More and more computer makers are using Intel Corp.'s i486 microprocessor chip to create superspeedy desktop computers. The latest version of the chip, the 486DX2, has the raw number-crunching power of some mainframes. But, like mainframes, these speedy chips produce a lot of heat. That's because the 486 uses 5 to 7 watts of power, compared with 1 watt for the older 80386s. Trapped in a small desktop case, the 486 can quickly hit 170F--just 15 degrees below Intel's suggested maximum operating temperature.
But Sacramento-based PCubid Computer Technologies offers PC builders and owners a way to avoid processor burnout. Instead of adding extra fans to vent the computer cabinet, it offers the CPU Kooler, a 2-inch square fan that fits right on top of the 486 chip itself. "It's a pinpoint solution to a pinpoint problem," says company founder Norman W. Bailey.