Looking for a quality value priced server which can accomodate extra NIC, serial ports, and internal modem

Posted on 2006-04-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
We have been happily using the IBM x206 server series for nearly a year now which fit all our needs.  

-It was a good price at about $500
-Had 5 plain old PCI slots
-Had 2 built in serial ports
-Had enough USB ports

But now it seems IBM has discountinued those models and we're in search for a new model to buy to fit our needs.

Can anyone suggest a server that will accomodate 2 serial ports, 2 nics, an internal modem and not break the bank?   Another big consideration is how long they will likely produce the model.  Switching servers every 8 months would suck.   Building our own servers is also not something i'd like to consider either.

I have considered the sc430 by Delll, but it has PCI slots that I am not familiar with.  Would those PCI slots accomodate the forementioned internal cards?  Would the price of those cards be high?  We're used to paying between $15 and $35 for each internal modem/serial port/nic card.

Thanks for any feedback.
Question by:swiftny
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    According to IBM's site (, your x206 has 2 PCI Express slots and 3 PCI slots, NOT 5 "... plain old PCI slots"

    The Dell has 3 PCI Express slots and 2 PCI slots.   It's got one built-in serial port and a built-in NIC, so you could easily add a second serial port and NIC via the 2 PCI slots.   Since you'd need to add a modem, serial port, and NIC, at least one of those would have to use a PCI Express card -- but that should not be a problem, although it probably won't be in the $15 to $35 price range you'd like.   You could also use a USB modem instead of an internal card.

    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    swiftny  -- haven't heard anything back from you.   Did you have any additional questions?   Are you looking at any other alternatives ... or did you decide to go with Dell?
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    We ordered a dell and are playing around with it.  These PCI Express card prices are a pain, but it looks like that'll be the reality.  For the time being though, I don't see any other alternatives, so thanks for the help.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    You're welcome ... and I agree the PCI Express cards seem like a solution looking for a problem in many cases.   For those areas where the PCI bandwidth is plenty, it seems unfortunate to force folks to move to PCIe.


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