• 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

  • AMD Ryzen 4000 series

    AMD’s Ryzen 4000 desktop CPUs to be released later this year

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Our anticipation for the official unveiling of AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 series of desktop processors has now got a little longer left to build, thanks to COVID-19. Originally set to be revealed at Computex 2020 in June, the event has now been postponed until September due to the unexpected outbreak. For that reason, it’s unlikely we’ll see the CPUs in all their glory until much later this year, with a release rumoured for September, if not October. Still, we’re sure the chips will definitely be worth the wait based on what we know about them today.

    Codename: Vermeer

    The 4th generation of Ryzen desktop CPUs have been given the codename ‘Vermeer’, and follow AMD’s recent launch of their Ryzen 4000 series for laptops. Where these mobile laptop processors have been based on the chipmaker’s Zen 2 architecture, the desktop series will usher in the age of Zen 3 on a 7nm+ process.

    Vermeer also means great news for anyone with a B450 chipset, as it was recently confirmed that the Ryzen 4000 series will support Socket AM4 motherboards. With only a minor microcode update, the chips will be backwards-compatible, meaning you won’t need to upgrade anytime soon. We don’t know if the same can be said for the X470 and X570 chipsets, but it’s not beyond belief that this goodwill will extend to these as well.

    More performance, less power consumption

    While we don’t have much to go on by way of any specs for the Ryzen 4000 series just yet, it’s very possible we’ll be seeing impressive core counts, especially from their flagship CPU, and perhaps even faster clock speeds too. The chips may also prove to be much more power efficient, and could end up being a great fit for multi-threaded workloads if AMD pushes for more powerful hyperthreading.

    Although the CPUs aren’t due to be announced until the latter half of this year, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date as anything new emerges. We hope to get them into our line-up of rack mounted PCs very soon so you can start enjoying the chips as quickly as possible. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series of CPUs, or would like to understand how to take advantage of AMD’s Ryzen chips in our products, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • We are open

    We are still open for business

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Following the government’s announcement on the 23rd March that the UK is now in lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, we wanted to assure our customers that we are still open for business. We are currently doing everything we can to fulfil both existing and any new orders as quickly and efficiently as possible, while ensuring the wellbeing and safety of our staff by following the government’s guidelines.

    The impact on G2 orders

    While we are very much open, we do have limited manufacturing capacity at this moment in time, which may have an impact on some delivery timescales. However, our couriers remain fully operational, so in spite of any anticipated delays, you can be certain you will receive your order soon. Likewise, our friendly and accessible team is functioning as normal during usual business hours, so please feel free to contact us with any queries.

    In addition to potential delays, the fluctuating exchange rate as a result of the current circumstances does mean pricing may vary from our website prices. Therefore, if you require a quote, please speak to us directly and we’ll provide you with an accurate cost.

    The good news

    What’s pleasing to hear is that more and more people are beginning to return to work in China, which means the component stock shortages we’ve been experiencing of late should hopefully be coming to an end over the coming months.

    In the meantime, we’re working hard to ensure any orders are protected against the impact of the coronavirus so that you’re free to enjoy your G2 PC as soon as you’re able to. If you’d like to better understand how your order might be affected, or are in need of a quote, please get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • G2 Support Portal

    Our new Support Portal is officially live!

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    We’re pleased to officially launch our brand-new G2 Digital Support Portal! Easily accessible through our website navigation, we’ve built the Portal to enable our customers to quickly see your entire order history, as well as giving you a platform to better enjoy our first-class support offering.

    Why should I register?

    There is so much on our Support Portal for you to explore and benefit from. You’ll see which products you have ordered, their serial numbers, and a real-time update of your order’s status. We’ve also made it possible for you to request an invoice at the click of a button, and even remind you of your product warranty’s expiry date, giving you the option to extend this should you wish.

    You can download the relevant drivers and firmware updates for your computer too, making sure your PC is always kept up to date. On top of that, we provide you with a full breakdown of your ordered product’s specifications, from its motherboard to your chosen operating system, including an overview of your I/O ports. Usefully, you can readily gain quick access to all of our company policies, warranty, and delivery and returns information via the Portal, not to mention our FAQs.

    We’ve made returns really simple

    In the event that a product needs to be returned to us for repairs or remediation, we’ve made it easy to create and track returns within the Portal. To create a return, simply enter the product’s serial number, attach any photos, give a description of the fault and you’re away – all of your personal details are already automatically generated based on your profile. Then, when it comes to viewing your past or current returns, you can see exactly which requests are pending, open, or closed, depending on where they are in the process. Once a return is closed, we’ll give you a detailed response as to our understanding of the fault and explain how we’ve resolved it.

    What if I don’t want a full account?

    If you’ve only made a small order with us and don’t require a full account, you can still see the details of your order via the Portal. All you need to do is enter your G2 computer’s serial number, and you’ll be granted access to its full specifications and your order information.

    Register today!

    Registering only takes two minutes, and then you’re free to enjoy easy and straightforward access to all of your G2 order history.

    Sign up here: support.g2digital.co.uk

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • ISE 2020

    Our reflections on ISE 2020

    Updated , by Geoff Undrell

    Earlier this month, we braved the onslaught of “the storm of the century”, Storm Ciara, and defied all odds to travel to the RAI Amsterdam for this year’s Integrated Systems Europe. It was well worth the trip, with mind-blowing audio-visual displays and innovative installations filling every square inch of the exhibition centre. Exhibiting for the second time along with 1,300 others, we had a truly fantastic show and relished in the opportunity it presented to speak face-to-face with our existing customers. We met a whole lot of new faces over the four days too, so are now even more excited about what’s in store for the year ahead.

    Intel PoEWings, water-cooling, and a wall of PoE

    Stationed in Hall 15 among the likes of HP, Dell Technologies, and Google Cloud, our stand was completely kitted out with some of our most impressive applications. This included an entire wall dedicated solely to our Intel-based Power over Ethernet (PoE) products; our 1U NUC, Fanless NUC, and Bantam PCs. The units proved incredibly popular and really got our customers talking about the power of PoE. Our 3U PC also succeeded in attracting a lot of attention, its open lid proudly showing off two AMD Radeon Pro graphics cards to the delight of passing AV professionals and gamers alike. Equally as cool, our 2U PC was host to a bespoke water-cooling solution for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3970X live on the stand, featuring reengineered Alphacool parts we’d designed specifically for the application. High above the stand, our highly portable 2U Nano flew on neon wings, demonstrating its suitability for transport in flight cases.

    Lots to see at this year’s ISE

    In spite of industry leader LG Electronics’ absence as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in China, there were countless new technologies and solutions across the show’s 15 halls to get our teeth into. This included a particularly notable installation from Epson, #EpsonUnboxed, which featured a revolving projection-mapped box that housed a Formula One racing car. Speaking of racing, Christie also caught our attention with their Scalextric track – using RFID tags, the cars were tracked and images projected in their wake. This theme of gaming continued throughout the Audio and Live Events Hall, with Panasonic displaying a panel of gamers competing in real-time on their 4K screen. Possibly the most controversial installation, however, was Vogel’s pole-dancing robot, “Elettre”, which appeared to demonstrate the robust nature of their display mounts, but not without raising a few eyebrows in the process.

    Panasonic esports

    Take a tour of the stand

    AVTV

    If you missed us at ISE and didn’t get the chance to hear from our MD Chris Hollidge, you’re in luck! We sat down with AV Magazine while at the show to film for AVTV and gave them a unique insight into why our design-led approach to computer engineering sets us apart from other manufacturers and why we believe PoE is a huge game-changer for AV integrators. For a quick tour of our stand and to learn more about our solutions, watch the video here.

    Back for Barcelona

    We’re looking forward to seeing how the show will transfer as it heads to Barcelona next year. ISE 2021 will take place at Gran Via, part of the Fira de Barcelona complex, from 2nd – 5th February. We hope to see you there!

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products