Gateway Plays It Cool With BTX Chassis

Thursday Nov 11th 2004 by Lauren Simonds
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This new design promises better airflow to keep hot components cool and to seriously decrease noise. We tell you why that's such a big deal.

The interior design of a computer isn't exactly something SMB owners (or other normal people) spend a lot of time thinking about. But a new Intel-developed design spec promises to make computers run cooler and quieter &#151 two good reasons why you should keep reading.

Gateway's new E-Series consists of three different PC models, one of which &#151 the E-6300 &#151 features a chassis based on Intel's new Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) specification. BTX is a new computer form factor that purportedly provides better air circulation to counteract the heat generated by today's processors and graphics cards and is also said to greatly reduce acoustic levels.

Gateway's E-6300 uses more and significantly larger cooling fans than the ones found in today's ATX-based computers. The company says that the fans, combined with the redesigned interior, create a wind-tunnel effect drawing air directly over the processor and the graphics card, while improving overall circulation within the box.

What's In It For Me?
So how does this help small business owners? According to Marc Demars, a gateway product manager, keeping a PC at a cooler temperature means the internal components will last longer. "Hard drives are the most vulnerable component in a computer," said Demars. "We expect to see hard drive mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) increase by 50 percent," said Demars.

In addition to increasing the life of interior components, BTX-based systems were designed to be much quieter. Demars says that because the fans in the BTX box are so large, they don't need to spin as fast. The slower spin produces a much lower sound that's harder to hear. "The reduced noise level makes the E-6300 a natural choice for SMB owners who need to run computers in quiet environments such as libraries, medical labs, classrooms or lobbies," said Demars.

System Specs and Pricing
While Gateway designed the E-6300 to be quiet and cool, it also designed it with high-performance in mind. Systems will be available the week of November 22. You can go to Gateway's Web site and configure the E-6300 to your particular needs. The basic configuration price starts at $989 and scales up. We list the main components below:

  • Pentium 4 HT processor
  • Up to 4GB of DDR2 400 MHz memory
  • 7200 rpm SATA hard drives ranging up to 250 GB capacity
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128 MB memory and integrated audio
  • Seven-bay BTX case
  • Six USB ports, two Firewire ports, three PCI slots
  • Integrated 10/100/1000 NIC compatible with gigabit network capability
  • Three-year limited warranty
  • DVD-RW/CD-RW or floppy drive options
  • Windows. XP Pro

Gateway also offers the E-6300 in a small business configuration. With the E-6300 SB, you have the option to pre-bundle Microsoft productivity applications.

The Rest Of The E-Series
The E-4300 and the E-2300 are ATX rather than BTX systems, but they each offer four- and six-bay configurations. Extra bays give you the option of adding various components like DVD burners or extra hard drives.


Gateway E-6300 with BTX design
Gateway E-6300: The new BTX design uses larger fans and a wind tunnel effect to cool interior components. The turquoise box channels air from the front fan to the rear fan directly over the computer's processor.

Both models will be available starting November 15.You can configure either model on Gateway's site. The E-4300 base model starts at $949 while the E-2300 starts at $629. Like the E-6300 SB, both models are also available in small business configurations.

Gateway E-4300 Specs

  • A range of Intel 5XX HT and Celeron D 3XX processors
  • Up to 4GB of DDR2 400 MHz memory
  • 7200 rpm SATA hard drives ranging up to 250 GB capacity
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128 MB memory and integrated audio
  • Four- or six-bay chassis
  • USB and Firewire ports, two PCI slots
  • Integrated 10/100/1000 NIC compatible with gigabit network capability
  • Three-year limited warranty
  • DVD-RW/CD-RW or floppy drive options
  • Windows. XP Pro

Gateway E-2300 Specs

  • Celeron or Pentium 4 processors
  • DDR 400 MHz memory
  • 7200 rpm SATA hard drives ranging up to 250 GB capacity
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 with 128 MB memory and integrated audio
  • Four- or six-bay chassis
  • USB and Firewire ports, two PCI slots
  • Integrated 10/100/1000 NIC compatible with gigabit network capability
  • Three-year limited warranty
  • DVD-RW/CD-RW or floppy drive options
  • Windows. XP Pro

Gateway's Server Deal For SMBs
If you're in the market for a new server, take a look at the server special Gateway's offering online. The Gateway 9210 server starts at $269 (after a $230 mail-in rebate).

For that price you get a 2.6GHz Celeron processor, 256MB DDR SDRAM, 80GB Serial ATA 7200 rpm IDE hard drive, one-year, next-business-day limited warranty on parts and labor, plus one year HW tech support. You'll note that the price doesn't include the operating system, but Gateway's offering Microsoft's Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition for $449 &#151 a hefty discount off of the typical $600 to $800 price.

Basically, before shipping, tax and the rebate, the server plus the operating system will cost $998. Use the site's build-your-own configuration tool to increase the processing speed, memory, storage capacity, warranty, tech support and, of course, the overall price.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!
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