Manufacturer:Shakmods UK price (as reviewed):From £8 US price (as reviewed): N/A
One of the most rewarding, but also the most time consuming, tasks many modders undertake is braiding their PSU cables. It's fiddly, laborious and can very often take days if you're doing it extensively. Some say it's quite therapeutic, others loath it with a passion, but most people agree on one thing. The end result is worth it.
Colour-matching your cables to the colour scheme of your PC is one of those added touches that transforms your project from a simple paint job to a swoon-worthy masterpiece. It makes it look neater and emphasises attention to detail. However the time it takes to do properly can be very off-putting. You need to go through the awkward process of removing each cable from it's connector, sleeving it and then reattaching it. You'll also need to fork out for a cable remover kit.
Thankfully, there is another option. Many companies are now offering pre-braided extension cables that allow you to hide your PSU's unsightly spaghetti, and proudly show some braided cables instead. It's an instant fix and they're a match for anything a pro-modder could achieve too.
Shakmods is a newcomer to the scene of pre-braided cables. In fact, its main website still isn't up and running when we were writing this, but it has sent us a selection of its pre-braided products that are available at ModPC from £8. Our set was customised with red and white braiding - something that can be requested before you buy if you prefer to mix and match your colours, but solid colours are available direct from the website.
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It's not as cheap as buying the braid yourself - 24-pin ATX cables will set you back £20 if you opt for two-colour braiding, while two-colour 8-pin 12V EPS or graphics card cables cost £10 and 6-pin PCI-E cables £8. Shakmods told us it's hoping to get a machine to do the job in the near future, which should drive prices down. WHile the dual-colour cables come at a premium, the single-colour alternatives are much the same price as competing cables from the likes of Bit Fenix, NZXT or mod/smart. As far as we know, Shakmods are the only company to offer two-colour cables and a customisable service too.
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Back to our samples and the first thing we noticed was that unlike other pre-braided cables we've seen, Shakmods hasn't used the usual paracord or textile material for the braid itself. This is prone to fraying and catching on sharp objects. Instead Shakmods has used much stiffer nylon stranded braid. This looks and feels great and despite running our finger nails up and down them several times, they looked good as new so should be very durable too.
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Shakmods claims this material is easier to work with if you decide to braid your own cables (the braid is available from them as a stand alone product too) and we have to admit it looks much neater than paracord braid, especially where it enters the connectors. The only thing some people might take offence to is the glossy nature of the braid - in a well-lit case you might get some reflections, especially if you photograph the case with long exposures, but the effect is light and not noticeable under normal conditions.