VIA ARTiGO A2000 Barebone Storage ServerFri, Sep 11, 2009 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
In the last several pages, I introduced VIA’s ARTiGO A2000 low-power network storage barebones system. After discussing it’s aesthetic merits, I set one up for myself for the purpose of running a number of benchmarks to judge its computing prowess and data I/O capabilities. Whew, it’s been quite the ride, but I can finally come to my handful of important conclusions.
After reviewing all of the benchmarks and taking into consideration the purpose of the ARTiGO A2000, I can say that it has shown itself very well in managing and serving data despite its apparent inadequacies in actually performing CPU or graphics intensive tasks. At $239, this low-power network server seems to run cool, quiet, and stable, while still performing well in a battery of tests that put the strain on its Nano-ITX motherboard and VIA C7-D 1.5 GHz processor. When all was said and done, the ARTiGO A2000 did what it was made for: it provided an excellent solution to network storage.
However, we can’t forget the few complaints, small as they may be to some. First, installation of hard drives and maintenance in general would have been much more convenient had VIA chosen to use thumbscrews in the otherwise great case design. More glaringly was the lack of RAID support, a fact that eliminates the possibility of data redundancy or speed boosts offered by the various RAID options. However, it may be that RAID was left out for two reasons. One, as we saw in the Geekbench and HD Tune benchmarks, the low-power CPU is greatly taxed when even performing generic, non-RAID tasks. Adding software RAID on top of this system would likely have caused severe performance slowdowns sufficient enough to interrupt the user experience, limited as it may be. The other reason RAID was likely left out was that the ARTiGO A2000 storage server is primarily targeted at the average user that is likely more interested in a quick, stable network storage solution than dealing with the fuss or complexity of RAID (however simple it may seem to advanced users).
Legit Bottom Line: The ARTiGO A2000 Barebones Storage Server performs as an excellent NAS for the majority of users shopping in its price range, despite the lack of RAID support. The server provides more than adequate speed for most user tasks while packaged in a small, unobtrusive, and low-power bundle.