Products

  • ASRock TRX40 motherboard

    Enjoy Server features for the first time with AMD’s 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs

    Updated 29/06/2020

    Finding a Server motherboard that is able to support AMD’s latest generation of Ryzen Threadripper CPUs in a rack mount enclosure is not easy. One of the main reasons this is such a rare find is that generally AMD chipset boards are not configured in the way you’d expect for a rack mount server. Instead of being oriented to allow air flow front to back throughout the machine, RAM sockets are typically positioned left to right, meaning the only effective way of regulating the temperature of the blistering CPUs is by using water-cooling. This is something which has also up until recently proven a problem for AMD’s Ryzen 9 chips in 1U.

    Enter the ASRock TRX40

    Thankfully, ASRock’s new TRX40 motherboard is on its way to save the day. Designed with an sTRX4 Socket, it is able to support AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen Threadripper processors, including the 3960X, 3970X, and the coveted flagship 64-core 3990X.

    One of the very first boards on the market to offer support for all ‘Server’ features, the TRX40 is much more suited to rack mount applications. It boasts IPMI for ‘Out of band management’, ECC RAM, and Dual 10GB Ethernet to name a few key features, as well as 4x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots which make it possible to support the maximum number of lanes available in AMD’s Threadripper CPUs. This means you get to enjoy up to 3x dual-width graphics cards, depending on the unit, with enough room even left over for another card – an impressive feat within a standard ATX form factor.

    Built to help the heat

    The TRX40’s best feature, however, is its ability to enable air-cooling for the Threadripper chips thanks to the correct configuration of its RAM slots, meaning a water-cooling solution is no longer a necessity for our 3U and 4U cases. Additionally, by separating its CPU power connectors and placing them either side of the motherboard, this drives better power efficiency, resulting in a lower temperature overall.

    Nearly ready!

    We’re working closely with ASRock to develop the TRX40 motherboard and ensure it is able to successfully fulfil our customers’ needs. That way, we can be certain you’re able to enjoy AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper 3000 chips without a hitch. We’ll be receiving a pre-production sample of the board very soon and are excited to start getting this into our products. You can expect to see the TRX40 emerge across our 2U, 3U, and 4U Workstation and Server units over the coming months, so keep an eye out for an update.

    While you wait, if you’d like to find out more about how you can enjoy AMD’s 3rd generation of Ryzen Threadripper CPUs in our rack mount products, please get in touch.

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

  • X570 motherboard

    Our 1U PC can now harness ‘Server’ Features with AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X

    Updated 15/06/2020

    AMD’s new powerhouse Ryzen 9 and Threadripper processors generate a lot of heat. Up until now, the only way of cooling the chips down has been to use our custom water-cooling solution to regulate temperature, which depending on the application can be difficult to achieve.

    An even harder task is finding high-performing 1U rack mount computers able to support a full ‘Server’ feature set like ‘Out of band management’ and ECC RAM. Generally speaking, this is because AMD motherboards are incompatible with most rack mountable cases, so enjoying the benefit of the Ryzen chips in smaller units just isn’t possible.

    That’s where ASRock’s new X570 motherboard chipset comes into play.

    We’re getting 1U ready for Ryzen

    Compatible with AMD’s 3rd generation of processors, as well as their upcoming Zen 3 architecture, the X570 is a Socket AM4 chipset with a big feature list. The impressive chipset now supports 3200MHz and ECC RAM, an IPMI Management Interface, a VGA onboard GPU port, and Dual 10Gb/s Intel NIC ports. This is great news for our customers, as it means for the very first time we’re able to offer support for AMD Ryzen CPUs within our 1U Workstation and Server models, including their impressive Ryzen 9 3950X.

    Cool and compact

    As well as being a more compact board, the orientation of the X570 has changed completely. Instead of its RAM sockets going left to right like on previous boards, these are now front to back – the orientation you would ordinarily find in a rack mount server. This important alteration means the sockets no longer act as an air flow barrier, enabling AMD’s powerful Threadripper CPUs to be air-cooled. This radically simplifies the way in which temperature is controlled within a unit, reducing the need for more complex water-based solutions.

    As well as these exciting changes, the X570 offers:

    • Up to 16x PCIe 4.0 lanes
    • Up to 12 SATA 6Gbps ports
    • 3200MHz RAM support with ECC
    • IPMI Management Interface
    • Dual 10Gb/s Intel X550 Ethernet ports

    Available soon

    We’re currently still working on integrating the X570 motherboard into our 1U PC, which we anticipate will become available later this month. We’re thrilled to be able to give our customers the opportunity to enjoy the power of AMD’s Ryzen processors in even more of our units by making these available in the Workstation and Server models of our 1U PC.

    If you would like to find out more about how you can harness AMD Ryzen 9 and Threadripper CPUs in our rack mount computers, please get in touch.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • Intel 10th gen CPUs

    Intel’s new 10th gen CPUs pull out all the stops for performance

    Updated 21/05/2020

    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 15/05/2020

    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 30/04/2020

    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

  • ISE 2020

    Our reflections on ISE 2020

    Updated 27/02/2020

    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

  • G2 Digital ISE 2020

    One week to go before ISE 2020!

    Updated 04/02/2020

    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 28/01/2020

    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 23/01/2020

    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 02/01/2020

    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

  • Intel Quartz Canyon

    Quartz and Provo Canyon: the next generation of Commercial Intel NUCs

    Updated 03/12/2019

    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 19/11/2019

    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