HP ProLiant DL385 G6 review

Price when reviewed

Although AMD launched its Six-Core Opteron processors back in June, as with many of its other processing platforms, it hasn’t made much noise about it. In this review we take a closer look at HP’s latest sixth-generation ProLiant DL385.

Virtualisation is a primary focus but the DL385 G6 also targets other markets, including general purpose SMB duties, and data centre and storage services. The review server came with a single 2.4GHz Opteron 2431 and AMD now offers six other 2400 models ranging in speeds from 1.8GHz up to 2.8GHz.

Offered as a drop-in upgrade to the quad-core Opteron, the new processors have all six cores fully integrated on-die with AMD’s Direct Connect architecture. Each core has its own L1 and L2 caches and all share a common L3 cache. Power is a big priority and AMD claims the new processors not only have the same power/thermal envelope as the quad-core Opterons, but offer up to a 50% performance improvement.

HP ProLiant DL385 G6

They also introduce AMD’s HT Assist technology, which keeps a record of cached data and uses this to direct a processor to the relevant cache in another processor if it isn’t stored locally. The HyperTransport 3 gets a bandwidth boost to 4.8GT/sec and power management is improved with a power capping feature.

One other notable feature of these processors is they only support DDR2 memory. AMD says that slower, cooler DDR2 is better than faster, hotter DDR3. Maybe it is but AMD is expected to support DDR3 with its next generation 12-core Magny-Cours and six-core Lisbon Opterons.

The DL385 scores highly in the storage department, offering eight hot-swap SSF disk bays that can be upgraded to 16. There’s even room at the side for HP’s Systems Insight Display panel, which provides a read-out on all critical components and instant identification of memory, processor, power supply or fan failures.

Unlike the Xeon 5500-equipped DL380 G6, the server doesn’t have embedded storage controllers so all RAID duties are handled by HP’s Smart Array P410 PCI Express cards. The entry model has no cache memory but you can upgrade to 256MB or 512MB, add a battery backup pack and apply a licence key to activate support for RAID6/60 arrays.


Warranty3yr on-site next business day



Server formatRack
Server configuration2U


CPU familyAMD Opteron
CPU nominal frequency2.40GHz
Processors supplied1


RAM capacity128GB
Memory typeDDR2


Hard disk configuration3 x 72GB HP SAS SFF 15K hard disk in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity216
RAID levels supported0, 1, 5, 10, 50


Gigabit LAN ports4

Power supply

Power supply rating460W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption108W
Peak power consumption174W

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