Tranquil PC T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server "Hands-on"

Model:  T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server   Manufacturer:  Tranquil PC Website:  http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/ Telephone:  +44 (0)845 555 7788 Price:  £299 + P&P (ex VAT)     The T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server comes sturdily packaged in an unbranded box - indeed, the only way you’ll know that the box contains your new home server is two small, green stickers at the […]
Model: T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server  Manufacturer: Tranquil PC
Website: http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/Telephone: +44 (0)845 555 7788
Price: £299 + P&P (ex VAT)  

The T2-WHS-A3 Harmony Home Server comes sturdily packaged in an unbranded box - indeed, the only way you’ll know that the box contains your new home server is two small, green stickers at the top right hand side of the box, one reinforcing the fact that you’ve just purchased a Zero Carbon PC (Tranquil PC offset the carbon footprint of the unit for 5 years from purchase - check out www.zerocarbonfootprint.co.uk for more information) and the second sticker stating that the PC conforms with the EC RoHS directive (Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances) - this is one earth-friendly home server you’ve just bought.

Tranquil have based the T2-WHS-A3 on the Intel D201GLY (mini-ITX) motherboard, which comes with an integrated Celeron 220 processor, running at 1.2GHz. Tranquil have carefully selected a new, modern processor which provides lots of grunt without being a huge power drain, which keeps the unit’s power consumption low, at just 29W idle up to 45W at full tilt (Tranquil’s figures). Bear in mind, when I say that the processor is integrated into the motherboard, I mean it’s soldered on to the board, which makes a future processor upgrade impossible without replacing the motherboard.

Reducing power consumption also means that fan cooling isn’t required, which ensures silent running (like the T7-HSA, the T2 is silent, apart from a very slight murmuring from the hard drive when accessed) and the theory goes, will lead to a more reliable unit (no failing fans equals no fried home server). The Celeron 220 is also x64 compatible, which gives great peace of mind for any future WHS platform shift to x64.

Whilst the base specification is relatively modest (512 Mb RAM, 500Gb hard drive), Tranquil have included plenty of scope to upgrade storage and memory both at point of purchase, or in the future. On the storage side, two internal SATA slots provide up to 2Tb (2 x 1Tb) of internal storage, using Western Digital’s Green Power silent, low powered hard drives and memory is upgradable to 1Tb as a paid option.

When it comes to external storage potential, you’re well catered for with 4 USB 2.0 ports at the rear which can be used for external hard drives. If you’re investigating eSATA options, a 4 port eSATA card is also available as a fitted upgrade.

When it comes to networking, the base specification comes with a 10/100 Ethernet card, which actually is fine for all but the most picky WHS user. Once again, a gigabit LAN upgrade is available if required.

Overall, the T2 provides a decent specification for most Windows Home Server users, but compared to the T7-HSA, the larger, more flexible chassis offers plenty of scope for power users to upgrade as required - certainly, if a tiny footprint isn’t essential, the T2-WHS-A3 is a better option for the long term.

If you’d like to take a look at detailed specs and benchmarks, you can download a full report courtesy of SiSoft Sandra.

Tranquil PC T2-WHS-A3 Detailed Report

Full Review

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