HP Proliant Microserver Gen8 vs N54L - performance and Noise comparision

8
Found 7th Feb 2016
Hi guys, I have an HP Proliant Microserver N54L that I upgraded display card, DVD drive, 4 hard drives, 4 GB ram. It has been working quite well for playing movies, music, surfing etc and it connected to TV.

Now I would like to upgrade the machine, so wanted to check if anyone could share there experience - is the Proliant Gen8 has less/more noise vis-a-vis N54L? Any comparisions?

Could someone please share their experience of how this Gen8 upgrade compares? I understand it is quite popular machine with HUKD users! Thanks in advance.

8 Comments

I own both, the gen 8 can be a little noisy if on full load or when first switched on but most of the time is quiet. if your old n54 has had a fair bit of use it will probably be noisier due to dust build up if nothing else

Original Poster

o0bean0o0head0o

I own both, the gen 8 can be a little noisy if on full load or when first … I own both, the gen 8 can be a little noisy if on full load or when first switched on but most of the time is quiet. if your old n54 has had a fair bit of use it will probably be noisier due to dust build up if nothing else



​Thanks for the comment on noise. Is it significant difference performance wise?


Noise wise the reviews suggest as a base machine that the Gen8 is slightly quieter.
However, I doubt you would be able to tell considering it's about 3db. In my experience of my N40l (recently retired) is that the majority of the noise comes from the hard disks, mine certainly did and it ran a mix of Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate and Western digital disks depending on which was installed at the time.



Performance wise is quite nicely illustrated on this site with some passmark scores.



The owners thread is also worth a look too.

Personally, having retired a microserver and moved to a traditional case I wouldn't go back. Don't get me wrong, I love Bob (my microserver) and it's being re-purposed in a new role. However, I purchased a cheap case got some decent deals on hardware because I intended to have a gaming PC and file system in one (i5 6400 and R9 380). I installed some silent fans along with some thermal wadding and it's quieter than the HP ever was, even with the higher end components and that the system is now running 6 hard drives and an SSD. It might be worth considering the option of a self build too.

Original Poster

Astec123

Noise wise the reviews suggest as a base machine that the Gen8 is … Noise wise the reviews suggest as a base machine that the Gen8 is slightly quieter. However, I doubt you would be able to tell considering it's about 3db.



Many thanks Astec123 for sharing the information. What potential uses do the old microserver have - create a NAS out of it?

By the way I have decided to upgrade RAM (to 8 or 16 gig) and put SSD (Samsung EVO 250 gig) into my Gen7 microserver - its pretty robust and sufficient for browsing / watching movies etc.

By the way I wonder how does these two RAMs compare - very similar price wise. Any idea?

- Crucial CT2KIT102464BA160B 16GB (2X8GB) DDR3 240 Pin PC3-1600 CL9 Unbuffered UDIMM Memory Module Kit
- Crucial 8 GB Sport Ballistix 240 Pin DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800 Memory Module

emmkay

Many thanks Astec123 for sharing the information. What potential uses do … Many thanks Astec123 for sharing the information. What potential uses do the old microserver have - create a NAS out of it?By the way I have decided to upgrade RAM (to 8 or 16 gig) and put SSD (Samsung EVO 250 gig) into my Gen7 microserver - its pretty robust and sufficient for browsing / watching movies etc.By the way I wonder how does these two RAMs compare - very similar price wise. Any idea?- Crucial CT2KIT102464BA160B 16GB (2X8GB) DDR3 240 Pin PC3-1600 CL9 Unbuffered UDIMM Memory Module Kit- Crucial 8 GB Sport Ballistix 240 Pin DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800 Memory Module



You're welcome.

I'm giving him to my parents to use to browse their DVD collection using KODI(XBMC). Additionally, I plan to use the server as an off site backup for my own files so it will still get put to good use.

However, these units are so rock solid that there are literally 100s of uses for them and more if you want to combine more than one use into it.
- Virtual machines
- Backups
- headless NAS use
- HTPC
- Emulated gaming system
- Website/email hosting

The list is endless. As to the RAM, question, I've used a host of different systems and sticks of RAM over the years, anyone who can double blind tell the difference between a low end and a high end stick is likely telling lies. Obviously in benchmarking there can be a difference but I've never in my time been able to tell a faster stick from a slower one. For the HP I'd save your money and get 8gb of RAM unless you plan to use it for some RAM intensive task like VMs etc. I had my one running 6gb and it was more than enough for what I had it doing. I picked the cheapest DDR3 stick I could find at the time which worked out to £13 for 4gb.
Edited by: "Astec123" 11th Feb 2016

Original Poster

Astec123

For the HP I'd save your money and get 8gb of RAM unless you plan to use … For the HP I'd save your money and get 8gb of RAM unless you plan to use it for some RAM intensive task like VMs etc. I had my one running 6gb and it was more than enough for what I had it doing.



Thanks pointing this out about diminishing return on RAM. I have 4 gig at the moment and its normally utilized only 60-70%. So 16 GB will be overkill.

I will get the SSD and 'General 2.5" SSD to 3.5" SATA Hard Disk Drive HDD Adapter CADDY TRAY CAGE Hot Swap Plug' AMAZON LINK

If SSD makes things even, RAM upgrade can be put on hold.

On a different note - I wonder, as the HP microserver has 4 disk bays, can we have boot sequence such that it can boot from in sequence from the first two bays - that way I have 1st bay as SSD, and if it pops, the second bay disk will be used for will boot-up automatically. Poping SSD is my main concern - even though I have four SSDs and they are amazing for laptop bootup and have not left me down so far. Apps like Office also launch so fast.

By the way I didn't upgrade to windows 10 as it is so comfortable with 7 and I am suspicious of MS plans with this 'free OS upgrade!
Edited by: "emmkay" 11th Feb 2016

emmkay

Thanks pointing this out about diminishing return on RAM. I have 4 gig at … Thanks pointing this out about diminishing return on RAM. I have 4 gig at the moment and its normally utilized only 60-70%. So 16 GB will be overkill.I will get the SSD and 'General 2.5" SSD to 3.5" SATA Hard Disk Drive HDD Adapter CADDY TRAY CAGE Hot Swap Plug' AMAZON LINKIf SSD makes things even, RAM upgrade can be put on hold.On a different note - I wonder, as the HP microserver has 4 disk bays, can we have boot sequence such that it can boot from in sequence from the first two bays - that way I have 1st bay as SSD, and if it pops, the second bay disk will be used for will boot-up automatically. Poping SSD is my main concern - even though I have four SSDs and they are amazing for laptop bootup and have not left me down so far. Apps like Office also launch so fast.By the way I didn't upgrade to windows 10 as it is so comfortable with 7 and I am suspicious of MS plans with this 'free OS upgrade!



I didn't even bother with a caddy for the SSD, I just used some sticky back velcro to locate it in the top drive bay. But then I had four mechanical drives and one SSD as the boot drive. There's very little need to bother mounting them any more solidly as they have no moving parts, obviously if you are using 4 in the microserver then some caddies are worth it.

You can set the boot order on the N40L but I don't know about the BIOS on later models and what options are available. I'm sure if you ask in the owners thread that I linked to above that someone can give you a definitive answer before you part with your money.

Original Poster

Astec123

I didn't even bother with a caddy for the SSD. You can set the boot order … I didn't even bother with a caddy for the SSD. You can set the boot order on the N40L.



Like newbies / hobbyist like to polish the cars and put extra bit of effort, I'm going to put a caddy for SSD

I was looking at Samsung EVO SSD and found their EVO PRO version is supposed to last longer - so going for it.

Thanks for pointing to change the boot sequence in BIOS itself. No need to create a dual boot settings at OS level.
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