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Thread: Advise on cable routing/fan control

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    Question Advise on cable routing/fan control

    I've just moved my old build from a very aged Antec 300 case to a Nzxt s340 I was able to pick up super cheap (£35!). The old Antec had basically no cable management and i'd basically taped all the cables out the way as best as I could. The new case has plenty of space and a funky bar to hide cables below. In a rush last night I was able to get everything installed, connected and running however I was unsure quite how best to hide the bulk of the cables so just hung them out the back to figure out later:

    Was this a mistake? Should I have cable tied each cable in separately as I went or will I be ok just cable tying now? Also i've seen quite a few builds where the spare PSU cables just get dumped in front of the PSU is this ok? I think that will deal with the bulk of it! The actual MB compartment looks great (hardly see a cable) and far better airflow than the 300.

    Also I have gone from 1 '3 pin' and 4 molex powered case fans to 4 '3 pin' fans. My motherboard only has 3 headers so I've got one on a molex adaptor (only molex in use - gosh that feels modern!). Is it worth investing in fan splitter cable and/or basic fan controller? For info its 2 x 120 Nzxt FN v2 (that came with case), 1 x 140 Nzxt FZ v2 (current on Molex) and 1 x Corsair AF140 (in red to provide a low level of light to the case).

    Edit: Also the hyper 212 I have seems to be sliding ever so slightly on the CPU but cooling seems good. Should I re-paste/remount?
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Cable routing and keeping it tidy is an art form all of its own... or so I'm told, by the lazy beggars who get me to do theirs as they don't have the patience!
    Don't be too swayed by high end builds, either, as the modders often make their own cables to exact length and fit anyway.

    In general, I figure out the cable routing as I build, and the key is not being afraid of trying different things. I tend to decide on a main route for all the bulky bits like the power cables and focus on getting those laid in enough to avoid fouling the side panel. Other things like fans and temp sensors follow afterward. I often connect stuff up and then fold the slack cable, clipping or tying it in the most conveneint place. Remember that any point you can get a tie through is usable, not just the official loops.
    I like to use twist ties more than cable ties, as you can easily untwist them and make changes. Cable ties lock and you have to cut them off, so they're single use only.

    There are some cable management guide videos for the NZXT S340, if you're really struggling.

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Cable routing and keeping it tidy is an art form all of its own... or so I'm told, by the lazy beggars who get me to do theirs as they don't have the patience!
    Don't be too swayed by high end builds, either, as the modders often make their own cables to exact length and fit anyway.

    In general, I figure out the cable routing as I build, and the key is not being afraid of trying different things. I tend to decide on a main route for all the bulky bits like the power cables and focus on getting those laid in enough to avoid fouling the side panel. Other things like fans and temp sensors follow afterward. I often connect stuff up and then fold the slack cable, clipping or tying it in the most conveneint place. Remember that any point you can get a tie through is usable, not just the official loops.
    I like to use twist ties more than cable ties, as you can easily untwist them and make changes. Cable ties lock and you have to cut them off, so they're single use only.

    There are some cable management guide videos for the NZXT S340, if you're really struggling.
    Thanks Ttaskmaster. I wasn't looking for a perfect job but something that will make it easier to do maintenance/upgrades. For example one of my old HDD drives died in the Antec and it was a pain to remove so I just ended up leaving it taking up airflow for ages. I also had to install the Hyper 212 out of the case as it had no CPU cut out on the M/B tray. I picked the S340 as it was supposed to be good for routing so I'm sure i can do a good job easily enough (To be honest the M/B area looks amazing at the moment - barely a cable in sight!). I've used reusable cable ties on the Antec (just with no where to route them!) so I'll probably go down this route again. Thanks for suggesting the videos though - Someone had the s340 elite and recommended sorting out all the data cables first, then installing the PSU last so I think i'll do this tonight. Any suggestion on the fans?
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    You do need to think about what maintenance you'll do and what parts you're most likely to change.
    I tend to lay in everything from the PSU, and over that add fan cables and the flat SATA leads afterward, as I'll likely change those before the PSU.
    Generally I connect PSU cables to the components, then route them out and down toward the PSU. Whether I install the PSU first or not depends entirely on how fiddly it is to plug in the cables in-situ.

    Something else you could look into is Velcro™ straps - Some can be screwed in (I can see several screws in that 'funky bar' in your case), while others are just looped through a tie-down point on the case.
    Another option is to thread some elastic cord between the tie-down points, to make a net and then thread the cables behind it.

    Generally, so long as you can get the side panel on and the cables don't obstruct fan blades or airflow, it's all good.

    Fan-wise - I have a 4-channel Lamptron controller... FC6, I think, or maybe FC5 v2... and I use several fan splitters for that, as each channel can manage up to 30w.
    Splitting fans off motherboard headers, you need to know what maximum wattage the header can handle and how many watts each fan uses.

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    I'm probably unlikely to touch much apart from SSD/HDD's for the next year maintenance wise. To be honest I've bought the case so I've one less thing to buy when I go rizen in about a year. I'll probably replace the PSU as its about 5 years old now so I imagine it'll be a full strip job then!

    I'll see how I get on with one fan with no PMM. If its poor I might invest in controller or simple splitter (fans are pretty low power so should be ok) however with no 5 1/4 bays I can't use something like your Lamptron!
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesemp View Post
    I'm probably unlikely to touch much apart from SSD/HDD's for the next year maintenance wise.
    Drives tend to be the common one, yeah. I also like to mod in some of my own stuff though, so many Molexes (Molii? Molices?) are the order of my day.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesemp View Post
    I'll probably replace the PSU as its about 5 years old now so I imagine it'll be a full strip job then!
    Perhaps not.
    I've generally been able to just unplug the power cables and swap out all my motherboards. Just be careful to keep the plugs out of the way when you're working. A spare human with a full complement of hands can be useful in such cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesemp View Post
    If its poor I might invest in controller or simple splitter (fans are pretty low power so should be ok) however with no 5 1/4 bays I can't use something like your Lamptron!
    Ah, yes.... This is one reason I like to retain my bays. My Cylon mod is another (and debatably more important).
    I only mention wattage as some fans can draw over 8w and I build with various boards for other people, not all of which can take multiple fans on the headers.
    I'm not personally a fan of PWM, but several companies do internal PWM fan hubs - Notably Phanteks and your own NZXT.

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Drives tend to be the common one, yeah. I also like to mod in some of my own stuff though, so many Molexes (Molii? Molices?) are the order of my day.


    Perhaps not.
    I've generally been able to just unplug the power cables and swap out all my motherboards. Just be careful to keep the plugs out of the way when you're working. A spare human with a full complement of hands can be useful in such cases.


    Ah, yes.... This is one reason I like to retain my bays. My Cylon mod is another (and debatably more important).
    I only mention wattage as some fans can draw over 8w and I build with various boards for other people, not all of which can take multiple fans on the headers.
    I'm not personally a fan of PWM, but several companies do internal PWM fan hubs - Notably Phanteks and your own NZXT.
    I always I thought it was important to replace a PSU at about 6 or 7 years old to prevent magic smoke taking out the M/B? That's why I imagined replacing the PSU at the same time...

    As for fans - the bigger 140's are corsair: 0.23 A and FN140 V2: 0.18A/2.16W so I probably would be safe (even more so If I stick the 2 120s (<2W) together!).
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesemp View Post
    I always I thought it was important to replace a PSU at about 6 or 7 years old to prevent magic smoke taking out the M/B? That's why I imagined replacing the PSU at the same time...
    Not something I recall ever hearing... and I cobble together a fair few basic systems for people, using old PSUs. Not one has failed.
    However, I do make a point of dusting my rig out every month and pester others to do it regularly, even if they have to bring it round for me to do.

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesemp View Post
    I always I thought it was important to replace a PSU at about 6 or 7 years old to prevent magic smoke taking out the M/B? That's why I imagined replacing the PSU at the same time...
    No, thats what PSU manufacturers and resellers would have you believe...

    What is important is a good quality PSU with decent built in protection so if something goes pop, it doesn't take anything else with it.
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Ok thanks guys. Heard some bad story's about PSU's going bump. To be honest this is the first half decent PSU I've had (Antec semi modular) - heck it has a real brand name!

    Turns out I don't even need any of the modular power cables anyway as the need for a second GPU cable is gone (Nvidia 580 to AMD 480 just over a year ago) so that made life easier! Just wish I could remove the Molex/Floppy power cable as its completely redundant and just folded up now. The job went well last night and I'm pretty pleased with the results:


    I had to use a mix of cable ties, reusable cable ties and twist ties as I couldn't find my enough of any. Front looks good too:


    These new cases do make life easier I must say - no more hand contortion trying to pull a stuck molex out!

    Thanks for all the advice - just got so rusty on the latest stuff thanks to parenthood for the last 4 years (and reusing a case last time) - things move so fast...
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    That's a good job on a very tidy build, Cheesy - You've every right to be pleased!!!

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Thanks Ttaskmaster. The new case design makes it a lot easier. I tried to the same on the Antec when I rebuilt it 18 months ago and just couldn't do anything with most of the cables but try and bundle them together (but blocking air flow).

    My biggest disappointment is that noise is quite high from the fans. I hoped by going PMM and new fans (most of the old ones where 7+ years old) with lots of good airflow it would be quieter when idle but it is noticeable. I'm not sure if the rubber fan holders (red rubber bits holding fan) are helping or hindering though... Wondering if using screws might be more effective by moving fans closer to the grill...
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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Most fans get noisy over 1000rpm. For idle speeds, I tend to set them as low as they will go without stopping and then bump them up just a touch higher.

    Can you tell if it's the fans themselves making noise, maybe vibrating against the case, or is it the air flowing through the grille?
    I always used screws 'just because', although they're now necessary with watercooling radiators anyway.
    You could also try using spacers between the fan and the mounting point, to move it further away from the grille. Maybe detach the fan and experiment with distances a bit. You can sometimes use gaskets to fill the gap.

    This is where the individual variance aspect comes in, ie it depends entirely on the spread of the airflow of the fan, whether it's geared more toward Static Pressure or High Airflow, how it interacts with the intake grille/mesh/filter, what else it passes through and bounces around inside the case, side panel resonance.... oh, and your individual perception on what is and isn't 'noisy'....!!!
    It all gets very complicated and this is why I follow the 'try it and see' approach, with the 'mess around until it's good' style of solution.

    I assume you've set up PWM fan curves and things either in some kind of control software or the BIOS?

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    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    From my experience of shoe-horning stuff into a mini-ITX rig,its usually worth looking at getting shorter SATA cables,as many of them are way too long. Also regarding the fans,sleeve bearing ones tend to be quieter at the beginning but at the expense of longevity - ball bearing and similar types tend to have more bearing noise even at low speeds,but last longer. Also,the shape of the blades has an impact - some are shaped more for pure airflow(high static pressure ones) but will be noisier though.

    If you really find the noise an issue,there is always the possibility of using adhesive sound proofing foam - I did it for my system as the case is aluminium and it does not tend to be great as steel ones when it comes to blocking sound.

    Anyway nice clean rebuild!!


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      • Storage:
      • 64Gb M4 + 240Gb arc100 + 2x500Gb HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • RX 480 8Gb Nitro+ OC
      • PSU:
      • Antec 650W Semi modular
      • Case:
      • NZXT Source S340 Mid Tower
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 32" QHD AOC Q3279VWF
      • Internet:
      • FTTC ~30Mb

    Re: Advise on cable routing/fan control

    Ttaskmaster - the rubber mounts I use actual move the fans a little distance from the grill but I might try screws to see if its better. As for controlling the fans no - i'd left it on auto in the BIOS. I fiddled with speedfan and interestingly two of the fans never slow down - Just sit on max. They should do PMM - not sure why its not working? Unfortunately my attempts to kill the speeds seem to have created heat issues and I ended up having really bad stuttering while gaming as FPS dropped so bad I could hit freesync range. I think i'm going to investigate why two fans will not speed control as this is the main issue I imagine...

    CAT-THE-FIFTH - I was stuck reusing the SATA cables I had (money and needing to do it now) and my newer shorter ones had 90 bends on the connector. Not much use with my M/B or the SSD mounting options in the new case (they used to be good on the HDD end).
    Trust

    Laptop : Lenovo G505s A8-5550m 8Gb 240Gb SSD Radeon HD 8550G + Radeon HD 8570M dual graphics

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