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Heat and Noise: DL380 vs ML370

Simon Blain
Occasional Contributor

Heat and Noise: DL380 vs ML370


I have a small business and have purchased a second hand DL380 G3. I have found the area I have put it, under the stairs, which is the only space available, gets very hot as a result. Because of this we have to leave the door open but the server is very loud so this presents another issue. I am now looking at swapping this for an ML370 G3 as from the quickspecs it is quiter (41 dBA vs 56 dBA for the DL380). However I am unsure about which creates the most heat.

As I said, I only that this under-stair area to put this machine and want something that will not be as quiet and low-heat as possible. I am also restricted as I need a peice of hardware on the HCL for VMWare ESX Server 3 which it is running.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not the ML370 G3 will partially solve my heat and noise issues?

David Claypool
Honored Contributor

Re: Heat and Noise: DL380 vs ML370

Check the ProLiant Power Calculator available from any of the ProLiant product detail pages (e.g. --> DL --> 300 series --> DL380G5 --> Power Calculator). That will bring up a sheet with a catalog of the various models and their calculators, including the ones you're interested in.

Heat generation is largely a function of the heat generating items in a server, which mostly means the processor(s) and drives. Given equivalent processors and the same number of drives between the two of your choices they are going to generate the same amount of heat. In the sample I ran through the calculator with 2P, 12GB RAM and 6 drives and 3 PCI cards, the DL380G3 and ML370G3 came out within 50 BTUs per hour of each other.

Noise is going to be primarily due to trying to suck an equivalent amount of air through a 2U size faceplate that is being blocked by a bunch of drives vs. a 5U faceplate that has room for some actual ducts. Don't dustbusters always sound louder than floor vacs?

I realize you are probably on a budget, buying servers second hand, but a 3-year-old server is pretty under-powered for VMware. You might look into one of the new G5 servers. Significantly lowered heat production and acoustic noise. The SAS SFF drives each pull half the power of the larger drives and the processors alone could probably save a couple of hundred watts over a 3.2GHz monster from a G3. Could save you enough money over a 3-5 year period to make it interesting...