HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 review

Price when reviewed

The ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 represents a new direction for HP: this is its first low-profile, entry-level rack server. It’s aimed at micro or small businesses that want a compact and affordable server without compromising on horsepower.

Measuring a shade more than 15in deep, it’s by far the smallest ProLiant DL model we’ve seen. However, its support for the latest Intel Xeon E3 v3 processors means it’s certainly no weakling. There’s a choice of three preconfigured models, and the “performance” system reviewed here boasts a speedy 3.4GHz E3-1240 v3 CPU.

Despite the compact chassis, storage isn’t compromised, either. There’s room at the front for a quartet of SAS or SATA SFF hard disks, although the price quoted doesn’t include any as standard.

The DL320e is a member of the exclusive ProLiant Gen8 range, so you get all the features you’d expect of HP’s higher-end servers. The SmartDrive disk carriers’ status LEDs tell you everything you need to know about your hard disks, and HP has also included its iLO4 embedded remote-management controller. Linked to a dedicated port at the rear, it provides ample data on almost all of the server’s critical components.

HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2

Since the server was supplied without an OS, we had the chance to test HP’s Intelligent Provisioning feature. Accessed during startup, this does away with the need for HP’s SmartStart DVD when installing an OS and provides wizard-based deployment tools.

The two lower-end models use the embedded Smart Array B120i RAID chip, which supports SATA III disks and mirrors and stripes. On the performance model, this has been elbowed aside by a Smart Array P222 PCI Express card equipped with 512MB of DDR3 flash-based write cache (FBWC). It uses a fast-charging capacitor to protect the cache contents in the event of a power failure.

The P222 card supports SATA III and SAS 2 drives and adds RAID5 and 50 to the list of array choices. Purchasing the Smart Array Advanced Pack 2 licence for around £200 adds support for RAID6 and 60, capacity expansion, advanced mirroring and several other features, too. It also includes HP’s Smart Path feature, which optimises SSD read operations by bypassing the card’s firmware.

There’s no shortage of expansion options. The P222 has an external SAS port that can connect to HP’s D2600 or D2700 disk enclosures. We were also pleased to find that HP is the first manufacturer to put external USB 3 ports on a rack server.

HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2

There are some compromises, however. All the models in the DL320e range have a fixed 300W PSU, and there’s no option to fit dual-redundant units – make sure you’re using a UPS.

Power consumption is modest. The E3-1240 v3 CPU has a TDP of 80W, and with Windows Server 2012 in idle, we measured a draw of only 54W; piling on the pressure saw the power draw peak at 120W. However, the iLO4 power-metering feature is unsupported – you can remotely turn the server on and off from its web interface, but you can’t monitor power usage.

The server’s motherboard is remarkably small, but it gets the essentials spot on. The price includes 8GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 UDIMM memory, and the three spare slots allow you to upgrade to the maximum 32GB without wasting the existing module.


Warranty1yr on-site NBD



Server formatRack
Server configuration1U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency3.40GHz
Processors supplied1
CPU socket count1


Memory typeDDR3


Total hard disk capacity0GB
RAID levels supported0, 1, 5, 10, 50


Gigabit LAN ports2


Conventional PCI slots total0

Power supply

Power supply rating300W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption54W
Peak power consumption120W

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