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Upgrade MS Gen8 motherboard considerations


aal
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Hello,

 

somebody has considered a motherboard upgrade in HP Gen8 microserver to achieve 32GB RAM?

 

Obviously will be problem with the box and the ports, but someone has investigated this possibility?

 

Kind Regards,

Aitor

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I don't think that motherboard is in standard *TX form factor, but even if it was standard mini ATX, by the time you paid for the motherboard and the G8, you might as well just build a custom machine based around a generic similarly sized case.

Edited by gordan
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In my own opinion, I think a lot of people are lured in buy the low entry point pricing of the G8 without thinking about a long term strategy.  I think Gordon nailed it pretty well when he mentioned building a long term custom built box.  Upgrading CPU's, MOBO's, etc is going to have an impact on cost and by the time you reach the end game, you've done without a system (at that performance level) ever since the original configuration was purchased.

 

I've just built one that should last me five years or so, and yes the initial investment was considerable, but I built for the future in mind and shouldn't have to even think about anything but drive space going forward.

 

Just one person's thoughts on the subject of upgrading an OEM system.

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I agree completely that planning for the future is highly beneficial, especially when it comes to OEM hardware ...

... but, - you knew there was going to be a but - ...

... it is equally wasteful to overprovision.

 

a. The base level G8 (with the low-end dual-core Celeron) is pretty much ideal, providing the server is limited to storage duties.

Ideal because of its low power consumption as well as initial cost and not too difficult to increase storage as disk size has moved up from 1TB, 2TB, ... and soon 10TB! Plus the splendid mods worked out by forum members.

 

b. Many a newcomer enters here with a server version of Windows. This costs between 2 and 4 times the G8 low end hardware.

Essential of course in a company ... but for a home network? I think not ... and not for storage unless you are super-keen on ReFS.

 

c. Few and far between are the discussions on using both network ports on the G8 for speeding up network data transfer ... and how many have 2 network ports on their workstations too, without which 200MB/s to the server cannot be achieved, no matter how fast one's SSD's.?

 

d. Another frequent requirement is to test virtual machines. CPU, RAM and disk speed are critical here. The last machine I would buy is a G8 with any CPU: the best answer now is surely an overclocked Skylake CPU with an M2 NVME disk ... and the best place for that is surely your main workstation, not a server! (that would be jmw's custom box I presume)

 

e. The cost of consumer-grade components is so much lower than enterprise parts that one can usually swap out after 2/3 years rather than 5/6 ...

 

f. ... and things typically move on e.g. SSD to M2 NVME was only a few years, maybe Backblaze B2 unlimited means we can dispense with half our storage servers and/or RAID.

 

I try to focus on architecture, preferring functional isolation and scale out to scale up.

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For my needs, I'm at about 70% of installed memory and 80% of drive space.  I'll never max out the CPU on this box nor have I ever maxed out one.  This one server is running anywhere between 8-10 virtual servers at all times along with two virtual desktop platforms.

 

It's essentially the same box that is on the TinkerTry site (Intel D-1541 SOC) but I only bought the MOBO and RAM.  I re-purposed a Norco case and Samsung SSD's from another system, and it is whisper quiet.  Utilizes about 80 watts with all that running.

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The thing about the G8 is that it is an amazing deal (about £100 after rebate). You couldn't put a machine of that spec together for anywhere near that amount, especially considering some of the more enterprisey features (ILO, ECC if you are sticking with the CPU that supports it). However, if you are going to max it out with an E3 1290v2 and 16GB of RAM, you are going to be looking at nearer £500 for the lot, not including the disks. At that point you need to apply some very careful consideration whether the conveniently compact form factor and enterprisey features justify that cost vs. other things you could put together for £500. That amount buys you a fair amount of hardware these days.

 

So it really comes down to what you are intending to use the G8 for. But however you spin it buying a G8 just for the case and PSU seems like a rather poor deal even before considering whether a different motherboard might fit in it's chassis.

 

Also most people consider that their time is worth something, which also counts in the favour of a pre-built machine that is ready to go with minimal intervention.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you very much for your replies.

 

I am agree with the opinion that the newbies, as I am, can see a HP G8 Microserver as an lure alternative, mostly considering its base price and, at least in my case, I have to admit that I hadn't a specific plan for the server, more than a backup server (now CentOS 7.1 + BackupPC + RAID1) and play with virtual machines.

 

I upgraded the G8 with E3-1230 v2 processor and 16GB RAM to play with KVM or XEN just to learn and to make tests with linux containers and microservices.

 

At this point, after researching more information about home servers I realized that a custom server it would have been a cheaper and better option for me, but anyway I still can have a lot fun with this piece of hardware.

Edited by aal
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