Monthly Archives: September 2017

  • Intel 8th generation

    Solar eclipse sheds some light on Intel’s 8th generation

    Updated 21/09/2017

    Aligning their launch in time with the solar eclipse, Intel released the first round of information surrounding their 8th generation core processors last month. Teasing out the anticipation for Coffee Lake, it was revealed that the latest laptop and desktop chipsets will instead be based on Kaby Lake architecture, with the promise of Coffee and Cannonlake still to come in the near future.

    Karen Regis of Intel’s Mobility Group claims that their 8th generation will house their “most powerful technology to date”, the Kaby Lake Refresh and Coffee Lake CPUs maintaining a 14nm architecture with Cannonlake ushering in a new era of 10nm chips.

    While only the laptop and notebook specs for the 8th gen were officially discussed during the livestreamed launch, we can still draw a number of conclusions as to what we can expect from the Commercial and Enterprise editions.

    Here’s what the first instalment of the 8th gen processors will be bringing to the table:

    • 40% performance over previous Kaby Lake architecture
    • 4K content playback
    • UHD 620 graphics
    • Support for Windows 10
    • Quad-core processor
    • Virtual and mixed reality capabilities

    Though we can’t say for certain how these features will translate to the Commercial line-up of the CPUs, what is clear is that the 8th gen will be a significant step up in terms of performance from previous Intel generations, offering a faster, better, and simpler experience.

    We’ll have to wait until later in the autumn for a proper glimpse at the products for Enterprise, but until then we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more news on Coffee Lake and readying our products for the onset of the 8th gen CPUs.

    If you would like to learn more about Intel’s 8th gen line-up, get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Crypto-mining

    4U Nano could open up a gold mine for crypto-mining

    Updated 13/09/2017

    Cryptocurrency is ruling the virtual roost right now. It is today an exceedingly popular method of making online, anonymous transactions, and the interest in it is only growing.

    What is it?

    Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money, like Bitcoin, that can be ‘mined’ for over the Internet. Whenever a transaction is made between two digital wallets, it is the job of miners to verify these transactions and add them to a public ledger, but in order to do this, they must solve a mathematical puzzle or algorithm that increases in difficulty. Opportunities to mine from these transactions is completely open, so solving the equation happens on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the miner has completed the puzzle, they are rewarded with a fee and any new ‘coins’ that are created as a result of the transaction.

    Becoming a crypto-miner takes an enormous investment in equipment and time, as the puzzles they are presented with are extraordinarily complex, however, the return can be phenomenal.

    We may have the solution

    The most successful way of generating enough compute power to tackle the mining process is through the use of high-end graphics cards. We’re currently in the process of developing a brand new rackmount PC, the 4U Nano, which we believe will be the perfect companion for crypto-miners. Purpose-built for high-end graphics, it’s the only one of our product line-up able to accommodate multiple graphics cards, with room for up to four dual width cards such as the NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti or M6000. To ensure non-stop performance, we’ve also included the option for a 680W redundant power supply on top of standard support for up to 1500W ATX supply. We think this flexible, small form factor machine could be the answer to gaining the huge horsepower necessary for mining, but with lots of options to achieve a viable rig at a competitive price.

    The supply challenge

    The difficulty is that due to the surge in popularity for crypto-mining, graphics cards, particularly the likes of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, are selling like hotcakes. It is becoming increasingly challenging to get hold of them at all, let alone at a reasonable cost. AMD’s RX Vega GPU was only released last month and its first wave sold out in minutes. However, as a leading UK PC manufacturer we’re used to experiencing constricted supply, so scour the globe for alternative supply routes for these very situations.  The 4U Nano is just around the corner and we’re confident that by the time we release it in the coming weeks, we will have overcome the supply issues currently being seen in the market.

    For more information on our 4U Nano for crypto-mining, or the NVIDIA graphics cards we use in our products, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Development Projects, News

  • Intel 7th gen NUCs

    Sampling Intel’s Kaby Lake 7th gen NUCs – ready for release soon

    Updated 05/09/2017

    Since their launch at CES 2017 in January, we’ve been looking forward to seeing Intel’s new and innovative range of 7th generation NUCs come to life. We’re thrilled to say that that time is edging ever closer. Built on Intel’s new CPU architecture, ‘Kaby Lake’ – the name currently on everyone’s lips, we can’t wait to see what the 7th gen NUCs can do.

    With this exceptional line-up of features, it’s easy to see why:

    • Intel 7th generation Core i3 and i5 vPro processors
    • Two HDMI 2.0 Outputs for full 4K support
    • Intel Optane Memory ready
    • Support for Windows 10
    • Four USB 3.0 ports
    • 3 year product lifecycle

    What’s equally promising to note is that a vPro ‘Commercial’ variant of the 7th gen will return following the disappointment faced when board-only versions of the 6th gen Skylake NUC were dropped last year.

    Very soon, we’ll be welcoming the arrival of preproduction samples of the Commercial NUC line-up from Intel. The NUC7i5DNBE will come as a board-only configuration by itself with a vPro variant specifically designed for Enterprise deployments.

    It’s expected that the Commercial 7th gen NUCs will be officially released in the final quarter of this year, most likely in December. As the first company in the world to rack-mount the NUC, we’re excited to start integrating this technology with our machines, further optimising the Intel experience for our customers.

    If you would like to find out more about the release of the 7th gen NUC, please contact us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products