General Product Questions
In short, all of our products are upgradeable to some extent. But some products have inherent design features that make them more or less easy to upgrade by our customers.
For example, the Radius and Radius EX portable workstations were designed with easy upgrades in mind. By loosening two screws on the back of the chassis, these allow easy access to internal components. PCI expansion cards can be removed or replaced; in many cases memory can be upgraded with no more effort than a standard PC. And with our custom no-tools-removable hard drive carriers, hard drives can be swapped in and out of the system with, you guessed it... no tools! Processors and fixed hard drives require more steps to access, but can also be field upgraded or replaced if necessary.
The Nucleus series of compact tower workstations and servers uses the same internal access design as the Radius EX, allowing for easy upgrade of components. The Vigor EX rugged portable computer requires a set of panels to be removed in a similar fashion, although with this system's chassis-in-a-chassis design there are more steps involved.
Our NextDimension Pro, Evo, Evo, Plus, and Vigor Evo and Evo Plus models also allow for PCI expansion cards to be upgraded. Both series of products have access to cards by removing either the bottom panel or a set of top panels, depending on where cards are located. And both Vigor and NextDimension models offer side-access no-tools removable hard drives. Other components such as memory, processors, and fixed hard drives are not as easily accessed by the user and must be serviced by NextComputing or a certified technician. We offer training for our OEM customers to be able to offer first-level support for their customers.
Our rackmount products such as the Nucleus RM are by far the easiest to upgrade by simply removing the top panel to the chassis.
It is important to note that we sell and support only specific qualified processors, graphics cards, hard drives, and other components. If your system needs to be upgraded, please consult with a Sales Engineer before attempting any upgrade yourself. For instance, if you were to install a graphics card or processor that is not properly cooled then your system could overheat or become unstable. Our warranty does not cover any resulting damage or labor costs as a result of an unauthorized upgrade.
All of our systems have open-standards PCI Express and PCI slots which can accept off-the-shelf wireless (WiFi) networking cards. There are also many USB wireless adapters on the market that can be easily plugged in to provide this functionality in systems that may not have an open slot available.
There are several differences, and the choice of system depends on your particular needs.
Our portable workstations, such as the Radius series, are designed to be as small and light as possible, while still offering high-end workstation and server performance. They feature a durable external chassis mounted on top of a lightweight aluminum frame, that while not expressly rugged, holds up very well to the rigors of field use such as broadcast, telco environments, and even some harsh conditions in military settings. Many customer find that this combination of small size and durable design is ideal, and don't need anything more rugged (and by association, larger and heavier). Also, additional clip-on displays are available with our portable workstations.
Our rugged portable systems, called the Vigor series, take the same internal components as our standard portable workstations and mounts them within an internal chassis, which in turn is mounted on rubber bumpers within a rugged external frame (there is no metal-to-metal contact between the inner and ourter chassis). This design provides improved ruggedness with mil-anodized paint and rubber corner bumpers for more long-term durability in harsh conditions and better resistance to shock and vibration. As such, Vigor systems are larger and heavier, but much more durable than our standard portable worksations. Vigor systems also offer up to two (2) "swing-out" HD monitors, in addition to the integrated display, allowing for a triple-display workstation configuration on the go.
If you need the smallest, lightest mobile workstation available and don't expect your system to be subjected to extreme environments or handling, our portable workstations are your best choice. But if you need the most durable system possible because of your typical usage environment, then our rugged portables may be better for you.
Most of our systems are rated to run from 5°-40°C (41°F–104°F).
We apply the maximum ambient temperature rating based on the system running at maximum performance load across all major subsystems. This includes running the processors at or near 100%, graphics card at full stress levels, stressing the memory, and stressing the hard drives. We use only standard, commercially available testing software so we know that our methods are similar to the industry's common methods.
It's important to note that our competitors may rate their systems up to 50°C ambient operating temperature, but they may not be stressing the system to its maximum capacity. Our numbers are a conservative estimate, with the understanding that not every customer will run our systems in these environments, but we can safely say that they can.
It's also important to note that the maximum ambient operating temperature can be impacted by the various components in the system, and that, depending on the configuration, you may see different results. Part of our value as a cutting-edge computing technology provider is to understand your specific needs and to offer the best options available given your particular environmental requirements. Our sales engineers can consult with you on the pros and cons of a given configuration. Our experienced systems engineers can validate your configuration in our lab and suggest ways to improve cooling before delivering your product to you.
Yes. Our Radius EX-B portable workstation and Vigor EX-B rugged portable computer both feature an internal battery. Depending on the system's configuration, this battery can power a system at high-load for more than 2 hours. The battery charges in the system while it is connected to a standard AC power source (i.e., wall outlet). The Radius EX-B is the same height and width as the compact Radius EX briefcase-size system, and only 1 inch deeper due to the battery. The Vigor EX-B is the same size on all dimensions as the Vigor EX.
For external battery options, we recommend UPS products from American Power Conversion (APC). These units can typically run for approximately 15-30 minutes after loss of power.
For extended use of an external battery we offer Anton/Bauer battery solutions. Our internal 24V DC power supply on our portable workstations and rugged portables is designed to work with the Anton/Bauer QBH-HD (Quad Battery Holder) and HyTRON 140 or HC Dionic batteries. We also support the Anton/Bauer CINE-VCLX and CINE-VCLX2 batteries.
This is something we typically don't offer because there are many factors involved in the mechanical layout of our systems, as well as the thermal validation we perform on certain processors, hard drives, and graphics cards. Also, we could not offer warranty coverage on the system if there is a failure due to improperly installing components or overheating the system due to inadequate cooling.
On an exception basis we can provide bare-bones chassis or various sub-systems such as chassis, power supplies, and cooling solutions for volume quantities of 50 pieces or more. Please consult with one of our sales engineers who can customize a program for your specific needs.
We validate only specific motherboard options in our systems to fit the needs of our typical customers and vertical industries. This allows us to have better control over the reliability of our products, but also limits the number of manufacturers we work with to only the best in the industry. These relationships with our component vendors ultimately help us deliver the most functional and reliable products possible.
However, we do realize there are sometimes certain features that we may not support with one of our standard motherboards. If you have used a particular manufacturer or model of motherboard and we don't offer something that suits your needs, we are flexible and open to discuss your requirements.
As an aid to understand whether your chosen board matches with our products, please refer to the following motherboard form-factor guidelines:
Radius - Micro-ATX form-factor
Radius EX - ATX or SSI CEB form-factors
Radius EX-B - Micro-ATX form-factor
Nucleus, Nucleus GP, Nucleus Server - ATX or SSI CEB form-factors
Vigor EX - ATX or SSI CEB form-factors
Vigor EX-B - Micro-ATX form-factor
Nucleus RM family - ATX, SSI CEB, Extended ATX (E-ATX or EEB), or Enhanced Extended ATX (EE-ATX) form-factors
NextDimension family - these products do not support standard motherboards
Vigor Evo, Vigor Evo Plus - these products do not support standard motherboards
Yes, several of our products have redundant power options. Please consult the product datasheets for details on which redundant power supply options are available with each product.
Nucleus RM Rear I/O
Nucleus RM Front I/O
Nucleus RM Capture 20X2
Nucleus RM Capture 16X3
Radius EX Plus
All of our portable workstations, rugged portables, and compact towers will accept one or more full-length (12") and/or full-height (4.376") expansion cards. Most of our rackmount systems will as well, but the NextStream is restricted to 3/4 length cards (approx. 9"). Some hard drive options in our products may restrict the use of full-length cards in certain slots depending on the hard drive setup, so please consult with one of our Sales Engineers to determine the best options to fit your needs.
All of our portable workstations and rugged portables can be fitted with a touch screen. For portable workstations such as the Radius and NextDimension series, the standard 17-inch 1920x1200 LCD can be configured with a capacitive touch option. This does not affect the resolution, but the option does add some thickness to the system to accommodate for the touch-enabled overlay.
On our Vigor series, the integrated center display can be equipped with a touch screen. However the 2nd or 3rd "swing-out" HD displays do not have this option.
While both are for network testing, and both are available in portable or rack-mount hardware, the PCAP and TGEN serve two different purposes.
The Continuum PCAP is optimized for high-speed packet capture; these systems rely on massive storage and include our flexible capture software and specialized network adapter card.
The Continuum TGEN is designed for network traffic generation across multiple ports at full line rate up to 25Gbps.
Both systems can be used together to test network performance and security by both capturing real-time traffic and simulating various network scenarios.
Yes, we can have your logo silkscreened onto the system in addition to, or in place of the NextComputing logo. Costs is based on the number of colors used. Please note, due to the limitations of the silkscreening process, we cannot accommodate blended color gradients or bitmaps.
Policies & Procedures
All standard hardware products are covered by a 1-year warranty including parts and labor. Battery products are warrantied for 6 months. Warranty is effective with date of initial product shipment. All repairs are done at the Nashua, NH facility with a typical repair turnaround time of 5-10 business days.
Please contact technical support if you encounter a problem with a system. We will make a technical diagnosis over the phone. If it is determined that hardware needs to be repaired, an RMA will be issued. The customer pays shipping on the RMA, and NextComputing will use the same shipping method, at the same cost, for return to the customer facility.
Our standard software products are covered by a ninety-day media and functionality warranty. Please note that the warranty period begins upon shipment from NextComputing. In addition, certain software products are eligible for the NextComputing Software Annual Maintenance Service, which is available upon request.
We also can create customized warranties for OEMs and other specific customers.
Yes, you can get the extended warranty after you have taken delivery of your NextComputing system. To do so, you must return the system to us for re-evaluation before an extended warranty is issued.
You can return the system to:
Attn: RMA ______NextComputing LLC
4 Townsend West, Unit 17
Nashua, NH 03063
under a Return Merchandise Authorization provided by a NextComputing technician and with the issuance of a Repair Purchase Order. Customer pays shipping to the factory and back to customer location.
For any technical questions or to initiate a service request, contact technical support.
In the US: 1-603-886-3875
Service after warranty expiration is available via the same means and is quoted on a time-and-materials basis.
Vendors will send you a drive to install at your site once you have obtained an RMA from them and explained that you work in a classified environment.
Our systems are designed with a combination of active and passive cooling and are optimized by our unique thermal, electrical, and mechanical segmentation and separation of display, storage, I-O, processor, and power sub-systems, while maintaining an exceptionally robust yet surprisingly compact package.
Hot-swappable means that a drive may be removed while the machine is still running.
NTR is a feature we developed that allows you to remove a drive very easily without a tool in a matter of seconds. A NTR drive can be cold-swappable or hot-swappable depending on your configuration.
The receiver mid-planes are rated to 500 insertion cycles, where an insertion cycle is the combination of installing and removing the NTR drive carrier.
The carriers are rated to 2000 insertion cycles, where an insertion cycle is the combination of installing and removing the NTR drive carrier from the system receiver.
Yes. Systems with PCI-X slots are 64-bit as well as backwards compatible for 32-bit cards.
However, one must be aware of the limitations when running simultaneous PCI and PCI-X cards, or PCI-X cards of differing speeds. The PCI and PCI-X standards are based on a shared bus architecture. This means that when multiple PCI or PCI-X cards are installed in the system on the same bus, they will automatically run at the speed of the slowest card.
For example, in a system with two PCI-X slots, if both a PCI-X 64-bit / 100MHz card and PCI 32-bit / 33MHz card were installed, both cards would run at 33MHz, therefore affecting the performance of the faster card.
All of our systems are available with a wide selection of on-board and add-in RAID controller options, as well as different configurations of multiple SATA and SAS hard drives. Please see the data sheet for a specific product for full details on the available options.
Vigor systems can have up to three displays integrated into the chassis (one central integrated display, and up to two swing out displays to the left and right), plus ports for additional external displays, depending on your graphics card configuration.
The Vigor series of rugged, deployable workstations and servers, although not mil-spec, are designed to function in harsh environments where protection from shock and vibration can provide additional mission-critical reliability. Each system in the Vigor series is shock-mounted within an inner chassis which is a floating/isolated system within the outer chassis. The outer chassis is constructed as a lightweight yet durable aluminum alloy frame with mil-anodized scratch resistant paint and rubber corner bumpers.
We can also provide MIL-STD-2073 rugged hard cases with telescoping handle and wheels customized with foam cut to secure your systems and peripheral devices while in transit.
Vigor models have been tested to the following specs:
- Operating temp: 0°C–40°C, 32°F–104°F
- Non-operating temp: -40°C–65°C, -40°F–149°F
- Relative humidity: (5-95%) non-condensing
- Shock: Mechanical shock: ≤10g, 11ms, Terminal sawtooth, operating; Transit shock: 18" drop
- Vibration: ≤0.04g2/Hz, 20Hz–1,000Hz; -6dB/octive 1,000Hz–2,000Hz
Radius and NextDimension series systems are both designed to provide high-end workstation and server performance in a compact, portable package with an integrated LCD.
Radius systems are based on the latest off-the-shelf motherboard technology. They are available with single or dual workstation-class Intel processors, high-end memory, massive storage options, and up to 7 full-length, full-height PCI Express slots, depending on the model.
NextDimension systems are based on our specialized, modular FleXtreme architecture built for specific applications. They are available with single or dual Intel processors, up to 96GB RAM, and up to 6 PCI/PCI Express expansion slots.
All Radius series portable computers use the industry's latest off-the-shelf motherboards in standard form-factors, and all can be customized with various processors, memory, hard drives, and 3rd party expansion cards to create a solution that fits your particular application. The Radius EX-B is unique in that it can also run off of an internal battery.
The major difference between the products in the Radius series is the size of the motherboard, which determines the number of processors, memory, and expansion slots. This also determines the overall dimensions of the product and the number of hard drives that the chassis will support.
Please consult our Product Matrix for more specifics on the available options and dimensions, then speak with one of our sales engineers to customize your ideal solution.