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CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

 
Ivan_Beaute
Frequent Visitor

CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Hello,

 

My company recently bought a "DL160 GEN8 entry eu svr" with a Xeon e5-2603.

 

I want to change this processor because we need to use this server for continuous integration. Doing this with only 4cores without Hyper-Threading is not a great idea.

 

So I planned to change the E5-2603 (TDP = 80W) to an E5-2650 (TDP = 95W). After contacting my reseller, I heard about VRM and PPM module that could probably block the compatibility.

 

I try to contact HP presales support but nobody knows about VRM or PPM. So could I use the E5-2650 on this server? Or I  have a limitation to 80W. 

 

I hope someone could help me because it's hard to find information about VRM/PPM for recent Proliant Server.

 

Thanks.

Ivan Beauté

12 REPLIES
waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

The DL160 G8 is designed for either of those processors. You'd even be fine with one of the CPU's with a TDP of 130W.

Power usage will go up as you've noticed, but the system board itself is capable of handling it. It'll also run a bit hotter, but the diff between 80 and 95 isn't that much.

You shouldn't need to update the power supplies or add extra fans either unless you do finally upgrade to a 2nd CPU.

Which is another thing... based on what processors you're looking at, you might find a good deal on adding a 2nd CPU that matches the first one. CPU option kits include the extra 2 fans you'd need. It could be cheaper and just as many cores over all at nearly the same speed as the single E5-2650.
Ivan_Beaute
Frequent Visitor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Thanks for your answer!

 

Unfortunately I use VMware ESXI 5.5 with free licence, so I can only have one processor for the moment. The E5-2650 seems to be a good compromise for us.

waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Ah, I forgot about software that licenses per physical CPU.  What a weird licensing scheme, when you think about it.  No wonder companies are moving away from that, even Microsoft.

 

Good luck with a new CPU. :)

Ivan_Beaute
Frequent Visitor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Bad news.

 

My resseller won't sell me the E5-2650 with a TPD of 95W for my server.  Her expert says that it would not be compatible with my VRM, which is limited to 75W (how could he know that without any serial number ?).

 

According to him, only the E5-2650L is compatible with my server because it has a TDP of 70W. But this processor is an old one, it's more expensive, less powerful and it reaches the end of its life.

 

My resseller also tell me that I will not be able to change the VRM for this model. So my company bought a Proliant server less than one year ago and I can't upgrade it with a more powerful processor? HP, If it's a joke, is a bad one !

 

I'm lost, why nobody in HP company can tell me that there is a problem with the VRM on my server. They just tell me that "the E5-2650 is compatible with a DL160gen8".

waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

I thought all newer Proliants (since maybe 2008'ish?) had the VRM's built in... maybe not on the DL160's though?

I apparently have a mindset of focusing on what's available with the DL360/DL380 models... I think the last DL160 I had was probably 10 years ago so I just assumed it had kept up to date with some of those common things.

At any rate, if it is replaceable as a separate module, the CPU upgrade kits *should* come with the CPU and a VRM, at least they used to.

If HP is telling you that they ship entirely different main boards depending on the CPU it comes with, I don't know if I buy that... I can't imagine a CPU upgrade involving replacing the motherboard. :)

I dug up the replacement parts for a DL160 G8... only one spare # for the system board. I don't see a VRM part though.

http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/kb/docDisplay?javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.prp_ba847bafb2a2d782fcbb0710b053ce01=wsrp-navigationalState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c03270866-6%257CdocLocale%253D%257CcalledBy%253D&javax.portlet.tpst=ba847bafb2a2d782fcbb0710b053ce01&ac.admitted=1401504489261.87...

Yeah, I'm thinking you probably just got a reseller who didn't know the particular model or made some incorrect assumptions. I don't know if the expert she talked to was familiar with HP servers.

When I've purchased from CDW or Softchoice (those aren't plugs for them, FYI, just stating the facts), they do have some pretty good HP specific experts on hand if I had any questions, but I generally try to research the parts I need ahead of time to make sure I know what the heck I'm doing. :)
LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Waaronb is correct that any of the Processor options (for your DL160G8) can bee installed into your system.

 

In your case of wanting to use an Intel Xeon E2650 processor, please use the HP sales P/N of 662931-L21. I would also order a replacement heat sink as well. This will have a new Thermal pad for use on the new Processor. This can be skipped if you have access to a better quality of Thermal compound (paste). Artic Silver is what I would use if I were doing the upgrade.

 

By sure to update Bios to the latest one for your server, use good static dissipation guidelines while replacing the Processor chip. Consult the users/service guide for procedures, step by step.

 

Regards,

 

Louis

LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Oh and there is only one system board listed for DL160G8...

Louis
Ivan_Beaute
Frequent Visitor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

I can't find the 662931-L21 but only the 662931-B21. Is-it the same product ?

 

http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product.aspx?sku=10414187&mfg_part=662931-B21

 

Thanks

Ivan

LouisH
Valued Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

yes it is same processor..... One P/N (L21) indicates first Processor in server, the second P/N (B21) indicates the second or add-on processor.

 

Regards,

 

Louis

waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Add-on processors should come with the heat-sink... it'll either have a pre-applied layer of thermal compound (a little blue colored pad on the heat sink, protected by the plastic cover until you install it), or it may come with a tube of thermal compound. The tube might only come with a replacement CPU if you're swapping it out under warranty...that's the only time I recall seeing it come with that.

The thermal compound on the heatsink should be fine... if you're really into it and have some lying around you could use it instead, just make sure you wipe off the pre-applied square. This isn't one of those situations where "if some is good, more is better". :) You don't want that stuff squeezing out all over the place when the heatsink is clamped down... just a nice even layer.
Ivan_Beaute
Frequent Visitor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

Hello,

 

With the last bad news. I finally contact another HP reseller in my country to find another expert on Proliant server.

He tells me that for my server, the "entry eu" model, the TDP is limited to 80W so also four processor was compatible :

E5-2603

E5-2609

E5-2630L

E5-2650L

 

VRM seems to be inside the motherboard. Great idea HP, let's change the MB and everything else to just upgrade to a new processor.

 

Probably the last time I bought a HP proliant.

waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: CPU Upgrade in DL160G8 question about VRM/PPM

I don't know, I think these resellers are wrong. From what I could tell, there's only one part # for the DL160 G8 system board. They don't have different ones for different processors... that really would make any sense for them or the customers.

Even if it had a replaceable VRM, all of the motherboards I've seen with a VRM module use the same one regardless of the wattage used by the CPU. HP just makes them to be able to handle the current demands of the highest rated processor they support, whether it's 40W or 130W.

From HP's point of view it just wouldn't be profitable to design and stock separate modules if the price difference was negligible.

I think even the heatsinks that come with each CPU are the same for that server model, regardless of what the actual processor is.

The only thing I can think of is related to the power supply and cooling you have. If your system has some lower wattage power supplies like a single 460W or something, instead of a pair of 750W supplies, that would make a difference (I'm just using 460W and 750W as examples... i don't know what the options are for a DL160 G8).

And for cooling, that comes into the equation when adding a 2nd processor... HP usually requires that the other optional fans be installed (and some of their 2nd CPU kits come with those fans).

There might be someone who checks the HP forums and has done an upgrade like this that could help.

The closest I've come was a recent update on a DL360 G7 where I upgraded from 4-core to 6-core processors (E5630 to E5649). Those both have a TDP of 80W, but I just know deep down that if I really wanted to install something like an X5690 with a TDP of 130W, it would have worked just as well. How do I know? Because the quickspecs for it say it supports 130W processors, single or dual, including the X5690. :)

If the quickspecs for the DL160 G8 says it supports the processor you want, then your reseller really needs to explain why they say it won't work when HP says it will.