Installed Xeon E3-1230V2 in Gen8 HP Microserver


Gen8 HP MicroserverThanks to a homeservershow forum member keeping track of prices  I ordered the HP Gen8 Microserver 1610T … of course, nobody wants to run VMWare on a Celeron so obviously the first thing to try is installing a Xeon processor.

Update, this post is about 3-years old but HP hasn’t updated their Microserver to support a newer generation of processors since then, I’ve moved to a Supermicro Mini Tower with a X10SDV Motherboard.

Installing the Xeon E3-1230 V2 in the Microserver

Gen8 HP Microserver MotherboardThe HP Microserver’s CPU is passively cooled and the heatsink is rated for a max TDP of 35W, and there’s no port on the motherboard that I could find for an extra CPU fan.

The obvious option is the Xeon E3-1220L V2 at 17W but it’s expensive and hard to find, and only has 2 cores.

Xeon E3-1230v2 in the MicroserverI already have a Xeon E3-1230 V2 (69W), and for most people this is a better option because it’s readily available and affordable.  I figure worse case I could disable two of the four cores to bring it down to 35W.

I’ve never used my own thermal paste so I’m not sure if that’s the right amount, but that’s how much I did.

First Boot…

Hey, it worked!

I thought it wise to at least go into the BIOS and disable 3.7GHz Turbo, so the max we’ll hit is 3.3GHz. (Update: I later learned that disabling Turbo isn’t necessary).

Boot screen

VMWare ESXi booted just fine (I used the version provided by HP).  Now I’ve got hyper-threading and VT-d (Direct Path I/O) on a Gen8 Microserver!

VMWare Screenshot

And the temperature is doing just fine…

Temperature at idle

gen8_microserver_xeon_e3_cpu_load_testCPU Load Test

10 minutes full load using “stress” on a VM.  All four cores clocking in at 3.292GHz.  You can see the temperatures bumped up but still within specifications.  Fan was still running at 51%.  Temperature inside my house is currently 84F so if it can survive a full load in this heat I’m not concerned about it running into problems. 

Temperature at full load

Compatible Processors

(added July 28, 2013)

Here’s a list of processors I think would be good candidates.  I’ve excluded the Core i5 series because they don’t support ECC.

The stock processor is no different than the i3 except for clock speed and hyper-threading so I don’t think it’s worth the money to upgrade to an i3.

The main reasons to upgrade to a Xeon is the AES instruction set, VT-d, or more cores and a faster clock speed.  I think the best value currently is the Xeon E3-1230 V2.

Xeon E3-1220 v23.169 W4NoYesYesYesYesShould
Xeon E3-1220L v22.317 W2YesYesYesYesYesShould
Xeon E3-1230 v23.369 W4YesYesYesYesYesVerified
Xeon E3-1265 v22.545 W4YesYesYesYesYesShould*
Core i3-3250T335 W2YesNoYesNoNoShould
Core i3-3220T2.835 W2YesNoYesNoNoShould
Celeron G1610T2.335 W2NoYesYesNoNoYes
Pentium G2020T2.535 W2NoYesYesNoNoYes

*Processors ending in a 5 have integrated HD graphics, I’m not sure if this will cause problems.