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    HP Microserver Gen8 Processor FAQ


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    #1 LoneWolf

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    Posted 23 November 2013 - 10:34 AM

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    This guide is a work in progress.  After reading some other people's questions about processors for the Microserver Gen8, including "What's the best choice for ESXi or HyperV use?" I wanted to create some sort of basic guide.  For those of you who are geeks, you'll love this.  If you're ADD or in the TLDR crowd, skip this thread. ;)

     

    The HP Microserver Gen8 comes with one of two processors stock: 

     

    The Intel Celeron G1610T (2.3GHz, 2MB cache, Ivy Bridge)

    http://ark.intel.com...-Cache-2_30-GHz

     

    The Intel Pentium G2020T (2.5GHz, 3MB cache, Ivy Bridge)

    http://ark.intel.com/products/71069

     

    Neither are incredibly special, but for a home server running Windows Home Server, Windows Small Business Server, Server Essentials, or FreeNAS, they should do quite well.  Performance diferences should be minor between the two.  But, what if you want to run virtual machines via a hypervisor like VMWare ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V Server?  Neither of these two CPUs are exactly ideal, as they are missing some of the features of enhanced processors like VT-d instructions, the cache is small, and you have two CPU cores with no hyperthreading support.  At this point, an upgrade sounds like a good idea  --but what do you choose?

     

    The answer to the question all depends on how many VMs you want to run simultaneously on your hypervisor and what their purposes will be.  Tasks like SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange (at least, above a certain number of users), or an applications server require more horsepower than say, a basic domain controller (which even with DHCP, DNS, and other mainstream services, doesn't take a lot of load).

     

    One of the requirements *is* purchasing a CPU with ECC support; this negates many, if not all standard Core i3/i5/i7 processors.  Note also, the Microserver Gen8 has a 150w power supply and a 35w TDP fanless heatsink design, something to keep in mind when upgrading --trying to slap in a 95w CPU probably isn't a wise decision.

     

    The Microserver Gen8 has a Socket 1155 platform, and will support Xeon E3 (Sandy Bridge) and Xeon E3 v2 (Ivy Bridge) processors --Xeon E3 v3 (Haswell) processors are a different architecture with a different socket (Socket 1150) and are *not* supported.  IMO, these are the five processors to consider when upgrading the HP Microserver Gen8:

     

    Xeon E3-1220L      (2 cores, 4 threads, Sandy Bridge)

    Xeon E3-1220L v2 (2 cores, 4 threads, Ivy Bridge)

    Xeon E3-1260L      (4 cores, 8 threads, Sandy Bridge)

    Xeon E3-1265L v2 (4 cores, 8 threads, Ivy Bridge

    Xeon E3-1230   v2 (4 cores, 8 threads, Ivy Bridge -see caveats)

     

    The L variants of the Xeon family are low voltage.  While the 1220L's are not as powerful, they are very low power (20w TDP for the SB, 17w TDP for the IB).  This is great if you're only running two VMs and if you want to pack the server to the gills with other items (e.g., more than just the four standard drive bays).  The 1260L and 1265L pack more power, but have a 45w TDP, ten watts above the rating of the heatsink in the unit.  Still very usable as others testing have found.

     

    The Xeon E3-1230 v2 (4 cores, 8 threads, Ivy Bridge) is a fifth choice.  It is less expensive, and people have done this upgrade with success.  However, it has a 69w TDP, and I tend to be of the conservative sort --I want as much power envelope left as possible for other devices (RAID controller, extra drives, optical drive), and I also want a cushion that doesn't exceed the heat removal capabilities of the box.  If you aren't planning on adding much to your server though, it may be a good choice.

     

    As for Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge, here's the basic rundown.  The Sandy Bridge Xeons have one basic advantage --their heat spreaders are soldered to the CPU die using a fluxless solder process.  This provides for more efficient heat transfer.  While the Ivy Bridge Xeons would in theory run cooler if this process was used, Intel went cheaper, and now uses thermal paste between the spreader and the die.  This means that Ivy Bridge processors actually don't run much cooler than Sandys under load, if at all.  Note:  If modding is your game, some enthusiasts have managed remove the heatspreader from Ivy Bridge CPUs, allowing direct contact with the CPU die and lowering the heat, or replacing the thermal interface material with higher quality stuff.  Do this at your own risk - this VOIDS your CPU warranty and could damage the processor.

     

    On the other hand, Ivy Bridge processors have the following (note: these may provide only negligible improvements depending on the change)

     

    PCIe 3.0 support (probably not necessary even when using a RAID controller or graphics card)

    Improved AES-NI instructions (if you are using encryption such as Bitlocker or TrueCrypt, this would be a plus, otherwise negligible)

    Improved Floating Point instructions

    Improved Intel QuickSync performance. NOTE: Not all of the processors listed have QuickSync (only the 1260L and 1265L v2 do) as not all of these have onboard graphics.  Note also that due to the architecture of the Microserver Gen8 (which uses Matrox video rather than Intel Graphics as its primary) that I'm not aware that anyone has tested a QuickSync-equipped processor to confirm that these features operate correctly when such a CPU is in the system.  However, should they work, the 1260L and 1265L v2 have the potential to provide a considerable boost to video encoding/transcoding performance if you use an application that supports it; the 1265L v2 will have probably a 20-40% performance increase over the 1260L in this area.

     

    For complete CPU specifications on the Xeon E3 families, check out the following links:

     

    Xeon E3 1200 (Sandy Bridge) family:

    http://ark.intel.com...ts/series/53495

     

     

    Xeon E3 v2 1200 (Ivy Bridge) family:

    http://ark.intel.com...2-Family/server

     

    Wikipedia also has excellent links if you search for "Sandy Bridge", "Ivy Bridge", or "Xeon" to explain history and architectural changes.


    Edited by LoneWolf, 23 November 2013 - 11:03 AM.

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    #2 LoneWolf

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    Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:18 PM

    Note:  Something I did not realize until working more deeply today when replacing my Gen8 Microserver's processor.

     

    If you *do* wish to use Bitlocker or some other types of hardware encryption, one of the general requirements is having a system with a TPM (Trusted Platform Module).  Plenty of modern enthusiast mainboards have this; the Microserver Gen8 does not.  It is a purchasable option, with a general price of around $45-50.

     

    HP's part number is 488069-b21, which is meant for broad compatibility across the Gen8 line of servers.  The part is a small daughtercard  that connects to a TPM connector on the mainboard.  As part of the procedure, a plastic rivet is also used in the installation.  This rivet holds the TPM in place, and is designed to deform or break if the TPM is removed, to make you aware that security has been breached.  Once the TPM is attached, it is paired to the mainboard for life, and should not be removed.  Should HP need to replace your mainboard under warranty, you should notify them that you have a TPM so they may provide you with a new one for the new mainboard; the original TPM should remain paired with the original board, per HP's own instructions.

     

    The AES New Instructions are still useful in some other applications, but if you are looking to do full disk encryption, you will wish to purchase the TPM module as well.


    Edited by LoneWolf, 23 November 2013 - 08:19 PM.

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    Former owner: Microserver Gen8, TS140, HP N40L, N54L.

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    #3 LoneWolf

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    Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:41 AM

    Two additional "should-work" processors:

     

    Intel Core i3-3220T (2.8GHz, 2 cores, 4 threads, 35w TDP, Ivy Bridge)

    http://ark.intel.com/products/65694/

     

    Intel Core i3-3250T (3GHz, 2 cores, 4 threads, 35w TDP, Ivy Bridge)

    http://ark.intel.com...-Cache-3_00-GHz

     

    These processors are among the rare subset of Intel desktop CPUs that support ECC memory; you could think of them as very stripped-down versions of the Xeon E3-1220L v2.  Both of these processors lack Intel VT-d, so they're not super choices for VM hypervisor work; unlike the Xeon, they also lack Turbo Boost dynamic clock scaling for higher single-threaded performance.  They do bring Hyperthreading and QuickSync to the table.  If you're buying a brand new CPU, they wouldn't be on my list as you're already partway to the cost of a new or used Xeon E3; however, if you're pulling one from another system or come across one cheap, they will improve performance over the original processors.


    Edited by LoneWolf, 24 November 2013 - 08:55 AM.

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    4x 240GB SSD RAID10 (Icydock Express), 4x 3TB HGST, RAID5, P420 1GB FBWC

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    #4 cruro02

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    Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:00 AM

    I can verify that the Intel Core i3-3220T works fine - had one available so I upgraded a  G1610T Gen8.. (been running for 4 weeks with that, plus -16Gb of Kingston ram, a 2.5" ssd with server 2012 installed, 4 3Gb WD Red HDD's, and the HP DVD drive.)


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    #5 jmwills

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    Posted 02 December 2013 - 08:30 AM

    The above named processor is discontinued.


    Windows 10 Desktop - Intel D8H67BL, Intel i3-530 CPU w/16GB G-Skill DDR3 1333 RAMServer 2012R2 -Norco RPC 450B- SuperMicro D-1541 SOC w/128GB RAM – Roles: Hyper-V (SharePoint 2013/2016-DC-SQL-WSE 2012R2, WHS 2011 Test, Windows10,)<p>WHS2011-Norco RPC 450B - i3 SandyBridge - 8GB RAM Rocket RAID 2720 4 x 3TB WD RedTravel Laptop: Lenovo U310 13.3" Windows 10 Build 10544

    #6 Joe_Miner

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    Posted 12 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

    Got mine (a Xeon E3-1265L V2)  this evening:

     

    gallery_1229_67_22789.jpg


    Edited by Joe_Miner, 13 December 2013 - 03:39 PM.

    WHS-2011: HAF932,X58A-UD3R,i7-930, 12GB, HD6450, R640L, Corsair GS240GB, 5in3FatCage, 3*DuoSwap, 5*Red4T+1*Red3T, DrivePool&Scanner-|-  CrashPlan -|-
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    #7 ikon

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    Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:32 PM

    I can verify that the Intel Core i3-3220T works fine - had one available so I upgraded a  G1610T Gen8.. (been running for 4 weeks with that, plus -16Gb of Kingston ram, a 2.5" ssd with server 2012 installed, 4 3Gb WD Red HDD's, and the HP DVD drive.)

     

    Too bad your hard drives are so small ;)  (sorry, couldn't resist) :D


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    #8 cruro02

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    Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:37 PM

    Too bad your hard drives are so small   (sorry, couldn't resist) :D

    Its a fair cop.. :) .....off course it should read "3Tb drives" ... 



    #9 ikon

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    Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:24 PM

    Fully understood /StopPullingLegNow :)


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    #10 LoneWolf

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    Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:57 AM

    Sweet, Joe!

     

    I've had my 1265L v2 for about a month, it's been a great upgrade.  I do think it is probably the best CPU upgrade for the MS Gen8, followed closely by the 1260L, and then (if low power is a concern) the 1220L v2.


    HP ML310e G8 v2.  Xeon E3-1231v3, 32GB RAM, dual-port Intel gig NIC

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    #11 Joe_Miner

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    Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:13 AM

    Thanks LW!  I'm loving the performance.  Did you see my post http://homeserversho...n8-microserver/


    WHS-2011: HAF932,X58A-UD3R,i7-930, 12GB, HD6450, R640L, Corsair GS240GB, 5in3FatCage, 3*DuoSwap, 5*Red4T+1*Red3T, DrivePool&Scanner-|-  CrashPlan -|-
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    #12 LoneWolf

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    Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:21 PM

    No, I didn't (though I did now).  Ouch.


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    #13 CHAROIT

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    Posted 05 January 2014 - 01:57 AM

    Dear All,

     

    Please advise:

    What about Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1265L v3? it has the same TDP Power 45W as E3-1265L v2..

     

    Can we use the V3 instead of V2?

     

    Thank you.



    #14 schoondoggy

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    Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:54 AM

    The V3 is a 1150 pin socket cpu.

    The G8 is a 1155 pin socket. So it will not work.



    #15 LoneWolf

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    Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:33 AM

    Charoit, refer to this note in the FAQ.

    "--Xeon E3 v3 (Haswell) processors are a different architecture with a different socket (Socket 1150) and are *not* supported."

    HP ML310e G8 v2.  Xeon E3-1231v3, 32GB RAM, dual-port Intel gig NIC

    4x 240GB SSD RAID10 (Icydock Express), 4x 3TB HGST, RAID5, P420 1GB FBWC

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    Proud Member, SchoonDoggy Server Mods Beta Test Team


    #16 ikon

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    Posted 05 January 2014 - 10:44 AM

    That's certainly clear enough. Good work.


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    #17 CHAROIT

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    Posted 05 January 2014 - 02:27 PM

    Thank you so much guys!

     

    Keep it up.

     

    I am receiving the Micro Gen 8 in couple of days :)



    #18 stix01

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    Posted 12 February 2014 - 05:08 AM

    I'm about to buy a 1260L http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5d46398582

     

    I just want to confirm that I should be 100% ok with this cpu?


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    #19 Joe_Miner

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    Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:44 AM

    The E3-1260L is a 45W TDP that was first reported used by Therealjmc (check the Gen8 Links Page for a link to his first reporting -- there's also a table linked to from that page that shows all the reported CPU's that are running in the Gen8 and their TDP's)

     

    You'll want to set your BIOS cooling at "Increased Cooling" -- I don't think 45W TDP is cooled well under heavy load at the lower "Optimal Cooling" setting

     

    If you were planning to use it as an HTPC sometime in the future and very low noise is paramount to you then the E3-1220L at 20W TDP that Schoondoggy first reported using would be a better alternative, IMHO, and would/should work well (or at least better) at the "Optimal Cooling" setting (check the chart)  -- also check the temps that PsiKey and other's are getting with the 1.32 firmware http://homeserversho...cards/?p=76151 


    WHS-2011: HAF932,X58A-UD3R,i7-930, 12GB, HD6450, R640L, Corsair GS240GB, 5in3FatCage, 3*DuoSwap, 5*Red4T+1*Red3T, DrivePool&Scanner-|-  CrashPlan -|-
    HTPC1 W10P: N40L ECCKVR1333D3E9SK2/8G, HD5450,R620L,256GB Crucial M4 -|- 

    HTPC2 W10P Gen8 MS E3-1265LV2,ECC KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G, P222/512FBWC, SDM, OS: Corsair GT240GB RAID0 -|- 

    Desktop W10P: Lian-Li PC-K9WX,Z77X-UD5H, i7-3770,32GB-RAM,OS-SamPro840-256SSD, ST3000DM001 -|-
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    #20 stix01

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    Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:55 AM

    Wonderful thanks for the info. I will be using it in a HTPC scenario but I may turn off the turbo to keep the temps down. I am going to go to the effort of lapping my heatsink as John did as this probably will aid the temperatures. I'm going to just use the optimal setting as the box lives right beside my sofa. But I think with top quality paste , lapping and the turbo off I should be ok. Otherwise I may upgrade to one of the Dell heatsinks floating around that look to have the right hole dimensions and clearance. I think these can cope with 130w TDP when well ventilated. I figure 8 2.4 threads can easily transcode 2x 1080p movies at once and this is probably the most load I will experience. Also I've seen this and have a sneaking suspicion that the hole dimensions are perfect.
    gelid-1u-slim2.gif
     


    Edited by stix01, 12 February 2014 - 11:59 AM.

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