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Digital servers about $1,000

As long as you don't need a hard drive, DEC can sell you a workgroup server for close to $1,000.

Tech Industry

As long as you don't need a hard drive, Digital Equipment (DEC) can sell you a workgroup server for close to $1,000--with another $400 buying you a small hard disk.

The Digital Server 500, released today, is being touted as a price breakthrough for Windows NT-based servers targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. Equipped with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX chip and 32MB of memory, the system sells for $1,099 without a hard drive. With 2GB of storage, it sells for $1,430, according to a spokesperson.

Even with that discrepancy, the new server represents an inching down on the price points for the computers that serve as the backbone of business networks. Other servers in this price-performance range cost $100 or more than the Digital Server 500 and have slightly slower processors. Compaq's ProSignia 200 Server, for instance, sells for $1,199 without a hard drive.

Designed for networks of 15 to 20 users, the Digital 500 is mostly targeted at small companies or businesses with remote offices. "We're seeing a lot of demand in Europe already," said the spokesperson.

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