Seasonic SCMD puts the kibosh on cable spaghetti

As usual, a bunch of cool products debuted at this year's Computex. Possibly our favorite thing to come out of the show this year is the Seasonic SCMD. That stands for System Cable Management Device, and it's a long, narrow box that sits behind your motherboard tray. Rather than trying to run modular cables around your system and into your power supply, you can simply route shorter cables from the SCMD to all your devices.

In theory, the SCMD could really clean up cabling for compatible systems, and we're sure many a gerbil is salivating at the prospect. It all depends on how it actually works in practice, though. It's not clear whether using the SCMD will require purchasing a power supply that includes it, or whether it's a standalone item that you can use with a competitor's units. In the images we have available to us, it appears to be paired with a specific power supply, which leads us to think that it's a feature of certain upcoming Seasonic PSUs rather than being a case accessory.

We have a lot of questions about the SCMD, and unfortunately Seasonic isn't sharing many details yet. We know it's being built in collaboration with Phanteks, and that it will include RGB LED lighting. The purpose of the lighting is a bit questionable considering that most cases don't have a window on the right side. The SCMD could make cases with a window on that side much more appealing, though. We'll let you know as soon as we hear more about this very interesting innovation.

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    • trackerben
    • 1 year ago

    It’s another device you pay to plug wires into. Not sure where it fits in my love/hate relationship with cables, but it surely adds up to more than a threesome.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Nice idea in theory but this looks to be a vendor-lock to Seasonic that breaks compatibility with the ATX standard, so it’ll only work in cases that are designed to house this proprietary system.

    It’s also a bit late, since most cases are now unncessarily vast with cable-management systems designed into them.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough for this [i<]solution-looking-for-a-problem[/i<], M.2 is replacing SATA, and mulitple GPU adoption has taken blows from multiple fronts. Many a tempered-glass, showcase PC will be running M.2 storage, or at least SATA drives that are hidden out of sight anyway with one or maybe two GPUs and that's it. The only visible cables are to the motherboard and GPUs or two, with all of the fans usually being run off a single PWM hub if more fans than motherboard headers are actually used.

      • BillyBuerger
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, but for people who don’t like cable mess even if you can’t see it, this could be really nice. Although the one issue I see is that you still need to have cables that are the right length like they show. Otherwise, you’ll have to tie up the extra somewhere back there anyways.

      I personally don’t mind being locked into Seasonic. That’s who I buy for my PSUs anyways. But unless they have some proprietary signaling on the wires going into it, there’s nothing to stop other PSUs or adapter cables being created to plug other PSUs into it. Just make sure you got the right voltages plugging into the right wires.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        That’s the thing, it’ll only look neat with custom short cable lengths to clip into this SCMD, otherwise you’ll need to tie up the excess cable to avoid it being a mess.

        Here’s the thing; If you need custom cable lengths for this system [i<]anyway[/i<], why not just use a normal modular PSU and shorten the cables on that as required instead? All this SCMD is actually doing is converting part of the cable into a plastic box, it's not magic, and there are still wires running down the inside. The difference is just that cable is wires in sheathed flexible tubes, and this plastic box is wires in a rigid plastic box. If you like the look of a plastic box, then just buy a plastic box and route your normal cables through that instead. Just about the only advantage this system offers is that it moves the modular PSU backplane from an area which can be hard to reach in a cramped case that jams drive bays right in front of the backplace to somewhere more accessible, but that really is a pretty contrived problem that has a super-obvious (free) solution - plug the cables in before installing the PSU if there's no room to do it later!

          • UberGerbil
          • 2 years ago

          Well, there’s the root of an idea here: if the connector were standardized, and [i<]the case itself[/i<] came with this electrical manifold (or distributor, if you prefer: either word is better than that acronym) and a set of cables that were appropriate lengths for that case. Then the PSU could just have a single cable to attach to this (and maybe some additional modular plugs for things like HDs that might be closer to the PSU than this manifold) and power distribution would shift from the PSU mfr to the case maker. But that would jack the actual COGs of a case considerably, so it would only be a feature of the $200+ cases. And you'd likely still find that you needed some other cables that weren't included... and those cable runs wouldn't be some nice multiple of 6" so you'd end up with loops of cable somewhere anyway. And all that just to make it easier to make things a little neater for people who actually care.

      • ptsant
      • 2 years ago

      How is it vendor specific? The end plugs are standard and the box seems to fit behind the backplane without some specialized support.

      I think it’s cool, but I wouldn’t pay a huge premium for it.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        The article says it’s built in collaboration with Phanteks, which implies it might need mounting support from the case vendor.

        If you look at the first photo you can also see two thumbscrews just above the large ribbon cable at the bottom of the box, meaning that it likely requires special tabs on the back of the motherboard tray to screw into.

        I also think it’s cool but it’s not holding up to basic scrutiny very well IMO.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    Love the concept, but since when has any company had to provide a rationale for adding RGB LED lighting? They add it because they can, and because the market for it *seems* insatiable.

    • UberGerbil
    • 2 years ago

    There’s LEDs in his case already
    Cable spaghetti

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