HardSoft wish to congratulate engineer Greig Taylor for passing his exams to become an Apple Certified Support Professional. Greig only a few weeks before became a father to a baby daughter. So its double congratulations. Apple Certified Support Professional will allow him to further his Apple career. He specialised in OS X Server and will now be able to lead installations of HardSoft Apple networks. HardSoft offer a flexible Lease scheme that includes a Mac Mini Server and networked iMacs all installed and configured.
Apple Certified Support
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
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.
When it comes to the education sector, most schools have been using Apple’s Macbooks and iPads which work really well for them. However, the release of Microsoft’s Surface range means that there is now a great alternative to those iPads and Macbooks.
A study conducted by FutureSource found that Apple iOS and MacOS devices are in decline, particularly in the USA, and are not necessarily the primary tools of those in the education system. They found that outside of the US, Microsoft is still a leader in the market
The key factors in this were viewed to be the price, and Apple’s quirky keyboards. iPads are great for helping younger children in nursery and primary schools, but as children progress they often need to type their work and create projects which are more suited to a traditional keyboard and mouse interface. Head teachers and school administrative departments can often find that for the price of one MacBook with a good specification, they can get several laptops or Chromebooks for their students to use.
Microsoft have added to the Surface Pro tablet this year and introduced a rage of Surface products which are high specification, high quality products, which run the Windows operating system and offer a reliable rival to the Apple Mac range.
The Surface Book 2 and the Surface Laptop both have a 13.5” PixelSense Touchscreen with great high specs of i5 and i7 Processors. The Surface Book 2 is an amazing 2-in-1 tablet which weighs a little over 1Kgs, making it perfectly portable for students, and it converts into a laptop! Meanwhile the Surface Laptop has facial recognition and runs using the Windows 10 S operating system, which allows you to easily roll out account and security settings between all machines just by using an encrypted USB stick.
The Surface Pro is the Microsoft version of the tablet, offering the latest 7th Gen Intel i7 Processor with a 12.3″ touchscreen and 13 hours of battery life which will see you through the whole school day. Finally the Surface Studio is a real rival to the Apple iMac. A thin all-in-one unit that has a massive 28” PixelSense Touchscreen which can be rotated and used in the normal upright position or flattened to the desk, like a huge tablet. These can be used as higher end graphics and animation stations using the NVIDIA Geforce range of graphics cards, up to 2TB Flash drive and Intel i7 processors.
So as you can see, the Microsoft Surface range really does have something for everyone in education and really rivals the Apple products. For more information on leasing any of the Surface products for your school get in touch with our team on 020 7111 1643.