PCG Article Do you care about your cable management? Article discussion

Jun 12, 2020
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I en joyed this read, figured this was a good question to ask here and i 100% dont care about mine either, nor do i care about RGB, but thats a different thread.
I can't believe some put it in a "life's too short" context, because it only needs to be done once, and when you become familiar with how to do it, there's not much time taken.

The benefits aren't just aesthetic either, it makes for better airflow, and less clutter to get in your way when you clean your PC. I usually see cable clutter people as lazy slobs.

That said, I've always thought of RGB as a ridiculous obsession, whether on peripherals, or inside your PC. There's just so many better things to spend your time and money on.
 
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I don't really care about cable management at all. It doesn't serve much of a purpose. Sure, you shouldn't have a completely insane rats nest inside your case, but in modern cases, you essentially do basic cable management by default anyways due to how* they're designed. Anything past that is purely for aesthetics, which I don't particularly care about.
 
Jun 12, 2020
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I don't really care about cable management at all. It doesn't serve much of a purpose. Sure, you shouldn't have a completely insane rats nest inside your case, but in modern cases, you essentially do basic cable management by default anyways due to how* they're designed. Anything past that is purely for aesthetics, which I don't particularly care about.
Yeah but if it really didn't serve much of a purpose, you wouldn't see case manufacturers redesigning their cases to facilitate it better now would you? It's more than just a selling point.
 
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Yeah but if it really didn't serve much of a purpose, you wouldn't see case manufacturers redesigning their cases to facilitate it better now would you? It's more than just a selling point.
LTT did a video awhile back. Poor cable management has basically no real-world impact on temperatures.
 
I do worry about cable management to a certain limit. I do some cable management to improve circulation and ensure that everything fits in properly. Its like those times when things would all fit if you did it properly as opposed to dumping everything in a huge pile.

That said, what i don't do is use plastic cable tile the majority of the cables in my case especially if i need to quickly do some maintenance or unplug something and i need that bit more slack. in some cases being too neat is detrimental as you have to be precise in getting everything back into place otherwise it won't reach can't get in place as well. Kinda reminds me in the office server room with all those cables bundled up like large ropes and i have to unweave the whole bloody thing to get at one cable and its all secured to the side.

Concerning the back of the pc though? thats sort of like the wild west back there. I try to keep it as neat as possible but there are cables poking around that does look a bit messy.
 
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When I used to upgrade my PC then internal cables were kept fairly tidy. Nowadays I tend to buy something that some-one else has already built. External cables - tend to think in terms of a Risk Assessment approach. Is it going to trip me up - damage me or , heaven forbid, the PC? Then I take some action. Recently I added a turntable to my "man cave" and that required a nice chunky cable protector to stop me damaging it with my chair.
As some-one said some where "life's too short".
 
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LTT did a video awhile back. Poor cable management has basically no real-world impact on temperatures.
Not surprising LTT would make such an assessment. It depends a lot on the scenario, like how many components there are in the case, whether the cables are sleeved (because sleeves generally aren't as smooth), the case vent layout, and whether the user has balanced their airflow well. Most in the know about the latter set their cases up with a slight positive air pressure. I happen to have a lot of HDDs in my case, but since it's a pretty big tower with three 120mm front fans, I can leave the HDD bays behind the middle fan unoccupied, which allows a tunnel of direct cool air to flow through the HDD bay area, and straight through to the CPU and rear exhaust fans.

So, a test claiming no real world impact is rather senseless, given how many people don't know how to best set up even their case fans and component placement, let alone good cable management. It's kind of like a bachelor saying there's no point to dusting and vacuuming his apartment, while he's scratching a dust mite itch. That was probably Linus deciding throwing cable clutter people a bone to make them feel justified for being lazy about it would make his channel more popular, because there are TONS of them. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate on Linus like a lot of people do, and have enjoyed many of his videos, but I also know he's a bit too crazy to be taken seriously on some points.

And besides all this, there's still the fact that cable clutter can make it harder to get into the nooks and crannies when thoroughly cleaning dust out. So it's hardly that it doesn't serve much of a purpose as much as it just happens to be a thing a lot of people aren't good at, or haven't ever taken the time to do a thorough job on. Unnecessary cable clutter can also lead to a reason to not clean dust out, whether consciously, or subconsciously, and we all know what that can lead to, nothing good.

And the extra turbulence in cases that can be caused by cable clutter, a hard thing to measure or see without proper equipment, can cause other problems, like extra avoidable stress on fans, and dust swirling into crevices and components. I'm willing to bet if we saw videos of people whom have cable clutter cleaning their cases, it would be a lot messier. It's not always going to be a difference that shows up in temp tests, but it WILL show in various ways if one just has a keen eye on what to look for.

Cable management is never about aesthetics for me though. I have a side window, but I've never used it to show off my PC, I just use it to see if it's needing cleaning, and if all the fans are still working. What's really strange is the area behind the MB usually requires a fair bit of time and thought to organize, if for nothing else, just to make room for the side panel to fit flat, yet so many people give up on interior cable management. Maybe the area behind the MB is the straw the broke the camel's back though. :LOL:
 
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@Frag Maniac happy news, there is a surefire way to avoid cable clutter interfering with cleaning out your PC. Don't clean.
QED.

I'm not like the article author, changing parts around every few weeks—I've only been inside my PC to clean it in the past 2 years. So I do basic tie wrap out of the way to make airflow and cleaning easier, and leave it at that.

The outside is a different case. Quite untidy, main priorities being to avoid undue strain on connectors and to not be a trip-up hazard.
 
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I en joyed this read, figured this was a good question to ask here and i 100% dont care about mine either, nor do i care about RGB, but thats a different thread.
Since you mentioned it .... RGB is the worse thing to ever happen to gamers on a budget imo. If I only had a dollar for every time someone with a limited budget screwed themselves on their gpu in order to make their rig look like a christmas tree. They spend big bucks on RGB case fans, AIO, RAM, etc ... and end up with a subpar gpu and no matter how much you point out that they are screwing themselves they go the RGB route anyways. Drives me nuts.
 
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@Frag Maniac happy news, there is a surefire way to avoid cable clutter interfering with cleaning out your PC. Don't clean.
QED.

I'm not like the article author, changing parts around every few weeks—I've only been inside my PC to clean it in the past 2 years. So I do basic tie wrap out of the way to make airflow and cleaning easier, and leave it at that.
It doesn't really matter how often you clean, when you only make my points more valid saying you keep the cables out of the way to better facilitate it. Nor does it make much sense to state a cleaning interval as short or long when so many factors come into play regarding how long it takes dust to build up. In other words, to each their own. ;)
 
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with a limited budget screwed themselves on their GPU in order to make their rig look like a christmas tree.
But my PC need to look pretty and drain power for street when I turn it on ... carnival lighting all the way. And I want rgb all over my display to distract me. RGB all the things... Buy this case and get 12 RGB fans that don't do anything
/sarcasm off

Its more a concern now almost every PC case is a fish tank, even some with glass on rear of case... why? how do you hide cables if its all open? I am sure @Lutfij can manage

I don't change parts unless I have to replace one so my cables are good enough for me. Given almost everything in my case is black, and I have dark tinted glass, I can't really see anything in case unless I use bright colors on RGB. Only cables I can see are:
for my AIO and I can't hide those,the 2 tubes run in front of ram slots
and for my GPU power but they are black cables anyway.

Had to clean glass for photo: (only way I can see dust in case is via photos)

need to clean top again. Constant battle. Can actually see better into case with rgb off.
 
Just stuff them all behind the system tray as much you can. Out of sight out of mind, and it does help a little with airflow.

I do like the clean look of a rig with braided perfectly routed cables, especially with a custom water cooled setup with hard tubing. Too expensive and time intensive to justify it for me though. If youre lowering the actual quality of your components to make it look better it doesnt make any sense to me.
 
PSU shroud is where most of my cables are hiding. If I had gone with just 2 nvme like I had planned, there would be even less in PC. although the cable from the hard drive to connector on MB is also black and obscured by my GPU. And it doesn't have to run very far, the drive is hiding behind the back-plate at front of case, right in front of the SATA connector on the board. Most of the cable is behind the back plate.

So my hdd is coolest part in PC at 36c, since it has a fan right in front of it, though CPU is close.

Its funny, I didn't intentionally choose all black parts but thats what i got. even the PSU is black. Not that you can see it, I only know as back-plate is black.

Airflow more likely to obstructed by having intake fans behind glass. Yes, it looks good but it only rarely helps. We back to the RGB things again. How much cooling you need depends on where you live. Stops talking about airflow :)
 
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PSU shroud is where most of my cables are hiding. If I had gone with just 2 nvme like I had planned, there would be even less in PC. although the cable from the harddrive to connector on MB is also black and obscured by my GPU.

Its funny, I didn't intentionally choose all black parts but thats what i got. even the PSU is black. Not that you can see it, I only know as backplate is black.

Airflow more likely to obstructed by having intake fans behind glass. Yes, it looks good but it only rarely helps. We back to the RGB things again. How much cooling you need depends on where you live. Stops talking about airflow :)
My case is too old to have a PSU shroud,or a tempered glass front panel. Wouldnt mind the first one not bothered about the other.
 

Lutfij

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Yes, I do manage them...it's just about allocating time towards them.



^ Phanteks Enthoo Evolv itx



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I would've included links to the albums but I figured I'd keep it on topic and not cause people to fall asleep with the images on said albums.
 
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Aug 8, 2020
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Not surprising LTT would make such an assessment. It depends a lot on the scenario, like how many components there are in the case, whether the cables are sleeved (because sleeves generally aren't as smooth), the case vent layout, and whether the user has balanced their airflow well. Most in the know about the latter set their cases up with a slight positive air pressure. I happen to have a lot of HDDs in my case, but since it's a pretty big tower with three 120mm front fans, I can leave the HDD bays behind the middle fan unoccupied, which allows a tunnel of direct cool air to flow through the HDD bay area, and straight through to the CPU and rear exhaust fans.

So, a test claiming no real world impact is rather senseless, given how many people don't know how to best set up even their case fans and component placement, let alone good cable management. It's kind of like a bachelor saying there's no point to dusting and vacuuming his apartment, while he's scratching a dust mite itch. That was probably Linus deciding throwing cable clutter people a bone to make them feel justified for being lazy about it would make his channel more popular, because there are TONS of them. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate on Linus like a lot of people do, and have enjoyed many of his videos, but I also know he's a bit too crazy to be taken seriously on some points.

And besides all this, there's still the fact that cable clutter can make it harder to get into the nooks and crannies when thoroughly cleaning dust out. So it's hardly that it doesn't serve much of a purpose as much as it just happens to be a thing a lot of people aren't good at, or haven't ever taken the time to do a thorough job on. Unnecessary cable clutter can also lead to a reason to not clean dust out, whether consciously, or subconsciously, and we all know what that can lead to, nothing good.

And the extra turbulence in cases that can be caused by cable clutter, a hard thing to measure or see without proper equipment, can cause other problems, like extra avoidable stress on fans, and dust swirling into crevices and components. I'm willing to bet if we saw videos of people whom have cable clutter cleaning their cases, it would be a lot messier. It's not always going to be a difference that shows up in temp tests, but it WILL show in various ways if one just has a keen eye on what to look for.

Cable management is never about aesthetics for me though. I have a side window, but I've never used it to show off my PC, I just use it to see if it's needing cleaning, and if all the fans are still working. What's really strange is the area behind the MB usually requires a fair bit of time and thought to organize, if for nothing else, just to make room for the side panel to fit flat, yet so many people give up on interior cable management. Maybe the area behind the MB is the straw the broke the camel's back though. :LOL:
Yea, you made a well reasoned point. I'll admit that I was too strong on my point and too dismissive of what you were saying, so my apologies. I still think that cable management has limited real-world impact, in that even if it worsens airflow it won't result in temperature differences that are significant enough to impact performance in a meaningful (perceptible) way.

I do agree that LTT isn't exactly the best source for this kind of information, but I don't think your point about the average person isn't really that relevant. If people are not properly setting up their PC due to bad information, then cable management takes a back seat to more pressing issues (e.g., improper fan orientation)

You make a good point about system maintenance for sure. Less cable clutter definitely makes it easier to clean the system (though I would argue that other than enthusiasts, most people don't properly maintain their PCs anyways).

But overall I think you made a good case that I was too dismissive of the value of cable management. Personally, I was more focused on it from a more enthusiast angle; in other words, I don't think super tidy cable management (like in high-end enthusiast builds) has much purpose aside from aesthetics. BUT basic cable management definitely has value. I don't think the interior of your case should be a complete disaster. That's actually one reason why I like NVME SSDs more than SATA; there is less cable clutter (not even accounting for the fact they have vastly superior performance for basically the same price at this point, barring the more expensive gen 4 drives)
 
Jun 12, 2020
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Yea, you made a well reasoned point. I'll admit that I was too strong on my point and too dismissive of what you were saying, so my apologies. I still think that cable management has limited real-world impact, in that even if it worsens airflow it won't result in temperature differences that are significant enough to impact performance in a meaningful (perceptible) way.

I do agree that LTT isn't exactly the best source for this kind of information, but I don't think your point about the average person isn't really that relevant. If people are not properly setting up their PC due to bad information, then cable management takes a back seat to more pressing issues (e.g., improper fan orientation)

You make a good point about system maintenance for sure. Less cable clutter definitely makes it easier to clean the system (though I would argue that other than enthusiasts, most people don't properly maintain their PCs anyways).

But overall I think you made a good case that I was too dismissive of the value of cable management. Personally, I was more focused on it from a more enthusiast angle; in other words, I don't think super tidy cable management (like in high-end enthusiast builds) has much purpose aside from aesthetics. BUT basic cable management definitely has value. I don't think the interior of your case should be a complete disaster. That's actually one reason why I like NVME SSDs more than SATA; there is less cable clutter (not even accounting for the fact they have vastly superior performance for basically the same price at this point, barring the more expensive gen 4 drives)
Yeah I think it's common that enthusiasts have very different PC building standards than the average gamer. Regarding NVMe drives, love the speed, hate that they take up extra SATA ports to run at full speed. I still plan on eventually replacing my 500GB EVO 970 with a 2TB PciEx 4 m.2 drive. Even if you run them on just one SATA port, they're still way faster than any other type of drive. I'm also considering a WD Ultrastar 18TB HDD. Those things are crazy fast and cool running for a storage drive. Would be great for storing games on, and even capturing.

Another peeve of mine though is the latest trend of some top brand Z690 MB manufacturers only putting a decent amount of SATA 6Bb/s ports on their high end expensive boards, namely ASUS. I mean I have 6 on my ASUS Prime Z370-A, which I got for about $150 not long after it launched, but you have to spend at least twice that to get just a DDR4 ASUS MB that has that many high speed SATA ports, more like $400 if you want one that supports DDR5.
 
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Aug 8, 2020
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Yeah I think it's common that enthusiasts have very different PC building standards than the average gamer. Regarding NVMe drives, love the speed, hate that they take up extra SATA ports to run at full speed. I still plan on eventually replacing my 500GB EVO 970 with a 2TB PciEx 4 m.2 drive. Even if you run them on just one SATA port, they're still way faster than any other type of drive. I'm also considering a WD Ultrastar 18TB HDD. Those things are crazy fast and cool running for a storage drive. Would be great for storing games on, and even capturing.

Another peeve of mine though is the latest trend of some top brand Z690 MB manufacturers only putting a decent amount of SATA 6Bb/s ports on their high end expensive boards, namely ASUS. I mean I have 6 on my ASUS Prime Z370-A, which I got for about $150 not long after it launched, but you have to spend at least twice that to get just a DDR4 ASUS MB that has that many high speed SATA ports, more like $400 if you want one that supports DDR5.
On the topic of storage, I do wish I was a bit more forward-looking rather than adding drives over time. Right now I have 4 SSDs in my system, a 250gb and 1tb NVME (gen 3's) and two 1tb SATA SSDs. I would much prefer for two of those 1tb drives to just be a single 1tb for the sake of simplicity. I suppose is common to add drives over time, but I kind wish I just went with two large capacity NVMEs and just not had to worry about it.
 

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