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Gateway 9510 SCSI review: Gateway 9510 SCSI

Gateway offers a formidable list of customizable components for the 9510. You can choose one or two Intel Xeon processors running between 2.8GHz and a superspeedy 3.6GHz, with 1MB or 2MB of L2 cache; from 512MB to a big 16GB of ECC PC 3200 DDR SDRAM; 7,200rpm SATA hard drives from 80GB to 400GB each; 10,000rpm or 15,000rpm SCSI hard drives from 36GB to 300GB apiece; a RAID controller card with support for levels 0, 1, and 5; CD-ROM, CD-RW/DVD-ROM, double-layer DVD+/-RW, and/or floppy drives; one or two hot-swappable AC power supplies; and one of four types of operating system: Red Hat or SuSE Linux, Microsoft Windows Server (in its many incarnations), or Novell NetWare. Every 9510 motherboard includes a few built-in chips, such as a power-saving Intel E7520 chipset, an 8MB ATI Rage XP graphics chip, a Gigabit Ethernet chip, and a ROMB 0, 1, 5 chip. For help on how to choose the best component combination, check out CNET's server buying guide.

Our Gateway 9510 test unit came fairly well stocked, with two 3GHz Xeon processors, 4GB of RAM, five SCSI hard drives (three 10,000rpm 300GB drives and two 15,000rpm 36GB drives), a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, two power supplies with two additional fans, and the Windows Server 2003 OS. Brace yourself before reading the price for this package: $8,902 (as of June 2005). At least this expensive machine should offer plenty of speed and storage to medium-size businesses with several dozen employees. However, large companies with hundreds of workers may need to shell out even more cash for the fastest processors, additional hard drives, more network controllers, and the other accoutrements necessary for a high-traffic environment.

Though the 9510's three-year warranty is longer than the one-year terms of cheaper servers such as the ProLiant ML 310 G2, we still suggest that you protect your substantial investment by purchasing one of Gateway's many warranty extensions, which include up to five years of 24/7 onsite support. Helpful toll-free telephone support is available for the length of your warranty.

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