I have been looking out for a cheap server for a while now in order to test out different high availability and failover configs, as well as a Beowulf cluster. Because the server will be hosted in my home computer lab, the two main prerequisites for the server are: Firstly, that it is as silent as possible and secondly, that it is energy efficient and uses as little power as possible.
I was lucky enough to stumble across a dual VIA EPIA-SP1300 server on ebay and snap it up for a bargain at £120. I was more than comfortable with the VIA chipset / CPUs as I am already familiar with them from a web server I host based on a previous generation chipset which has pleasantly surprised me and exceeded my expectations both in terms of speed and reliability. The two systems sit side by side in a TRAVLA C147 case which is popular among many datacenters and hosting companies as it allows you to fit 84 servers in a standard 42U rack while drawing minimal power through the mini-itx form factor.
System Specs are as follows:
2x of each
VIA C3 @ 1.3GHz (Nehemiah core)
1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD