How to Quit Clutter with Cable Management
Cables are the single most unsightly part of your PC. They’re usually strewn about haphazardly, with little concern for where they may be lying in the future or how they might look to anyone who happens to glance inside your case whilst you’ve popped out for some fresh air. Even if you don’t have the luxury of a glass side panel, you can at least make an effort to keep your system looking as clean as possible by using cable ties and carefully managing the cables that lead to and from your hardware.
Cable management doesn’t need to be complicated (or messy). Here’s our simple guide on how to quit clutter with cable management.
Preparation is key. Before you begin to attach any cables, it’s important that your build is complete and stable. Remove your motherboard from the box and carefully place it into the case. Take a look at where cables will route behind the board and make a note of which way they’ll need orienting for when you do actually plug them in. If you haven’t already, install your PSU and connect it to power supply leads coming from your wall/distribution board – you won’t be able to use the ATX power connectors on the motherboard if these aren’t plugged in first.
Now we can actually get down to business. Begin by picking up a roll of cable ties and a nice organizing box to store the bunch in. Trust us; this will make everything easier – it’s much harder to keep up with them if they’re loose in your case. Measure out about 10-15cm from the center of one end of the tie to create a hook that can be attached to something nearby or imprisoned within another cable tie. Once they’re done, gather together any loose cables near your motherboard and begin neatly winding the ties around them in a figure of eight, being sure to keep them flat against the surface you’re wrapping them around.
First things first: start with all the power supply leads that you’ve routed behind your board. Get these tied up nicely and tucked away where they can’t be seen, and try not to bunch too many cables together at once – it’s okay if they’re all touching each other, but don’t focus on bundling them together with the ties alone. Next up, we have the front panel connectors: power switch, HDD LED, and power LED will all need tying up and brought to the back of your case so that you can plug them in, but leave the USB and audio leads until last as these will be plugged into the motherboard itself.
And that’s pretty much it! You should now have a system that requires significantly less dusting, looks tidier from the outside, and is far more presentable when your friends/girlfriends come round. Whatever you do, though, avoid going overboard – cables that are tied together in huge bundles have a nasty habit of looking horrible and being hard to work with.