The April 2018 Main Meeting
Tonight Renato Catalan,
Principal of The Gap Agency, representing AMD, Seagate, Brother and Blue Microphones returned to give us a review of the great variety of products the Agency represents
Renato started the evening with AMD.
AMD or Advanced Micro Devices is Intel’s main rival in the computer chip business. They are the only other company that makes computer processors, the chip that runs all your devices from the desktops, laptops and servers.
AMD have been the underdog in the processor wars but in 2017 they introduced the Ryzen which has gained a great market share and this month AMD introduced the 2nd generation of Ryzen processors. Tonight, Renato gave us a rundown on the range of Ryzen processors.
Renato started with the Threadripper which is built for all your high-end processing applications, like Photoshop, Video editing, music composition, or gaming. The Ryzen Pro is exclusively sold to manufacturers like HP, Dell and Acer, with a Ryzen mobile range for laptops. Then we have the Ryzen CPUs, the 3, the 5 and the 7, equivalent to the Intel i5 to i7.
Renato showed us some stats on the new processors
The Ryzen has the Zen architecture and is the first 12 nanometre processor. It shows some great performance rates compared to the Intel.
The 2nd Generation Ryzen’s was released this April, and the Ryzen 7 Renato showed us had just arrived at the Agency that day.
He also showed us the range of new motherboards to complement the new chips.
Renato showed how the chip fitted into the motherboard.
Renato also discussed the speed of the chips. The Ryzen 7 on show was a 2700X. Each of the Ryzen’s comes in a variety of speeds from the 2700X at 4.3Ghz.
down to the 1700 3.7 Ghz
Then there is the Ryzen 5
with speeds from 3.6GHz to 3.2Ghz
Then the Ryzen 3
with a range of 3.5Ghz to 3.1Ghz
After the break Renato moved on to showed us the Seagate range of Hard Drives.
Seagate is one of only two hard drive manufacturers in the world, the other being Western Digital
Renato introduced us to the Guardian series of Seagate hard drives running the conventional type of platter drives. They have three main types of drive, Barracuda, Ironwolf, and Skyhawk.
Each series is designed for a particular purpose.
Starting with Barracuda
which is designed for general computer storage. The drives come in both 2.5 and 3.5 formats and have a range of 500 gigabits to 12 Terabits. Renato asked, “but what if the disk fails?” Seagate have a pro version of Barracuda which offers a recovery service, to quote Seagate “Purchase a BarraCuda Pro drive and you are covered for 2 years — that’s 2 years you don’t ever have to worry about the data on your hard drive.”
To expand on the idea of backup and recovery Renato moved on the
These drives are designed to run 24/7 and are made for NAS storage. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. It is a way to connect a series of hard drives, usually in a single box to the network, for use as data backup. NAS drives are not just for commercial use. Anyone can have their own NAS drive and Renato emphasized that the Ironwolf’s could be used for general backup of all your data such as photos and documents or full drive backups.
TThe other drive in the series is Skyhawk.
Have you seen those little round eyes staring at you in the shop?
They sit there recording away, but where are the images stored? The Skyhawk has been built specifically for recording video. The drives are designed to take the input from up to 64 cameras and according to the site can record up to 2000 hours on a 10 Tb drive.
“Smart, safe and secure, SkyHawk is engineered for 24×7 video recording. (It) Record(s) more with support for up to 64 HD cameras backed by a 180 TB/year workload rating, 3× the workload rating of desktop drives, and store over 2,000 hours of HD video on capacities up to 10 TB.”
Also of interest is the Firecuda, It is what Renato called a hybrid drive which has a combination of solid state storage and platter drive.
The Firecuda is designed mainly for gaming. It comes in both 2.5 and 3.5 sizes with between 500Gb to 2Tb of space.
To quota from the site
“FireCuda™ drives meld the latest NAND flash technology with a traditional hard drive for a compact blend of capacity and speeds up to 5× faster than typical hard drives.”
One problem that Renato mentioned was that the solid state drive has a more limited storage capacity and are more expensive.
Renato then moved on to his collection of Brother equipment. Now most of the group would know Brother for its printers and scanners but as Renato showed us they make lots of other goodies.
Here’s the product list from the web site
Brother’s other products include Sewing machines, garment printers and template cutters.
Tonight. Renato brought
the NS55 sewing machine and the CM350 Scan N Cut.
Renato admitted that he was no sewer so he showed us a great video on the NS series of computerised machines.
It was made at the Hobby Sew by Melanie from Brother International.
The video had a comprehensive explanation for range of features included in the NS series. They all come with automatic button hole making, auto threading and a large range of stitching options. The number only appears to be limited by the model you choose. Selecting a style is simple, just match the number on the machine with one you like on the card under the hood of the machine.
The other equipment Renato had brought along was the CM350 Scan N Cut.
This is a scanning and cutting tool to create and transfer designs and images from one media to another.
We had a brief look at a video on the CM350
In the video they scanned a pattern for a moustache,
Then you select cut from the menu
and then CM350 cut the pattern out.
You can then add it to your scrap book or into your personalised photo album.
It appears the CM350 mobile is exclusive to Spotlight.
BLUE'S YETI PRO MICROPHONE
Last up Renato showed us the Yeti Pro Microphone from Blue
The Yeti comes in a number of versions and the Yeti Pro is the semi professional version. Its made for the video creator, the blogger or the podcaster. The Pro also has two connections, a USB and an XLR.
The XLR is the standard audio connection one finds in most amplifying equipment.
It’s a multi-directional mic that means you can set the mic up and conduct an interview with no loss of sound. You can also use the mic for a variety of different settings as described in the manual
Renato offered a 1TB 2.5 inch drive for our raffle and the club added a external case and two gift cards.
Here are our winners
Our Next Main Meeting is 22nd May 2018