That's One Mother Heat Sink (9/1/00)
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Holy yikes; we all knew that chips from Intel are following a "bigger, faster, hotter" trend, but things are really starting to get out of control-- especially in the "bigger" and "hotter" categories. The first time we saw a Pentium II in its carrier cartridge doohickey, we mistook it for a paperback book. Based on that experience, we never got around to checking out a Pentium III assembly, concerned that it might fall on our toes and break them, or that the heatsink would fall off and we'd be flash-roasted on the spot-- AtAT staff, Crispy Skin. But when we checked out the Slashdot posting sent to us by faithful viewer Jason Bunston, well, we were sort of at a loss.

It seems that the upcoming Pentium 4 is so huge that it doesn't actually fit in existing PC cases. Its "standard heatsink" will reportedly weigh "about one pound," which is so heavy that it needs "four supports below the CPU," thus requiring a "new motherboard tray." As if that weren't crazy enough, the Pentium 4 also needs a new power supply, because it uses a new four-connector plug-- presumably because it sucks down power like a man dying of thirst sucks down soda on Free Refill Night at Chili's. Hence, new computer cases for the Pentium 4.

Judging by this report, we can only assume that Intel's well on its way to crafting the world's first microprocessor with its own measurable gravitational pull. Best of luck to them. Meanwhile, the PowerPC isn't just behind on clock speed, but on sheer mass as well. Hopefully when (if?) Motorola ships processors above the 1 GHz level, we Mac users will also get to experience the joys of cantilevered supports and heatsinks that could pass for a Buick.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 9/1/00 episode:

September 1, 2000: Funny, there's no Cube commercial-- is Apple just shopping for the right song? Meanwhile, FreeMac.com has been reincarnated as NadaPC.com, but the deal's gotten a lot less interesting, and Intel's new chip is so huge it may need a whole new case and power supply...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2521: In Search Of A Theme Song (9/1/00)   So there we were, your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff, logging some serious couch time last night. Our respective butt grooves had faded from the furniture during our week-long pilgrimage through the Midwest, and now that we're back, we're trying to remind the living room set who's boss by asserting our shared role as the reigning couch potatoes of the house...

  • 2522: The Big FreeMac Letdown (9/1/00)   Hands up, who remembers the FreeMac.com fracas? FreeMac originally announced that it would "give away" a million iMacs to "qualified individuals" who signed up for three years of EarthLink dial-up service...

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