• Tiger Canyon 11th gen NUC

    Intel Tiger Lake chips and Iris Xe graphics make their way into G2 NUCs

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    While it’s been a long time coming since our initial exploration of Intel’s upcoming 11th gen NUCs back in April, we’re excited to reveal that these are finally on their way! As such, we’ll be welcoming in the Intel NUC 11 Pro Tiger Canyon prior to its official release in February 2021. The arrival of this new generation of NUCs is particularly compelling for two reasons. Firstly, they will be among the first Intel NUCs to contain the new, powerful 11th gen Tiger Lake series of processors, and secondly, will offer the benefits of Intel’s long-anticipated Iris Xe graphics cards.

    Why get excited about Iris Xe?

    AI-enhanced, Intel Iris Xe graphics enrich the creative process and accelerate performance. Thanks to Xe’s low-power architecture, users can multi-task at speed without needing to worry about battery life. Most importantly, the integrated nature of Iris Xe means the synergy between Intel chips and graphics has never been stronger.

    What else is new in 11th gen?

    As well as marking the introduction of i3, i5, and i7 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs and the integrated graphics made possible by Intel Iris Xe, the 11th gen NUCs have a lot more to offer:

    • Dual 4K HDMI 2.0 ports
    • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports – 4K Outputs, USB3 and Power
    • 3x M.2 PCIe Gen4 slots (2280/2242/2230) for expansion
    • Up to 64GB DDR4 RAM
    • 2.5Gbit LAN

    This means a whopping 4x outputs are available. With the promise of quad extended displays and up to 4K support, multi-screen displays and video wall tiling effects are made easy. The addition of dual Thunderbolt ports is also a significant step forward for these NUCs, enabling both power and video output to be provided to multiple connected devices or monitors via a single cable.

    Intel NUCs. G2 innovation.

    We’ll soon be integrating Intel’s 11th gen NUCs into our innovative 1U NUC and Fanless NUC cases, so it won’t be long before you can enjoy the many benefits of Tiger Lake and Iris Xe within a G2 PC. In fact, a pre-production sample of Tiger Canyon will be arriving next week! If you would like to learn more about the latest generation of Intel NUCs and their integrated graphics, please get in touch with a member of our team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • NVIDIA RTX 30 series

    It’s all about Ampere: NVIDIA RTX 30 graphics cards now available in G2 PCs

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 30 series of GPUs has really hit the ground running since its launch back in September, but it seems the graphics giant isn’t quite done with it yet. With the RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 already making a big impression in the market, NVIDIA is now gearing up to launch the 3050, 3050 Ti, 3060, 3060 Ti, and the 3080 Ti in the first half of 2021. This in mind, there’s a lot to look forward to from this new Ampere architecture, from improved ray tracing to significant performance gains.

    The first wave of RTX 30

    We’re already in awe of the three 7nm RTX 30 graphics cards from NVIDIA’s initial release, so we can’t wait to see what the others can do. When compared to their predecessors from the RTX 20 series, the 3070, 3080, and 3090 leave these cards in the dust. The 3070 is 37% more powerful than its 2070 equivalent, the 3080 is 24% faster than the 2080 Ti, not to mention much more affordable, and the flagship 3090 is even more powerful than that, boasting 10,496 CUDA cores and 24GB of memory.

    What we know about wave two

    With wave two of the RTX 30 series on the way, a few speculative details have already emerged about the GPUs. The RTX 3050 will supposedly be the entry point to the rest of the range, with 2,304 CUDA cores, 4GB of memory, and 90W of power consumption (TGP). The 3050 Ti in comparison will likely offer 3,584 CUDA cores, and the 3060 3,840 CUDA cores, with the 3060 Ti topping things off with 4,864. The 3080 Ti is causing the most excitement, however, offering the same core count as the 3090 as well as 20GB of memory. We could be seeing some of these cards as soon as January as they go head-to-head with AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX GPUs.

    Hooray for ray tracing!

    While NVIDIA’s RTX 20 series does offer ray tracing capabilities, the RTX 30 series greatly improves this, with dedicated 2nd gen ray tracing cores that accelerate performance by up to 2x. This is especially great news for those in video production who work with real-time rendering and require the lighting benefits ray tracing makes possible.

    The RTX 30 series meets our PCs

    We’ve already started introducing the RTX 30 series into our line-up of rack mount computers. Due to the sheer size of the cards, however, for the moment these will only be available in our 2U PC, 3U PC, and 4U Nano. As more of the GPUs emerge over the coming months, we will be implementing these into our PCs too, so keep an eye out for any updates.

    If you would like to know more about NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series of GPUs or find out how you can unlock their full value in one of our rack mount PCs, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • AMD Ryzen 5000 series

    AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series of processors are coming to G2 PCs

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We are now only a few days away from the official launch of AMD’s latest 5000 series of Ryzen desktop processors. Due to be unveiled on November 5th, there is already a lot of information available about what we can expect from the CPUs, particularly with regards to the 5900X and their flagship 5950X. Importantly, the 5000 series marks the introduction of AMD’s long-awaited Zen 3 architecture, which promises significant performance gains and is supposedly “the world’s fastest processor core for the world’s fastest gaming processors”.

    Zen 3 versus Zen 2

    Based on a 7nm+ process, AMD’s Zen 3 architecture is a huge step up from Zen 2. Thanks to double the amount of L3 cache and a unified 8-core complex, Zen 3 is able to offer a huge reduction in latency and according to AMD delivers as much as 2.8x more performance-per-watt than competitor CPUs. The main appeal of this Zen 3 5000 series of chips, however, is a whopping 19% increase in instruction per clock (IPC) performance for PC workloads.

    Meet the 5000 family

    The 5000 family’s flagship 5950X is truly something to behold. With 16 cores and 32 threads, 72MB of combined cache, a 4.9GHz Boost Clock and 3.4GHz Base, it offers the highest single-thread and multi-core performance of any desktop gaming processor on the market today. What’s more, it also boasts the best multi-core performance in a mainstream CPU socket. Its sibling, the 5900X, has been dubbed the “world’s best gaming CPU”, and has 12 cores and 24 threads to speak of, along with 70MB of cache and a 4.8GHz Boost. The more modest chips of the series are the Ryzen 7 5800X and the Ryzen 5 5600X, which offer 8 cores and 16 threads, and 6 cores and 12 threads respectively.

    New boards on the horizon

    We’re already getting systems ready to ship by the 5000 series launch date, which will be using ASRock’s new X570D4U and X570D4U-2L2T motherboards. This latter variant will host the 5950X and comes with Dual X550 Intel NICs onboard. For those using AMD’s 500 series of boards, the Ryzen 5000 chips are compatible but a small BIOS update is required.

    AMD’s Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 desktop processors will be available in our 1U PC, 1U Plus, all 2U models, our 3U PC, and our 4U Nano. If you would like to find out more about how these chips could benefit your rack mount PC, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 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 Titan 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 Titan

    Currently named the ‘1U Titan’, 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-conductive 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