Dell added a new server today to its low-cost PowerEdge SC family, designed to provide small businesses with a 'true' server to handle basic server tasks, instead of a modified desktop PC.

The Dell PowerEdge 500SC is the company's first product designed specifically to be a one-processor server, and will be offered with a 1GHz Pentium III or an 800MHz Celeron processor.

UK release is on 7 August, with an entry-level version of the 500SC priced at a quid under £500 plus VAT. For this buyers will get a 500SC with a Celeron processor, a 10GB drive, 64MB of RAM but will have to supply their own operating system.

Dell officials said smaller companies have been asking for a single-chip server for basic file, print and email serving. Many people accomplish these tasks by modifying a desktop PC. Dell hopes the relatively low price for the entry-level system combined with certain server-specific technologies, including support for up to 2GB of RAM and 180GB of drive storage, will make the product a viable alternative.