Come September, computer maker Gateway Inc. will be among the first in the industry to begin outfitting its desktop machines with a new cooling architecture intended to reduce fan noise and increase airflow around high-powered chipsets. The technology promises quieter computer labs for schools, ensuring that teachers won't have to raise their voices to be heard over the incessant humming of students' desktops--and it also should reduce the chance of overheating or other mechanical failures.

Called BTX, or "balanced technology extended," the new design is intended to deal with the increasing amount of heat generated by...

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