- Fan control
- Cable management
- Performance optimization
- “Control Your Computer’s Fan Speeds for Better Performance When You Need It, Silence When You Don’t”
- “How to Auto-Control Your PC’s Fans for Cool, Quiet Operation”
- “SpeedFan: A Guide to Universal Motherboard Fan Control”
- “Need to know how many fans my motherboard can support”
There’s cable management inside the case, and there’s cable management outside the case.
If you want a general idea of how to approach cable management, check out this timelapse playlist of per-case cable management. Remember that you can slow down the playback speed in desktop browsers to help you with the details. There may even be a video for your case.
cableorganizer.com gives you a good idea of what tools are available.
For information on how to manage the cables outside the case, check out my own setup.
ASUS has something called Aura, which is their RGB lighting system. They’ve also got something called “Aura Sync” for synchronizing the lighting of different components in your computer.
The problem with this is that it’s not some universal standard supported by a wide selection of products—which I guess is convenient if you want to coerce consumers into buying only your brand of products. As such, the concept isn’t super persuasive.
These motherboards have an RGB (or LED) header to plug your RGB/LED strips into to customize and synchronize your lighting.
Sometimes you want the looks of the LED lighting, and other times you just want the convenience of some lighting to help you see your motherboard for diagnosis and further customization, like this ASRock Z270 Gaming K6 Fatal1ty model.
I don’t like the neon hell of motherboards, but this soft lighting (at 2:55) is pretty cool and lets you revel in your work. The lighting stays on when the computer is powered off for your convenience. This is a killer feature.
The Trident Z RGB do not support Aura, so bear that in mind.
Cable sleeving lets your customize your cables with thicker, braided cables, but more important, colours. Like watercooling, this can quickly get very expensive, and it’s something you can always do at a later time.
You can either sleeve them:
You can also consult Lutro0’s Frequently Asked Sleeving Questions”
Sleeving cables yourself is a lot of work and somewhat complicated, so you can also just buy the pre-sleeved cables directly from stores like
Like any customization, some people find it tedious while others may find it to be the most rewarding part of it. To each their own. No one says you have to buy all the cables at once; maybe buy a few parts and see how it works for you. If it doesn’t, then you won’t be much poorer and frustrated for it.
I don’t plan on doing any watercooling so I won’t be doing a guide on it.
EKWB have a terrific “How does liquid cooling work”.
There’s a good video about EKWB’s custom loop configurator which selects parts to purchase for your specific setup:
You check out the configuration EKWB recommend for my build where the only customization I’ve made are
- Which components I want cooled: CPU, GPU, not RAM
- Hardness of tubing
- Silence vs overclocking potential
I think I screwed up the reservoir and pump part, though.
EKWB’s kits section is very useful for seeing the different options side by side.
Beside the cooling benefits of watercooling, it can also contribute significantly to the distinct look of your rig with the right tubing and coolant colour:
The components you generally want to watercool are:
You can also watercool your
In order to cool your GPU, you need to funnel coolant through it. This requires a water block compatible with your specific model. In my case, I got a Palit GTX 1080 GameRock Premium. Fortunately, EKWB1 have released a water block compatible with this very model: the EK-FC1080 GTX JetStream. What this also means, of course, is that you will have to buy a new water block, whenever you get a new GPU.
Watercooling your CPU is a lot easier.
Crystals can be used to refract your lighting. Check it out:
Another thing some people do to get more out of their CPU is delidding:
There are caveats, and Intel probably know what they are doing, as der8auer points out in “The Truth about CPU Soldering”:
Stop hating on Intel. Intel has some of the best engineers in the world when it comes to metallurgy. They know exactly what they are doing and the reason for conventional thermal paste in recent desktop CPUs is not as simple as it seems.
Micro cracks in solder preforms can damage the CPU permanently after a certain amount of thermal cycles and time. Conventional thermal paste doesn’t perform as good as the solder preform but it should have a longer durability—especially for small size DIE CPUs.
Stuff like this is why I don’t try to mess with too much, even though people on the Internet tell me “it’s totally fine, dude”.
The “WB” in “EKWB” stands for “water blocks”. ↩︎