Intel Ending Production of Desktop Motherboards

by Jerry Townson 3. December 2013 17:15

What’s the situation?

In January of 2013, Intel announced that it would be ramping down its presence in the desktop motherboard business. At the end of the year, the company will cease production of mITX, mATX, and ATX motherboards. Existing and future boards will continue to be supported, and all support downloads will remain hosted on the Intel server.  Intel's presence in this market sector will be limited to designing chipsets for use by third party manufacturers. Since these chipsets are widely used already, major names in the field stand to benefit immensely from Intel taking itself out of the competition. 

The decision by Intel to stop producing desktop motherboards wasn't surprising to many analysts. Intel was never a major player in the motherboard market. Most of its install base came from users who owned OEM PCs that came with "Intel Inside"--usually meaning the CPU. There was a time when a number of Dell, Gateway, HP, and other major brands had Intel motherboards installed on their home models.

More generally, the decision is a result of market trends. Intel's core business of selling CPUs depends on users having rock-solid hardware to slot the CPUs into. As recently as fifteen years ago, there were still relatively few companies capable of designing and building quality boards of that kind, but, what comes out of China and Taiwan today is often as good as what comes out of the US. Indeed, the last few years' worth of Intel motherboards are rumored to have been manufactured by Foxconn, using more stringent Intel design specifications and quality control. It's possible that any given Intel server from the last five years actually has "Foxconn Inside".

What does all this mean for the end user?

In the short term, not too much. The big component manufacturers--ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte among them--still dominate the retail and white box business for motherboards, to the extent that power users trust third-party boards like the ASUS H81MA over Intel's own products.

In the long term, Intel will probably move the center of its business away from the desktop PC, leaving its chipset designs in something of a fragile place. If Intel decides to ultimately pull out of the motherboard market completely, ASUS and other component manufacturers will no longer be able to rely on Intel-designed chipsets. This would be a much more drastic move, and due to the probable outcome—end users waiting twice as long for new hardware that costs three times as much, and is barely improved--it’s unlikely to occur in the near future, if at all. 

What should I do about it?

If you purchase a new motherboard in the near future, we recommend selecting an ASUS or other third-party brand rather than an Intel board. For more information you can contact us with questions about your specific situation.

 

Rackmount Accessories

by Jerry Townson 22. October 2013 19:47

If you’re setting up or maintaining your data center, you know there’s much more to it than the actual servers. The servers are vital, but they don’t do you much good without accessories. Choosing the right cabinets, keyboards, displays, cables, and other add-ons can ensure that your system is configured precisely for your unique needs. When it comes to rackmount accessories, the right tools for the job can mean the difference between a network that’s a well-oiled machine and one that’s a headache to manage. 

First, you need the right rackmount cabinet. Be sure to select a cabinet that has enough space for your needs, especially if you plan to expand your network later and need some space to grow. Check to make sure the frame is sturdy and well-made, and if there are shelves, check them for strength, too. If the rack cabinet has doors or panels, make sure they’re vented so that the servers don’t overheat.

Keyboards are next. Your rackmount keyboard should come with a tray that takes up the least amount of space on the rack (1U is ideal) so that you can place it wherever you need it. Check the sort of interface you need before making your choice so that your keyboard will actually work with your equipment. Beyond that, do you prefer a keyboard/display unit that comes together, or do you like your components to be separate? Would you like a mouse, touchpad, or trackball set up? Do you want your rackmount keyboard to be lockable when not in use?

What about your display? LCD displays come in a variety of options, from versions that can slide into a 1U space, to large and bright 19” screens with a rack height of 8U.

Cables and other add-ons are details that can be easily forgotten, but can make all the difference among your rackmount accessories. Consider rack-mountable power strips, cooling fans, connector cables, and even filler plates that can cover the spaces you’re not using. Added shelves and drawers can customize your rack to work better for your purposes, battery backups can save you in a power outage, and even the right nuts, bolts and screws can ensure that your servers are as secure and safe as they can be. Be sure to plan for all of the small-but-critical details when you’re building your network out.

Need help setting up your data center? Call us at 1-800-GT-SALE-8

Small Form Factor Case

by Jerry Townson 7. October 2013 20:15

For those who want computing power that occupies less space on a desk or shelf, the small form factor case is ideal. Small form factor computers give you plenty of storage and processing speed for your important tasks, but they don’t waste space with add-ons and components that you may never use. They are lightweight and often sleek and modern in design. Depending on your unique computing needs, a small form case may be your best choice.

Small form factor machines weren’t very popular among the public until 2005, when Apple introduced its Mac Mini; since then, many PC manufacturers have introduced small form factor systems that vary in size (micro, mini, nano and even pico) and shape (shoebox, cubic, and mini-tower “bookshelf”). Despite the variation in how the category is defined, small form factor computers share certain characteristics, such as relatively low prices, efficient power usage and, of course, a size that is far smaller than a standard desktop PC case.

Small form factor PCs are great for use at LAN parties and for home theater setups since they are portable and unobtrusive; some of these machines even come with built-in handles for added carrying convenience. This type of computer is also perfect if you need powerful computing for your rackmount system but space is at a premium. Small form factor case options for rackmount setups include more than enough processing power and all the necessary drives and outputs you may require, yet they can be just 13 inches deep, ensuring as little space as possible is wasted.

Note: When selecting a small form case, it’s also important to consider the right power supply for your situation. Some power supplies are designed to run quite efficiently and take up very little room, so if your rackmount computing setup is tight, you should look into a power supply that’s up to the task. 

Contact us today with any questions regarding small form factor cases.

The Benefits of Rugged Laptops

by Jerry Townson 26. September 2013 20:01

It would be nice if all the computing we needed to do could be done in a comfortable, climate-controlled room, away from harsh conditions or potential accidents that could befall our valuable equipment. In the real world, however, we often need to lug our laptops out to work sites or into questionable weather.  If you need a laptop that can handle the elements and not miss a beat, a rugged laptop could be the ideal choice for you.

Rugged laptops are designed to take almost anything that nature, weather, and human clumsiness can dish out. A semi-rugged laptop such as the RhinoBookIntelCorei7-620MSSD has a case that can withstand most drops, vibrations, shocks, and even spills.   So, when you’re traveling, working at a job site, or just carrying your laptop from place to place, your business data is safe and secure.  A rugged or semi-rugged laptop is resistant to the problems that  dust, dirt, mud, rain, and spills can cause, which means less downtime for you.

Worried that a rugged laptop could be lacking in power and performance? Our selection of rugged and semi-rugged laptops have large hard drives, plenty of RAM, strong processors, WiFi capabilities, and even built-in webcams for on-the-go video conferencing. Many are also available with Bluetooth. In today’s high-tech environment, those who opt for rugged laptops no longer have to compromise on functionality in order to enjoy durability that can handle a variety of hazards.

Rugged laptops allow modern workers to take their computing to the field without worrying about what might happen to their hardware. These laptops are great for those who work in forestry or nature positions, firefighting jobs, construction sites, and military deployments. They’re also ideal for people who work on boats or oil rigs, and they are perfectly suited for individuals who are constantly on the road or working out of their cars. Even in today’s busy office environment, a rugged or semi-rugged laptop can be a good choice to help staffers avoid damage caused by food or drink spills, drops and other in-house mishaps.

Preserving your business data is job number one, and a rugged laptop can be your most effective partner in achieving that goal. As valuable as your information is, there’s really no reason NOT to consider a rugged or semi-rugged laptop.

Browse our selection of rugged laptops today.

Compact 2U Rack Chassis Systems

by Jerry Townson 19. September 2013 10:35

Did you know that even if you’re working with limited space, you can get the performance you need in a compact rack case? For instance, General Technics, Inc. stocks a compact 2U rack case for those tight spaces, and they come in a variety of models and prices.

Our GT214 model measures a mere 20.5 inches deep, but don’t let the compact size fool you. With it’s 2TB Data Drive, full size ATX board and support for 4 hard drives on shock resistant mounting, this chassis could be just what you need. This system boasts 12 GB of storage, a 460 watt power supply with one 5.25” and one 3.5” bay, and 3 card slots with a modular riser card system.  Now there’s performance in a compact system!

When you visit our website, you can use our interactive slider tool to help you decide which rack case will suit your needs. A photo and full description accompanies each model so you’ll be able to easily choose the one that works for you.

We can also customize a 2U rack case for you with additional drives and RAID setups. Give us a call at 800-487-2538 or email us at support@gtweb.net and one of our experienced sales technicians can help you build the perfect system.

Introducing General Technics 3U Quiet ATX Rackmount Chassis

by Jerry Townson 5. March 2013 15:20

 

General Technics introduces an innovative Rackmount Chassis, brilliantly designed to be cool,

 compact and ultra-quiet.

 

This supremely designed chassishas the largest functional capacity for a system its size coupled with nearly

silent operation.

Ultra-quiet, compact and adaptable, this is ideal for workstation, home theater and DVR applications.

 

Though only 3U high, and 16 inches deep, it supports up to five removable drives, a slim optical drive, and

three internal drives.

 

Nearly Silent Operation: 

In environments where noise level is critical, nothing is quieter than this ultra quiet 3U rackmount chassis.

 To keep hard drives healthy and cool, three unique internal mounts suspend them in the path of fresh air 

flowing through the system- add to this an ultra-quiet fan and a “silent” power supply. If not for the power 

LED, you would have to put your ear right next to this system to tell if it were on. It features an "Ultra Quiet" 

case fan. Even at maximum speed, this amazing fan runs below a whisper at only 24.7 dBA. But, when throttled

 by the system board, it will cool the system inaudibly, below 10 dBA. Coupled with a "silent" Seasonic power

 supply, rated at only 22 dBA, this system is among the quietest available.

 This small chassis supports any micro-ATX board and up to four full length PCI cards. There are two USB 2.0 

ports on the front IO panel. The lockable door protects drives and controls, and opens wide enough for any style 

removable drive. Mounting for a vertical slot-loading slim optical drive is standard, freeing up valuable space

 for other devices. The standard system comes with two 5.25" bays, and one 3.5" bay, but many other 

combinations are possible. 

Customize the chassis with six removable panels for additional IO or silkscreened logos. 

Smart Add-On Options ( http://www.gtweb.net/Part/Detail/1567)

 

Tags:

New Website Launch!

by James 16. November 2012 17:47

We here at GT are proud to unveil our new website.  There are several important new features we would like to highlight.  Be sure to Check back here for updated information over the next few days.