An underestimated aspect of building a PC is finding a practical and attractive way to organize the many cables connecting all of your components. Good cable management will make your PC easier to work with in the future as well as give it a sophisticated look.
If you’re looking to perfect your PC build, we’ve got tips on how to manage cables for both functionality and aesthetics.
How to approach cable management
Second, you want to make it easier to find cables that need to be adjusted when adding or removing components from your system. And third, you want your build to look good!
The best way to approach cabling is to be patient and methodical:
- Plan where you want your cables to run back and forth before you start securing them.
- Group cables in rows to make them easier to manage.
- Start with the biggest and bulkiest cables so you don’t have enough room to put the side panel back on the case.
Once your cables are routed the way you want them, you can begin to secure them in place.
Cable management tools
The classic cable management tool is the humble zip tie. Extremely cheap and readily available, you can use zip ties to tie cables together and secure them in place. After pinning, you can trim off the excess zip tie for a neater look.
However, one disadvantage of screeds is that they are permanent. If you need to add or remove a cable from the harness, you’ll have to cut the zipper and replace it when you’re done. If you frequently add or remove components from your system, for example for testing purposes, you may need a more flexible solution.
In this case, you can use Velcro. They are generally slightly larger and bulkier than zip ties, but are easy to open and close again.
Another option is to use ties. They are very cheap and easy to reuse, but can look frayed if not trimmed neatly. They are a good option for cable bundles that need to be adjusted frequently but are out of view, such as on the back of a case. Do not overtighten the tie band as it has a wire inside and you could cut yourself on the softer cable.
Cable management case features
Most modern cases have some features to help you manage your cables. The simplest but most useful of these functions are anchor points. These are small arches protruding in a metal case, to which cables can be tied using ties or twists. The more anchor points you use, the tidier your cabling will be.
In some cases, there are clamps that are great for managing large bundles of cables. They’re also easy to open and close, so you can add or remove cables as you work.