• G2 Digital ISE 2020

    One week to go before ISE 2020!

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’re now only days away from the world’s largest AV systems integration show, Integrated Systems Europe, in the heart of Amsterdam. The show is a home-from-home for some of the biggest and most respected names in the AV and digital media industry, from Samsung to Sony, and we’re elated to be joining them as an exhibitor for the second year running. With a bigger and better stand than last year in tow, we’re taking things up a notch by showcasing some of our most impressive applications and running live demonstrations so you can see for yourself exactly what our products can do.

    Intel meets Power over Ethernet

    Where last year’s show provided the platform for the debut of our Intel-based Fanless NUC, this year we’re bringing three Intel-powered Dawson Canyon NUC products along with us, all of which allow our customers to harness the many benefits of PoE. Power over Ethernet can be a massive game-changer for AV integrators, not least because it radically simplifies and streamlines computer installation by enabling both power and data to be transmitted through a single cable, but also because it’s more secure, flexible, and affordable than more traditional solutions. We’ll be displaying the true power of PoE on our stand, so make sure you take some time to swing by for a quick coffee and a chat about why these Intel-based products are so great for AV production challenges.

    Water-cooling for the win

    We know how difficult it can be to make the most of high-end next-generation processors the likes of Intel’s i9-9900K, particularly in a compact rack mount PC. That’s why we’ve engineered a pretty epic water-cooling solution made up of components modified specifically for use in a smaller unit. This awesome application will feature on our stand in the form of our 2U PC, which will be host to AMD’s powerful Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. Because the 3rd gen chip has a sweltering TDP of 280W, the same as its younger cousin, the 64-core 3990X, it requires sufficient cooling in order to ensure the temperature of our host unit is kept to a safe operating range. By visiting us at ISE, you’ll get the chance to see up close exactly how our solution works and better understand why water-cooling is so key to unlocking the full potential of your CPU.

    Perfect for portability and plenty of PCIe

    An ideal computer for maximising your graphics (GFX) cards, the vertical variant of our 3U PC will be in prime position on the stand. Offering up to 7x full height single PCIe bays, it allows as many as 3x professional GPUs to be fitted for exceptional graphics performance. We’ll also be bringing our horizontal model along, so you can see how we’ve enabled 2x consumer GFX cards to fit without compromising on the height of the unit.

    Also making an appearance this year is our popular and incredibly portable 2U Nano. Ultra-short-depth, the rack mount PC is perfect for transport in a flight-case, which is exactly how you’ll find it on our stand. Because it’s so compact, it fits neatly into the flight-case with plenty of room to spare. In fact, it’s even possible to fit two units within the same rack. Featuring dual-width GPU support and an optional redundant power supply, we’re certain this unit will really take off at ISE 2020.

    Book a meeting to learn more

    Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about our rack mount computers by booking a 1-2-1 meeting with us at the show. You’ll be given the V.I.P treatment with a personalised tour of the stand based on the products that interest you. We’d love to see you there, so secure your slot before it’s too late!

    You’ll find us on Stand S282 in Hall 15 from 11th – 14th February at the RAI Amsterdam.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Threadripper 3990X

    64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X set to be another game-changer for AMD

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’re absolutely blown away by AMD’s new Ryzen Threadripper 3990X monster processor. Officially unveiled at CES 2020 earlier this month, the chip has a phenomenal 64 cores and 128 threads, making it the world’s first 64-core high-end desktop CPU. Based on the titan chipmaker’s Zen Core architecture, the CPU is purpose-built to handle large workloads with ease and at speed, even rivalling the performance of server and data centre equivalents. For that reason, we’ve already started getting our line-up of rack mount PCs ready to contain this awesome beast.

    “One processor to render them all”

    The Threadripper 3990X has been boldly referred to by AMD in their promotion of it as “the one processor to render them all”, and indeed, it will probably be a while yet until its position as such is challenged by the likes of Intel. With up to 288MB of combined cache, an impressive 88 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and a thermal design power (TDP) of 280W, the processor pushes the boundaries of high-performance computing like never before. It offers simultaneous multi-processing power thanks to its sheer number of threads, lightning-fast rendering, and rapid access to large data sets. Despite its modest base clock of 2.9GHz and boost of 4.3GHz, we’re still expecting great things from the chip.

    AMD is giving us loads to look forward to

    CES 2020 also provided the platform for AMD’s reveal of their 3rd gen Ryzen 4000-series of mobile processors, as well as Radeon 7 – the very first 7nm gaming graphics card – due to launch this February. This is particularly interesting, considering Intel has recently confirmed they’re also working on a next-gen 7nm GPU, but it’s likely we won’t see this in the flesh until 2022.

    Unleash the beast!

    We can’t wait for the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X to finally be unleashed on the 7th February. We’ve already got plans for some awesome and innovative cooling solutions that will help tame the CPU’s sweltering 280W TDP within our compact rack mount computers.

    If you would like to discover more about AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3990X chip and find out when this will become available in selected models of our PCs, speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Windows 7 end of support

    No need to say goodbye to Windows 7 just yet

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Windows 7 had a very good run in the ten glorious years following its introduction back in 2009, but following the discontinuation of support by Microsoft last week, we must finally say a fond farewell to the decade-old operating system. This is not least because by ending support for Windows 7, Microsoft will no longer be providing technical assistance, patches, or software updates, meaning any bugs or security vulnerabilities that still exist within the OS will never be fixed. This makes Windows 7 PCs an attractive and easy target for hackers and cybercriminals.

    It doesn’t have to end this way

    Regardless of the security issues that may be encountered as a result of sticking with Windows 7, there’s been a lot of resistance when it comes to upgrading to Windows 10, which is what Microsoft is encouraging users to do. To some degree, this is understandable – Windows 7 was incredibly popular, and it can be hard to let go of something so familiar to make the leap to something new. With that in mind, we have some great news for steadfast and loyal users of Windows 7 – Extended Security Updates (ESU) are still available for Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise, and Pro for Embedded Systems editions.

    What does this mean?

    Thanks to the availability of ESU, we have the option of extending the support of our Windows 7 machines for up to an additional three years. This means your G2 PC could still be benefitting from Embedded Support in 2023! And while you can still purchase our products with the Windows Embedded Standard 7 service pack until 2024, you won’t receive any security patches without ESU, so we think it’s a complete no-brainer if you’re a dedicated Windows 7 user.

    What’s the catch?

    Windows 7 is already living on borrowed time. Its mainstream support officially ended in 2015, so for the past four years it’s been leeching off Microsoft’s extended support. Now having finally reached its end, there are a lot of issues to circumnavigate. To add to the fact that without any support or security updates your PC is no longer protected, you also won’t get the benefit of any new software or features as these will be incompatible with the OS. Likewise, very few manufacturers now offer Windows 7 drivers with their hardware, so you’ll be restricted to what little is available.

    Maybe it’s time to move on

    Although we’ll still readily offer the option to extend the support of your Windows 7 G2 PC, the argument to consider switching to Windows 10 is compelling. It’s more secure, user-friendly, and agile, and according to Microsoft will likely be the last major release of the OS for a very long time. For that reason, upgrading to Windows 10 alongside an upgrade to your current PC seems like a considerably worthwhile investment.

    If you’d like to know more about how you can enjoy Windows 7 Embedded Support, or are interested in upgrading to Windows 10, please contact one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Ryzen 9 3950X

    Power and productivity made possible by AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    As we enter 2020, there’s still an overwhelming demand for AMD’s latest Ryzen 9 processor – the 3950X. Officially launched back in November, the chips were snapped up incredibly quickly upon their release, and now trying to track one down is like trying to spot a polar bear in the snow. That in mind, we thought we’d take some time to explain why these processors are proving to be so popular, and why we’re making it a New Year’s Resolution to get our hands on some.

    Awesome raw performance

    The Ryzen 9 3950X comes ready with a sizeable 16 cores and 32 threads, and in spite of delays to its initial release because of supposedly unsatisfactory clock speeds, has a base clock of 3.5GHz and an impressive boost of 4.7GHz. Where the high-end desktop CPU truly excels though is in its ability to manage multi-core workloads and complete complex productivity tasks, which it does with considerable ease.

    How does it compare?

    In terms of its multi-core capabilities, the chip does far better than Intel’s recent i9-9900KS, if only due to the fact it has twice the number of cores and threads. The Ryzen 9 3950X’s Thermal Design Power (TDP) is also that much lower, offering 105W as opposed to 127W, a figure that has the potential to be reduced even further thanks to AMD’s introduction of an ‘eco-mode’. Its predecessor, the 3900X, also doesn’t quite measure up on the cores front, with 12 cores and 24 threads to speak of, and while the 3950X’s base clock is 0.3GHz below the 3900X’s, its boost is now 4.7GHz versus 4.6GHz.

    More news to come

    We’ll have more information on when the Ryzen 9 3950X chips will be available in our PCs over the next month or so, so keep an eye out for any news! In the meantime, if you would like to know more about the AMD CPUs currently supported in our line-up of rack mount and compact PCs, please speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Redundant PSU option makes the 1U PC more reliable than ever before

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    In response to high levels of customer demand over the past few months, we’re pleased to announce the launch of our latest research and development project; the installation of a redundant power supply unit (PSU) into one of our 1U PCs. So far, we’ve added redundant PSU options to our 2U Nano, 2U PC, 3U PC, and 4U Nano, but this marks the very first time a redundant PSU has appeared in one of our 1U units.

    We’ve put even more ‘wow’ into 1U

    Not only is it the first time we’ve made this option available in one of our 1U computers, it is also the most powerful redundant PSU we’ve ever fitted across our entire product range. The 800W monster will see the 1U PC’s reliability increase considerably, ensuring any high-intensity workloads or systems are able to run consistently, even in the face of a single PSU failure. That way, you have the peace of mind that should your unit fail, you’re always protected.

    An extremely versatile PC

    This compact 1U unit packs a punch with lots of exciting features and expansion opportunities:

    • Redundant 800W power supply
    • Dual-width PCI(e) slot suitable for dual-width graphics cards
    • Up to 3x 3.5″ Fixed or 8x 2.5″ Hot Swappable HDD/SSDs – or a mixture of both

    And because this highly configurable PC can also be reverse mounted, if a power failure should occur, the rear of the unit can be made easily accessible, so it’s less likely you’ll need to remove it from the rack in order to rectify the issue.

    The first sample of the new and improved 1U PC with redundant PSU will be arriving soon. If you’d like to learn more about why a redundant PSU option could benefit your 1U unit, then please get in touch.

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

  • 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’ve already started building the new 3rd gen Threadripper chips into members of our product family, adding to the growing amount of AMD chips already available in our PCs. We even engineered a solution for a customer that allowed the 3970X to consistently run thanks to the introduction of water-cooling components, successfully lowering the 3970X’s temperature and cooling our host 2U PC down to a safe operating range.

    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