Products

  • 3U PC front

    Get ready to meet our brand-new unit: the 3U PC

    Updated 09/07/2019

    We’re excited to officially reveal that we have a brand-new rackmount unit in the works – the 3U PC. The very first 3U computer to join our ever-expanding line-up of Mini and Rack PCs, we’ve created the 3U PC in response to an increasing demand for multi GPU configurations.

    Why are multiple GPU slots so hard to come by?

    The fundamental issue with consumer grade GPUs, while cost effective, is that they come built with power connectors on their top edge. This means they are generally very tall, and difficult to fit into more compact, space-sensitive PCs, restricting the number of graphics cards that can be deployed in a single unit. By comparison, the power connectors on ‘professional’ cards can be found on the back of the GPU rather than the top edge, thereby only affecting case depth, which is a much easier challenge to negotiate.

    Enter the 3U PC

    Our new 3U PC was designed to alleviate the issues associated with multiple GPU slots. As the need for PCs with a smaller height but sufficient room for more expansion cards continues to grow, our 3U case allows professional GPUs to be mounted vertically, making it possible for customers to add several to their unit.

    Available in two variants, the 3U PC takes both pro and consumer cards into consideration. The first variant will offer 7x full height single bays able to fit up to 3x dual-width NVIDIA RTX or AMD professional graphics cards. The second variant rises the bays through 90 degrees, offering 5x full height single bays able to fit up to 2x dual-width NVIDIA RTX/GTX consumer graphics cards.

    3U PC rear alternate variant3U PC rear variant

    But that’s not all there is to get excited about – the 3U PC is bursting with other brilliant features:

    • 425(W) x 547(D) x 133(H) mm
    • 4x 3.5” or 8x 2.5” hot swap bays
    • Dual Socket AMD EPYC or Intel Xeon CPU Support
    • Water-cooling functionality (optional)
    • Redundant power supply (optional)
    • DVD/Blu-ray Bay (Optional)

    Proving three’s not a crowd

    We can confirm that the 3U PC has now been fully designed and is currently awaiting initial production samples, but we don’t anticipate it’ll be very long before the new unit joins our family of compact and rackmount PCs. We anticipate availability in around 5 weeks’ time, so watch this space for any updates on how you can get your hands on one.

    If you would like to learn more about the 3U PC, or any of our other products, please get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Water-cooled 2U rack PC

    We water-cooled Intel’s i9-9900K in an epic 2U rack PC

    Updated 11/06/2019

    We know just how important it is to ensure our customers are always getting the most out of their choice of processor – it’s one of the many reasons why we’re constantly developing and refining our versatile line-up of Rack and Mini PCs. A recent example saw us commissioned by our customer Epic Games to engineer a solution that would mean they could run Intel’s flagship i9-9900K CPU at its Turbo frequency of 5GHz for a sustained period of time – a feat that presented some interesting challenges.

    Overclocking is not a game

    A video game and software development company, Epic Games is renowned for many highly successful video games, including the hit sensation Fortnite. Driven by the need for powerful, responsive and stable compute, Epic Games’ initial requirement was for a machine that could achieve a Turbo speed of 5GHz across the first couple of the processor’s cores only. However, the only way to ensure this speed was consistently reached while maintaining stability was by fully overclocking the Intel chip, meaning all cores would need to be activated.

    Playing it cool

    Water-cooling 2U PC

    The drawback of overclocking the CPU to this extent was that it resulted in the processor’s power consumption almost doubling from 95W to 180W. This massive leap caused the host 2U PC to reach temperatures of up to 85 degrees – a mere 15 degrees less than Tjunction, Intel’s recommended maximum. The reason for this surge in heat was largely down to the CPU’s die surface area, which was little more than the size of a stamp. Dissipating the heat from such a small area is tricky, and as such, we knew that the only way of solving the challenge was to introduce water-cooling. By bringing the CPU’s hot surface into contact with a cool, temperature-controlled liquid, we managed to successfully lower the i9-9900K’s temperature and thereby cool the 2U PC down to a safe operating range that wouldn’t exceed 70 degrees.

    An epic solution

    2U PC water-cooled IntelOur solution didn’t just stop at water-cooling, either. Because most off-the-shelf water-cooling components aren’t typically designed for smaller units, their height can be difficult to accommodate. To ensure Epic Games’ solution was able to fit neatly inside a compact 2U PC, we therefore had to reengineer the Alphacool water-cooling parts we had selected by reducing their height while retaining their effectiveness. This perfectly suited Epic Games’ space-sensitive deployment needs. The depth of the case also presented a different challenge – as the 2U PC is a deeper unit, it needed greater airflow to circulate and expel the CPU’s heat. We designed fans specifically to accomplish this task, enabling Epic Games to truly get the most from the i9-9900K. Finally, we kitted the 2U unit out with a redundant power supply, protecting the processor from any downtime due to a power failure. The result of some rigorous testing, the final product was a sophisticated solution that did exactly what Epic Games needed it to.

    If you would like to find out more about how water-cooling could benefit your PC’s CPU, or how we can help you maximise your choice of processor, get in touch with one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: Products

  • Intel CPU shortage

    The impact of Intel’s chip shortage is almost behind us

    Updated 20/03/2019

    In both Q3 and Q4 of 2018, overwhelming demand for Intel’s 14nm processors meant that both consumers and suppliers of products reliant on Intel chips were faced with considerable stock constraints. Now well into 2019, we’re still feeling the effects of the CPU shortage, which only looks set to continue into the next quarter. This does sadly mean that both the prices and lead times of our products are still being impacted, but we are doing everything we can to alleviate this issue for our customers. This may even influence previously issued quotes, so if you have recently received a quote from us for any upcoming projects that involve an Intel chip, please contact us for an updated quote.

    Why is there a chip shortage?

    Intel’s chip shortage is down to a number of different factors surrounding the supply of their 14nm 8th generation processors. Due in large part to a record demand for the CPUs, as well as a delay in the 10nm manufacturing process, this resulted in a significant supply gap in the latter half of 2018 which has since rolled over into 2019. This is likely to be augmented in Q2 ‘19 by an anticipated demand for Chromebooks containing Intel’s lower-end CPUs, which may mean their i3 processors could overtake the highly sought-after i5 quad-core Kaby Lake-R chips as the hardest to get your hands on.

    Things are looking up for Q3 ‘19

    According to DigiTimes research, however, the worst of the shortage may be over by Q3 of this year. Acknowledging that their shift in capacity for high-end processors was one of the causes behind the chip shortage, Intel has been taking steps to address the problem and it’s now predicted that we’ll see a new 14nm capacity expansion of around 25%, which will supposedly mean the end of the issue for good. Likewise, with the data centre boom seemingly almost over, things could be looking up for the supply of Intel’s chips as we move further into 2019.

    It’s always darkest before the dawn

    We’re hoping that the shortage won’t last much longer and are working to ensure this has a minimal impact on our customers’ orders. If you would like to better understand how Intel’s chip shortage will affect the prices and lead times of your G2 order, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Fanless NUC

    ISE saw the launch of our new Fanless NUC

    Updated 28/02/2019

    The exhilarating atmosphere of Integrated Systems Europe 2019 not only provided the platform for our debut as an exhibitor, but also the official launch of our brand-new Fanless NUC. Having recognised a gap in the market for a fanless variant of the extremely popular Intel NUC as well as a growing demand for this within the audio-visual industry, we’ve built a solution that provides AV and digital professionals with greater flexibility than ever before.

    The many fortes of the Fanless NUC

    The result of an extensive research and development project, the Fanless NUC is a high-performing, compact PC ideal for sound-sensitive installations where controlling noise is crucial. Thanks to the removal of the frequently noisy cooling fan, the unit is rendered practically soundless, running almost silently and with a minimal build-up of heat over time. Being fanless, the PC benefits from one less point of failure, reducing the risk of any internal damage and vastly increasing its reliability. At only 180mm deep, it’s a perfect fit for smaller comms cabinets but can also be rackmounted with ease, our uniquely designed chassis and front panels enabling users to rackmount two of the fanless units side-by-side in 1U. A nifty internal 60W power supply also keeps the PC tidy, condensed, and robust.

    Flexible, feature-rich, and fanless

    The Fanless NUC, although compact, is overflowing with great features:

    • Support for latest Intel 8th Generation i7, i5, and i3 NUC motherboards
    • Industrialised 60W 110-230VAC internal power supply
    • Additional multi NIC capability
    • 1 x M.2 (2280) & 1 x 2.5’’ SSD/HDD
    • M.2 Dual Gigabit Ethernet card
    • Wi-Fi connectivity options
    • Optional RS232 port

    Creating a whole wealth of new possibilities for NUC users, the Fanless NUC achieves something few of our competitors are able to offer. With no moving parts and a ruggedised case, it’s portable, resilient, and highly versatile – an excellent choice for any industrial or more challenging applications.

    If you’d like to learn more about the latest addition to our line-up of compact and rackmount PCs and why it’s ideal for AV and digital media professionals, get in touch with the team today.

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

  • Fanless NUC

    Meet the Fanless NUC – reliable, robust, and resilient

    Updated 17/12/2018

    Following a recent upgrade to our highly popular 1U NUC PC to provide important support for Intel’s 8th generation i7 NUC motherboard, we are now pleased to also be able to offer our customers a fanless variation to the product. We’ve seen a lot more demand for fanless NUCs, and for good reason.

    Why go fanless?

    Fanless PCs offer even more versatility versus their fan-cooled cousins, and as a result are growing in popularity. While making our NUCs fanless doesn’t necessarily have any particular impact on their core specs or performance, what it does do is offer even more flexibility, expanding the range of different environments they can be used in.

    No noise

    A lot of the noise emitted from your average PC originates from its fan(s). This almost goes without saying, but by removing the fan from a NUC, noise is eliminated and the unit is able to run almost silently. This makes it ideal for sound-sensitive environments or for use in AV production where noise can prove disruptive.

    One less point of failure

    On occasion fans can also malfunction or breakdown because of trapped dust or debris, particularly in industrial applications, which can end up having an adverse effect on the electrical components within a PC. Going fanless eradicates this issue entirely, protecting the machine against dust, shavings, and even water penetration, meaning the risk of damage or downtime to the PC is minimised. The fact that the unit is completely sealed also makes it perfect for use in sterile environments such as hospitals or laboratories.

    Less moving parts

    Minus its fan, the number of moving parts in the 1U NUC is significantly reduced, making it far more robust, resilient, and durable – a ruggedised PC ready for use in more challenging environments. Because the PC is so compact, it also offers flexible mounting options, meaning two fanless NUCs can be rackmounted side-by-side in a 1U space.

    Energy efficient

    Due to the fact that the PC no longer has a fan, the NUC needs to find alternative ways to cool. Because of this, the machine is built to use much less power and consequently generate less heat in order to minimise the energy used to run it.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of a fanless 1U NUC PC, then please get in touch.

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

  • 2U reverse mount

    Our Rack PCs are now reversible!

    Updated 28/11/2018

    We’ve always prided ourselves on providing flexible mounting options for our products. It’s in large part because of how our products get used in environments where physical space is often at a premium.  It’s with this idea of flexibility in mind that we have made a dramatic change to our Rack PCs.

    Revolutionary reverse-mounting

    For the first time, several of our units can now be rack-mounted from both the front and the rear of the machine. Put simply, this opens up the option for customers to reverse-mount their PCs if this is a preference, ensuring that the PC’s connectors are facing the front of the rack, as opposed to the glowing power button. Users can therefore enjoy better cable management, easier access to connectors, and a quick means of reaching the machine’s power and LED switch, meaning greater convenience overall.

    Although our units are typically mounted in short-depth rack cabinets, being able to rackmount from both the front and the back of the PC proves a large advantage for deeper cabinets. The versatile mounting option can mean up to two units could be mounted within the same rack – one reverse-mounted and one forward-facing, resulting in a much tidier cabinet and better utilised rackspace.

    Take advantage of reverse-mounting

    This option to reverse-mount is currently only available in our 1U PC, 1U Nano, 2U Nano, and 4U Nano, however we’re already working on extending this innovation to the remainder of our product portfolio. As well as this design change, an ultra-short-depth 370mm case and new redundant power supply unit (PSU) options make our extremely compact 2U Nano and 4U Nano PCs ideal for use in AV and digital media productions where high-performance output is required in a space-sensitive environment.

    If you would like to learn more about the changes to our units or the benefits of reverse-mounting a Rack PC, get in touch with one of the team.

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

  • Intel 9th gen

    Intel’s 9th gen CPUs now available in G2 PCs

    Updated 30/10/2018

    Officially unveiled earlier this month at Intel’s Fall Desktop Event, we’re excited to announce that their brand-new 9th generation of chips is now available in selected models of our Rack PCs. While the 9th gen Coffee Lake CPUs are still based on a 14nm architecture, these have now been dubbed “14nm++” and offer serious power and performance boosts over their 8th gen predecessors.

    The wow factor: i9-9900K

    Boasting 8 cores, astounding clock speeds, and compatibility with LGA1151 Coffee Lake desktop boards, we’re particularly impressed with Intel’s flagship i9-9900K processor. With a fairly standard base clock (for an i9 chip) of 3.6GHz, it is the first ever Intel CPU to have a Turbo speed of 5GHz, which is really setting it apart as a monster of a processor.

    Hailed as potentially the best gaming processor in the world today, it’s got some awesome specs:

    • Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
    • 16 Core Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
    • Intel L3 SmartCache 16MB
    • Up to 16 PCIe lanes
    • Intel UHD graphics 630

    More future-ready

    Helpfully, the 9th gen CPUs are backwards compatible with all of Intel’s 300-series chipsets, as well as the latest Z390 motherboard, meaning less restrictions and far more flexibility than previous generations. The chips have also been built with silicon-level hardware fixes to tackle some of the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities that were exposed at the start of this year, and see the welcomed return of Intel’s Solder Thermal Interface Material (STIM) over paste.

    Hot off the press

    Due to the fact that the 9th gen chips now offer seriously advanced overclocking, particularly the i9-9900K, the resulting power can mean the CPUs get very hot, and therefore need an equally powerful cooler to contain the excess heat. Talk to us about how best to optimise your PC for a 9th gen CPU.

    If you would like to learn more about Intel’s 9th generation of chips and how to maximise their potential within a G2 PC, contact us and speak to one of the team.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products