So as i was looking through the pics in the Desktop/Tower Picture Thread and i realized that the majority of you really have done little to no cable/wire management at all (don't worry i used to do the same thing) but then i got tired of it looking like utter ****, which it does when you don't do wire management.
Here are a few tips in what to do to make your case to meet professional standards:
First what you will probably want to do is strip everything out of your case, start fresh, this will make for a much easier time overall if you do this. Second you will probably want to clean it of any dust/grime that has built up over the period it has been used, this will make markings more visible when you are drawing out the portions of the case behind the motherboard that will need to be removed so you can run the majority of the wires out of the sight of the onlooker.
If you haven't already, i would suggest buying a sleeving kit so you can sleeve all of your cables while they are out of the case(this is only really for the cables that are not already sleeved in you case)
Ok now that everything is removed, take only your motherboard and place it in your case where it will be mounted when you are done and mark off any portions that are closest to the input/output connections on your motherboard, once you have a mark for each of these, you will want to offset each of the marks 1/2 inch to the inside of the motherboard, this will be the boarder mark for the outside of each cut to make sure you do not have any exposed holes. When marking off the entire hole to cut, make sure that it is not only big enough for the wires but also for the connectors at the ends of each wire to fit through.
Now that you have your holes marked off go ahead and make the cuts (i prefer using a dremel tool to do this since you can fit them in pretty tight spaces and it will make things go a little quicker) Remember you can only make a cut once so TAKE YOUR TIME!!! After all of your cuts are made, clean up the edges with a file then get some course sand paper and smooth them out to make sure you get rid of any burrs left over and sharp edges that may cut into your wires (I also cut some small pieces of duct tape to like wrap around the edges just for good measure)
This is what the wholes should look like once you are done (marked in the red circles):
Ok your holes are cut now...Good job, next thing on the list is covering the drive bays and cages in your case, these are the leading factor to a messy build plus doing so will give you more space to hide wires. This is pretty simple, just measure off the areas that you want to close off, draw up a nice template on some manila paper(the big sheets of off colored paper you used to use in 1st grade to make those big ugly drawings) get a piece of aluminum or stainless steel sheet metal and tape the template to it (try and use as many of the precut sides as possible, this will make it look a little cleaner, the fewer cuts the better.
once those are all done find a few good screw points that will not interfere with any drives or devices in you bays, drill the necessary holes and screw the sheets down.
Now comes the fun part, putting everything back in.
First thing to do is run all of the necessary cables to the motherboard through the holes you have cut (this means you will have to install the psu first) now run all of the cables through the matching holes in the motherboard. Now (making sure all of the motherboard offsets are in the right places) you will want to put the motherboard in the case without mounting it, attach all the cables to it that will be used, now as you are lowering the motherboard into place, pull any excess cable through the back of the case. once you motherboard is firmly mounted in place with all of the wires/cables attached you can start to install everything else. after the motherboard is installed the order of the installation of the other parts really doesn't matter just as long as you do them one at a time (usually it helps if you run the wires before you secure anything down like hard drives, disk drives, etc because you will be limited to the amount of space you can fit you hand or a connector on the end of a cable through once they are mounted) The last thing is to install all of your fans (remember to run the wires first before you mount them)
1. Every wire thats there can be hidden, you just have to get creative to keep it out of sight.
2. Zip Ties are your friend
(you can get a assortment of different sizes at lowes or home depot for cheap) You will go through a lot of them.
3. Cover the stuff that is unsightly.
4. DON'T RUSH!!! Take your time and get it done the first time.
This is what it SHOULD ultimately look like from the viewers perspective:
While on the other hand the backside will look like absolute trash, but don't worry that will be covered up by the removable side of your case
Please if you see something wrong or want to add something tell me and ill change/consider it. (I'm talking to the ST:T regulars)
Before and After pics are wanted to show a real difference (i wish i still had the old pics of my case when it was nasty to really show you how big a difference it made)