While the single memory slot is expandable up to 2GB of RAM, our test system was filled out with only a 512MB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM RAM module. Since the ARTiGO A2000 has no RAID support, we felt justified in only using a single 1TB Seagate 7200.11 ST31000333AS hard drive. Installation was a piece of cake since the front of the case is only held on with four tabs that can be popped out without any trouble, and the backplane makes installation of the hard drive as easy as sliding it into place. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see thumbscrews on the case itself instead of the three typical screws currently provided. As a NAS that may involve more shuffling of hard drives than normal cases, it would have been a logical step to include thumbscrews to avoid the necessity of tools. Still, this is only a small complaint.
Perhaps surprising, considering the size of the motherboard and its low-power processor, the ARTiGO A2000 supports Windows Vista, as well as Windows XP, Ubuntu, and SUSE Linux. Considering my options, I went with Option E, Windows 7, even though it wasn’t listed as a supported operating system. I further chose to install the operating system straight to the hard drive in order to get the best possible benchmarks. (Make a note of this, we wanted to see the best possible performance from the system; booting from the integrated CF or from USB may provide lesser results.)
Installation was a breeze after creating a bootable USB drive loaded with the Windows 7 install software. It happened that Windows 7 had no problem running on the ARTiGO A2000, and many of the needed drivers were installed automatically while the rest were easily located via Windows Driver Update service. With support for hardware acceleration running, I prepared to run a battery of tests to diagnose the server’s performance in graphics, network speed, and hard drive bandwidth.