• AMD 3995WX

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

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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 Max 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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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 Max

    Currently named the ‘1U Max’, 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-conducive 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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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 , by Geoff Undrell

    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