CUSTOM PC – Issue 196 January 2020
Despite being 42 years old and having enough white D body hair to start worrying that I’m turning into the Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back, managing excitement is still a problem for me when it comes to PC building. I’m a bit like a five-year-old ripping open a chocolate wrapper — I want my new gear up and running now—I don’t want to have to spend days setting it up properly first.
However, taking your time makes the difference between having a neat and tidy build, and a box full of messy wires, as we show you in our masterclass on P-76. It means you don’t block your case’s airflow, and that you can easily add upgrades in the future. I’ve written before about how much I love the process of tidying cables when I actually put my mind to it, and I heartily recommend that you do the same— allow for some proper planning time when assembling your PC build.
Knowing where to plug in the various plugs and components is an important part of the PC building equation, but there’s no substitute for taking a couple of hours looking at all the cables with your CPU cooler and power supply, checking them with the sockets and headers on your motherboard, and planning how you’re going to route them. Once you know that all your core gear works, clear your work area, and really think about every single cable and where it’s going to go.
Once you’ve done that, you also need to think about the logistics of connecting and routing which parts and when to do it. For example, if you’re installing an all-in-one liquid cooler in the roof, it will block access to the top cable-routing holes, so you’ll need to route any cables through those holes before you fit the radiator.
Sometimes installation involves careful coordination, while you thread cables through holes with one hand, and hold your radiator out of the way with the other. In most cases, it involves having to carefully work out the order in which to fit some of your components. Plan it all out step by step, place by place, and you should be able to construct a smart PC with minimal swearing and cut fingers in the process.