Emagens entry is a fairly mixed system, with some excellent and some average featuresEmagens entry is a fairly mixed system, with some excellent and some average features. For example, while it has a decent enough 2GHz Pentium 4 CPU, it also has the equal second lowest amount of RAM at only 512MB.
The Tachyon 2000 uses a new entry-level server board from Intel, based around the i845E chipset. The i845E has previously been seen on desktop motherboards only, and its significantly cheaper than most of the server chipsets out there. There are several good (but somewhat disappointing) reasons for this.
The main issue the S845WD1-E motherboard struggles with is that it doesnt include many features that you wont already find in a high-end desktop board using the same chipset. It only offers three stock-standard 32-bit PCI slots (so higher-end 64-bit/66MHz add-on cards are not an option), and the boards two DIMM slots only support a maximum of 2GB RAM.
The addition of an AGP slot is a rather curious carry-over from the desktop 845E boards. Theres a reason why none of the highend Server motherboards dont offer AGP as an option however: 99.9% of the time you dont need high-end graphics on a server and the slot goes to waste.
One distinct advantage the S845WD1-E motherboard does have over desktop boards is two embedded 10/100 network cards these will allow you to share a broadband Internet connection out of the box or work as a fail-over. Therefore, the Tachyon 2000 is a step ahead of both the Dell PowerEdge 600SC and Acer Altos G300 systems (which only have one network interface each) in this regard.
This server also comes with the best hard disks of the IDE crop. Its two Western Digital drives offer a massive 160GB of total storage (twice that of the next highest system) and belong to the same family as the winner of last months hard-disk Labs.
While it would make a decent first server for a small business the Tachyon 2000 is outdone by the other high-end systems that come with dedicated server motherboards, faster processors and more RAM, at more competitive prices.
The Tachyon 2000 is a reasonable system, but it"s outdone on features and price by most of the other systems in this Labs.