Fan Technologies Unwound
There have been fans in computers ever since the power demanded by the components inside outstripped the cooling capabilities of passive convection. For CPUs, this occurred in 1989 with the launch of Intel’s 80486, commonly known as the 486. Discrete graphics cards were ushering in a new era of 3D aming in the late ’90s when cards like ATI’s Rage Fury Maxx, NVIDIA’s RIVA TNT2, and 3DFX’s Voodoo Banshee all launched with active cooling. PSUs have shipped with built-in fans for even longer, and at least one intake and one exhaust fan have become the minimum requirements in PC enclosures.