Gateway makes business PCs cool

The new line-up of Gateway business desktops incorporate a chassis design that reduces the amount of heat and noise generated by...

The new line-up of Gateway business desktops incorporate a chassis design that reduces the amount of heat and noise generated by the system unit.

Called Balanced Technology Extended (BTX), the Intel-developed chassis design is the blueprint for Gateway's new range of E-Series PCs. Gateway introduced the BTX design earlier this year.

Gateway product planning director Marc DeMars said heat could affect the performance of hard drives and expansion cards, requiring heat sinks and fans to help PCs keep cool. Intel's latest Pentium 4 chips consume as much as 115 watts of power running under the heaviest workload, dissipating a lot of heat into a closed desktop chassis.

The BTX design relocates the motherboard and cooling fans so as to direct a stream of air over the hottest parts of a PC. Two fans, one at each end of the PC, direct air over the processor (which now resides at the front of the motherboard) and help remove heat given off by powerful graphics processors.

DeMars said one side effect of the cooler design was that a PC ran much quieter than designs based on the Advanced Technology Extended (ATX ) standard. "Because the system cools more efficiently, the fans don't have to work as hard. This should appeal to users in libraries, medical laboratories and offices who are fed up with noisy fans."

According to DeMars, Gateway measured the temperature of a BTX PC and an ATX PC using the same components and found the inside of a  BTX PC was about 4 degrees Celsius above room temperature compared with the conventional design's 10 degrees Celsius differential.

A BTX chassis costs a little more than an ATX design, which has been the predominant PC design for the last decade.

As processors grow faster and hotter, Intel and the chip industry are expected to adopt more power-friendly designs such as the Pentium M architecture for desktop as well as mobile systems.

The E-6300 is the most powerful desktop in the new line-up. It comes with a P4 520 processor at 2.8GHz, 512Mbytes of DDR2 SDRAM, an 80Gbyte hard drive and a CD-RW drive for a starting price of $989 (£530). The E-4300 costs $789 with a 40Gbyte hard drive.

The E-2300 is available for $599 with Intel's Celeron D 330 processor at 2.66GHz, 256Mbytes of DDR SDRAM, a 40Gbyte hard drive and a CD-ROM drive.

Gateway also plans to introduce a 14.1in widescreen notebook on Thursday. The Gateway M210 weighs 2.36kg and is designed for business travellers and students.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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