Guide to PC Cable management tidy up inside your case

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Cable management is the most visual aspect of your kick ass system. However, cable management is often overlooked as it can be time consuming. The inside of a computer case is usually a mess of cables and wires. Power cables get tangled up and loose wires can be damaged from fans or other jagged edges inside the case.

Cable braiding What is it?


It’s an expandable, flexible, cylindrical braiding where your cables are poked in from one end and out the other. The internal diameter can range greatly depending on whether the braiding is pushed together and compressed making a large inside diameter or pulled and extended making a small inside diameter. The ends require tying off with cable ties, heatshrink or melted together otherwise the braiding can come undone.

How easy is it to use/reuse?
A complete pain, to be honest! Compared to virtually every other cable management solution it takes no time at all to get it on, but then you need to seal the ends and make sure it’s the right length because once you cut there isn’t any undoing it. Not only that, but it can require some trial and error to get right because sometimes the ends will either fray and come out from their heatsink/cable tie seals which means you have to do the whole thing again.

How does it look?
In short, when done right it looks damn good; arguably the best looking cable management solution. People don’t go to the trouble of using it for nothing, right? Being available in a huge range of colours and weave patterns allows manufacturers to match the style of the product with the braid they want.

Cost?
Cable braiding doesn’t cost that much per meter, in the same range as spiral wrap but specialist colours or weave patterns can cost more. You have to also take into account the fact you need some manner of sealing the ends like heatshrinking and zip ties which is an extra cost.

What should I use it for?
Single use applications you plan on never changing – like PSU or fan wires, or if you plan to round your own SCSI or IDE cables. It can successfully be used for large applications that need to be aesthetically pleasing as the cables just requires pushing through from one end to the other, unlike spiral wrap which requires effort and time to wrap around every-single-rotation.

The AC Ryan flexsleeve kits are the ideal way to eliminate these problems. Try braided sleeve it is expandable up to 150%, making it easy to slip over any plugs or connectors. Made of flexible material, the  Cable Sleeving Kit is a good choice it will not break or crack. Sleeving your cables not only makes the inside of your computer look cleaner, it will also improve airflow, reducing the heat inside the case. The  Cable Sleeving Kit is also ideal for bundling cables and wires outside your case as well.



Features:

  • Protect your cables and wires

  • Reduce mess and clutter inside your case

  • Improve airflow while reducing heat

Package Contains:  10 ft. - 1/8" sleeving  10 ft. - 1/4" sleeving  5 ft. - 3/8" sleeving  5 ft. - 1/2" sleeving  10 - tie wraps  1 ft. - 9mm Heatshrink Tubing  1 ft. - 20mm Heatshrink Tubing  6 in. - 25mm Heatshrink Tubing

Tie Wraps are also great way to neaten up your cables and wires. Tie Wraps are available in a variety of colors so pick to your own colour scheme.

Spiral wrap What is it?
A length of coloured or colourless plastic that has been cut in a corkscrew, spiral style meaning you can untwist it and wrap it around your cables keeping them together.



How easy is it to use/reuse?
Pretty easy. Again, once you get a rhythm going it goes on exceptionally easy - but it still does take some time and if you want to add another cable you have to unwrap it all, then start again (or try and push it up between the other wires which generally doesn’t work). It’s extremely frustrating to undo and redo all your good work just to add one more wire. It does, however, 'expand' to accommodate a bigger circumference of wires then its starting size, an attribute which makes it more versatile for future use, but if you go too big it tends to permanently stretch the plastic.

How does it look?
It can look good if you don’t stuff too many cables in. You can get it in a whole range of colours and sizes to colour co-ordinate if need be. It’s not the ultimate solution in aesthetics, but it does hide the cables and keep them neat at the same time – job done.

Cost?
Generally pretty cheap, a metre can cost anywhere from around 80p a meter for the cheapest, smallest stuff to more specialist stuff (like UV reactive) which is a couple of pounds / dollars a metre (translate that into roughly 1:1, £:$).

What should I use it for?
Smaller solutions in clear view, but can easily be used again for larger needs with not too much extra cost. Something carefully planned: because of the nature of application you should consider exactly what you need in it before using it, to save you unwrapping it all and doing it again.

Split Loom What is it?
Split Loom basically consists of a flexible corrugated tube of coloured plastic with a slit down one side you can slot your cables into.Loom is plastic tubing that is used to wrap wires. It can be also called split loom, and plastic tubing, so when shopping for it, look for it under those names. Split Loom (1/2 inch and ¼ inch diameter loom will cover most of the wires in your case) Looming is a cheap solution to make wires look a lot nicer, but for some, looming is not good enough. Some times zip ties don't look as nice as some would want them too, and loom isn't exactly sexy. If you want to spend more money to make your wires easier to look at, go go for wire sleeving. Sleeving is the classy alternative to loom

How easy is it to use/reuse?
Even though starting is a bit of a pain, I’ve found that bending the loom backwards to open up the slit allows you to get a rhythm going and easily zip down, pushing in the cable as you go. Once you’ve “broken the seal” on a new length of loom it becomes easier and easier to reuse but it you cannot overfill it otherwise the cables spill out. This becomes a problem if later you need to add another wire, or have a couple of large cables you want to lump together, so it’s important make sure your loom is big enough to accommodate all the wires you intend to put in it.

How does it look?
It completely covers all your unsightly, non-colour-co-ordinated cables into a nice, tidy, single coloured solution. The loom can look bulky, especially in a smaller case and overfilling it makes it look unsightly, however, if done right it can definitely become a very aesthetically pleasing solution.

Cost?
Compared to other solutions it’s at the expensive end of the scale, in the UK at least. In the US it can be had for cheaper but compared to how far a 100 pack of zip ties goes, it’s the equivalent to lining the inside of your case with gold plating. Look to pay around £3 per metre.

What should I use it for?
Lugging small amounts of cables together. If you’re going for a colour theme, it’s definitely worth splashing out.

Heat shrink What is it?
A rubber material that when strongly heated shrinks around the wire and seals over it making an electrically resistant seal.

How easy is it to use?
Pretty easy, but its single use means it’s not as versatile as other solutions. Heatshrink is graded depending on its start diameter and its final (shrunk) diameter so you can work out exactly how small you want it to go and how big you need it to start with. Everyone has their own way of shrinking it - personally I prefer using a simple lighter, but better is to use a hotter blue flame like a gas hob or blow torch, turning it quickly to get an even shrink and reduce the chance of it melting. A hair dryer can also be used: it takes longer to shrink, but there is no risk of melting.

Heat shrink How does it look?
Pretty bad in most cases, and it’s rarely/never used in large scale as it’s hard to get an even shrink. You can get some variety of colours like red and blue but nearly all the time only black is available.



Cost?
One of the cheaper solutions, heatshrink generally doesn’t cost much at all, generally a little cheaper than spiral wrap and can be bought in a wide range of sizes. Buying from large electrical suppliers in bulk can definitely be cheaper, and it’s always useful for electrical projects.

What should I use it for?
Sealing ends and making them electrically insulated. It’s not used for a complete cable management solution because it just doesn’t look the part and it is single use only.

Velcro wraps What is it?
Different manufacturers make different products, but generally it’s a length of Velcro with the hooks on one side and loops on the other, so wrapping it around a cable on itself creates a loop that holds.

How easy is it to use?
As easy as cable ties, you just literally wrap it around and you’re done - and since they are reusable it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake or find the need to add another cable later.

How does it look?
If anything, a little worse than cable ties unfortunately because they are less discreet. The nature of their use means that they don’t cover the cable, just keep it tidy and whilst they are colourful, they don’t necessarily look at all that good. Our advice? Get black velcro for black cables and keep it subdued.

Cost?
Because they are multi-use they are generally more expensive than cable tie . You can get anti-static ties at around $4 but usually a pack of 5-10 will cost around a few pound/dollars.

What should I use it for?
General reusable applications where aesthetic value isn’t important. Due to the variety of sizes, velcro can be bought in it can be used for a many cable solutions but due to the cost per unit it’s better to use them when you intend to change it often. If you want a semi-permanent to permanent solution, use zip ties

Molex connector kits

Removing the power from devices inside your computer can be difficult with standard molex plugs. The protrusions on the side of the molex are difficult to hold on firmly and, if you were to exert force, can leave your fingers feeling sore. We reccomend the ACRYANconnectors as they simplify the ordeal by putting flexible, rounded grips on the top and bottom of the molex connector. Not only do these grips make it easier to hold, pressing down on the grips separates the connector from the device slightly, perfect for when the molex connector feels "stuck." Connectors are available in a variety of UV reactive colors.

 

Slot Protectors

Dirty slots are bad. When you see them you just want to run away. You can yell at them "You are nothing but a filthy slot!", but it doesn't do any good. You can try to clean them up, but they will just go back to their dirty ways. Your mother wouldn't be very proud of you either if she always sees you with dirty slots. In order to stop a slot from being a dirty slot you need to cover it up. The Vantec Slot Protector Kit comes with covers for your PCI slots and RAM slots. By covering them up, you will prevent dust and dirt from building up inside that can cause contact problems when inserting new cards or sticks. Plus these protectors are UV reactive so that you can dress up your slots. The kit comes with five PCI slot protectors and three RAM slot protectors. So throw your filthy slots back on the street, and pick up the Vantec Slot Protector Kit to clean up your life and enhance your connections. These also illuminate under aUV light.

Round Cables

Round cables are a necessity for every windowed computer case. Round cables will dramatically improve the visual appeal of a windowed case as well as improve airflow through the chassis. As they are easy to keep maintained in a tidy fashion within the case. They are avaialbe in different lengths and devices and are avaialble in SATA IDE and Floppy. They come in normal silver or copper braided and UV. We would reccomend Vantec and Revoltec as they are quality made at reasonable pricing.

Fan Filters

Most fan filters are mad of metal there job is to free you from annoying dust. It will be simply screwed to the corresponding  fan. Thus dust collection in the interior of the case will be effectively prevented. The airstream of the fan will be only minimally alleviated through the coarsely mashed metal coating. The filters are easy to wash out and thus over and over usable. We reccomend any to be honest all do the same job no matter waht the brand however we have found only AC Ryan do a full size range.

The results you can get from some simple adjusting can be very beneficial to cooling as you improve the air circulation and also help prolong the life of your parts by keeping them as dust free as possible.

     



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