• 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

  • X570 motherboard

    Our 1U PC can now harness ‘Server’ Features with AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    AMD’s new powerhouse Ryzen 9 and Threadripper processors generate a lot of heat. Up until now, the only way of cooling the chips down has been to use our custom water-cooling solution to regulate temperature, which depending on the application can be difficult to achieve.

    An even harder task is finding high-performing 1U rack mount computers able to support a full ‘Server’ feature set like ‘Out of band management’ and ECC RAM. Generally speaking, this is because AMD motherboards are incompatible with most rack mountable cases, so enjoying the benefit of the Ryzen chips in smaller units just isn’t possible.

    That’s where ASRock’s new X570 motherboard chipset comes into play.

    We’re getting 1U ready for Ryzen

    Compatible with AMD’s 3rd generation of processors, as well as their upcoming Zen 3 architecture, the X570 is a Socket AM4 chipset with a big feature list. The impressive chipset now supports 3200MHz and ECC RAM, an IPMI Management Interface, a VGA onboard GPU port, and Dual 10Gb/s Intel NIC ports. This is great news for our customers, as it means for the very first time we’re able to offer support for AMD Ryzen CPUs within our 1U Workstation and Server models, including their impressive Ryzen 9 3950X.

    Cool and compact

    As well as being a more compact board, the orientation of the X570 has changed completely. Instead of its RAM sockets going left to right like on previous boards, these are now front to back – the orientation you would ordinarily find in a rack mount server. This important alteration means the sockets no longer act as an air flow barrier, enabling AMD’s powerful Threadripper CPUs to be air-cooled. This radically simplifies the way in which temperature is controlled within a unit, reducing the need for more complex water-based solutions.

    As well as these exciting changes, the X570 offers:

    • Up to 16x PCIe 4.0 lanes
    • Up to 12 SATA 6Gbps ports
    • 3200MHz RAM support with ECC
    • IPMI Management Interface
    • Dual 10Gb/s Intel X550 Ethernet ports

    Available soon

    We’re currently still working on integrating the X570 motherboard into our 1U PC, which we anticipate will become available later this month. We’re thrilled to be able to give our customers the opportunity to enjoy the power of AMD’s Ryzen processors in even more of our units by making these available in the Workstation and Server models of our 1U PC.

    If you would like to find out more about how you can harness AMD Ryzen 9 and Threadripper CPUs in our rack mount computers, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Intel 10th gen CPUs

    Intel’s new 10th gen CPUs pull out all the stops for performance

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Launched at the very end of last month following the release of their mobile CPUs, Intel’s new 10th generation of Core vPro desktop processors is finally here. Based on a Comet Lake-S architecture, the chips are built to tackle the challenges of “future work environments across the PC lifecycle” according to Intel’s VP of Client Computing, Stephanie Hallford. Still designed on a 14nm process, Comet Lake offers better remote manageability, security, and performance than ever before.

    What’s new?

    With i9, i7, i5, and i3 variants available, as well as Pentium and Celeron options for more entry-level applications, Intel’s 10th gen CPUs have been purpose-built to boost performance as much as possible. Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology identifies the two best performing cores and boosts their performance by increasing frequency. On top of that, hyperthreading is available throughout the entire range, giving the option to make CPUs work that much faster. Built-in hardware-enhanced security also harnesses Intel Hardware Shield to enable advanced threat detection. The only real downside is the processors are not backwards compatible. They require an LGA1200 socket, which will sadly mean an upgrade of your motherboard.

    Cooling-conscious CPUs

    If you’re concerned about cooling, the 10th gen chips have considered this too. Their hyperthreading capability can be shut off at will to keep temperatures under control, reducing the need for cooling. And thanks to a larger Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS), more heat is kept away from the CPU too. The performance of Comet Lake’s i9 chips can even benefit from regulated temperatures – using Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB), the speed of single cores can be pushed up to 5.3GHz if the CPU is below 70°C, ideal when combined with our unique watercooled solutions.

    Let’s talk cores

    While core count has more or less remained the same across i3, i5, and i7, with the exception of a larger variety of options, the i9 chips now offer an increase to 10 cores and 20 threads compared to the 8 core, 16 thread makeup of their 9th gen range. Comet Lake’s flagship, the i9-10900K, sits at the very top of the specs table, besting the 9th gen frontrunner, the i9-9900K, with a 3.7GHz Base clock speed, 5.3GHz Boost, and 20MB of cache compared to 3.6GHz, 5.0GHz, and 16MB respectively.

    The i9-10900K packs some serious punch:

    • 10 cores, 20 threads
    • 3.7GHz Base Clock
    • 5.3GHz Boost Clock
    • 20MB cache
    • DDR4-2933 memory
    • Integrated UHD graphics 630
    • Wi-Fi 6
    • Turbo Boost Max 3.0
    • 125W TDP

    400 series chipsets also incoming

    Launched simultaneously alongside the 10th gen chips, Intel’s 400 series of chipsets are also now available. Now on the ‘tick’ of their tick-tock production cycle, this series includes the B460, H470, and W480 chipsets among others, as well as the Z490, which may well be the best of the bunch. With 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes, Wi-Fi 6 integrated wireless, and support for Optane Memory and Intel Smart Sound Technology, this chipset combined with the new Comet Lake CPUs could prove a force to be reckoned with.

    10th gen now available in G2 PCs

    We’re pleased to confirm that Intel’s 10th generation of chips are now in stock and available throughout our Entry Level and Workstation series of units. The CPUs will be added to these units across our entire range of products, from 1U to 4U, so you can start to take advantage of the promised performance boosts. If you would like to know more about Comet Lake and how you can get your hands on it within one of our PCs, please get in touch with the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 1U PC Dual PCIe

    We’ve redesigned our 1U PC and 1U Nano to bring you Dual PCIe

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Greater PCIe expansion is an absolute must for rack mounted computing. But this expansion potential can vary widely depending on the height of the computer itself. Typically, multiple PCIe slots can be difficult to come by in a 1U machine for example – the height of the chassis can generally mean that PCIe slots are limited to only one, if any. This in mind, we’ve made it possible for our customers to now enjoy even greater flexibility among our 1U units by redesigning our 1U PC and 1U Nano.

    Enjoy PCIe aplenty in 1U

    With the demand for more PCIe expansion cards increasing all of the time, we’ve redesigned our Industrial and Server workload 1U units to now provide two slots. A feature previously only available in our 1U Plus, we’ve recently extended the capability to both our 1U PC and 1U Nano machines. That way, customers can take advantage of even more expansion in much smaller, more compact units. Through our careful redesign of the computers, we’ve managed to split the pre-existing single PCIe x16 slot into two x8 slots in a process known as ‘bifurcation’. Because most graphics cards don’t actually use all 16x lanes, the two x8 slots will still allow high-performance graphics the likes of NVIDIA’s RTX range to be fitted, giving plenty of opportunity for excellent expansion options.

    Get more from your graphics

    At present, the option for two PCIe slots in our 1U products is only available on the Industrial and Server range of our 1U PC, 1U Nano, and 1U Plus. However, if you’re seeking to truly maximise your PCIe expansion potential with as many slots as possible, our 3U PC is the computer for you, offering up to 7x slots in total. If you would like to learn more about the redesign of our 1U PC and 1U Nano, or want to better understand how you can make the most of your PCIe expansion cards within our products, please get in touch with the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Products

  • Intel Panther Canyon with Tiger Lake

    Intel 11th gen NUCs usher in a new era of graphics performance

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has sadly meant that a lot of big projects have recently needed to go on hold, or in some cases, not come to light at all. The latter may well be the case for Intel’s Provo Canyon, as while we’re still seeing new innovations emerging from them all of the time, the release of their anticipated 8th gen NUC has somewhat fallen to the wayside.

    The good news is Intel’s NUC 11 series was already hot on Provo Canyon’s heels, so it only makes sense that they might decide to forego the Provo NUC entirely to make way for the launch of the 11th generation. And what a generation it is. Boasting Intel’s new 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs, the Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon NUCs are slated for release in the second half of 2020.

    Panther Canyon

    Dubbed the Intel NUC 11 ‘Performance’, Panther Canyon will be a series of ultra-compact desktops that promise exceptional graphics performance and impressive computing power. As well as being the first NUC to support the new Tiger Lake processors, Panther Canyon also has some truly exciting features. The NUC will be powered by Intel’s new Xe graphics architecture in iGPU form and comes with HDMI 2.1, which is really something to look forward to. Its M.2 2280 slot offers a fantastic x4 PCIe 4.0 lanes too, allowing awesome potential for expansion.

    Here’s what we know so far:

    • 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory
    • 2 22×80 key M slot, PCIe x4 Gen4
    • HDMI 2.1
    • Front and rear Thunderbolt 3 ports
    • Intel Xe graphics
    • Intel Optane M10 memory option

    Phantom Canyon

    Where Panther Canyon is the successor to Frost Canyon, the NUC 11 ‘Extreme’ Phantom Canyon is the next step on from Intel’s popular Hades and Skull Canyon NUCs. Also built to support Intel’s Tiger Lake-U CPUs, the Phantom will still maintain the iconic backlit skull logo in its design, but seems a more modest version of its cousin, the Performance NUC. Unlike Panther, Phantom won’t offer Intel’s Xe graphics, but instead discrete graphics from an as yet unconfirmed third party.

    What to get ready for from the Phantom Canyon NUC:

    • 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory
    • 2 22×80/110 and key M slots, PCIe x4 Gen3
    • HDMI 2.0b
    • Front and rear Thunderbolt 4 ports
    • Intel Optane M10 and H10 memory options

    Things are looking up

    We can’t wait to see what Intel’s Panther and Phantom Canyon NUCs can do when they launch later this year. While we wait, we’re working on designing a modified case for the Intel NUC 11 series to allow for better cooling capabilities. It also won’t be too long before their Tiger Lake CPUs get introduced into our own products, so watch this space.

    If you would like to know more about Intel’s Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon NUCs, or the adjustments we’re making to our product range of rack mount PCs, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products