We at Hardsoft are proud to announce that we have successfully secured a lease contract to supply Hasselblad the world’s premier camera manufacture with new Apple Macs’s on our flexible lease option. Hasselblad UK have taken delivery of three highly specified Apple Mac Pros, which are installed at their UK head office in Borehamwood, Herts. Many photographers may well see them as they pop in. Hardsoft have been supplying IT and Photographic products through our Flexi Lease Program for many years. In fact the owner of the Cambridgeshire Franchise , David Hawkins, has fifteen years experience in Architectural photography.As a photographer, keeping up with digital age and the competition is important to stay ahead of the game, but so is hanging on to that hard earned cash. Our Flexi Lease program will not only give the equipment you need today but enable you to maximise your cash flow. HardSoft can provide a bespoke Mac , including the new 12 core Mac Pro with accessories and software such as Adobe, Aperture etc on a three year lease with hardware support and warranty and optional accidental insurance cover
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
We’ll be exhibiting at the Broadcast Video Exhibition, aka BVE, again this year, making it our 7th visit. This year the show runs from the 27th of February to 1st March at Excel London and we’ll be there demonstrating how our flexible leases can benefit the broadcast business.
We look forward to BVE each year because we get to experience the latest technology hands on, as well as meeting our existing and potential new clients. With around 300 companies attending there will be lots to see with businesses showcasing their products whilst an extensive program of free seminars featuring more than 200 speakers and over 100 sessions across the 3 days. We’ll be on the same stand as last year – R29 – so come along and meet some of the HardSoft team who will be there explaining how our leasing can benefit those in fast-moving tech heavy industry. You’ll find that leasing turns the un-affordable into something very affordable indeed.
Why you should visit our stand
We have a great treat for you this year, we’ll have a brand new iMac Pro on the stand with us for you to try out – even the Apple stores don’t have the iMac Pro in yet so make the most of it and head over to see us!
Don’t forget to ask us about the risk of 8K. Yes, you may have thought you were bang up to date with your 4K TVs and displays but in fact 8K is fast becoming the latest tech trend. This of course brings with it it’s own issues, such as storage and speed capabilities, and builds on the ever increasing demands for bigger, better, and faster custom built computers. We have been building custom PCs at HardSoft since we started out in 1984, but we have seen a rising trend for bespoke computers over the past few years as customers need to use the highest spec graphics and applications which often don’t work to their optimum capacity with ‘off the shelf’ PCs.
Book a slot
So, if you’re heading to BVE this year make sure you come over and visit our IT financing specialists to discuss all of your technology needs. Something to bear in mind – we’ve been extremely busy at previous BVEs, so if you want a detailed chat we’d advise booking a slot to visit our stand. If you’d like to do this, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reserve you a time slot. Look forward to seeing you there!
Strongbox’s graphic rendering power – perfect for VR development
Asus’s partnership with High Performance Computer manufacturer Strongbox has resulted in the creation of the world’s fastest PC workstation. With outstanding graphics rendering, this makes it perfect for VR development use. As they are keen to point out, their system has so far broken all records, taking over the OctaneBench top position with the highest score of 1620.82, all powered by less than eight ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 Tis in an eight-way SLI configuration.
As Strongboxes technical director, Brian Gannon, points out “Our computers are demonstrably faster than our competitors like HP. I would say Dell are now pretty much out of the running. HP are still making excellent systems and are very well built but the fact is they are going down the XEON route because that’s what the industry recommends, which isn’t necessarily correct. Because they are going down the XEON route and they are clocked so much lower it means that our machines especially our i7X machine absolutely pummels it in to the ground. Especially with video editing, VFX and grading.”
Strongbox vs new MacPro – Mac stuck on Open CL, uses graphic card extender boxes while Strongbox gets same performance out of less.
Strongbox have also been quick to compare their machine to the new Mac Pro, with the latter falling down badly. As they see it, the problem is that Mac have stuck with AMD FirePro graphics rather than opting for a NVIDIA solution. This has not worked well as the favoured programmes currently use Open GL or CUDA whilst the Mac is stuck on Open CL, dramatically limiting it. Whilst Mac have tried to resolve this by using a Graphic Card Extender, whilst it may sound like a good fix in theory, in practice they are costly and do not provide nearly as much power. With Strongbox providing powerful performance out of far less, they only see Mac being an option when the Thunderbolt 3 provides an increase in speed. But even with this in place, the MacPro is always going to be limited to 40 PCIe lanes with 32 of them already used by the Dual Firepro graphics cards; this will only leave 8 lanes free, sufficient for just one extra graphics card running at x8 speed before the PCIe bus becomes inundated.
So it looks like the Strongbox is going to be the overall winner and with so much going for it, it is going to be much in demand as an 8k machine able to handle any type of game and providing plenty of power for VR development use.
If you’re looking for a fast computer to rival the Strongbox, take a look at our HSi Custom Computers. Our customers are increasingly finding that the major manufacturers aren’t making computers that are able to work with all of the different software and programs that they need. We can custom build you a computer that will enable you to use all of the software you need at it’s optimal capacity. To find out more, give our sales team a call on 020 7111 1643 or email email@example.com
The debate rages on and the same question is asked: “Should we use iPads in Schools?” With so many varying opinions, we take a look at the issue in detail, asking are they just a passing craze or can they really help children to learn in a new and exciting way?
Check out the advantages
Whether you are a parent or a teacher, you need to at least consider the question as not doing so could mean that your children are failing to benefit in ways that they should. Many teachers that already use iPads take the view that they are a great asset to the classroom, enabling them to support and add to lessons rather than detract. Let’s look at some of the reasons why many rate them so highly:
The iPad bursts into life in seconds and has a powerful battery, enabling students to get online quickly and be mobile, even using them out of the classroom. In order to make the most of this, schools need to ensure that they have a good wireless infrastructure in place and routers than can cope with many iPads being in use at the same time. It goes without saying that internet speed has to be fast if the children are to be able to work efficiently.
Compared to laptops and netbooks, the iPads come in at a good price and provide users with all that they will ever need to build on their creativity whilst working.
Proactive planning is essential
Schools that make the decision to purchase iPads need to plan ahead and decide how they will be used in class before they buy. Here are a few ideas to guide you in the right direction:
By using games and videos as well as some of the many apps that are out there, literacy can be improved in a fun way. Students will not feel pressured or bored and by getting immersed in the wonders of the virtual world, they will learn whilst they play. With many of the apps being free of charge, students can explore and let their imagination run wild, using words to describe what they see and hear.
Teachers can use an iPad to stream information to the whiteboard. Students can also use iPads to take photos of various projects and then use then for discussions/write-ups later. Don’t forget the many time-lapse apps that are available as these can be used to show results of experiments over a period of time.
Drawing apps can be used to create pictures and words. It is even possible to browse for images and then import them into the drawing or painting app for children to copy. Give them free reign and see what they can come up with; not messy like real paint and the best artwork can be saved and printed out. They can also use a range of mediums such as pencil, chalk, charcoal, oils and water colours.
Schools also need to consider safety and security so think about where the iPads will be stored and whether you will have them left charging overnight or plugged in on a regular basis.
iPads can make a wonderfully positive impact upon schools but they do need to be used correctly and in line with a program of work, planning their use into lessons. Failure to do this can mean that the school has paid out for expensive equipment that will not be used efficiently or creatively, with neither the teachers of students benefiting as they should. HardSoft can help you to lease iPads for your school and advise the best way to use them in order to get the most from them. Take a look at our schools page for more information or give our team a call on 020 7111 1643 to talk through the options available.
Apart from a small car or a dream holiday… The iMac Pro is here with a starting price of £4899 configurable into the £13000 mark… apart from a small car or a great holiday could there be computing alternatives.So what alternatives are there to the iMac Pro, and does it represent good value.
The first issue you will have to face is that you will need to jump ship from Apple and into a PC and Windows 10 operating system. If you’ve spent your entire life using Apple’s iOS, this is probably the thing that scares you most about making the move to Windows. But what’s it actually like using Windows? Current PCs aren’t what they were, in fact Microsoft hasn’t just caught up with Apple, in many ways they’re leading the pack.
You’re likely to find that all of those little things you love about Apple are now available in Microsoft’s Windows 10 and you can use the same software as you would on a Mac, so you’ll find yourself just forgetting about the operating system and getting on with work, or play, whatever it is you need to do. Apple’s iOS is a closed system, so there are hardly any user options available to you to make changes. With Windows it’s possible to control your computer in the way you want it, it doesn’t have to be complicated either, you can keep it simple or make big changes, whichever suits you best. And, it is really easy to do this in Windows, so you’re not likely to be pining for a return to Apple.
The best thing about Windows is you can create a PC from scratch, to suit your specifications and software requirements. In fact, that’s how HardSoft began back in the 1980s, we would custom build PCs for our customers because the main manufacturers and suppliers weren’t making computers that were fast enough or able to carry out all the tasks our customers wanted them to. We’ve found that in the last few years we have been custom building more and more PCs for exactly the same reasons. So right now, a custom built PC is a perfect alternative to Apple’s iMac Pro because you will get exactly what you need for your software and workload. All you have to do is give us a call and tell us what software you need to run and we’ll do the rest. Simple!
We’re not here to tell you that Windows or custom built PCs are the best solution for everyone, this depends on how you use your computer after all. But we are saying that, whilst the new iMac Pro is Apple’s fastest and best desktop to date, there are alternatives out there for you to try. You may find yourself wishing you’d done it sooner!
HardSoft have been making custom built computers for customers for many years and we’re now relaunching our custom PC offering via our website. You can configure the perfect PC for your needs using our service and be confident that we don’t skimp on components which means you have peace of mind that your bespoke PC is perfect for your business. Warranty is for 3 years and is covered on-site by one of our own engineers. It’s sent with one of our Engineers who will set it up on site for you. All HSi bespoke PCs feature the new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation as an O/S.
Apple are billing the new iMac Pro as their most powerful Mac ever though; with a 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to an 18 core Xeon processor and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics power, in a new space grey enclosure. It does pack incredible power for advanced graphics, VR and AR content creation, plus real time 3D rendering. So if you decide that the iMac Pro is the one for you, you can lease it from us over 3 or 4 years from £34.00 per week for the 8-Core 3.2GHz, 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD version, with lots of upgrade options available too.