News

  • Hybrid 12th Gen processors herald new age for Intel

    Updated 16/06/2021

    Having just recently released its latest line-up of 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors, Intel is already looking to the future with a new 12th Gen family in the works.

    Codenamed Alder Lake, 12th Gen processors are set to be the first chipset built using a hybrid design, a significant milestone for Intel that represents the first major processor overhaul for a number of years.

    What is a hybrid architecture?

    Having previously been used for less-powerful mobile devices, hybrid architecture is increasingly being adopted for use with laptop and desktop processors.

    Otherwise known as big.LITTLE design, a hybrid architecture sees low power, high-efficiency cores combined with high-performance dual-thread cores to create a more versatile processor. This means that a single chip can simultaneously support both low urgency background tasks, and heavier, more demanding workloads.

    Alder Lake chips are set to use two variations of core. Golden Cove architecture, an evolution of 11th Gen chips’ Willow Cove, will be used for more powerful cores, with smaller cores based on the low-power Gracemont Atom.

    Due to the combination of core types, the core count for Alder Lake chips will also follow a new convention, with the 16 core products described as 8+8. Processors of this size will include 24 threads, with the 8 Golden Cove cores all dual-threaded.

    What else is new with Alder Lake?

    While full specs are yet to be released, some interesting details have already emerged.

    It’s expected that Alder Lake will include 3 processor tracks within a single line-up, with Alder Lake-S, -P, and -M for desktop, laptop, and mobile respectively.

    Alder Lake is also the first chipset to use the new SuperFin 10nm production process, Intel’s first new desktop node for over 6 years.

    There’s also Intel Xe integrated graphics, and support for new technology such as PCIe 5.0. An LGA 1700 socket means that there is no compatibility with legacy motherboards such as the Z490 and Z590.

    When can we expect to see 12th Gen processors?

    No release date has been confirmed, but it’s expected that Alder Lake will be released before the end of the year.

    Until then, we’re interested to see what performance benchmarks begin to emerge, and we’re excited to see what this new 12th Gen line-up can add to our selection of mini and rackmount PCs.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • The new 11th Gen Intel NUCs are here . . .

    Updated 24/05/2021

    Back in December we shared our excitement at the imminent release of Intel’s new 11th Gen NUCs, the first Intel NUCs to contain the new range of 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors.

    Now, we’re pleased to confirm that both the NUC 11 Enthusiast and Pro, otherwise known as Phantom and Tiger Canyon, are available as part of our range, both as standard and fanless variations.

    With some exciting new features, Intel’s 11th Gen NUCs promise improved performance compared to previous generations. We’ve also used the release as an opportunity to test out some important improvements to our bespoke fanless versions.

    What to expect from 11th Gen NUCs?

    As well as the inclusion of Tiger Lake processors, both 11th Gen NUCs come equipped with integrated graphics thanks to Intel Iris Xe.

    Full features of 11th Gen NUCs include:

    • Dual 4K HDMI 2.0 ports Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports – USB3 and 4K Video Output
    • Intel i225 2.5Gbps NIC
    • Internal AC/DC PSU
    • Power over Ethernet and DC Power Input
    • Additional Gigabit NIC Port Option

    What changes are coming to the Fanless NUC?

    The launch of the 11th Gen NUCs has presented a welcomed opportunity to explore improvements to our fanless variant, the most significant of which is a change to the manufacturing process.

    Whereas the first iteration of our Fanless NUC was custom machined, as part of a new research and development project we’ve utilised a more efficient dye cast process. Crucially, this is a more cost-effective method of production, and will allow us to supply Fanless NUCs at a more competitive price point.

    We’ve also explored the addition of a new custom heat pipe system to improve heat distribution throughout the unit. This allows heat from the processor core to be spread across the entire unit more evenly, helping to better reduce the overall core temperature and deliver increased performance as a result.

    If you’d like to learn more about 11th Gen NUCs or any of our other products, speak with a member of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • King of workstations: Threadripper Pro 3995WX comes to G2

    Updated 09/04/2021

    When we reported on AMD’s new Threadripper Pro 3995WX back in October we were really excited about what the processor promised.

    Threadripper Pro – billed as the ultimate processor for professional workstations it has done much to live up to this name. However, the flagship has gone even further. A ludicrous 64 core, 128 threads and 2TB of memory offers truly class-leading performance. Add in the 8x channel memory architecture and to get even close to this performance via other configs you’re looking at upgrading to a dual-socket processor and the price hikes that go with it.

    The 3995WX brings out the best in the much-vaunted 7nm process Zen 2 microarchitecture. We especially love the 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 and with it the promise of all kinds of funky additives – whether you’re looking to beef-up on SSD, mix up your GFX cards, or flex on your network connectivity.

    At launch, one global device manufacturer had secured a period of exclusivity for inclusion of the 3995WX in their workstations. With that moratorium over, we’re pleased to announce that the 3995WX will soon be hitting our machines. While some supply restrictions persist, we’re confident that it won’t be subject to the same stock and board shortages seen elsewhere last year.

    Threadripper Pro 3995WX hitting G2 products

    So, what can you look forward to from our product line-up? The 3995WX will be featuring in 1U, 2U and 3U machines, which we will be announcing shortly. It means that whatever rack mount footprint you’re looking for we’ll be able to build a real powerhouse for you based on this extraordinary architecture.

    Of course, if you don’t need the brute performance on the 3995WX there are three other Threadripper Pro chips to choose between, all of which are available in select G2 Digital machines and still deliver blistering performance in their own right. With such a simple line-up, the chip selection headache that may have confronted you in the past while sizing up your workstation-class PC is actually heaps more straightforward with AMD.

    Roll-on Zen 3!

    With such impressive performance gains made possible, from Zen 2.0, we wait with bated breath as to what a Zen 3.0 variant might deliver. Lower end AMD Ryzen chips are already shipping from this architecture.

    To learn more about the AMD Threadripper Pro 3995WX and it’s inclusion in our PCs, get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes standout feature of Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake

    Updated 06/04/2021

    After first teasing the release during January’s virtual CES 2021 event, Intel has now confirmed the launch of its long-awaited Rocket Lake 11th Gen Series of CPUs, with this enhanced family of processors available alongside a new line of 11th Gen 500 series motherboards.

    Plenty of exciting capabilities have already been revealed in recent months, but now that this new chipset is finally available, what can we expect to see?

    The full Rocket Lake Line-up

    Intel has already revealed other product lines as part of its 11th Gen family, and this recent Rocket Lake release includes several processors that differ from the existing iterations available with the 11th Gen Tiger Lake Laptop CPU range.

    In total, the Rocket Lake family includes 8 new processors:

    • Intel Core i9-11900K
    • Intel Core i9-11900
    • Intel Core i7-11700K
    • Intel Core i7-11700
    • Intel Core i5-11600K
    • Intel Core i5-11600
    • Intel Core i5-11500
    • Intel Core i5-11400

    As well as a range of CPUs, the new 11th Gen 500 series of Motherboards has also been released, and includes 4 variations:

    • Z590
    • H570
    • B560
    • H510

    Solid foundations from a new architecture

    The new Rocket Lake family represents a significant milestone for Intel, with its new Cypress Cove architecture becoming the first new desktop CPU architecture released in just over 5 years.

    This new architecture builds on the existing Ice Lake 10nm architecture, but ports back to 14 nm to deliver higher performance at a more competitive price. In combination with its Xe Graphics architecture, Intel also predicts an increase of around 50% in GFX performance compared to 9th Gen integrated graphics.

    RAM overclocking for enhanced performance

    Another first with Rocket Lake CPUs is the availability of memory overclocking across various processors included within the series, with this capability set to be made available for the full range in the coming months.

    This is an important step for Intel, as overclocking RAM allows for cost-effective performance boosts and faster frame rates without the need for additional cooling provisions. Importantly, as RAM boosts only require a small amount of power, there’s also no need to add a larger PSU.

    Exciting expansion options with more PCIe slots

    Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Rocket Lake series is an increase in PCIe 4.0 lanes from 16 to 20. Firstly, PCIe 4.0 has double the throughput of the earlier 3.0 generation giving it some significant performance advantages. The additional lanes offer worthwhile expansion capability, especially when a typical GFX card will eat up the 16 lanes available on most motherboards.

    Importantly three of the new motherboards available with the 500 series, the Z590, H570, and the B560, support this PCIe change. The entry-level H510 board however is still limited to 16 slots.

    In our opinion, additional lane capability was the most impressive new feature revealed and offers plenty of exciting opportunities for expansion. With an additional 4 PCIe lanes now available with Rocket Lake, you have more headroom to add in additional PCIe devices, such as an SSD, or to make a connection directly to your CPU to help improve performance.

    Rocket Lake hits G2 machines

    We’ve selectively introduced the new 11th Gen processors into some of our high-performance systems. We’re excited about the configuration choices this will offer our customers; plus, some welcomed savings it represents. With the potential of the four additional PCIe lanes, upgrade to industrial class motherboard options to achieve this expansion may no longer be necessary for some builds.

    If you’d like to learn more about Intel’s new 11th Gen range of Rocket Lake processors and 500 series motherboards, and discuss how they could be integrated into your new rack or mini pc, get in touch with a member of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • NVIDIA stock shortage

    The great graphics card shortage won’t be improving any time soon

    Updated 21/01/2021

    While we faced a number of stock shortages and supply challenges as a result of COVID-19 throughout most of last year, none have been as enduring as the current constraints of NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series of GPUs. The unfortunate truth is that this situation is unlikely to improve until later this year, with shortages potentially even extending well into May.

    How bad is it?

    For those unaware, the current demand for NVIDIA’s latest graphics cards is at an all-time high, and as a result, production just doesn’t have sufficient capacity to keep up. Even three-year-old cards aren’t available for purchase, and any time these highly sought-after graphics do appear online, they’re snapped up in mere seconds for an extortionate price. The shortage is also affecting the availability of AMD’s new Radeon RX 6000 series, which along with the RTX 30 GPUs are now almost impossible to track down, let alone buy. Previous generations of graphics cards are also sadly out of the question, as these were read their end of life rites when NVIDIA released its latest offering.

    What’s causing the shortage?

    A number of factors have been deemed responsible for these constraints, the primary of which seems to be a shortage of the materials required for production, such as wafers and silicone. NVIDIA has also stated that a lack of GDDR6 memory is to blame for the delays. COVID-19, of course, has a part to play in this, as shipping and freight costs have felt a substantial impact due to the restrictions imposed by the virus. Online gaming has also increased exponentially over the past year as the confines of lockdown have continued, generating an even greater global surge for GPUs.

    Cryptocurrency is a contributor

    What hasn’t helped matters is that the value of popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin skyrocketed in recent months. This has meant any graphics cards that do become available are instantly snatched away by eager crypto-miners, as the GPUs are an ideal way of improving the mining process. This is reminiscent of the GPU shortages we experienced as a result of crypto-mining in 2017, however the big difference is that this time around crypto-miners are not the cause of the shortage, but still a large part of the problem.

    How might this impact my G2 order?

    While we are still experiencing some challenges due to these NVIDIA and AMD stock shortages, we’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact on customer orders. We’re incredibly grateful for your patience during this time, and assure you any G2 products you have yet to receive will be well worth the wait. If you’d like to find out more about these GPU shortages and how they may affect your order, please get in touch with us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • CES 2021

    A very different CES 2021 still yielded exciting innovations

    Updated 15/01/2021

    Like so many events that preceded it in 2020, COVID-19 has paved the way for a radically different CES this year. The global stage for innovation would have usually taken place amidst the bright lights and bustle of Las Vegas, but instead CES 2021 had to become their first ever all-digital event. While many industry events have translated particularly well to a virtual alternative, the ordinarily very hands-on CES was an odd experience to say the least. However, although it didn’t quite have the awe-inspiring impact it would have achieved in the flesh, it was nonetheless an impressive platform for the reveal of many exciting new releases.

    Intel 11th gen CPUs came into their own

    Intel announced a whole wave of new 11th gen series processors, including their 10nm Core vPro and Evo vPro mobile chips, N-series of Pentium Silver and Celeron CPUs for education, and Tiger Lake H35-series for “ultraportable” gaming. The best news by far, however, was that the Core S-series Rocket Lake desktop processors would be launched in March 2021. These chips will be led by the flagship i9-11900K, offer faster DDR4-3200 memory, and a 19% increase in IPC performance. Alder Lake is also on its way, built on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin architecture with both high-performance and high-efficiency cores. Finally, production of Xeon Scalable Ice Lake CPUs will be kicking off in Q1. This series will help boost performance, security, and efficiency in datacentres. We can’t wait to see what else Intel has up its sleeve this year, particularly as VMware’s Pat Gelsinger has recently become its new CEO.

    Less is more for AMD

    Comparatively, AMD kept its cards a little closer to its chest this year. Their biggest reveal of the event was the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series of mobile CPUs. Based on the same 7nm Zen 3 architecture as its desktop predecessors, the mobile equivalents promise an uplift in performance as well as longer battery life. The announcement was also accompanied by new Ryzen 9 5900 and Ryzen 7 5800 processors, which offer a lower TDP than the 5900X and 5950X. There was, though, a certain absence of Big Navi talk from the chipmaker, aside from the fact that the RDNA2 GPUs will be appearing in gaming laptops in the first half of 2021.

    NVIDIA expands its graphics card line-up

    Further adding to its already significant RTX 30 series of graphics cards, NVIDIA announced the new GeForce RTX 3060 at CES. An Ampere desktop GPU, the RTX 3060 is a compelling alternative to the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070, with 12GB of GDDR6 memory as opposed to 8GB, and a boost clock speed of 1.78GHz compared to 1.67GHz and 1.73GHz respectively. A notable difference, however, is that the 3060 only boasts 3584 CUDA cores, a modest count that doesn’t quite measure up to the 4864 CUDA cores of the 3060 Ti and 5888 CUDA cores of the 3070. The 3060 is expected to become available in late February, but with NVIDIA’s recent stock shortages in mind, it may be an even longer wait.

    While the virtual CES 2021 wasn’t quite the same as its physical counterpart, a lot of interesting releases still made it a very worthwhile event. We’re looking forward to the launch of these products so that we can start getting them into our rack mount PCs. If you would like to find out more about these announcements and when they might become available within our product range, get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • 2020

    A look back on 2020, a year no one will forget

    Updated 18/12/2020

    2020 has been a year unlike any other. No one could have anticipated the global impact and sheer scale of the COVID-19 pandemic since its initial outbreak at the tail end of 2019. Despite its unwelcomed arrival, however, and the challenges it has presented over the past year, 2020 has also provided a platform for a number of new and exciting innovations. With the Christmas break fast approaching and the New Year within touching distance, we’ve decided to take a look back over the events of 2020 and their effect on our partners, our own business, and the industry as a whole.

    All hail AMD

    Although 2020 has been rife with stock shortages and supply chain delays, the good news from AMD has kept on coming. Kicking off the year with the launch of their 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor at CES 2020, they really started with a bang. And it was only uphill from there – the Ryzen 4000 series of desktop processors offered breakthrough performance for desktop PCs following its release over the summer, but was quickly overshadowed by the Ryzen 5000 series which marked the arrival of their highly anticipated Zen 3 architecture and the “world’s best gaming CPU”. That’s all without mention of their introduction of 8-channel memory in the Threadripper PRO 3995WX too.

    Game-changing graphics

    2020 also made way for Intel’s new and disruptive Xe range of discrete graphics, which have most recently come to life inside the Intel NUC 11 Pro Tiger Canyon. Like AMD, we’ve seen two generations of processors emerge from Intel this year, with the release of their 10th gen Comet Lake-S and 11th gen Tiger Lake chips, both of which are now available across our line-up of rack mount PCs. Speaking of great graphics, we announced last month that NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series of GPUs was coming to selected models of our product range. These graphics cards truly are a game-changer for ray tracing in particular, accelerating performance by up to 2x.

    A great year for G2!

    In spite of a few stock and pricing difficulties encountered due to the virus early on, it’s been an exciting and productive year for G2 overall. We started 2020 on a high with our second appearance at Integrated Systems Europe, the world’s largest systems integration show, where we debuted new Power over Ethernet capability in our 1U products as well as the vertical variation of our 3U PC. Additionally, 2020 saw the launch of our Support Portal, helping us deliver even greater support and real-time order information to our customers. We also introduced the benefits of U.2 connectors to our products, made Dual PCIe possible within our 1U PC and 1U Nano, and added three new redundant power supply unit options to our range. To top it all off, we’re currently working on a brand-new product, the 1U Titan, which we hope to officially launch in the first half of 2021.

    While 2020 has been a strange year to say the least, a lot of good has still come out of it, and we’re excited to see where 2021 takes us. There’s plenty to look forward to on the horizon, but until then we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Tiger Canyon 11th gen NUC

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

    Updated 04/12/2020

    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 20/11/2020

    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 30/10/2020

    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 22/10/2020

    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 30/09/2020

    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