News

  • Intel chip

    Intel welcomes a new future of chip design

    Updated 31/05/2017

    Every single day we are seeing innovative efforts open up new and unexplored realms of technology that redefine our perspective of the future and its untapped potential. Drones, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning – the possibilities are truly endless.

    As momentum within these different areas is beginning to really build for Intel, they have made the decision to change the way in which they approach the design of their chips. Their active involvement in AI, autonomous vehicles, and drone technology has had a large hand in their re-evaluation of the chip landscape, enabling them to realise the greater potential and value that can be gained from an alternative chip design.

    So what can we expect?

    Where once its key technologies were all integrated into a single piece of silicon in what has been referred to as a monolithic design, Intel is now adopting a more heterogeneous approach to development.  This will allow them to instead mix and match different cores into a single chip, regardless of node or architecture, meaning chip development will no longer be restrained by the hold-ups of previous manufacturing processes. The step-change has been brought about as a result of the dramatic slowing witnessed with Moore’s Law in recent years and will take system-on-chip thinking to a whole new level.

    Using what has been dubbed the Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), multiple chips can then be embedded onto a single die, enabling both higher bandwidth and scope to develop chips for a wider range of devices.

    The Benefits

    The new heterogeneous design and the use of the EMIB will mean a load of new and exciting benefits from future Intel chips:

    • Production of better products and cost structures for customers
    • Faster throughput and the option for multiple throughput technologies
    • Higher bandwidth than PCIe
    • Improved communication between cores
    • Greater flexibility leading to higher performance and less power
    • EMIB allows use of cores made of different materials, which could replace silicon

    Led by this new heterogeneous design, Intel is now looking to the future to ensure that any chips produced from hereon in are able to suit the host of devices that exist today, and will exist tomorrow.

    We will, of course, be considering the implications of Intel’s chip design changes within our product range as these come into effect. If you would like to find out more about the new heterogeneous design or else how this may impact our products, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Partner Programme

    We’re looking for ‘Heroes in Hardware’ – join our ranks as an official Partner

    Updated 16/03/2017

    We’re delighted to announce that our brand new Partner Programme, Heroes in Hardware, is coming soon. The Programme is a framework that allows us to reward the loyalty and dedication of the companies reselling our products, and celebrate the spirit of partnership by making a wide range of benefits available. We truly value our existing partner community, but are also looking to grow this with a host of new opportunities for mutual gain.

    G2 Partners, Assemble

    Our 4-level approach identifies the degree of investment customers have made in G2’s products and accordingly defines your partner level. Every G2 partner will initially on-board at the ‘Partner’ level, however there is plenty of opportunity for quick progression to gain even greater commercial benefits through an increasing spend and level of commitment.

    Benefits fit for a Hero

    Heroes in Hardware provides considerable advantages both for our partners and their customers, with increasing rewards throughout each partner level.

    1. Discounts increase on a 4-level scale, helping partners to boot margins.
    2. Raise your profile as a G2 product reseller by having your company appear on the ‘Where to Buy’ section of our soon-to-arrive revamped website.
    3. Our exceptional warranty and extended support options will also be available for our partners to offer to their customers.
    4. As we’re ‘Made in the UK’, manufacturing and shipment costs are kept to a minimum, allowing companies to reap the benefits of sourcing locally.

    We make the process of becoming a G2 partner simple. If you would like to learn more about how to become a Hero in Hardware, please get in touch to request a joining pack.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Intel Xeon v5 processors

    Xeon v5 Processors now supported in our new ‘Industrial’ and ‘Server’ systems

    Updated 10/03/2017

    The hype surrounding Intel’s influx of innovation over the past couple of months came to a head at CES 2017 when their new 7th generation line-up took centre stage. However, the excitement still hasn’t ebbed due to the anticipated arrival of their Skylake Xeon v5 processors, which are beginning to gradually become available as part of the new updates.

    But how do they differ from v4, and why should you be holding out for the benefits of v5?

    Core, blimey!

    All we can say is that the number of cores speak for themselves. Where the topmost E7 v4 processor variant (E7-8890) only saw at its top end a 24 core chip, Intel has confirmed a 28 core E7 v5 processor with 165W Thermal Design Power (TDP). This is a considerable step up, with a lot more compute power promised as a result. But that’s not all – there is even a possibility that a flagship E5-2699 v5 processor could arrive on the scene with 32 cores and a gigantic 64 threads! That’s really something to look forward to.

    Here’s what we know of the Xeon v5 processors so far:

    • 14nm process node
    • LGA 3647 socket
    • E5 range for 2S/4S chips = up to 26 cores
    • E7 range for 4S/8S chips = up to 32 cores
    • 6-channel DDR4 support
    • Up to 38.5 MB L3 cache (E7)
    • At least 20% faster than v4

    The increase in performance of the v5 will naturally come with a price, but it is understood that they won’t be overwhelmingly more expensive than their predecessor.

    We’re thrilled to announce that our new ‘Industrial’ and ‘Server’ series variants of our 1U PC and 1U Nano products are now able to support Intel’s Xeon E3 and E5 v5 processors, our S325 and S345 models already integrating and using the next-gen CPUs.

    Kaby Lake v6 also on the cards

    We don’t mean to jump the gun, but specs are also now emerging with details surrounding the upcoming Kaby Lake E3 v6 processors due to a premature list release. What we can reveal is that the TDP for the v6 will be lower than the v5 by around 7-8W, depending on graphics, and each E3 processor will have 8MB of L3 cache. We can already see these will be faster again than their v5 siblings.

    There is still a lot on the horizon for Intel, and indeed for our products, with the Xeon v5 processors now available in a selected range of our server models. If you think the new Xeon processors could benefit you or you would like to talk more about their advantages, just get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Intel Kaby Lake

    Intel Kaby Lake kicks clock-speed up a notch, and more besides

    Updated 13/02/2017

    Since the overwhelming successes of Intel’s Skylake architecture last year, the word on everyone’s lips has been ‘What’s next?’ for Intel. We caught only small snippets of information throughout the latter half of 2016, which kept us holding our breath in suspense, until the new Kaby Lake CPU line-up was finally officially introduced at CES 2017.

    So what’s the big deal about Kaby Lake? 

    Like its predecessors, Broadwell and Skylake, Kaby Lake is also built on 14nm technology, and on the surface doesn’t really seem altogether that different to these previous architectures. However, what it has done is dialled its clock-speed up to eleven, making overclocking easy, and has so far demonstrated some really impressive results. Its flagship processor, the i7 7700K is now capable of a base speed of 4.2 GHz and a Turbo Boost speed of 4.5 GHz, even known to comfortably reach new heights of 5 GHz, and beyond. This is driving far greater speed and efficiency across the board thanks to Intel’s Speed Shift technology, even though its performance has stayed still at x86.

    Despite its largely unchanged architecture, there is a lot to look forward to from the advanced features offered by the Kaby Lake line-up.

    Compatible with 6th gen

    Important to note is that Kaby Lake follows Intel’s new Process, Architecture, Optimisation design model, although the processors will be backwards-compatible with their 6th gen ancestors.

    Video media engine

    This new addition to Intel’s processor makes 10-bit content look like a piece of cake. Not only that, but it can also decode Ultra HD video on-chip without affecting battery life – in fact, Intel is claiming a 3x improvement on battery life when decoding 4K on Kaby Lake.

    Intel® Iris Plus 640/650 graphics

    The updated graphics core allows users to stream 4K services with ease, and edit 4K video in real-time. It’s even been suggested by Intel that the 650 will show up to 65% improved graphics performance than the 630, which is great news for those in rich media creation.

    Intel® Optane Ready

    Following the excitement surrounding Intel’s new Optane memory, their next-gen CPUs have an M.2 slot on each board ready for Optane technology, which will act similarly to Intel Smart Response Technology, using Optane as either traditional storage or else to accelerate system performance.

    Support for Windows 10

    As expected, the CPUs are compatible with Windows 10. Following Skylake’s lead, Kaby Lake’s LGA 1151 socket also makes it pin compatible for seamless integration with legacy boards.

    Intel’s Kaby Lake processors have begun shipping, and because of its compatibility with Skylake motherboards we are already integrating them into our own range of Rack and Mini PCs. If you would like to know more about Intel’s new line-up or which of our products will feature it first, just get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 7th gen NUC CPUs

    2017 ushers in long-awaited 7th gen NUC for Intel

    Updated 23/01/2017

    We’ve been on the edge of our seats in anticipation of Intel’s new 7th gen NUC line-up ever since they revealed their intentions back in August. There’s already been a lot of speculation and leaked information about what to expect in 2017 from Intel, but thanks to their announcement at CES 2017, we’ve now been given a bit more of a glimpse into their secret world.

    The 7th gen NUCs are now available for pre-order, built with new CPU architectures Intel has dubbed ‘Kaby Lake’ following on from the successes of Skylake. We have also learned, to our great delight, that the disappointment we faced when board-only versions of the 6th gen NUC were dropped is slowly subsiding with the promise that a vPro ‘Commercial’ variant of the 7th gen will be back.

    Here’s what to get excited about from the latest hardware:

    • Intel 7th generation Core i3, i5 and i7 processors
    • Two HDMI 2.0 Outputs for full 4K support
    • Intel Optane Memory ready
    • Support for Windows 10
    • 3 year product lifecycle

    It’s anticipated that the i3 processor NUC models will ship later this month, and the i5 and i7 processor NUCs are due to ship in April.

    The most important thing to note about the new 7th generation NUCs is that a product line for both Commercial and Consumer will be available. Here at G2, we have access to the Commercial line-up which will come as a board-only configuration by itself with a vPro variant specifically designed for Enterprise deployments.

    We’re very much looking forward to the 7th generation NUC to start shipping and can’t wait to start building it into our next wave of machines. As the first company in the world to rack-mount the NUC, our team is poised to continue this innovation.

    If you would like to find out more about what to expect from the 7th gen NUC, please contact us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Optane SSD

    Happy New Year from Intel: Optane SSDs arrive in consumer PCs

    Updated 16/01/2017

    By unifying memory and storage into a single component, Intel recently uncovered what we deem to be the Holy Grail of universal memory. Their ground-breaking 3D XPoint technology is set to be a major disruption to storage as we know it, promising to be denser than any DRAM, and faster and better performing than any solid state drive (SSD) available on the market today.

    It may be a while until we see 3D XPoint going mainstream, however, as it is not yet available for public consumption and we don’t anticipate it will be any time soon. Yet there is the possibility of a great start to the year, thanks to Intel and memory technology leader Micron, as they’ve recently started bringing 3D XPoint’s ‘Optane’ SSDs to consumer-grade PCs.

    What we can expect from the Optane drives:

    • Both a 16GB and 32GB version
    • Two PCle 3.0 lanes that exchange data
    • 4GB/s 128KP read and 300 MB/s write performance (16GB)
    • 6GB/s read and 500MB/s write performance (32GB)

    We’ve also already been blown away by the Optane’s speedy capability after Intel released a demo of it in late 2016, when they tested its ability to copy files at an astonishing 1.94 GB per second!

    It doesn’t come without its limitations, though, as Intel continues its push to ensure users are upgrading to their more recent releases. The Optane drives will only be compatible with Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors and their latest CPUs. In fact, it’s very possible that the next-gen Macbook Pro will come with built-in Optane SSDs. It’s likely that Optane will ship within the second quarter of 2017 – definitely something to look forward to this year.

    We’re really excited about this release, as whilst it’s consumer-focused at this stage, it demonstrates the promise of the technology and that Intel has begun to trickle-down Optane into market-available machines.  Naturally, we will be keeping our customers closely informed on Intel 3D XPoint and how it might feature in G2’s future products.

    If you would like to know more about the storage and memory technologies used in our products today, please get in touch.

     

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Colossal 60 TB SSD breaks new ground in storage market

    Updated 19/10/2016

    A tidal wave of opportunity is on its way for systems manufacturers following August’s Flash Memory Summit in California, as data storage company, Seagate, unleashed the Kraken of solid-state drive storage – their 60 TB SSD.

    This incredible progression from Seagate sees Samsung’s 15 TB revelation of last year dwarfed, as the 4-times-larger 60 TB drive is now leagues ahead as the world’s largest. And Seagate’s ambition doesn’t stop there – they are fully confident that their 3.5-inch form factor design will be able to scale-up to as much as 100 TB!

    As testament to its colossal capabilities, the 60 TB SSD is able to store 400 million photos or an equivalent of 12,000 films. Its high-density form factor is built to support both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ data, so this data no longer needs to be dealt with separately.

    We’re excited about what we can expect from Seagate’s SSD monster, as early revelations include:

    • Dual-Port 12 Gbit/s SAS interface
    • Micron’s latest NAND flash
    • 150,000 random read IOPS
    • Exceptional power efficiency with 4 TB/watt

    The pricing for the 60 TB SSD has not yet been confirmed, however it is promised that the cost per Gigabyte will be the most economical seen to date. It is speculated that we can look forward to seeing Seagate’s creation breach the surface sometime early next year.

    SSD storage is available across all of G2’s products.  To learn more and see our options take a look at our line-up or contact one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

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