HP ProLiant DL120 G6 review

Price when reviewed

Initial installation is helped along nicely by the supplied CD, which loads up HP’s Easy Setup environment. A wizard assists with installing your chosen OS, and configuring the RAID controller and hard disks. It also loads HP’s System Management homepage, which offers a web-based monitoring tool for keeping an eye on the server while it’s running.

Physically, the server is well designed, with a tidy interior, although HP’s tool-free philosophy isn’t particularly evident. A Torx screwdriver is clipped to the back of the server, and you’ll need it to release the lid and remove the expansion cage.

The X3450 Xeon has a mighty heatsink attached to it, with extra heat pipes linking it to a satellite cooling fan array in front of the motherboard. Four small dual-rotor fans handle general internal cooling, but their peaceful purring is spoiled by the noisy fan in the single 400W cold-swap power supply.

HP ProLiant DL120 G6

Alas, this server doesn’t find it easy being green, consuming plenty of power under load. With Windows Server 2008 R2 idling, we clocked it drawing 79W, which rose to 158W when under extreme pressure via SiSoft Sandra.

To put this into perspective, we compared these results with the PC Pro Recommended ProLiant DL380 G7. That had a 2.67GHz E5640 Xeon, 6GB of DDR3 memory and three SFF hard disks; we measured 72W in idle and 145W when under load.

It’s also worth comparing the Boston’s Value Series 570, which showcases Intel’s new Xeon E3-1200 series processor. It isn’t as well featured as the DL120, but with its faster 3.4GHz E3-1207 processor it drew just 58W when idle and 129W under load.

In close competition with the DL120 G6 is Dell’s more compact PowerEdge R310, a single-socket 1U rack server. We rustled up a closely matched specification on Dell’s website for just over £1,000 exc VAT, which included a three-year NBD warranty plus an iDRAC6 Express management controller. The HP ProLiant DL120 G6 may be well built and have good expansion potential, but it can’t match that kind of value.


Warranty3 yr return to base



Server formatRack
Server configuration1U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency2.67GHz
Processors supplied1


RAM capacity32GB
Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration3 x 250GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 7.2K hard disks in hot swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity750GB
RAID moduleSmart Array P212 6Gbps SAS RAID controller with 256MB DDR2 cache
RAID levels supported0, 1, 5, 10, 50


Gigabit LAN ports2

Power supply

Power supply rating400W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption79W
Peak power consumption158W

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