HP ProLiant DL120 G7 review

Price when reviewed

HP’s ProLiant DL120 G7 is its first Xeon E3 rack server, meant for SMBs swapping out their ageing tower servers for rack models. But it also has enterprises in its sights, since it can be used as a low-cost system dedicated to single applications such as web or mail services.

HP has used the 1U rack chassis of the DL120 G6, but a new motherboard. At 700mm deep, the chassis will fit in a standard rack cabinet; SMBs with smaller data cabinets should consider Dell’s PowerEdge R210 II, which is shorter at 410mm.

A benefit of the deeper chassis is improved storage options, with the base model supplied with four 3.5in hot-swap drive bays. There’s also a version that has eight SFF bays, which HP offers as a configure-to-order option, with a two- to three-week turnaround.

HP ProLiant DL120 G7

For the four-drive model, you start with the embedded SATA controller; this provides a four-port connector that’s cabled directly to the drive backplane. It includes HP’s Smart Array B110i RAID controller, which supports stripes and mirrors, but for hotplug capabilities you’ll need the Advanced Pack upgrade.

Our review system includes HP’s Smart Array P212 Zero Memory PCI Express card, which has internal and external four-port connectors and supports 3Gbits/sec SATA and 6Gbits/sec SAS hot-swap disks. Array support starts with mirrors and stripes and the 256MB cache upgrade adds RAID5 and 50. A battery backup pack upgrade is needed for RAID6.

For the eight-bay model you’ll need the Smart Array P410 PCI Express card, which provides two internal four-port connectors, has a 256MB cache, and supports RAID5 and 50 as standard. It requires optional 512MB or 1GB caches and battery backup upgrades to support RAID6.

The system on test includes a 3.3GHz Intel Xeon E3-1240 processor, but HP offers plenty of other options to get the price right for you. You can go for cheaper Core i3 processors, but these don’t support server-grade ECC memory, and aren’t a good choice if you’re running business-critical apps.


Warranty1yr on-site next business day



Server formatRack
Server configuration1U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency3.30GHz
Processors supplied1
CPU socket count1


RAM capacity16GB
Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration2 x 250GB HP SATA hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity500GB
RAID moduleHP Smart Array P212 PCI-E Zero Memory RAID
RAID levels supported0, 1, 10


Gigabit LAN ports2

Noise and power

Idle power consumption69W
Peak power consumption139W

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