Vendors power down hot PCs

Vendors power down hot PCs

CRT monitors will be out of the picture in Gateway's 2-GHz PCs.

Gateway Inc. and other PC makers have reacted promptly to President Bush's call for more energy-efficient appliances by adding LCDs and additional heat ducting to new 2-GHz desktop computers.

Randy Farwell, director of Gateway's U.S. product marketing, called it a 'sawtooth thing'each new generation of CPUs has more challenging thermals.' Without changing power supplies or adding more fans, he said, engineers have managed to cool down the hot-running 2-GHz Pentium 4 PC lineup.

Hard drives and Rambus dynamic RAM are significantly larger this fall, he said, with 20G drives and 256M of RAM common because of big price reductions from suppliers.

LCD suppliers have made equally big reductions, he said. Gateway has priced the Professional S2000 with a standard 15.1-inch LCD at $1,999, including a 16X CD-rewritable drive, an optical mouse, Microsoft Windows 2000, Office XP and a coupon for Windows XP, set for release later this month.

Heat-dissipation trends include the immersive heat sink, promoted by Hewlett-Packard Co., which centers the CPU in the heat sink instead of gluing the sink on top. That puts more of the chip's surface in contact with heat-dispersing metal.

Some recent motherboard designs from Dell Computer Corp. place the Pentium 4 CPU off to one side in a plastic housing with its own separate ventilation system.

Dell's new 2-GHz Precision 330 workstation starts at $1,697 and the OptiPlex GX400 with a 17-inch CRT at $1,866.

Design and name changes in Pentium 4 PCs from Compaq Computer Corp. and HP, which announced a merger this month, have not been announced.

GCN senior editor John Breeden II contributed to this article.

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