• Front of Nano Mini PC

    Nano PC offers legacy OS Support  

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Despite Windows XP going end of life, there are considerable numbers of businesses who still depend on the operating system.  Whilst Windows XP embedded and POSReady 2009 will remain available for some time, demand for hardware to support these operating systems is still high albeit tricky to source.  An end of life, or a mature OS certainly doesn’t mean you’re now out of options however.

    The perfect solution

    If you count yourself amongst the organisations still with a significant interest in these operating systems then you might want to take a closer look at the C12 specification in our products,  which offers support for XP Pro and also Windows 7.

    The C12 Specification is available across the vast majority of our product range, but is particularly popular in our Nano mini PC appliance. This ultra small form factor PC is perfect for digital signage, Point of Sale and till processing units where XP compatible replacement hardware is required.

    We’ve seen a lot of demand from organisations choosing Nano to host older applications which are too complex, too time consuming or too costly to migrate to a newer operating system.

    To find out more about our Nano PC click here or contact us for further information.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Our 1U Rack Server has arrived! 

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Back in September we blogged that our first-ever 1U rack server would shortly be arriving.  We are pleased to announce that we are now taking orders for the product, which is our first-ever in a brand new server product line.

    When we set about creating the server line-up we had two objectives.  Firstly, to create great value, functionally rich appliances and secondly to build products which offered some acoustic advantages over the competition.  The server line-up will come in three variants – Workstation, Server and High Performance.  With Workstation available first, here’s a closer look at what’s included.

    The Workstation server was developed with media serving in mind.  Available in i5, i7 and Xeon variants, the big differentiator is the 2 x PCI-express 16 slots which offer the capability to fit two PCIe x16 cards or a dual width graphics card.  Unlike other 1U servers which offer something similar, few have the capacity to take full-length cards in this way.  We hope this will pique the interest of professional AV and digital media users and those involved in 3D graphics.  This is one of several expansion options thanks to the Micro-ATX motherboard at the heart of the machine.  8 x hotswappable SSD/HDDs and M.2 also offer huge scope for on-board storage.  Thankfully all of this is packed into a very small user-friendly unit.

    The appliance also has the option for a rack-rail kit which helps with access to the unit and assists when maintenance is required.

    The Server and High Performance ranges are to still to come, both of which will be built using a sophisticated new fan controller we are currently developing for ultra-quiet operation.  The Performance range will also use a LGA2011-3 CPU socket rather than LGA1150 to support the latest 6 and 8 core Intel CPU enhancements to performance.  Both will arrive shortly.

    If you’d like to know more about our server options or would like to discuss your requirements please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Green Hippo collaboration yields next-gen hardware

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Our longstanding collaboration with Digital Media and Production specialist – Green Hippo – continues with the release of their latest range of V4 media servers . The 1U variant named “Amba” is as a result of G2 continued commitment to providing innovative and up to date design and features.

    Based on our latest hardware appliance, Amba is the first in their next-generation of computer hardware playing host to their latest V4 Hippotizer software.  A powerful 1U media server for the demands of the audio visual arena, the appliance boasts:

    • Removable drive bay
    • HDMI output, with support for 4K
    • 6 x USB 3.0 ports
    • SSD storage

    We have been building bespoke solutions for Green Hippo for a number of years.  They are one of several customers whom we have purpose-built solutions for to host specific software applications or workloads.  Find out more about creating a bespoke solution by exploring the simple steps we’ll take you through to arrive at something tailor-made for you.  Alternatively, take a look at the other customers who have commissioned us to build host hardware.

     

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 4th Generation Intel Core i5 vPro NUC only weeks away 

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Intel will shortly launch a new Haswell 4th Generation Intel Core i5 vPro NUC. We’re really excited about this as it will bring well-established vPro technologies such as trusted execution, virtualisation and active management to an already successful platform.

    This presents fantastic opportunities for our business customers looking to improve security, add remote management and explore other productivity-enhancing capabilities for their enterprise environments.  vPro technology helps simplify and accelerate these four critical IT functions.

    Just take a look at this recent video created by Intel showing off some of the collaboration possibilities.

    Specifically, this new NUC will include:

    • Intel 4th Generation Core i5-4300U vPro Processor
    • Internal HD Graphics
    • 2 x mini DisplayPort
    • 2 x USB 3.0 ports on the back place
    • 1 x USB 2.0 port on the front plane
    • Internal support for M.2 SSD card
    • Internal SATA3 support for 2.5” HDD/SSD

    G2 Digital were the first company in the world to rack-mount NUC, enabling three units to be mounted in a 1U slot.  The arrival of the vPro-enabled NUC allows us to pack even more functionality into this highly popular product.

    Take a closer look at our NUC product to find out more.  In the meantime, if you have specific interest in the 4th Generation Intel Core i5 vPro NUC get in touch.

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

  • What is M.2 and how is it different from mSATA SSD?

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Essentially, M.2 is a PCI express interface that conforms to an industry specification for small form factor internal drives and PCI express devices.  It is physically narrower than current mSATA devices, but M.2 SSDs can come in much longer lengths where IC space is required to increase storage capacity.

    They are designed for high-performance in space and power constrained devices like tablets and ultrabooks.  Whilst this is where they began life, as prices drop, they are finding their way into desktops and workstations where their performance is favoured over mSATA.

    This new standard holds lots of possibilities as previously the performance of SSD drives was restricted by the legacy SATA drive interface which would allow operation at speeds of around 600MB/s.

    M.2 SSDs are available in two types to access the revamped PCI express interface that supports the current SATA AHCI controller but also a newer standard called SATA NVMe . This newer standard makes performance of 1GB/s easily achievable and with the future release of further enhanced interfaces, 10GB/s will soon be possible.

    The new SATA NVMe standard is essentially a direct connection of the M.2 SSD drive to the PCI express bus, which vastly improves performance because it’s not routed through the slower SATA AHCI Controller on the motherboard.

    Of course, the potential of M.2 is vast, particularly where data intensive workloads exist.  With our heritage in digital content creation and AV applications we believe there is great scope to integrate M.2 into our product line-up and we are actively exploring the opportunities.

    If you have a particular need for M.2 SSD please get in touch as our products move quickly.  Alternatively, a bespoke solution might be the answer to your requirements

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

  • Extreme chipset generation meets our current product line-up 

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Motherboards have now started shipping for Intel’s Haswell-E X99 chipset; their extreme chipset generation, heavily used in the digital content creation space and where over-clocking is required to meet high performance workloads.

    The new X99 chipset is signified by:

    • 10 x SATA 6 Gbps ports natively, with six of those being RAID capable
    • Support for DDR4 memory – up to 64GB
    • Up to six USB 3.0 ports native
    • Thunderbolt ready
    • More possible PCIe configurations
    • New PCIe storage options (SATA Express and M.2 via PCIe) are also supported

    Intel claims that at base clocks, the i7-5960x delivers 20% faster 4K video editing and 32% faster 3D rendering than their previous flagship processor.  Imagine what that can do with the potential to overclock by 31%!

    X99 compatible motherboard are available on a host of our products making them capable of meeting even the most demanding workloads.

    If you would like to know more contact us now or take a closer look at our current products.

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

  • intel haswell from intel

    What’s new with the Intel Haswell refresh? 

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’ve been asked by a number of our customers to clarify what’s new with the latest generation of Intel Haswell processors which have recently been refreshed.  As such we thought it might be useful to post a short comment on our observations.

    To be honest the differences are almost imperceptible with the exception that the frequencies of the chips have been boosted by about 100 MHz over their original Haswell predecessors.  Whilst this does not sound much, the difference in our opinion is noticeable, especially considering thermal output remains the same.  This is even more accentuated at the high end in the Core i7 line-up for extreme computing demands.

    Why would I choose it?

    If you’re looking for performance, the small increment in price for an X97 chip will yield some more horsepower and will give you something extra.  If performance isn’t your main driver then the original iteration of the chip will be more than adequate for the vast majority of applications.

    It’s also worth remembering that older x87 chipsets are compatible with X97 motherboards so if you’re on a previous generation and want to re-purpose into a newer machine, you need not worry.

    If you’d like to know more or have a question about the new Haswell processor family please contact us.  Alternatively, take a closer look at our latest product line-up.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News