Cable management 101

I must try and write this guide from a 'normal' point of view rather than my own so forgive me if/when I veer off on a tangent occasionally,
P.M. me if you want help with your case specifically, I'll need pictures and hardware specs or a link to a Toms thread

Heres a list of my own build logs for more pics and ideas,

My first attempts...

The other halfs build in a really bad case for Cm.

And the Psycho Ryder.

Bear in mind they are logs and may have several pages of randomness between pictures :)

Cable management 101,

The basics, the advanced and the downright insane.

First off, a handy list of tools,
Cable ties,
Electrical tape,Duct tape or fabric tape very useful
snips/cutters (mostly for tidying ends of cable ties)
duct tape/fabric tape
and a decent sharp knife,

I will try to cover what I reasonably envisage to be the 'average' problems people face but bear in mind that results are directly related to effort,
if you are happy just zip tying things together, no problem, if you want less than 10 inches of cable on view it is going to cost you time, design and effort
not to mention most likely a few quid/dollars

I can only open the door to this, you must decide how far down the path you are willing to go.

First thing to take account of is your Power supply and the many cables from it, and your case wiring, usb, front panel etc
and any additional fan controller/drivebay devices you may have

Psu assessment.

Psu cable provisions vary but all will have at least the following (working on assumption builder has reasonable level Psu)
20+4pin atx line
4 or 8pin Cpu line
two or more molex lines with several connectors on each
Sata power lines, again with several plugs
two or more Pcie lines for gfx cards

The two cables no-one can get away from, and that usually cause the most frustration, the 20+4 and 4/8pin,
you can route the 4/8pin behind the motherboard tray most of the time, although issues can be had with cable length and insufficient space behind the tray,
extensions are available is most modding shops if extra length is required though
Heres an empty case, note the hole by the top left near the rear fan, this is where we like our 4/8pin atx cable to come through, if you don't have one, its easy enough to drill/dremel one out

Tucking molex lines above optic drives is a good way to use up the slack on them,

Sata and molex leads are next up, if you mount your hard drives/ssd's in the 'normal' places provided, then its a simple matter of routing the cable out of sight to the cage,
down the back, or tucked into machined folds in your case, a lot of sata/molex plugs now are of the push on type,
they are a two part thing, one piece pushes onto the wires, cutting through and making contact, the other part is a cap to seal it,
the advantages I find with these is they are removable (tape up bare wires!) and if necessary you can replace them in a more convenient part of the cable for you
a lot of people reverse-mount the drives so the connectors are at the front or backside of the hdd cage, keeping them hidden from view
I wasn't able to do that in this case so I tucked it under the drive and taped up the slack

but with this one, I have two drives, both sets of cables feed from the front,
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More about cable management
  1. Old picture here of the same machine, you can see that the Psu cables go straight through the back,this instantly clears up things, and allows you to use the rear of the motherboard tray to route them out of sight,

    With this watercooled build its similar, I have the reservoir/pump reversed to route tubes through the case out of sight, my cables are fed through the case where needed and even the graphics cards cables are taped back on themselves,
    then fed through the grommmet behind them and pulled tight to tidy

    My front panel here is mounted on the door so all cables from that are fed through the front and out of sight, (usb,usb3.0, power/reset,E-Sata and audio cables)
    The rear of the Mobo tray can get a bit messy,

    notice the scenic route taken by the 20+4pin cable to use up slack

    tape up what you can or make a backplate up,

    hides a multitude of sins :)

    I'm sure I'll add more to this as it occurs to me and answer any questions I can,

  2. My graphics cards are watercooled in this one now as well,

    although the 20+4pin is unplugged ready for jumpering as I was about to fill the loop
    I still need to finish removing the Tx's label, route the cathodes wires and I'm looking at a new thermal interface solution which may require a strip again :P
  3. Ahhhhh hahaha this is really awesome because i was just upgraded my rig today and i was thinking of how terrible it looked with all these wires. this post should force me to take a closer look. thanks Motopsychojdn
  4. No problem man,
    theres loads of good looking rigs in homebuild and watercooling galleries,
    I hammer people for messy cables though so thought I'd try and put this up as a guide to avoid my wrath hehe
  5. I have a mess in my case, and I'm proud of it. The nice thing about an NZXT Phanotm is its huge, so the wires can chill out wherever they want. But very nice guide, thanks for it. I can understand why its a pet peeve to some.
  6. My Ocd found a focus in Cable management hehe so if I can help folks tidy their cases, its all good Nek, your stuffs looking good these days anyway :)
  7. I think that the reason why we do not see more attention to cable management is because it is tedious and time consuming. It frequently take two or even three tries to get it close to "right".
  8. Yup, its definitely a niche market hehe, hence the several levels, the ok enough for good flow level, the that one cables bugging me now level and the omg I have 6" of cable visible, I can't sleep level :-)
    Any chance of a pic of your Antec to post mate?
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