HP ProLiant DL385 G6 review

Price when reviewed

If you want all 16 drive bays you’ll need to add an extra backplane and a second RAID controller. There’s plenty of room inside as the server has a large metal plate covering the motherboard that’s used to fit riser cards. There are ample expansion slot choices as you start with a single riser offering three PCI Express slots and you can add a second to bring the slot count up to six.

Removing the expansion cage and plastic cooling shroud reveals the two processor sockets, each partnered by a bank of eight DIMM slots. Cooling for single-processor systems is handled by four hot-plug fans that are upgraded to six for dual processors. Noise levels aren’t as low as the DL380 G6 but this server isn’t intrusive.

There’s an internal USB port for booting an embedded hypervisor but you don’t get the SD memory card slot as featured in the DL380 G6. Dell also goes one better as its latest servers feature its UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface), plus the unique Lifecycle Controller and its 1GB of NVRAM.

The DL385 G6 has a pair of embedded dual-port Gigabit adapters and also supports dual hot-plug power supplies. For the latter all the latest ProLiants feature a common slot type and you can choose from 460W, 750W and 1200W supplies.

Using our in-line power meter we recorded a draw of 8W in standby and 108W with Server 2008 in idle. Using SiSoft Sandra to max out all six physical cores, this peaked at 174W.

For server management the DL385 sports HP’s iLO2 chip, which offers a dedicated Fast Ethernet port at the rear and a tidy web interface that provides plenty of control over the server. Add the optional advanced key and you get full remote control, virtual media support and power management tools.

HP’s Systems Insight Manager software allows you to manage all HP servers with the Insight agent installed. It provides asset management, reporting on system operations, remote firmware upgrade tools and the ability to set alerting thresholds on critical components.

AMD’s Six-Core Opteron is a more sophisticated solution than Intel’s six-core 7400 “Dunnington” Xeons, which are now looking dated. The DL385 G6 is a solid AMD-based platform well suited to virtualisation duties and priced right for SMBs, but at this stage we’d recommend waiting for the Xeon EX’s eight-core processors that are due to be launched before June.


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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