We have all seen it, countless posts on Reddit and YouTube videos showing someone's brand new gaming build they have just completed. They list out all of the killer hardware that's inside the rig and they then share the photos of their gaming PC, only to display a rats nest of tangled cables.
One of the most often overlooked aspects when it comes to building a computer is cable management. People often skip taking the time to properly plan and organise their cables, thinking that once they put the side panel on their computer case that the cables are out of sight, out of mind.
Little do they realise that their poor cable management is likely hindering the performance of their new and expensive gaming PC.
Let’s take a bit of a dive into cable management and see why it's a step that you can't afford to miss.
Why is cable management so important?
Although it might seem like an extra step that doesn't need doing, cable management can be the difference between having a computer that runs at its best and one that is not performing as well as it should be.
Why spend up to thousands of dollars to get the best gaming pc components in the market only to have them run at a fraction of the power they should be? All because you didn't take the extra bit of time to practice good cable management.
The best thing is that cable management costs nothing, just a bit of time.
The first, most obvious benefit of cable management is that it looks a heck of a lot cleaner than having a heap of cables strewn all over the place. You've spent your hard-earned money on your new graphics card, motherboard, and CPU, so you really want to show them off.
By having all of your cables tucked away and routed properly it will leave a lot more open space inside the computer case. This means that if you have a case with a tempered glass side panel all of the focus is on the hardware, and not the cables. Your new RTX 3080 can be on full display, making your friends jealous every time they look at your gaming computer.
With RGB lighting playing such an important role in gamers' builds nowadays, you want to ensure that you can truly leverage the RGB features of your hardware in a way that is clearly visible.
The most important reason to have properly managed cables is that it directly relates to the performance and lifespan of your computer.
One of the key factors when it comes to PC performance is good airflow. The computer needs to be able to draw in cool air from the front of your computer case and then remove the hot air out the rear. This is what allows all hardware components to keep cool and not overheat.
When components such as your graphics card and processor get too warm their performance drops. This drop in performance leads to a slower computer and less frames per second when gaming.
The issue with poor cable management is that by having all of your cables scattered about in your computer case it restricts how much air can flow through the case. Cool air may get in through the front but the cables limit how much hot air is going to be exhausted, leading to hot air staying inside the case.
By not exhausting the hot air out efficiently, and by restricting how much cool air can pass over your hardware components this means that the hardware all gets hotter and performance drops.
Another issue that is made much worse with poorly managed cables is dust. Dust is one of the most annoying things when it comes to computers. Dust comes in via the intake fans and can settle inside the computer, and most annoyingly inside all of the nooks and crannies of your hardware.
By having cables all over the place, this means that dust has more places to attach itself to which leads to a much larger dust buildup then would have happened if the cables were out the way. This increased amount of dust means that once again airflow is compromised.
An easier building experience
Aside from the looks and performance of your gaming build, taking the time to properly manage your cables simply leads to a better build experience.
By having all of your cables out of the way it leaves you with more space inside of the computer case. This is a godsend when you are working with a smaller computer case, especially something like an ITX build.
In addition to giving your hands more space to work with, it also means that you can fit larger hardware into your case than you could have before if cables were in the way. And with the size of today's GPUs, every bit of extra space you can give yourself the better.
Tips and tricks for better cable management
Good cable management isn't expensive and there are a few tips that you can follow to get the most out of your build and leave yourself with a much cleaner and better performing gaming rig.
Let’s take a look at some of the tips that you can follow to take your build to the next level.
Choose the right computer case
The most important aspect of cable management is ensuring that you choose a computer case that offers quality cable management features.
There are many cases out there that offer very little options as to where you can hide and route your cables to make sure to take the time when you are choosing your computer case.
Look for a case that has enough space near the rear side panel for you to put your cables. You do not want a side panel that has no cavity space as you will struggle to close the side panel door once the cables are in place.
Some computer cases offer cable channels built into the case that gives you a dedicated space to run your cables and keep the cables neatly in place. This makes cable routing much easier. These cable channels often come with either cable clamps or velcro ties to keep everything securely in place.
Ensure that there are ample places in the frame of the computer case to be able to tie down your cables and that there is enough space around the edges where you can route thighs such as fan cables.
Getting a case that has a focus on good cable management will make your job infinitely easier.
Make use of cable ties
Cable ties cost only a couple of dollars and make all the difference. Instead of routing your cables around your case and then trying to quickly close your rear side panel so that the cables don't fall out, use cable ties instead.
By using cables tied you can tie your cables to all of the holes and gaps inside of the computer case as well as grouping cables together with each other. This stops cables from shifting and moving around the place and gives you cable management that lasts.
We recommend that you use velcro cable ties as they are easy to attach and detach and are made of fabric which means they won't damage your cables. If you want to use traditional plastic cable ties that are completely fine, just make sure that you don't over-tighten them.
Cables are the difference between good cablement and next-level cable management.
Modular power supplies should be your only choice
When it comes to power supplies you really should only be considering a module PSU.
Power supplies come with so many cables and in reality, you generally only need to use a fraction of the cables that come with it. Having a modular power supply means that you can simply connect the cables that you are going to use.
By only using the cables that you need, this means there are less cables for you to manage and less cables that you need to find a place to hide. The big reason you want to use as few cables as possible is that it helps increase the airflow within the computer as there is less resistance for the air to pass through. And, as we know, more cool air is always better.
The other benefit of modular power supplies is that the cables often come pre-sleeved. By sleeving the power supply cables it helps reduce the footprint of each cable which means that they take up less space inside the case. Smaller cables again make it much easier to route and place your cables.
AORUS Project Stealth
If you want the ultimate when it comes to cable management and sleek as heck design, AORUS has got you covered with the release of Project Stealth. Project Stealth is a custom designed DIY computer build that gives you the best cable management possible for that stealth look.
AORUS has designed the motherboard, graphics card, and case from the ground up with cable management in mind.
The new motherboard design has zero connectors on the front of the motherboard and instead has them located at the rear of the board. This means no more having to run a single cable around to the front of the case and having them on display. This new motherboard layout design means that the board simply slots into place inside the computer case with the connections being visible from the rear.
The same has been done with the graphics card which hides the power connectors from view. This once again allows for better, and easier cable management whilst still delivering the same killer performance that you are used to with AORUS cards.
The new AORUS computer case is specially designed to work with this new hardware to allow compatibility with the redesigned connector layouts. With all I/O connectors plugging in from the rear of the motherboard instead of from the front, the case provides the perfect home for all of the hardware to live.
This out-of-the-box DIY build means that you can have the best cable management gaming PC available, all requiring very little effort on your end as the cable management has been sorted for you.
This stealth cable management means that you will not only get the best airflow possible but you will also get one of the most badass-looking gaming rigs around.
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