Technically for Archailect fluff, if I'm getting this right, the reserach boost would be a heck of a lot more then just more minds. Note that I'm getting this based off other sources then Zombie himself, but have you ever considered the true effect of exactly what we are looking at with a purely digital conscious. Frankly, the Archailect concept scares the crap out of me far more then any other race. Even the Plage doesn't scare the crap out of me as much as the Archailects. If Sins had a campign type thing, the Archailect would easily work as the grand enemy/final boss faction. Yes, they make the Plague look weak in comparison.
Rather then with the other species, Archailect would never be in any direct risk of death short of wiping out every single possible computer in their network. Their ships would be faster, stronger and better armed, due to not needing lifesupport or other such organic matters. The excess space would easily be used to harden all their systems and similar to prevent EMP. rather then doing anything as clumsy as piloting a ship, they could simply use one as an avatar, effectively becoming the ship, and it literally being their body. No clumsy human reactions or targeting, they simply upload a targeting program and start firing, with the reactions of a computer. Or they upload programs/data on fleet management and stratergy/tactics. Which they then amend through experience and share with other commanding minds.
By why stop at just ship. With enough processing power, they could inhabit an entire fleet. An entire fleet of perfectly co-ordinated warships, with no chance of disagreement or mutinous thoughts. And unlike the traditional hivemind of things like the Plague (who based off their source material, I can see their leaders trying to constantly screw each other over). each Archailect is a fully independent and free thinking mind. So if they begin to adapt to the targeting protocols of one Archailect and come up with software to jam their controls, they can simply switch fleets with another one. Ten seconds later (which is likely to be an eternity to them) and both fleets have completely changed their tactics and operating systems, rendering the counter measures almost useless.
This is of course ignoring how their thinking is only limited by amount of processing power available to them, meaning that you have information being worked on and technology progressing in a logarithmic fashion rather then a normal. The scariest part about them however is not their technology, or stupidly well coordinated fleets/weapon systems. The scariest part comes down to two things: The Archailect that just totally destroyed your fleet might only be using two to three percent of his processing power to do so (ie he squashed without really realising it) and that they very very sincerely wish for you to join them, freely offering a gift of immortality. Which means you never know when one of your military staff might defect and deliever to them the specs of every ship in your fleet.
Note that a lot of this might be out of reach of the actual Archailects, depending on what Zombie decides their deal is. Even more of it either wouldn't be balanced for in game use, or is just unimplementable. Anyway, here are some practical ideas now that I wrote all that stuff off to put my thoughts to paper. It is also not including things such as splitting off copies of themselves to use as intelligence viruses or similar, or even brute force hacking.
Strength in numbers: While each individual ship in the Archailect fleet might be average in comparison to everyone else (they might trade on weapons and armour for larger amounts of computer hardware/power... perhaps that could be worked into the lore, with Minds running ships in exchange for extra processing power.. it could be limited due to the war or similar anyway) when linked up, it allows them to share excess power or programs, making each ship benefit the others in some way (ie each scout in the system might slightly increase the range of weapons, each siege ship might increase bombardment damage) Might give them a reason to bring frigates and such along, rather then just rely on their infinite exp gaining capitals.
Or perhaps since they don't need to worry as much about crew, the Archailects could just use more 'sucide ships'. Or their weapons might get stronger (+.01 or similar) for every enemy that they kill, to reflect better targeting protocols or more efficient weapon designs that get examined. Doesn't sound like much in the short term, but after battles that can drag on for ten+ hours and the crap load of ships and such that can be dragged into them and used as meat shields, it could lead to quite impressive boosts.
A similar system could be used for defensive structures as well, possibly making them an incredibly hard defensive nut to crack. Or possibly the bonus's could be empire wide rather then system wide at the final level of research. After all, one turret that shoots for one damage is a joke. Ten turrets that shoot for ten damage isn't that bad. But when you get to things such as fifty turrets doing fifty damage each, or one hundred turrets that shoot for one hundred damage each, you have a problem.
Would also help to differentiate them, being a race built for long term battles and turtling, rather then quick zerg style raids with weak ships
Another Idea I had for rogues or hypercorp may or may not be implementable, but perhaps instead of getting damage or antimatter from things in their culture, perhaps they drain resources or similar. Something along the lines of 'Increased funding for mercantile operations has lead to our operatives opening up cut price retail outlets on planets covered by our culture.' Then againt the idea of Vasari eating at Macdonalds just cracks me up.