• Intel Quartz Canyon

    Quartz and Provo Canyon: the next generation of Commercial Intel NUCs

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Although Intel’s chip shortage is predicted to last slightly longer than we anticipated, there is some silver lining to take comfort in – Intel will soon be launching a new ‘commercial’ line-up of next-generation NUC PCs. While there is plenty of information already available on the upcoming Quartz Canyon NUC, the lesser-known Provo Canyon has been more tightly kept under wraps. Because so little is currently known about it, we wanted to give you a better insight into what to expect from the new NUC to ensure you’re suitably prepared for its release.

    Get reacquainted with the Quartz Canyon

    Before looking into the Provo in any detail, we thought we’d provide you with a quick overview of the Quartz Canyon and why this workstation-specific NUC could be of significant interest. It supports an 8-core Xeon or 9th Gen i7 processor, ECC Memory, and boasts a PCIe expansion slot. A 100W internal power supply is also a notably attractive feature, as is the availability of 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports. We have high hopes the NUC will be fast and furious, offering serious processing capabilities in a small form factor.

    Introducing the Provo Canyon

    The more elusive Provo Canyon also brings a lot to the table, with support for Intel’s latest 8th gen i3, i5, and i7 range of CPUs as well as its own Thunderbolt 3 connector, which could mean super-quick data transfers and a third display output. It’s not short on its sheer number of available ports either, with Dual HDMIs and the Thunderbolt port allowing up to three native connections. What’s especially exciting about this NUC, however, is the fact that it offers extended display identification data (EDID) emulation. For headless, 2nd virtual, and persistent displays, this important feature ensures extended AV signals are optimised and any EDID information is achievable regardless of the cable types involved in your installation, meaning you can more easily match the needs of the display you’re working with. This could really be a gamechanger for audio-visual production environments.

    Not long to wait!

    We’re expecting even more information on Intel’s 8th generation NUCs this month, so watch this space for more news. In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about the next-gen NUCs or discover how our innovation has made it possible to rack mount Intel NUC PCs, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPUs 3rd gen

    AMD’s 3970X and 3960X Ryzen Threadripper CPUs on sale!

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen Threadripper desktop processors has finally arrived, and just in time for Christmas too – having gone on sale at 2pm today. Built using AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture, the latest additions to their incredible line-up of CPUs are the 3970X and the 3960X. Both are run with the new TRX40 motherboard chipset, and promise higher clock speeds and improved efficiency and performance to help content creators “realise their creative vision”. The chips will very soon be available within selected models of our products, so for now we wanted to give you a taste of what you can expect from them.

    Power, punch, and PCIe lanes

    Purpose-built to handle lightning-fast creative workloads, there is a lot to get excited about from the new Threadripper CPUs. The 3960X boasts 24 cores and 48 threads with a base clock of 3.8GHz and a boost of 4.5GHz, with its higher-end sibling, the 3970X, offering a massive 32 cores and 64 threads and a base and boost clock of 3.7GHz and 4.5GHz respectively. Most impressive, though, is the availability of up to 88 PCIe 4.0 lanes in both chips, something which makes them ideal for multi-GPU configurations. It’s no wonder that AMD is claiming the 3970X is the world’s most powerful desktop processor, especially with 144MB of combined cache.

    Coming soon…

    Following the official launch of the 3rd gen Threadripper CPUs, AMD will be releasing its flagship 16-core and 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X chip on 25th November, which has been anticipated for some time. Along with this, AMD has stated they’ll be providing the new Ryzen 3000 processors with a new ‘eco-mode’, wherein you can scale your Thermal Design Power (TDP) back to significantly reduce power consumption. This can even take the 3950X’s TDP down from 105W to 65W, but does come at the expense of some performance. Having said that, AMD has confirmed that the chip can successfully run at 77% standard performance using only 44% of its power.

    AMD Threadripper in G2 PCs

    We’ll soon be getting our hands on the new 3rd gen Threadripper chips to build these into members of our product family, adding to the growing amount of AMD chips already available in our PCs. If you would like to find out how to take advantage of the powerful CPUs in a G2 PC, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Intel Xe graphics card concept

    Intel’s new Xe graphics cards are on track for a 2020 launch

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    For the past few years, AMD and NVIDIA have indisputably been the ones leading the charge in the graphics card market, but with chipmaker giant Intel soon stepping into the same arena, this could all be set to change. Since their announcement back in August last year, Intel has been working away on its own discrete graphics card dubbed the Xe DG1. However, because they’ve been keeping these graphics cards very close to their chest, as of this moment, we know very little about what to expect from Intel’s upcoming GPUs. Only that we can’t wait to get our hands on them!

    What do we know about the Xe graphics cards?

    The only thing we really know is that it’s very likely we’ll get to see Intel’s Xe graphics cards coming into the fray sometime in 2020. The actual release date is still under a bit of speculation, with some rumours suggesting we could see it as early as June 2020 and some erring on the side of a release much later in the year. Intel’s Senior Vice President of Architecture, Graphics, and Software and former AMD engineer, Raja Koduri teased the launch only last month with a cryptic tweet of a new personalised number plate that read “THINKXE” and an expiry date of June 2020, which may be grounds enough to support the theory.

    A lot of potential and power

    While we can’t pin down anything exact for the time being in terms of the GPU’s anticipated specs, what is possible is that their top end 512 Xe card could end up outperforming NVIDIA’s RTX 1080 Ti, based on some speculative estimates made by the tech enthusiast community, which gives us an idea of anticipated performance. More recently, there’s also been evidence to suggest that Intel is intent on implementing multi-GPU technology with its Xe GPUs. This could enable people to double up on their graphics cards to achieve more power, while creating an easier upgrade path by splitting the cost over two different purchases. It could also mean that anyone using both Intel CPUs and GPUs in tandem could see even greater benefit, as the graphics card would work with the integrated graphics within the processor to aid more complex tasks.

    It’s alive!

    Last week, Intel’s Senior Director of Discrete Graphics and Visual Technologies Marketing and another former AMD employee, Chris Hook tweeted that the discrete Xe graphics cards are “alive!”, having been officially powered on and now in a functional working state. We’re very excited to hear the new GPUs are currently being tested, and are looking forward to seeing exactly what they can do next year. Adding to the good news, Intel has also confirmed they are on track to release their first 7nm GPU in 2021, something we’re equally anxious to see.

    If you’d like to find out more about Intel’s new discrete Xe graphics cards or discover how you can take advantage of the GPUs within our range of Rack and Mini PCs, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • G2 Digital is heading back to Amsterdam for ISE 2020

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Following our successful trip to Integrated Systems Europe earlier this year, we’re delighted to announce that G2 Digital will be returning to Amsterdam for our second year running as an exhibitor! We had such a fantastic time at the world’s largest AV systems integration show in February that we couldn’t wait to get started on our plans for ISE 2020. As of May 2019, we were also proud to become a member of CEDIA, one of the leading associations for the global audio-visual market, and a co-owner of ISE.

    What to expect

    We’re dialling things up to eleven this year, with an even bigger stand than before in one of the most popular halls at the four-day show. Located in Hall 15 on Stand S282, we’ll be exhibiting among some of the most well-known and respected names in the industry, including technology giant, Google.

    Accompanied once again by our growing range of compact and rack mount PCs, we’ll be giving you the chance to take a rare look ‘under the hood’ of our innovation and gain a better understanding of the build and design process that goes into creating our products. We’re also really looking forward to demoing the impressive high-end graphics capabilities of our brand-new 3U PC for the first time live on the stand. What we’re most excited about, however, is seeing you get better acquainted with our Intel-based Power over Ethernet (PoE) products, the 1U Intel NUC, Fanless NUC, and Bantam. Get ready to discover exactly why PoE is the perfect solution for PC installation.

    ISE just gets better

    Host to 1,300 exhibitors and over 81,000 visitors in 2019, we have no doubt that ISE 2020 will be the biggest and best event to date. We’re thrilled to be heading back to the RAI Amsterdam and can’t wait to show off what our incredible line-up of PCs can do. Registration for the event is now open, so if you would like to join us from 11th – 14th February 2020, contact us and we’ll share our unique code with you to register for free as a G2 guest!

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Our new 3U PC is purpose-built for PCI expansion

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    After our announcement back in July that the new 3U PC was on its way, we can officially confirm that it is now available to purchase. We’re thrilled to finally welcome the unit into our product family, where it has taken its rightful place as the first of our 3U units.

    The perfect PC for PCI expansion

    3U PC 3 Dual PCIeWe’ve designed the 3U PC to be as versatile as possible, meaning it’s ideal for PCIe expansion. And because our units are used for all kinds of different applications across various industries, we’ve allowed for even greater flexibility by offering two variants of the unit, with horizontal and vertical PCIe slots respectively. This makes it so much easier to enjoy the benefit of multiple graphics (GFX) cards inside a single rack mount PC.

    Our horizontal model rises the PCI card through 90 degrees, enabling 2x consumer GFX cards 3U Redundant PSU 7 PCIto fit comfortably into the machine thanks to 5x full height single bays. Importantly, any GFX cards with power connectors built into the top edge, like NVIDIA GTX, can be used without compromising on the height of the unit – something which is typically difficult to achieve in 19” Rack units. By comparison, the vertical model of the 3U PC offers 7x full height single bays, allowing up to 3x professional GPUs to be fitted, whether Quadro or AMD.

    Here’s what you can expect from our latest PC:

    • 448(W)x457(D)x133(H)mm
    • 2x 3.5″ or up to 6x 2.5″ hot swappable SSD/HDD bays
    • Up to 7x PCIe x16 slots
    • Dual Socket AMD EPYC or Intel Xeon CPU Support
    • Rubber mounted internal cooling fan(s)
    • Optional 800W Redundant Power Supply
    • Optional water-cooling functionality

    Get it while it’s hot!

    We can’t wait to show you what our 3U PC can do. It’s got a load of PCIe potential to look forward to, so if you would like to find out how you can make the most out of your graphics cards by getting your hands on the new unit, get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

    AMD’s 3900X CPU sets a new standard for performance

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Titan chipmaker AMD’s 3rd generation Ryzen 9 3900X processor has got us very excited indeed. Since its official release on 24th July, the fast and furious CPU has already proven incredibly popular – so much so, in fact, that the overwhelming demand has meant that AMD is currently experiencing a chip shortage. It’s no wonder too – AMD is claiming that the 3900X is the world’s most advanced processor, with more speed, memory, and bandwidth than its predecessors, which is why we can’t wait to get it into our PCs.

    A powerful processor straight out of the box

    The 7nm desktop CPU is part of AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, and boasts 12 cores and 24 threads, seemingly leaps and bounds ahead of Intel’s flagship i9-9900K, which is still using a 14nm process and has 8 cores and 16 threads by comparison. And although the Ryzen 3900X’s boost clock speed is only 4.6GHz, a whole 0.4GHz less than the Intel chip, it seems that this isn’t a massive loss, as its performance is hugely impressive regardless.

    The revolutionary Ryzen chip promises some seriously awesome specs:

    • 12 cores, 24 threads
    • 4.6GHz Boost Clock
    • 3.8GHz Base Clock
    • 64MB L3 cache
    • 105W TDP
    • PCIe Gen 4 support

    The CPU that can handle anything you throw at it

    Thanks to its exceptional multi-core performance, the 3900X seamlessly handles multitasking, making it the ideal chip for demanding media applications such as video production that require a powerful, high-performing processor. It even works better when it’s working harder, needing less power when running intensive tasks than the i9-9900K. It does, though, typically consume more when left to its own devices.

    Coming to G2 products soon

    We’re hoping to see stock restraints for the Ryzen 3900X subside by the 1st week of October, so are very much looking forward to seeing what they can do when paired with our line-up of Rack and Mini PCs. If you would like to find out more about how you can get your hands on AMD’s exciting 3rd gen chip within our machines, please get in touch with the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Power over Ethernet NUC

    Power over Ethernet: The perfect rack mount solution

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    As specialists in the design and manufacture of PCs for challenging environments, we understand how difficult many PC installations can be, sometimes stopping a project in its tracks before it’s even begun. And it’s not simply a case of negotiating considerations such as case size and weight – the tidiness of your comms cabinet as well as the setup of a reliable Wi-Fi connection can also prove obstructive depending on your unique circumstances. We believe that a big part of the solution in the future will be making the most of the possibilities presented by Power over Ethernet.

    We’ve recently seen an overwhelming demand from our customers for products that capitalise on Power over Ethernet (PoE), and are therefore delighted to announce that we’ve designed a device to help you get the most out of PoE within selected models of our product range.

    Why Power over Ethernet?

    Power over Ethernet is the ideal solution for complicated PC installations. Seamless yet incredibly powerful, PoE enables both power and data to be transmitted through a single Ethernet cable. For this reason, it’s the perfect fit for challenging and remote installations, particularly in locations where a mains power cable would prove impractical. With less cables to contend with, it makes mounting your G2 units easier and ensures your comms cabinet remains uncluttered. Most helpfully of all, as the Ethernet cable required to run our PoE hardware is usually already installed in many office buildings, PC installation is instantly more cost-effective. And, thanks to its transmission via a wired Ethernet connection, your data stays far safer and connectivity is more stable. More and more often, PoE-powered products are proving themselves as the best possible choice for tricky PC installations. That’s why we’ve introduced PoE support to some of our most popular products.

    Nothing but Ethernet

    Available across both our 1U NUC and Bantam PCs, but soon to extend to the rest of our product line-up, our bespoke Power over Ethernet device enables you to take advantage of all four PoE standards:

    • IEEE 802.3af-2003, Type 1
    • IEEE 802.3at-2009, Type 2 or PoE+
    • IEEE 802.3bt-2018, Type 3
    • IEEE 802.3bt-2018, Type 4

    With all of this captured in a single PC, you could therefore not only benefit from PoE+, which can support devices with up to 30W of power such as VoIP phones, but PoE Types 3 and 4, which support information kiosks, video conferencing, high-performing digital signage, and much more. Conformity with all the prevailing standards means our products offer lots of flexibility when designing solutions using PoE.

    However, what’s important to keep in mind when considering PoE is that it is a developing technology. It’s not possible to use it to simply power any legacy PC, so it’s critical to understand what you’ll be investing in, as well as the practical and commercial implications, before you decide to make the change.

    Our range of PoE-powered PCs were designed specifically with complex installations and all of the necessary considerations in mind, so you’re free to enjoy all of the opportunities Power over Ethernet represents.

    If you would like to learn more about how you can harness the power of PoE in one of our products, or else find out the best way to migrate to PoE-powered hardware, please get in touch with one of the team.

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