• 1U and 2U PC

    Double Feature: Both our 1U and 2U PCs are treated to design updates

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We take pride in ongoing innovation and quick responses to customer feedback about our products.  That’s why this month we’re embarking upon a project that will see two of our popular PCs receive updated designs.

    1U PC

    In light of recent requests for a greater number of Hot Swap bays within our 1U PC, we’re pleased to announce that we can now accommodate up to 8 Hot Swap drives in this machine. The revision has next-to-no effect on the unit’s physical footprint, and likewise means it still retains a dual-width PCIe bay. What’s more, we’re pretty sure this feature is completely unique in the 1U space given the 1U PC’s 350mm depth.

    As a result we’re now packing a lot into our 1U rackmount PC:

    • 8x Hot Swap drives
    • 2x Front USB 3.0 ports
    • Dual-width PCIe slot for high power Graphics Cards
    • Tool-less quick removal lid
    • DVD/Blu-ray Optical drives

    2U PC

    Thanks to a recent update to our flexible 2U PC’s design, we are now delighted to be able to offer new configuration options around low profile and full height PCIe bays. Having restructured the back panel and reengineered the unit to hold a redundant power supply, customers will now have the option to fit more low profile expansion cards than ever before. The rack-mountable 2U machine can now fit a maximum of 7 low profile cards, or else can be configured to fit up to 4 full height cards, depending on your requirements.

    We do everything we can to ensure each one of our machines is up to whatever you have planned for it.  These updates are part of our ongoing cycle of refinement and reinvention. It’s also why our products have achieved some noteworthy industry ‘firsts’.

    If you would like to learn more about what our 1U and 2U PC updates have in store, or discover what other development projects we have lined up, please speak to the team.

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

  • 2U Nano and PC redundant power supply

    Power-up! Our 2U PC gains a redundant power supply, and more

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    It’s not uncommon for power supply units (PSU) to fail – an inconvenient truth, but often the reason for PC breakdown. With this in mind we’ve decided to build our 2U PC to a more modular design in order to accommodate a redundant power supply.  You’ll never need to worry about your machine going offline again, as in the event of PSU failure the secondary PSU will take over.

    To accompany this redundant power supply, the design has also been reengineered to allow more room for additional low profile expansion cards, so customers will be able to fit more into their 2U unit than ever before! Alternatively, there will still be the option to fit up to 4 full height expansion cards as needed.

    Coupled with our range of Server or Industrial motherboards, our feature-rich 2U PC is therefore perfect for all sorts of business-critical applications because of its robust design:

    • Redundant 680W power supply, 80PLUS GOLD Rated
    • Supports the latest X99 and 7th Gen Skylake motherboards
    • Supports Intel’s 18 core Xeon E5 processors
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • Up to 8x 2.5″ HDD/SSD drives
    • 6x Hot-Swap Bays
    • Slimline DVD/Blu-ray drive

    We’re always looking for new ways to innovate to be able to provide our customers with the functionality they deserve. Our machines are constantly evolving to suit new requirements and the demand of emerging trends to ensure that we deliver the best experience possible. Our 2U PC redesign is just one of many updates to come over the coming months where we have actively taken our customers’ needs into consideration. That’s why we’re known for producing some real industry ‘firsts’.

    For more information on what our updated 2U PC design will entail, or else if you’d like to learn more about our upcoming development projects, please get in touch.

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

  • Intel chip

    Intel welcomes a new future of chip design

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Every single day we are seeing innovative efforts open up new and unexplored realms of technology that redefine our perspective of the future and its untapped potential. Drones, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning – the possibilities are truly endless.

    As momentum within these different areas is beginning to really build for Intel, they have made the decision to change the way in which they approach the design of their chips. Their active involvement in AI, autonomous vehicles, and drone technology has had a large hand in their re-evaluation of the chip landscape, enabling them to realise the greater potential and value that can be gained from an alternative chip design.

    So what can we expect?

    Where once its key technologies were all integrated into a single piece of silicon in what has been referred to as a monolithic design, Intel is now adopting a more heterogeneous approach to development.  This will allow them to instead mix and match different cores into a single chip, regardless of node or architecture, meaning chip development will no longer be restrained by the hold-ups of previous manufacturing processes. The step-change has been brought about as a result of the dramatic slowing witnessed with Moore’s Law in recent years and will take system-on-chip thinking to a whole new level.

    Using what has been dubbed the Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (EMIB), multiple chips can then be embedded onto a single die, enabling both higher bandwidth and scope to develop chips for a wider range of devices.

    The Benefits

    The new heterogeneous design and the use of the EMIB will mean a load of new and exciting benefits from future Intel chips:

    • Production of better products and cost structures for customers
    • Faster throughput and the option for multiple throughput technologies
    • Higher bandwidth than PCIe
    • Improved communication between cores
    • Greater flexibility leading to higher performance and less power
    • EMIB allows use of cores made of different materials, which could replace silicon

    Led by this new heterogeneous design, Intel is now looking to the future to ensure that any chips produced from hereon in are able to suit the host of devices that exist today, and will exist tomorrow.

    We will, of course, be considering the implications of Intel’s chip design changes within our product range as these come into effect. If you would like to find out more about the new heterogeneous design or else how this may impact our products, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Project build

    Have it your way – five reasons to commission a project build PC

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    As well as the off-the-shelf products G2 sells, we are frequently commissioned to build Mini or Rack PC appliances for specific purposes.  We term these requests “project builds” and they are often the best route to ensuring hardware is precisely matched to the purpose you have in mind for it.  When there’s such a lot of choice already available, it’s often not clear what the benefits are of going this route.  Here are the five most common benefits which tend to influence if this direction is right:

    1. No compromise on build

    Sometimes, the mix of options available to you in an off-the-shelf product don’t measure up and you end up compromising.  With a project build, quite literally anything is possible.  Together we can evaluate what you need and match what goes into the machine to your exact requirements, without wasting money on unnecessary components.  You’ll have the chance to tailor everything from motherboard to operating system.

    1. Change the inside and out

    A project build isn’t restricted to the internal specification of the machine either; we can custom build cases and change the physical size of the machine based upon how it will be used or where it will be located.  We can even modify the design to factor in other important functional attributes like acoustics or resistance to the elements.  We’ve previously built machines for all sorts of environments including yachts, all-terrain vehicles, interactive restaurant tables and much more.

    1. A better end-user experience

    Having a machine perfectly suited to your application ultimately means you’ll deliver a better experience for your users – whether that’s performance, reliability, graphics or any other consideration that’s important.  You might end up conceding on this when you’re working within the confines of off-the-shelf options, as whilst choice can be plentiful it still doesn’t guarantee the match you might be looking for.  Likewise, there’ll be less chance of failure in operation if the specification is spot on, and you’ll have confidence that the machine will work straight out of the box every time.

    1. The chance to personalise the machine

    If you’ve created your own software and you’re looking for a Mini or Rack PC as a host appliance, there’s a good chance you’ll want the machine to reflect your company branding.  We can do just this, including adding your corporate livery, altering case colour and changing display lights used.

    1. Same Warranty coverage

    Just like our off-the-shelf machines, your project build is covered by our Standard 2-year return to base warranty.  However, if you required a longer warranty term or onsite cover we can look at a bespoke warranty cover just for your application.  It means you can confidently commission machines safe in the knowledge that you’ll receive the same levels of support in the event of a problem.

    We’ve delivered countless project builds and accordingly have an extensive library of blueprints to call upon depending on the type of machine you’re looking for.  It means project builds are informed by past experiences to create tailored options in a fraction of the time.

    If you’d like to know more, take a closer look at how we build solutions like this.  Alternatively, speak to one of our team to discuss your requirements further.

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

  • Bantam PC

    Introducing the new Bantam Hybrid PC – it packs a powerful punch

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’re thrilled to announce that we’re currently in the process of developing a brand new Hybrid PC, the Bantam. As the name suggests, it’s an incredibly lightweight and flexible machine, but don’t let that fool you – the Bantam also packs one heck of a performance punch. Supporting Intel’s processor family all the way through to the range-topping i7, it’s purpose-built to tackle high-demand applications where a robust small form-factor appliance is required.

    A PC that goes the distance

     The Bantam is packed from top to toe with fantastic features that make it a real contender:

    • Processor options: fanless Celeron to i7
    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    • 2 SSD Bay for main OS
    • Two additional 2.5” HDD/SSD drive bays
    • Optional RS232 Port
    • 1U Rack Mount, Wall or VESA mounted
    • Up to 2 units can be mounted side by side in 1U
    • Internal AC/DC PSU

    Standing at 222mm x 44mm x 240mm, the Bantam also offers various mounting options including 1U rack, wall, or VESA mount. It’s no messy machine, either, thanks to its tidy internal AC/DC power supply unit (PSU), which considers the neatness of your comms cabinet when rack-mounted. You even have the option to fix two units side-by-side in a single 1U space for convenience and the chance to squeeze more compute into the same footprint.

    Soon stepping into the ring

    The Bantam is still in its early stages of development, but will soon be available for pre-order. If you would like to gain the low down on what the Bantam will bring to our product family, or are interested in learning more about the project, please get in touch.

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

  • We’re looking for ‘Heroes in Hardware’ – join our ranks as an official Partner

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’re delighted to announce that our brand new Partner Programme, Heroes in Hardware, is coming soon. The Programme is a framework that allows us to reward the loyalty and dedication of the companies reselling our products, and celebrate the spirit of partnership by making a wide range of benefits available. We truly value our existing partner community, but are also looking to grow this with a host of new opportunities for mutual gain.

    G2 Partners, Assemble

    Our 4-level approach identifies the degree of investment customers have made in G2’s products and accordingly defines your partner level. Every G2 partner will initially on-board at the ‘Partner’ level, however there is plenty of opportunity for quick progression to gain even greater commercial benefits through an increasing spend and level of commitment.

    Benefits fit for a Hero

    Heroes in Hardware provides considerable advantages both for our partners and their customers, with increasing rewards throughout each partner level.

    1. Discounts increase on a 4-level scale, helping partners to boot margins.
    2. Raise your profile as a G2 product reseller by having your company appear on the ‘Where to Buy’ section of our soon-to-arrive revamped website.
    3. Our exceptional warranty and extended support options will also be available for our partners to offer to their customers.
    4. As we’re ‘Made in the UK’, manufacturing and shipment costs are kept to a minimum, allowing companies to reap the benefits of sourcing locally.

    We make the process of becoming a G2 partner simple. If you would like to learn more about how to become a Hero in Hardware, please get in touch to request a joining pack.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • Intel Xeon v5 processors

    Xeon v5 Processors now supported in our new ‘Industrial’ and ‘Server’ systems

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    The hype surrounding Intel’s influx of innovation over the past couple of months came to a head at CES 2017 when their new 7th generation line-up took centre stage. However, the excitement still hasn’t ebbed due to the anticipated arrival of their Skylake Xeon v5 processors, which are beginning to gradually become available as part of the new updates.

    But how do they differ from v4, and why should you be holding out for the benefits of v5?

    Core, blimey!

    All we can say is that the number of cores speak for themselves. Where the topmost E7 v4 processor variant (E7-8890) only saw at its top end a 24 core chip, Intel has confirmed a 28 core E7 v5 processor with 165W Thermal Design Power (TDP). This is a considerable step up, with a lot more compute power promised as a result. But that’s not all – there is even a possibility that a flagship E5-2699 v5 processor could arrive on the scene with 32 cores and a gigantic 64 threads! That’s really something to look forward to.

    Here’s what we know of the Xeon v5 processors so far:

    • 14nm process node
    • LGA 3647 socket
    • E5 range for 2S/4S chips = up to 26 cores
    • E7 range for 4S/8S chips = up to 32 cores
    • 6-channel DDR4 support
    • Up to 38.5 MB L3 cache (E7)
    • At least 20% faster than v4

    The increase in performance of the v5 will naturally come with a price, but it is understood that they won’t be overwhelmingly more expensive than their predecessor.

    We’re thrilled to announce that our new ‘Industrial’ and ‘Server’ series variants of our 1U PC and 1U Nano products are now able to support Intel’s Xeon E3 and E5 v5 processors, our S325 and S345 models already integrating and using the next-gen CPUs.

    Kaby Lake v6 also on the cards

    We don’t mean to jump the gun, but specs are also now emerging with details surrounding the upcoming Kaby Lake E3 v6 processors due to a premature list release. What we can reveal is that the TDP for the v6 will be lower than the v5 by around 7-8W, depending on graphics, and each E3 processor will have 8MB of L3 cache. We can already see these will be faster again than their v5 siblings.

    There is still a lot on the horizon for Intel, and indeed for our products, with the Xeon v5 processors now available in a selected range of our server models. If you think the new Xeon processors could benefit you or you would like to talk more about their advantages, just get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products