These Tiny Fans May Keep Chips From Losing Their Cool

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.

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