HP ProLiant DL380 G7 review

£4497
Price when reviewed

HP has made significant changes internally to the new server: the massive metal plate that shrouded the entire motherboard in the G6 has been replaced with a smaller version. It’s used to support the riser cards, and is much easier to remove and replace.

As with the G6, there’s a good choice of expansion options, with the system on review offering a single riser with three PCI Express slots. You can add a second riser, and have a mix of PCI Express and PCI-X slots.

The huge cooling shroud in the G6 also gets its marching orders. Instead, it comes with a smaller, transparent cover that fits around the centralised processor sockets rather than over them. This arrangement works well: with four of the six possible hot-plug cooling fans in place, we found this server delivered nigh on silent running.

For storage capacity, the DL380 is still the best in its class with room at the front for up to 16 hot-swap drive bays; Dell’s PowerEdge R710 2U rack server still lags behind with room for only eight SFF drives.

HP ProLiant DL380 G7

The DL380 sports an embedded Smart Array P410i controller that presents a pair of four-port SAS connectors on the motherboard. The review system also had the 256MB cache module located in a dedicated slot at the side, and this has a plug for an optional battery backup pack.

Virtualisation fans get a nod as the server has both internal USB and SD memory card slots for booting from an embedded hypervisor. However, if you want boot media redundancy then check out Dell’s R710, since this now comes with dual internal SD card slots.

The server was supplied with a single 460W power supply, but redundancy is on the cards as the server supports two hot-plug supplies. HP offers three power supply models, all of which share a common slot form factor.

Power consumption was low, although note that the review system had a basic specification. With Server 2008 R2 Enterprise in idle we measured a draw of only 72W, and with the single quad-core E5640 under load from SiSoft Sandra, this peaked at a mere 145W.

Although the Dell PowerEdge R710 with the same specification is better value, the DL380 G7 won’t be beaten for its combination of processing power, storage capacity, expansion potential and low power usage.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.67GHz
Processors supplied 1

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 3 x 146GB HP SFF 15K 6Gbits/sec SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 438
RAID module HP embedded Smart Array P410i with 256MB cache
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 4
ILO? yes

Power supply

Power supply rating 460W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 72W
Peak power consumption 145W

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