Products

  • 2U Nano Flight Case

    2U Nano on tour: life in a flight case

    Updated 19/02/2018

    More and more frequently, we are seeing an increasing need for rackmount PCs that are flight case-portable, particularly from our AV and digital media customers. Most media servers on the market today are too large and impractical to travel comfortably between different events, making transportation of the necessary kit awkward and time-consuming. We recently interviewed Lewis Kyle White (LKW) of Pixels & Noise, a well-regarded content and visual design company and G2 customer, to discover why portability is such an important aspect of their product selection and why our 2U Nano rackmount PC in particular turned out to be the “perfect solution” to their problem.

    The 2U Nano in flight

    2U Nano on TourLKW’s 2U Nano was custom-built to support real-time rendering software, Notch – an app that enables users to create interactive video content and is key to the services they deliver. The 2U Nano’s compact design and suitability for high-performance workloads was ideal for running Notch, and has now become LKW’s dedicated machine for this purpose, mainly used for show preproduction work. However, being such a flexible machine, it’s equally at home when used for both show rehearsals and live production, without having to hand the latter over to larger media servers.

    The Notch-specific 2U Nano is transported to various shows across the country in a flight case, being small enough to easily fit on planes and trains as needed. Its 370mm ultra-short-depth chassis means that there is also plenty of room left within the case for any additional kit, or it could even conceivably be joined by a second 2U Nano within the same rack, as these are half the depth of standard media servers.

    The unit has visited the Barbican, The Fast and Furious Live arena show, and on its very first outing, MTV’s Europe Music Awards, where it was the primary box on-site for Notch work for The Killers, helping to create visuals from real-time 3D scans of the band. It has also recently made an appearance at the 2018 BAFTA Film Awards, and travelled to Amsterdam for this year’s Integrated Systems Europe!

    Why choose the 2U Nano?

    2U Nano Flight CaseAs the height of servers was such an issue, and an important factor for Lewis Kyle White, they had searched for a long time to discover a suitable chassis before coming across G2’s 2U Nano solution. The machine itself, with no moving parts to speak of, is extremely robust and durable, and when housed within its flight case becomes even more ruggedised and secure during transit. Its mounting options are incredibly versatile, in that it can be rackmounted from the front as well as the back of the unit, which is a rarity. What LKW also found surprising was how diverse and expandable such a small unit could be, providing multiple options to interchange graphics cards and other components to further boost its performance.

    With such a professional-looking, flexible machine in hand, LKW has already seen the business benefit, after only 6 months of use. They have had multiple enquires from potential customers following their purchase of the 2U Nano, if only due to its portability, which puts LKW heads and shoulders above other designers and operators using larger servers for their productions.

    The value of a G2 unit

    “G2 were very accommodating throughout the entire process, and went out of their way to help provide me with all of the components I needed from the 2U Nano. They considered seemingly minor elements that ended up adding real value to my experience; I was always confident that they truly knew their stuff and would be completely transparent with me.” – Lewis Kyle White, Director

    If you are in need of a portable, high-performing unit such as the 2U Nano for AV and digital media shows or installations, or would like to learn more about our line-up of rack-mountable PCs, please get in touch with the G2 team.

     

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Products, Technical Articles

  • 4U Nano short depth Rack PC

    Our 4U Nano rackmount PC has arrived!

    Updated 05/02/2018

    We are very pleased to announce that our 4U Nano rackmount PC is now in stock! Since posting about the unit’s development back in July, we’ve worked hard to get the finished article prepared for release, and are now really looking forward to seeing it in action.

    This marks the very first 4U machine to join our growing and varied product line-up, harnessing some powerful and instrumental features that bring a whole world of new opportunities to the G2 portfolio. The 4U Nano was designed specifically to support high-end graphics (GFX) cards, such as NVIDIA’s GTX 1080 Ti – a graphics processing unit (GPU) that has been gaining popularity across many of our products, making the machine an ideal fit for demanding audio-visual and digital media installations. It’s arrived at the right time, too, with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti new on the scene, being able to accommodate more dual-width GFX cards in a single unit than any of our other machines.

    Its graphics capability is also more than matched by superior reliability features – including support for up to 1500W ATX power supplies plus the option to add a 680W redundant power supply unit; so you’re covered in the event of a PSU failure. This winning combination means the 4U Nano is an attractive machine for crypto-miners, with enough compute power and configuration options to build a highly capable rig.

    The 4U Nano’s long list of exciting features extend to:

    • Up to 4x Dual-Width Graphics Cards or 8x full height and full length PCIe cards
    • Up to 4x 3.5” Hot Swappable Hard drives
    • Up to 8x 2.5” Hot Swappable SSDs/Hard drives
    • Optional Redundant 680W power supply unit
    • Support for 1500W ATX Power Supplies
    • DVD Drive Support

    Despite housing such high-performance componentry, the 4U Nano remains modest in size, its short-depth 370mm deep case design perfect for installations that are limited by space. It’s also rack-mountable, and therefore easy to affix, even in the most challenging of environments.

    If the 4U Nano rackmount PC is the unit you’ve been looking for, or else if you would like to discover more about its capabilities, please get in touch with our team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Tiny PC

    Our Tiny PC gets some big changes!

    Updated 20/11/2017

    In recent months many of our machines have received updates or re-designs.  It’s part of the ongoing innovation cycle we go through to keep our family of products at the forefront of what’s possible and relevant to our customers’ needs.  We currently have our attention turned to customer favourite, the Tiny PC.

    Squeezing excellent componentry and solid performance into a small-scale, value for money package, the Tiny PC is a sound choice for all sorts of requirements. With new processor variations now available, it’s due an upgrade to keep up with modern standards.  However, the new Tiny PC won’t simply be a next-generation of the same machine, we have taken the opportunity to transform it into a more advanced and versatile unit. We won’t be departing from the original formula that has made the Tiny so popular, but the updates will offer more flexibility, including range-topping processor options and most importantly a full height PCIe slot which we have fitted into the same small form factor design.

    Don’t be fooled by its 215(W) x 205(D) x 80(H)mm case size; the new Tiny is packed with some big features:

    • Full height PCIe x16 slot
    • Intel i7, Xeon and Fanless CPU options
    • Wall mountable
    • Optional RS232 port

    Given its compact design and the capability to wall mount the unit, the Tiny PC offers flexible installation options.  Plus, the addition of an optional RS232 serial port provides greater connectivity with your peripheral devices, and fanless options mean you won’t need to worry about noise, either.

    We’re in the process of getting our new-look Tiny PC ready before the grand unveiling – keep your eyes peeled for its launch, it won’t be long until you see the enhanced Mini PC in all its glory.

    If you would like to learn more about what to expect from our upgraded Tiny PC, or want to understand the Mini PC options available to you from our product line-up, please speak to one of the team.

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

  • GTX 1070 Ti

    Introducing NVIDIA’s new kid on the block, the 1070 Ti

    Updated 06/11/2017

    Last month, our article about NVIDIA’s ground-breaking new Volta architecture hinted that there may also be a new GeForce graphics card in the works, the GTX 1070 Ti. We can confirm that this new GPU was in fact officially launched in the latter half of October after much deliberation over its existence. We’re really excited by this news, considering the demand we’ve been seeing for the GTX 1080 Ti GPUs within our products over the past few months.

    While as yet we don’t have the full details of NVIDIA’s latest creation to share following the launch, what we can confirm is that the GPU will sit comfortably in-between their high-end GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards. Its performance, though, does leave its older sibling, the 1070, in the dark – this will instead come close to rivalling the 1080 at only around 5% short of its power.

    Its memory capability won’t quite reach the dizzying heights of the 1080 and 1080 Ti, however, with 8GB of GDDR5 rather than GDDR5X memory, this time resembling the 1070’s specs.

    The remainder of its specs continue to borrow from its close relatives:

    • Pascal architecture
    • Base clock of 1607 MHz
    • Boost clock of 1683 MHz
    • 8GB GDDR5 memory
    • 180 TDP
    • 2432 CUDA cores
    • Only one streaming multiprocessor (SM) disabled

    Leading up to the new GPU’s launch, a lot of speculation surrounded whether NVIDIA is blocking overclocking for the GTX 1070 Ti – as far as we know, they will not be. It’s possible that they will be locked for hardware manufacturers on release only, but our research indicates that manual overclocking will still be enabled.

    We’re keeping our ears to the ground for any further news on the GTX 1070 Ti, but in the meantime we’ll be looking to see how we can best accommodate the new GPU within our products in order to optimise its graphics potential for our customers.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the GTX 1070 Ti, or else would like to discuss how we use NVIDIA GPUs in our range of Rack and Mini PCs, please do get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Volta

    NVIDIA’s Volta architecture – the next step in GPUs

    Updated 23/10/2017

    In recent months we’ve readied a number of our machines to deliver an exceptional graphics experience. Much of this has been made possible by NVIDIA’s GTX 10xx-series graphics cards, which we have already implemented into several of our popular units to satisfy a wide variety of different applications.

    Most notably, we’re in the process of building our very first 4U Rack PC – the 4U Nano. This powerful yet compact machine is the only one of our current product line-up able to accommodate multiple high-end graphics cards, such as the GTX 1080 Ti and M6000, which is why we’ve got our eye on NVIDIA’s latest innovation.

    Introducing Volta

    NVIDIA has taken its GPUs to the next level with an entirely new architecture called Volta. Volta has been purpose-built for artificial intelligence, recognising the monumental influence the technology is beginning to have in a number of industries and its ability to solve problems previously thought unsolvable.

    Born from Volta is their most powerful GPU to date, the ground-breaking Tesla V100. Just one of these GPUs delivers comparable performance to 100 CPUs, making it an ideal match for High Performance Computing (HPC) and heavy compute workloads. Its main function, though, seems to be rooted in deep learning, a branch of AI that ‘learns’ about data in order to make sense of it. As well as massive leaps forward in bandwidth since their earlier Tesla P100, the V100 GPU offers 12x more deep learning training performance than its predecessor.

    On top of that, it boasts some incredible specs:

    • 640 Tensor cores
    • 12nm process
    • 21bn transistors
    • 900 GB/sec

    While the Tesla V100 is a GPU exclusive to the data centre, we cannot wait to see what the rest of the Volta architecture will yield. It’s unlikely that we’ll get to enjoy the benefits of this exciting new processor family until 2018, but in the meantime, we may have a new GeForce GPU to look forward to, in the GTX 1070 Ti.

    We’re intrigued by what Volta could mean for our products, and will continue to do our research to ensure we’re pairing our customers with the best graphics technology on the market.

    If you would like to learn more about the new Volta architecture, or else discover how we’ve applied NVIDIA’s graphics cards to our machines, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • vMix

    vMix is mixing up video production software

    Updated 10/10/2017

    Over the past couple of months, we’ve regularly been approached by several customers with a demand for systems compatible with the popular video production software from vMix. Live video production and streaming software, vMix has recently shot to popularity due to its seamless, cost-effective, and high-quality output. Feature-rich, it enables users to stream, mix, and publish live productions with ease in HD, SD and even 4K.

    To get the best out of your investment in vMix requires powerful, reliable host hardware.  We’ve turned all of our audio-visual know-how to creating some suitable reference builds for anyone looking for a PC to run vMix.  We now have a number of Rack PC options ready to enhance your vMix experience.  These systems include:

    • Best-in-class 7th generation Intel processors
    • Options for multiple full-size PCIe cards in the same chassis
    • The choice of powerful graphics cards like the GTX 1080Ti
    • Ultra-fast SSD hard drives
    • Small form factor designs ready for the production studio

    The configurations are perfectly suited to meeting the video production demands of vMix, seamlessly enabling multiple cameras, a variety of device inputs, HD recording and streaming.  Industrialised componentry and redundant power supplies also offer valuable peace of mind during critical production projects.

    We’re big fans of this software, and have already started pairing our customers with our new machine builds.

    If you’re seeking a vMix-compatible unit, or would like to know more about our machines, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 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

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