Bargain Hardware, our new favourite high end eBay retailer, sells the HP XW9400 workstation for a mere £450 including delivery and 450 Nectar points. The device comes with two quad-core AMD Opteron processors (2356) clocked at 2.3GHz.
There’s also 32GB DDR2 ECC RAM (PC2-5300P DDR2-667 ECC), a 500GB hard disk drive, an XFX AMD Radeon HD5450 video card with 1GB of RAM as well as VGA, HDMI and DVI outputs (you should be able to add up another graphics card to use the workstation’s SLI capabilities), onboard 6-channel SATA and 8-channel SAS RAID controller, Windows 7 64-bit, an 800W PSU and an optical drive.
Connectors and expansion slots include two Nvidia GbE LAN ports, a mix of seven PCI slots, eight USB ports, a Firewire one, two PS2 ports, standard & parallel ones as well as audio connectors.
This workstation could actually make for a rather interesting entry level server although the lack of hot-swappable PSU might deter some sysadmins. Still, if you’re looking for a powerful sub-£500 computer with as much memory as possible on a shoe-string budget, the competition is thin out there.