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Cable Management 101 by Deano12345

post #1 of 183
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Update : 18/10/2013 : Currently cleaning up the guide in preparation for more content - Dean.



Welcome to my thread that will hopefully get you a 10 in the ''Rate my cables thread'' or at least decrease the temps in your case.

Case 1 deals with a modern case with modern components such as SATA DVD drives and modern power supply connnections.Also deals with Modular power supplies

Case 2 deals with older technologies such as IDE Drives and non modular PSU's. Also deals with OEM Cases

* Case Number 1 *

 

 

 

Step 1 : Tools (Click to show)

We need the correct tools before we start, like anything.

3.2mm or 2.5mm cable ties :

''Snips''/Small wire cutters

Cable Tie Anchors

Possibly a Rotary tool, or Dremel as you may hear them called

One Case

And

Some time
 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 : Evaluation and advice (Click to show)


Have everything you need ?

Lets get started !

Evaluate whats in your case

- How many Fans/drives do you have ?
- Is your PSU modular ? (Modular always helps)
- How many graphics cards/sound cards/RAID cards ?
- Does your case have any pre drilled holes ?

Here's some advice before we even start managing anything.

1. Fan controllers will clutter up behind your motherboard,But this is ok, we cant see the cables (other than a small few a the top,I'll tell you more about that later)

2.Modular PSU's always help, it will eliminate that cable clutter down the bottom of your case

3.Sata drives are great ! Their cables are much easier to manage than the old ''Ribbon'' IDE cables. If your doing a new build, pick up both SATA HDD's (that's a given nowadays) and a SATA DVD-RW Drive, even if your not doing a new build, a new DVD-RW drive will only run you about 20 dollars/pounds/euros. Highly recommend you pick one up

4.Your type of case is very important. Some will have a lot of holes pre-drilled (Down by the PSU,up at the 8pin are the most usable IMO). If your handy with tools, you can create these holes with a Dremel (The Dremel brand is ubiquitous when talking about Rotary tools, so if people tell you to buy a dremel, most rotaries are fine)

 

 

 

 

Step 3 : Front Panel Connectors (Click to show)

Now,actually onto the cable management.

Front Panel (FP) connectors

These are usually USB, Audio I/O and maybe an E-Sata port. Lets manage them first.

For this particular case(HAF 922, but any case I have seen has had FP cables long enough to do this), the cables are long enough to be ran across the top of the motherboard and then down the left hand side and poke them through the recesses in the motherboard you can see just above the large hole.

Poke them through the separate holes (On/off cables though one of the holes on the left hand side and Power/HDD LED, through the hole closest to the connections for the motherboard.For me it was the hole furthest to the right above the main opening.But DONT tie them down yet.

*But Dean,I dont have any recesses *sadface*

Do not fear, cable manager. Get a roll of masking tape and use that to tie those dastardly cables down and run your IO cables through the main opening that will be on front of your PSU.*

Front I/O sorted ? Your damn sure it is !
 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 : DVD and HD Drives (Click to show)


Ok, lets sort out your drives, first off. Plug your SATA Data cables into your SATA devices,what ever they are and run all your drive cables across your motherboard. Once they are behind the motherboard tray, grab them all and line them up behind each other and cable tie them their. This step really reduces the cluttered look of multiple cables.Cable management is all smoke and mirrors really

Rinse and repeat this step for your SATA power cables but IMO,dont tie them all together, it looks cleaner if you do them separately (you will see what I mean a bit later)
 

 

 

 

 

Step 5 : Power Cables (Click to show)

Ok, we have our IO and our drives sorted out. Now its time to sort out our motherboard power, 8pin and GPU power.

First things first, the tighter you can get the GPU and 24Pin connectors the better it will look, try and tie them to the case wherever you can, again, use masking tape if you dont have any of those handy little recesses. For the 8Pin, run it around the back of the motherboard and out the top hole (if you have one,if not,make one !) and thats it

With your GPU cables you will most likely have 2 6/8 pins, plug them into your GPU and then cable tie them (in view)to a point where they are not being 'pulled' at the GPU end (ie so they cable isnt pulling on the card) and tie them down like your 24Pin
 

 

 

 

 

Step 6 : Admire your Work (Click to show)


Here's what your case should look like once your done


 

 

 

 

 

Step 7 : Fan Controllers (Optional) (Click to show)


Controller Clutter :

On the outside, they look nice, but on the inside they a mess of unsleeved cables

Couple of things that make them a minor annoyance

1.Molex Power - It makes you crack out that wonderous 4pin cable and the cable clutter that goes along with them.

2.Fan Cables - You have to run the cables into the back of the controller or at least (like my fan controller) have a smaller cable which connects into the Controller PCB at one end and the other end is a traditional 3 pin connector.

Right, lets get to sorting these problems out

Molexs, run them around the back of your motherboard from your PSU, then bring the connector (for power on the Fan controller) across your case and behind your motherboard. Dont connect anything or tie anything up yet.

Get the fans wires you want to control behind your motherboard.You will have to hide any front panel fans,this is why you tied your sata data cables together. Tie them behind the sata cables (Ninja cables...oh yeah ), an other fans can be put through the hole up the top (Where your 8pin was put through). Connect the fans to the 3 pin connection that you should halve passed across the case behind the motherboard.

All your fans work ?

They do ?

Good

But your not done yet. We have just connected the cables out of site, we gotta tie them down to minimize the space taken up behind your motherboard and also the mess going across your case.

Molex - tie them down to wherever you can in your case,those hooks come into play once more, if not, use some masking tape. Simple as.

Fan cables - Cable tie them all together so you can get a clean look running across your case. Tie the molex to them too. Place your Fan controller in the top 5.25 bay if possible to keep those cables out of the way as much as possible (you can see this on my rig,which you can see in step 4 of this guide.)

That should be you all done,repeat step 4 if you wish

*I know there any many types and brands of fan controller.If my tips aren't relevant to you,post up with your model or a picture of you current management and I'll help you with it*
 

 


* Case Number 2 *

 

 

 

 

Step 1 : Pre-management organization (Click to show)


The computer I have is a Gateway tower, circa 1999.Heres it before I've done anything to it



Its bad...real bad.

Lets fix this then !

First thing to do is take ALL the cables out and remove the PSU if possible (You'll see why later). Once its done,it should look something like this.


 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 : PSU Improvments (Click to show)


OEM PSU's wont be sleeved, and not all PSU's you buy for your rig's will be either. So you will need to organize them a bit so you dont have cables tangles up. You can do this by using cable ties every few centimeters up the cable. I only did the 20 Pin because the other cables had to be placed in then cable tied.

Before



After


 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 : IDE Drives (Click to show)


Next step is to reattach your IDE Cables to your drives. IDE's are impossible to hide so lets just focus on keeping them out of the way of out airflow. Tie them (using cable ties) to your drive bay. 3.2mm wont be big enough to go around the IDE and through whatever your attaching it too. To get around them,'daisy chain' them together'.

You should have something like this when your done.



Rinse and repeat for your DVD Drives, you may need to double it back in parts and cable tie them. Like this.


 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 : PSU Re-installation (Click to show)


Time to put your PSU in and reconnect everything back up. Best thing to do it keep everything tight with cable ties and double it back like you did with your IDE Drives.

Cable tie all your Front panel connectors together and hide the smaller cables behind the bigger ones. Connect them up and we are done !

That was easy wasn't it.
 

 

 

 

 

Step 5 : Finished and Warranty Warning (Click to show)




Big difference eh, not bad for an hours work. Just gonna throw in a disclaimer for anyone who is opening their case up for the first time

''Opening your case may void your warranty and I, Deano12345, am not responsible for any damage/loss of warranty caused while carrying out any modifications/changes mentioned in this thread''
 

 


Thanks To :

All the guys in the PSU and Case section here on OCN who helped me put the hardware section together

All the various sites for the case pictures

And everyone who's offered support,comments and suggestions along the way

I hope this guides helps you in your cable management adventures.Please let me know If you have any problems or any questions about your specific case.


Edited by Deano12345 - 10/17/13 at 5:23pm
    
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post #2 of 183
Awesome guide! Thank you!
post #3 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Awesome guide! Thank you!
Your welcome,glad you found it helpful

I'll be adding some stuff about Fan controllers later on
    
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post #4 of 183
temps??
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post #5 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcnuttie View Post
temps??
For where.CPU,HDD's,motherboard,graphics card ?
    
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post #6 of 183
Nice guide.
post #7 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angmaar View Post
Nice guide.
Thank you
    
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post #8 of 183
Well created guide, clean, organised and well worded +rep for you sonny
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post #9 of 183
I'm going to reorganize my cables and post a before and after picture when I have time.
post #10 of 183
^Me too

Thanks for this helpful post, Deano.
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