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Cable Management Clubhouse [Guides, discussion]

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#1
Cable/Hardware Management Club [256k warning, yes there are A LOT going to be a lot of images]

Clubhouse for those who need tips or would like to help others in cable management

Well I made this THIRD club of mine purely on the basis of TPU’s demand for it, so without further ado lets go ahead. Check the contents first. Please note that this is not a JOKE, I am being 100% serious of what I do and an occasional satire is great but however, any stupid behaviour involved in posting deliberately horrible systems will get you HEAT, more on that later. Sit back and relax and feel the excessive information stream go into your head.

============================
Contents (CTRL+F)
============================
L1. Introduction to what Cable management is

L2. Method:

La1. Practicality of Cable management
La2. Principle
La3. Routing/Setup methods
La4. Hardware setups
La5. Blacklisted cases/hardware.

L3. Membership

============================
L1. Introduction to Cable management
============================

What is cable management? It’s the management of the cables, duh. Nevertheless it is the organizations of the cables to make it “superior” to before; that’s my definition. Routing the cables in the neatest positions is what it is in a nutshell. However that is not all that is to it. The reason for cable management is PRACTICAL:

1. Better airflow, less dust.
2. Safer hardware installation/removal (EXCEPT PSU)
3. Looks

Read on for more about this.

============================
L2. METHOD
============================
Before:

After:


Please note that this is a SIMULATION, I suck at being messy.

La1. Practicality of cable management

This is a highly debatable topic about, whether its practical or not, generally I find most systems that look messy should get a cleanup. A messy system generally isn’t going to be good in terms of airflow and safety. Some people go cable management as a subject itself is taking it too far… its not. Now reflecting on what I said from before.

Better airflow, less dust.
Airflow in terms of less drag, with less cables and hardware in the way, its very simple, also the cables can act as a dust trap. The absolute worst culprits are the IDE and FDD cables, by far they are the widest and stupid design in the world. If their positioning vertically is adjacent to the airflow, they block the airflow; causing drag.

Safer hardware installation/removal
Not only is the position of the cables important but the HDD as well, you would want the HDD as low as possible, and not adjacent to the GPU (A deliberate technique by many OEMs to prevent removal of hardware). It makes it time consuming to remove Hardware, and if you are especially get irritated relatively quickly, you may damage it.

La2. Principle

Well if this sounds too cheesy for you just stay with me… its worth it. Anyway, I have devised a way to get better at doing cable management, and since almost every case model is different except for some, namely the NZXT Guardian, Gigabyte Posideon and the Centurion 5. Now to the three principles:

Exploit:
What I mean is exploit every way you can get your cables to fit, however you must know when it is seriously stepping over the line; what I mean is do not sandwich your wires so much that their copper cords inside get flattened. Example, you have a small hole in your motherboard tray that can fit a SATA cable through at the most, its at the bottom… well use it!

Adapt:
Techniques that are to be mentioned will require you to adapt, I mean by trying to get it but changing a few things… the dremel is an option but I would use it as a LAST RESORT. The dremel can give you good holes but think about structural integrity of the case? Something on the same magnitude may be slitting the sleeving open so you can get the wires inside the sleeving to lay flat… that’s taking it too far if you plan to reuse it.

Cut down on redundant hardware:
I mean by useless extras, like cathodes and excessive amounts of fans, three pin fans are the best to make your system as clean as possible. Passthroughs are not necessarily bad, but will add to the clutter if you do not find a way to route the rear fan.

Think about practicality:
If it requires stuff like welding and heaps of dremeling, and does not make any substantial difference to how the airflow works out, etc. It is not practical. HOWEVER. If it is for the purpose of putting less strain/stress on the wires then, it may well be.

Safety:
If installing a piece of hardware apart from the motherboard and PSU is an unsafe ask as in, you have to sandwich/bend some hardware, it may be good to reconsider what you are deciding to do.

Yes those …. Think about them when wiring.

La3. Method

This is by far the most useful segment of this post, well routing methods? I think I should use a scenario to make it more easier… now take a time machine and you will see how my computer looked like before (cough cough)



Aah.. typical isn’t it? This setup is relatively decent and common… messy, put together quickly.

Problems that I can identify just by looking at it:

-Cables curled up; blocking intake
-cables unsafely positioned; near the CPU fan, the IDE cable is dangling dangerously close.
-GPU positioned right next to the HDD; makes it potentially unsafe to remove the HDD due to the fact that SATA connectors are fragile.
-Cable positions mean heaps of drag.

Now several things you must consider to fix it up.
-Try to cut down on as many power connectors as possible; what I mean is that the more power connectors you need the more clutter.
-3 Pin fans > 4 Pin.
-Chuck out the redundant hardware.



FOLDING IDE/FLOPPY CABLES.
Yes, folding them, make sure you use IDE cables that are not the older ones, the older ones have a tendancy to break. Basically fold the cables like the image shows and ziplock it softly to keep it in shape. What you are doing is literally making it thinner, and aesthetically looking better. You MAY want to take it a step further and even sleeve the cable. However if you do not want to, it is also good to just lay them as flat as possible.

To fold the cable:
1.Lightly crease the IDE cable’s length (not the shorter segment of it; doing that will damage the cable), into thirds, making sure that there is not too much strain

2. Fold the cable, making sure there is a triangular segment at each end; try to keep everything as straight as possible in the process.

3. Ziplock it, but do not ziplock it too tightly as you may pull the pins out of the shielded connector.

To sleeve the cable:

1. Fold the cable as shown above.
2. Now, fold the triangular top of the connector 90*, making sure the blue connector’s (primary) length is parallel to the ide cable’s strands
3. grab some sleeving, expandable sleeving preferably around 2cm in diameter and compress it, then using the compressed end of it, slide it onto the connector then down the IDE cable
4. Tighten the sleeving as much as possible, then use heatshrink to bound it up.

Generally I find that folded IDE cables are easier to manage with because they lack the “guard” that rounded IDE cable have. The guard may be there for good but it makes it difficult to bend. It also looks ugly when its loosened. Moreover folding the IDE cables is an easy task and doesn’t require ANY skill at all.

(NOTE SAME APPLIES FOR FLOPPY CABLES)



heres an example of a folded IDE cable, you will not need sleeving/zip locks if you manage to keep them in that position. Notice how much slender the IDE cable is when it is folded. The safest amount of folds is two, after that it just gets thick and unmanageable. One fold is enough. I went for three :).

Notice how those are ASUS IDE cables, except I removed the label.

Routing under the motherboard, etc.

This is by far a popular technique, but don’t overlook it. I have found many ways to exploit your case design. Look for:

-Small holes that can fit SOMETHING through it.
-Large holes for structural integrity

Routing the cables under the motherboard is good due to the fact that it reduces the amount of obstructions in the way. However, note that cables like the 6 pin PCI-E, 8 pin 12v, 4 pin 12v, SATA (especially this one) have to be carefully routed, if sleeving is used, try to compress the sleeving so you can flatten the wire strands out, to be as flat as possible, being adjacent. Why? Consider that:

-If its too close the solder points might pierce the wire strands causing substantial damage
-If its sandwiched, you are putting massive amounts of strain on the components, since the motherboard will be bending up. The BGA mounts, on the northbridge, southbridge and CPU socket can come off without any difficulty; its like the ice cubes, you bend the ice cube holder and the ice cubes pop out; same stuff.

Dremeling to me is a last resort, as most motherboard trays have MANY WAYs that you can route the cables. Only dremel if you do not have any holes from the motherboard tray side to the rear of the motherboard tray. However, if you are dying on looks, the dremel is great. Generally check the amount of space you are working with, if you have 1cm or more of space between the side panel of and the rear of the motherboard tray, you have HEAPS of space, fit all your spare cables if you don’t have modular in the HDD bay area. If you have less than that, I would recommend trying to keep the strands of the cables as flat as possible, just to minimize the risk of damage.

Check for any holes near the PSU area, if possible and if you have your ATX connector in a proper position, around the top right corner of the motherboard (unlike my one… so retarded), try to route ALL The cables through that hole, I have a HUGE hole there in this image below:

If you don’t and you don’t have modular, etc. Try dremeling/cutting a small hole around three inches wide and one inch tall, that should be enough to fit all the cables through, try deburring the edges as well in the process, just to make it look better so you don’t bleed to death trying to pull the ATX power through.

Heres a diagram for the dremelling positions.








TO BE CONTINUED, my internets is capped, its so annoying!!!
 
Last edited:

Wayward

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#2
Sweet! A club. Now this should be useful. So many people downplay the importance of good cable management.

I'll have pictures, and info to share, can I join? :cool:
 

Garb3

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#3
finally man i've been waiting for a definitive guide( u gettin sladesurfers input aswell?)
 

m3lisk

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#5
Nice, wirehiding is always a fun thing to do when you get bored. I wire hid my PC in like 10 minutes. Of course, my mobo tray comes out so it made everything wicked easy.
 

m3lisk

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#7
Well I managed to pull it off, put al my wires bhind it, then put it back on. I had to trouble whatsoever. Taking off back panels helps too.
 

Garb3

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Audio Device(s) Realtek AC 97 HD
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#8
well u can add my case to the black cause it not got enough space for any really good cable managment
 

KennyT772

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#13
Count me in, My rig is in the sig.
 

erocker

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#14
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#16

Wile E

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#18
Not really, the removable mobo tray can be a recipe for disaster...
Yep, put me in that category. I have to cut mine, problem is, it's really thick. I need to get a Dremel and some cutting bits.