Yearly Archives: 2020

  • 2020

    A look back on 2020, a year no one will forget

    Updated 18/12/2020

    2020 has been a year unlike any other. No one could have anticipated the global impact and sheer scale of the COVID-19 pandemic since its initial outbreak at the tail end of 2019. Despite its unwelcomed arrival, however, and the challenges it has presented over the past year, 2020 has also provided a platform for a number of new and exciting innovations. With the Christmas break fast approaching and the New Year within touching distance, we’ve decided to take a look back over the events of 2020 and their effect on our partners, our own business, and the industry as a whole.

    All hail AMD

    Although 2020 has been rife with stock shortages and supply chain delays, the good news from AMD has kept on coming. Kicking off the year with the launch of their 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor at CES 2020, they really started with a bang. And it was only uphill from there – the Ryzen 4000 series of desktop processors offered breakthrough performance for desktop PCs following its release over the summer, but was quickly overshadowed by the Ryzen 5000 series which marked the arrival of their highly anticipated Zen 3 architecture and the “world’s best gaming CPU”. That’s all without mention of their introduction of 8-channel memory in the Threadripper PRO 3995WX too.

    Game-changing graphics

    2020 also made way for Intel’s new and disruptive Xe range of discrete graphics, which have most recently come to life inside the Intel NUC 11 Pro Tiger Canyon. Like AMD, we’ve seen two generations of processors emerge from Intel this year, with the release of their 10th gen Comet Lake-S and 11th gen Tiger Lake chips, both of which are now available across our line-up of rack mount PCs. Speaking of great graphics, we announced last month that NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series of GPUs was coming to selected models of our product range. These graphics cards truly are a game-changer for ray tracing in particular, accelerating performance by up to 2x.

    A great year for G2!

    In spite of a few stock and pricing difficulties encountered due to the virus early on, it’s been an exciting and productive year for G2 overall. We started 2020 on a high with our second appearance at Integrated Systems Europe, the world’s largest systems integration show, where we debuted new Power over Ethernet capability in our 1U products as well as the vertical variation of our 3U PC. Additionally, 2020 saw the launch of our Support Portal, helping us deliver even greater support and real-time order information to our customers. We also introduced the benefits of U.2 connectors to our products, made Dual PCIe possible within our 1U PC and 1U Nano, and added three new redundant power supply unit options to our range. To top it all off, we’re currently working on a brand-new product, the 1U Titan, which we hope to officially launch in the first half of 2021.

    While 2020 has been a strange year to say the least, a lot of good has still come out of it, and we’re excited to see where 2021 takes us. There’s plenty to look forward to on the horizon, but until then we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Ray tracing graphics cards

    Realise more from ray tracing in a rack mount PC

    Updated 14/12/2020

    Simply put, a computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU) is there to make graphics look good. Its purpose is to render the 3D visual images being processed by a PC to then bring them to life on a 2D screen. Heavily relied upon by both the gaming and the audio-visual industry, graphics can be critical to any creative project.

    Over the last decade or so, significant steps have been taken towards helping graphics produce a higher degree of visual realism. One such step is ray tracing, which allows artists to work with light in order to achieve this. While this technique isn’t by any means new, its gradual introduction into the mainstream combined with its revolutionary rendering capabilities has propelled it into popularity in recent years.

    What is ray tracing?

    Ray tracingRay tracing is a graphics rendering technique that traces rays of light and simulates how that light interacts with different objects. Using ray tracing, it is possible to achieve truly life-like imitations of how light and shadows behave within a digital scene, as it calculates this behaviour much like the human eye is able to. The difficulty is, because ray tracing is so advanced, it’s exceedingly compute-heavy and can be expensive to power.

    Thankfully, consumer-grade ray tracing is slowly gaining traction, and reduces this load drastically. It works by tracking the path of light from what is essentially a virtual camera through individual pixels to the object sat behind those pixels, and back to the light source. It can even go so far as to account for light that is absorbed by objects within a scene and creates shadows to represent this change.

    Why does it matter?

    Because the quality of graphics is increasing by the day, it’s essential to be able to render those graphics as accurately as possible. That goes for anything from the CGI used in film-making right down to the graphics-intensive apps you use every day. Before ray tracing came along, a process called “rasterization” was widely used to render scenes using polygons and shaders. However, because the behaviour of light and the way it travels is so hard to track, rasterization wasn’t sophisticated enough to achieve the degree of realism that ray tracing can. Ray tracing has massively accelerated what’s possible from visual rendering and enabled graphics to become more life-like than ever before.

    Choose rack mount for ray tracing

    For a long time, ray tracing has only been supported by NVIDIA graphics cards, however AMD have very recently entered the race with the RX 6800 XT, their very first ray tracing enabled GPU. In addition to already hosting several NVIDIA cards within our product range, we recently revealed that their new RTX 30 series of GPUs is now available in selected models of our rack mount PCs. This series offers considerable performance improvements for ray tracing among a host of other benefits. Combined with the compact size and high-performance of our rack mount PCs, you’ll realise the full value of ray tracing’s rendering capabilities.

    If you would like to learn more about ray tracing or find out how you can harness NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series in our rack mount products, please get in touch.

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

  • Tiger Canyon 11th gen NUC

    Intel Tiger Lake chips and Iris Xe graphics make their way into G2 NUCs

    Updated 04/12/2020

    While it’s been a long time coming since our initial exploration of Intel’s upcoming 11th gen NUCs back in April, we’re excited to reveal that these are finally on their way! As such, we’ll be welcoming in the Intel NUC 11 Pro Tiger Canyon prior to its official release in February 2021. The arrival of this new generation of NUCs is particularly compelling for two reasons. Firstly, they will be among the first Intel NUCs to contain the new, powerful 11th gen Tiger Lake series of processors, and secondly, will offer the benefits of Intel’s long-anticipated Iris Xe graphics cards.

    Why get excited about Iris Xe?

    AI-enhanced, Intel Iris Xe graphics enrich the creative process and accelerate performance. Thanks to Xe’s low-power architecture, users can multi-task at speed without needing to worry about battery life. Most importantly, the integrated nature of Iris Xe means the synergy between Intel chips and graphics has never been stronger.

    What else is new in 11th gen?

    As well as marking the introduction of i3, i5, and i7 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs and the integrated graphics made possible by Intel Iris Xe, the 11th gen NUCs have a lot more to offer:

    • Dual 4K HDMI 2.0 ports
    • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports – 4K Outputs, USB3 and Power
    • 3x M.2 PCIe Gen4 slots (2280/2242/2230) for expansion
    • Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
    • 2.5Gbit LAN

    This means a whopping 4x outputs are available. With the promise of quad extended displays and up to 4K support, multi-screen displays and video wall tiling effects are made easy. The addition of dual Thunderbolt ports is also a significant step forward for these NUCs, enabling both power and video output to be provided to multiple connected devices or monitors via a single cable.

    Intel NUCs. G2 innovation.

    We’ll soon be integrating Intel’s 11th gen NUCs into our innovative 1U NUC and Fanless NUC cases, so it won’t be long before you can enjoy the many benefits of Tiger Lake and Iris Xe within a G2 PC. In fact, a pre-production sample of Tiger Canyon will be arriving next week! If you would like to learn more about the latest generation of Intel NUCs and their integrated graphics, please get in touch with a member of our team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • NVIDIA RTX 30 series

    It’s all about Ampere: NVIDIA RTX 30 graphics cards now available in G2 PCs

    Updated 20/11/2020

    NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 30 series of GPUs has really hit the ground running since its launch back in September, but it seems the graphics giant isn’t quite done with it yet. With the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 already making a big impression in the market, NVIDIA is now gearing up to launch the 3050, 3050 Ti, 3060, 3060 Ti, and the 3080 Ti in the first half of 2021. This in mind, there’s a lot to look forward to from this new Ampere architecture, from improved ray tracing to significant performance gains.

    The first wave of RTX 30

    We’re already in awe of the three 7nm RTX 30 graphics cards from NVIDIA’s initial release, so we can’t wait to see what the others can do. When compared to their predecessors from the RTX 20 series, the 3070, 3080, and 3090 leave these cards in the dust. The 3070 is 37% more powerful than its 2070 equivalent, the 3080 is 24% faster than the 2080 Ti, not to mention much more affordable, and the flagship 3090 is even more powerful than that, boasting 10,496 CUDA cores and 24GB of memory.

    What we know about wave two

    With wave two of the RTX 30 series on the way, a few speculative details have already emerged about the GPUs. The RTX 3050 will supposedly be the entry point to the rest of the range, with 2,304 CUDA cores, 4GB of memory, and 90W of power consumption (TGP). The 3050 Ti in comparison will likely offer 3,584 CUDA cores, and the 3060 3,840 CUDA cores, with the 3060 Ti topping things off with 4,864. The 3080 Ti is causing the most excitement, however, offering the same core count as the 3090 as well as 20GB of memory. We could be seeing some of these cards as soon as January as they go head-to-head with AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX GPUs.

    Hooray for ray tracing!

    While NVIDIA’s RTX 20 series does offer ray tracing capabilities, the RTX 30 series greatly improves this, with dedicated 2nd gen ray tracing cores that accelerate performance by up to 2x. This is especially great news for those in video production who work with real-time rendering and require the lighting benefits ray tracing makes possible.

    The RTX 30 series meets our PCs

    We’ve already started introducing the RTX 30 series into our line-up of rack mount computers. Due to the sheer size of the cards, however, for the moment these will only be available in our 2U PC, 3U PC, and 4U Nano. As more of the GPUs emerge over the coming months, we will be implementing these into our PCs too, so keep an eye out for any updates.

    If you would like to know more about NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series of GPUs or find out how you can unlock their full value in one of our rack mount PCs, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • AMD Ryzen 5000 series

    AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of processors are coming to G2 PCs

    Updated 30/10/2020

    We are now only a few days away from the official launch of AMD’s latest 5000 series of Ryzen desktop processors. Due to be unveiled on November 5th, there is already a lot of information available about what we can expect from the CPUs, particularly with regards to the 5900X and their flagship 5950X. Importantly, the 5000 series marks the introduction of AMD’s long-awaited Zen 3 architecture, which promises significant performance gains and is supposedly “the world’s fastest processor core for the world’s fastest gaming processors”.

    Zen 3 versus Zen 2

    Based on a 7nm+ process, AMD’s Zen 3 architecture is a huge step up from Zen 2. Thanks to double the amount of L3 cache and a unified 8-core complex, Zen 3 is able to offer a huge reduction in latency and according to AMD delivers as much as 2.8x more performance-per-watt than competitor CPUs. The main appeal of this Zen 3 5000 series of chips, however, is a whopping 19% increase in instruction per clock (IPC) performance for PC workloads.

    Meet the 5000 family

    The 5000 family’s flagship 5950X is truly something to behold. With 16 cores and 32 threads, 72MB of combined cache, a 4.9GHz Boost Clock and 3.4GHz Base, it offers the highest single-thread and multi-core performance of any desktop gaming processor on the market today. What’s more, it also boasts the best multi-core performance in a mainstream CPU socket. Its sibling, the 5900X, has been dubbed the “world’s best gaming CPU”, and has 12 cores and 24 threads to speak of, along with 70MB of cache and a 4.8GHz Boost. The more modest chips of the series are the Ryzen 7 5800X and the Ryzen 5 5600X, which offer 8 cores and 16 threads, and 6 cores and 12 threads respectively.

    New boards on the horizon

    We’re already getting systems ready to ship by the 5000 series launch date, which will be using ASRock’s new X570D4U and X570D4U-2L2T motherboards. This latter variant will host the 5950X and comes with Dual X550 Intel NICs onboard. For those using AMD’s 500 series of boards, the Ryzen 5000 chips are compatible but a small BIOS update is required.

    AMD’s Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 desktop processors will be available in our 1U PC, 1U Plus, all 2U models, our 3U PC, and our 4U Nano. If you would like to find out more about how these chips could benefit your rack mount PC, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • AMD 3995WX

    AMD’s new Threadripper PRO 3995WX boasts 8-channel memory

    Updated 22/10/2020

    Earlier this year, AMD released the 3rd generation of their Ryzen Threadripper PRO series, including what is being dubbed the most powerful desktop x86 processor ever, the 3995WX. Although the chip is similar in many ways to their flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, it takes power and performance one step further.

    How does the 3995WX compare?

    While the 3995WX also boasts a beastly 64 cores and 128 threads and remains part of AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, there are a few notable differences to its 3990X predecessor. Firstly, its Base Clock sits at 2.7GHz and its Boost at 4.2GHz, as opposed to the 3990X’s 2.9GHz Base and 4.3GHz Boost. It also offers up to 292MB of combined cache rather than 288MB. However, it’s the chip’s promised PCIe lanes and memory channels that really take things to the next level.

    Get the most out of PCIe and DDR4

    The 3995WX still supports PCIe 4.0, but instead of the maximum 88 lanes available in the 3990X, the new PRO CPU offers an incredible 128 lanes! This is a huge boon for fulfilling large GPU and NVMe needs. Most importantly, though, the 3995WX has 8-channel DDR4 support, surpassing the 3990X’s quad-channel memory by a mile. By doubling the number of available channels, memory-intensive tasks can be better broken up, hugely improving throughput and performance as a result. This also means the chip is able to offer up to 2TB of RAM over and above the 3990X’s 1TB.

    Go PRO in G2 PCs

    Of course, the 3995WX’s release was also accompanied by the rest of the 3rd gen PRO series. Following on from the 3995WX’s 64-core lead, the 3975WX offers 32 cores and 64 threads, the 3955WX offers 16 cores and 32 threads, and finally the 3945WX has 12 cores and 24 threads. Importantly, to take full advantage of the WX PRO series, you will need to upgrade to AMD’s new workstation-grade WRX80 chipset, rather than the TRX40, of which there are currently limited options available.

    We’re hoping to see a supporting motherboard become available in early 2021 and are in the process of evaluating options for integrating these chips into our rack mount PCs, so watch this space for news on availability. If you would like to know more about the Ryzen Threadripper PRO series and how you can take advantage of them in our products, get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • U.2 NVMe

    NVMe U.2 hot-swappable SSDs soon available in G2 PCs

    Updated 30/09/2020

    Although U.2 connectors have been around for a while now, there is still a lot of confusion about what they are and how they compare to other types of NVMe connector. The main comparison seems to be between U.2 and the more widely recognised M.2, as the former offers a host of advantages that may eventually render its predecessor obsolete. We’ll soon be introducing U.2 hot-swappable bays into our rack mount products, so wanted to clear up some of this confusion for the benefit of our customers.

    What is U.2?

    Initially released as SFF-8639 and more recently renamed for the consumer market, a U.2 connector looks similar to the SAS interface and supports the non-volatile memory express (NVMe) host controller interface. Created to alleviate some of the challenges experienced when using connectors like M.2, U.2 is a larger 2.5” format SSD and so a more easily accessible alternative.

    Why U.2 over M.2?

    M.2 is an incredibly popular SSD connector among both users and manufacturers. And it’s no wonder – its ability to offer up to 6x the speed of a standard hard drive make it hugely appealing. In spite of these gains, however, M.2 by no means an ideal solution.

    Here are three reasons why U.2 connectors are a better bet than M.2:

    1. Accessibility

    Usually fixed directly to the motherboard, M.2 connectors are not easy to replace or remove, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. U.2 instead connects to the motherboard via a cable, and so is easily hot-swappable from the front of the PC, making the replacement process that much faster.

    1. Size

    Originally intended for thinner devices, M.2 connectors are generally very small. Because of their restricted form factor, their storage capacity is limited to a maximum of 2TB. U.2, on the other hand, is available in both 2.5” and 3.5” form factors, allowing more than double this capacity. Importantly, although M.2 is small, it typically takes up a large footprint on the motherboard. U.2 uses a lot less space, often enabling manufacturers to offer more U.2 ports than M.2.

    1. Temperature

    Another considerable advantage of the U.2 connector is that its form factor allows for a higher operating temperature. Being that much larger than an M.2 means heat dissipation is greater, seeing performance isn’t impeded when undergoing intensive tasks.

    Coming to our PCs

    U.2 offers all the benefits of an M.2 connector while improving accessibility, storage capacity, and much more. We’ll soon be introducing U.2 into our line-up of rack mount products, starting with our upcoming 1U Titan with plans to make this available throughout our entire range in the near future.

    If you would like to better understand how U.2 could benefit your rack mount PC, or discover more about our upcoming 1U product, please get in touch.

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

  • Redundant PSU options

    New redundant power supply options offer the ultimate in flexibility

    Updated 23/09/2020

    CPUs are becoming more powerful all of the time. What’s more, the tasks demanded of them are getting increasingly strenuous, so it’s imperative to ensure the machines supporting them are ready for anything. A redundant power supply unit (PSU) is a big part of the solution.

    With many of our customers keen to unlock the full potential of the latest and greatest CPU options, we’ve already taken steps to add redundant PSUs to a host of our PCs, including the 2U Nano, 4U Nano, and more recently, the 1U PC.

    Continuing to expand this range of redundant PSU options, we are pleased to announce that new 600W, 800W, and 1000W options are now available.

    Why PSU choice is so important

    With any high-performance PC, regardless of its application, you need the reassurance of knowing its outputs are guaranteed in the event of an unforeseen power fault. Adding a redundant PSU helps bolster your protection against any unexpected disruptions by offering critical failover.

    But not every PC requires the same level of contingency, so it’s important to ensure there are plenty of options available. That’s why we’ve made certain our range of PSU options covers all the bases. This flexibility allows us to better match range-topping CPUs and GPUs with their associated power demands, so our customers can get the very best out of their rack mount PCs.

    Better support for powerhouse CPUs

    Operating with a high-level power supply is a must when looking to harness the latest power-hungry CPUs, such as AMD’s 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X.

    With the choice to include a 1000W redundant PSU, you can now enjoy the full performance of the 3990X and other high-performing components safe in the knowledge that they’re backed up by an additional power supply. This 1kW PSU option is also a great fit for machines running multiple graphics cards, seeing your GPU experience is never compromised or interrupted.

    Our introduction of greater redundant PSU options is a part of our ongoing efforts to explore the best combinations of range-topping CPUs and redundant PSUs to deliver optimum performance at all times.

    To learn more about our new redundant PSU options and how you can take advantage of the latest range-topping CPUs and GPUs in our PCs, get in touch with a member of our team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • New 1U product

    A new 1U rack mount product is coming soon

    Updated 28/08/2020

    Last year, we introduced a redundant power supply (PSU) option to our 1U PC, making it the very first rack mountable 1U unit in our line-up to benefit from the improved reliability made possible by a redundant PSU. Since then, the demand for similar 1U solutions has grown even further. More frequently, customers are beginning to seek the peace of mind a redundant PSU offers alongside the powerful performance of range-topping CPUs. Achieving this within our existing 1U line-up has proven difficult, so we’ve decided to create a brand-new 1U product to meet this requirement.

    With that in mind, we’ve started work on a research and development project that aims to bring redundant PSU options and high-performing processors together.

    Introducing the 1U Titan

    Currently named the ‘1U Titan’, our upcoming 1U unit will not follow the same structure as our existing PCs, as it is not a short-depth machine. It is instead an out-and-out Server product that will offer the following exciting specs:

    • Support for AMD Threadripper and EPYC 64 Core CPUs
    • High-efficiency Enterprise Grade fluid cooling loop
    • 800W dual redundant PSU
    • Up to 2x PCIe x16 full length, full height slots
    • Up to 16x 2.5” hot swappable drives
    • Support for U.2 NVMe SSDs
    • IPMI Out of-band Management Port
    • Dual 10 Gigabit X710 NICs
    • Telescopic sliding rail kit as standard

    Water-cooling compatible

    As CPUs from the likes of Intel and AMD continue to become more and more powerful, cooling needs to keep pace. To truly get the best performance out of these processors and combat their climbing TDPs, air-cooling alone is no longer enough. They instead require custom water-cooling solutions that are purpose-built to handle the heat, which isn’t something that’s easy to implement in a compact 1U unit. Thankfully, our new 1U product has been designed to be water-cooling compatible, so you get to experience the full power of these industry-leading CPUs while ensuring their temperature is sufficiently regulated. We’re even working on getting AMD’s 64-core beast, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X, to run in our new 1U machine!

    Water-cooling for enterprise

    While water-cooling is typically associated with the gamer market, it’s also a great fit for server and enterprise applications, which is what we offer our customers. What’s important to note is our water-cooling solutions don’t actually use water – instead, they use a non-conductive fluid that protects hardware against a shortage in the event of a leak. Critically, water-cooling is also much quieter than air-cooling and actually gets thermally more efficient as the system gets hotter.

    Samples arriving soon

    While our upcoming 1U product is still in development, we’ll soon be ordering samples to test the unit’s success in achieving the right balance of redundant PSU and processor options. If you would like to find out more about the project or discover how a redundant PSU could benefit your 1U rack mount PC, please get in touch with the team.

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

  • AMD 4000 series

    AMD’s Ryzen Pro 4000 APUs are coming to our PCs

    Updated 03/08/2020

    A lot of anticipation has surrounded the unveiling of AMD’s new Ryzen Pro 4000 series of desktop processors, and for good reason. We can now officially reveal that you don’t have to wait any longer! Codenamed “Renoir”, the chips have now been launched and will be making their way into our rack mount products very soon. The new APUs are built on a 7nm process using AMD’s Zen 2 architecture and promise more power-efficient performance and advanced security than ever before. Up to 31% faster and offering 43% more performance per watt than competitor chips, these processors are really something to get excited about.

    Let’s take a closer look

    The new 4000 series consists of the Ryzen 3 Pro 4350G, the Ryzen 5 Pro 4650G, and the flagship Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G. While still based on an AM4 Socket, the APUs now boast additional functionalities such as simultaneous multi-threading for improved efficiency, giving them a significant boost over their predecessors. This series’ flagship chip, the Ryzen 7 Pro, offers a reasonable 8 cores and 16 threads with a base clock of 3.6GHz and a boost of 4.4GHz. AMD has also released two variants of the processors – one with a 65W TDP for mainstream desktops (G) and one with a lower 35W TDP for small form factor machines (GE). Designed with integrated Radeon Vega graphics, the 4000 series is set to deliver breakthrough performance for desktop PCs.

    New B550 chipset also on the scene

    Preceding the launch of AMD’s 4000 series of APUs was the release of their new B550 chipset earlier this year. This chipset comes with x16 PCIe gen 4 slots for graphics, PCIe gen 4 storage support, and a USB 3.2 gen2 port. Not only compatible with 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors, the B550 is also ready for any future Zen 3 chips so you know you’re getting the best possible value from your system.

    Enjoy AMD’s 4000 series in our PCs

    It won’t be long until you’re able to start taking advantage of AMD’s new 4000 series of Ryzen Pro APUs in our rack mount computers, so keep an eye out for the chips on our website. If you would like to find out more about when you can get your hands on the 4000 Ryzen Pro processors, please get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 3950X cooling

    Achieve optimum performance with G2’s custom cooling for the Ryzen 9 3950X in our 1U Plus

    Updated 28/07/2020

    A fantastic CPU built to support multi-core workloads and complex tasks, AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X can be an exceedingly high performer. With 16 cores and 32 threads to speak of, the desktop processor can reach dizzying Boost speeds of up to 4.7GHz. But getting the best out of the chip can generate of a lot of heat, especially when it’s utilised within a small form factor. Although its TDP doesn’t first appear astronomical, officially rated at a reasonable 105W, harnessing this within a 1U rack mount unit while using boost frequencies can draw up to 200W. Even with the recent introduction of the cooling-conscious X570 motherboard, there is still work to be done to help regulate the processor’s temperature. Our latest development project not only makes this possible, but helps our customers achieve the best possible performance from the impressive CPU too.

    The cooling conundrum

    Typically within a 1U rack mount computer, air will simply flow through the unit and be expelled without fulfilling any other purpose. But there is a lot of potential for this air flow to be harnessed as a method of passive cooling, something which is generally overlooked by PC manufacturers. Likewise, the fan on most AMD-based motherboards’ heatsink locks are not sufficient to cool the chip while trying to achieve the best clock speed possible. That leaves us with the option of a water-cooling solution, which while achievable, isn’t necessarily viable within the compact size of a rack mountable 1U unit.

    We have the solution

    Following rigorous research and development, we’ve achieved a design using rapid prototyping techniques that enables our customers to gain better performance from the 3950X while keeping the chip cool within our 1U Plus. By creating bespoke ducting that harnesses the air from the unit’s fans, we’ve made it possible to port this air flow over where the CPU sits in order to cool this passively and effectively. This sees the processor is able to consistently run at its Boost speed while only achieving a maximum temperature of 90 degrees. That way, you can get the very best out of the Ryzen chip without having to worry about things heating up.

    Keeping things cool

    This unique cooling solution will become available within our 1U Plus very soon. Until then, if you would like to learn more about how you can effectively cool AMD’s Ryzen 9 and Threadripper chips within our range of rack mount PCs, please get in touch.

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

  • ASRock TRX40 motherboard

    Enjoy Server features for the first time with AMD’s 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs

    Updated 29/06/2020

    Finding a Server motherboard that is able to support AMD’s latest generation of Ryzen Threadripper CPUs in a rack mount enclosure is not easy. One of the main reasons this is such a rare find is that generally AMD chipset boards are not configured in the way you’d expect for a rack mount server. Instead of being oriented to allow air flow front to back throughout the machine, RAM sockets are typically positioned left to right, meaning the only effective way of regulating the temperature of the blistering CPUs is by using water-cooling. This is something which has also up until recently proven a problem for AMD’s Ryzen 9 chips in 1U.

    Enter the ASRock TRX40

    Thankfully, ASRock’s new TRX40 motherboard is on its way to save the day. Designed with an sTRX4 Socket, it is able to support AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen Threadripper processors, including the 3960X, 3970X, and the coveted flagship 64-core 3990X.

    One of the very first boards on the market to offer support for all ‘Server’ features, the TRX40 is much more suited to rack mount applications. It boasts IPMI for ‘Out of band management’, ECC RAM, and Dual 10GB Ethernet to name a few key features, as well as 4x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots which make it possible to support the maximum number of lanes available in AMD’s Threadripper CPUs. This means you get to enjoy up to 3x dual-width graphics cards, depending on the unit, with enough room even left over for another card – an impressive feat within a standard ATX form factor.

    Built to help the heat

    The TRX40’s best feature, however, is its ability to enable air-cooling for the Threadripper chips thanks to the correct configuration of its RAM slots, meaning a water-cooling solution is no longer a necessity for our 3U and 4U cases. Additionally, by separating its CPU power connectors and placing them either side of the motherboard, this drives better power efficiency, resulting in a lower temperature overall.

    Nearly ready!

    We’re working closely with ASRock to develop the TRX40 motherboard and ensure it is able to successfully fulfil our customers’ needs. That way, we can be certain you’re able to enjoy AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3000 chips without a hitch. We’ll be receiving a pre-production sample of the board very soon and are excited to start getting this into our products. You can expect to see the TRX40 emerge across our 2U, 3U, and 4U Workstation and Server units over the coming months, so keep an eye out for an update.

    While you wait, if you’d like to find out more about how you can enjoy AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen Threadripper CPUs in our rack mount products, please get in touch.

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