what goes where and to what, then buy a cheap label maker. 😃 

Volunteer Moderator

Ah, but people who judge in building contests will look at cable management and if you've done a really good job - even in places that are not normally seen - they will give you points for that.  And we all like extra points, don't we?

That being said, I still use twist-ties and a few cable ties to get my cables to behave.  I wish I had the patience to do the best possible job.  

As Albert Einstein said, "I could have done so much more with a Big Al's Computer!".

I like a clean build of course but sometimes its not always possible to tidy up every cable or... like me when a small cable is not perfect...

"for now, lets leave like this and I'll sort it later"

Bottom Line:
As long as you like what you see. And I like what I see 😎

The Englishman
Adept III

my cable management is non-existing , as long as the computer boots i'm ok 🙂

Journeyman III

For my builds, I'm far more concerned with cable management for what's visible than what's hidden behind the motherboard tray or side panel. My main rig uses an NZXT H9 Flow, so while the visible cables are well managed, everything behind the motherboard tray is not.

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