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ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

Regular Visitor

ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I've read many threads related to this issue... but I'm going crazy with the noise these fans generate.

From the quickspecs: operating at 23C ambient temperature the base model is rated at 26 dB  - aditional options may result in increased sound levels.  That's very apparent, considering the Delta fans (PFR0912XHE) used in these are rated at 71 dB each when running at full speed 11,500RPM (185.5cfm air flow).  You've all heard the jet engine take-off sound.

I have the base model, with a single E5-2520 Xeon 6-core @ 1.9GHz.  (Fans #2 and #3 exist, #1 and #4 are blanks). I'm running the latest HP image of ESX 6.0, build 3073146.  iLO firmware is the latest 2.30 from August 19, 2015.   Proliant System ROM is also the latest J02, dated 08/02/2014.  In the BIOS, thermal settings are set to "Optimal Cooling"

Add-on cards: Smart Array P420, firmware version 6.68, and HP NC365T quad NIC, firmware 3.19.0

Regardless of cpu utilization, at 23C ambient temperature fan #2 never drops below 39%, and fan #3 never drops below 31%.  I've even ran prime95 for an extended period of time one one of my VMs (See ESX CPU usage chart), and the CPU temp never went above 40C.  Additionally, the fans remained at 31% and 39% during this time.   

I've had a case open with tech support for about a month (this is a production server), and during that time I've taken the following steps (all had zero effect on the fan operation):

1- replaced a non-HP drive in my RAID5 with a HP model (EH0600JDYTL)

2-replaced the non supported HP NC364T network adapter with the supported HP NC365T

3- replaced all RDIMM with HP SmartMemory. (647651-081) 32GB total, 4 x 8GB.

I read here that non HP add-on cards or non HP anything can cause the iLO to increase these fan speeds.

I think something is wrong with how iLO is controlling these fans.  Besides never droppping below 31% and 39%, the fan occasionally ramps up and down slightly (sounds like a siren).  This has nothing to do with the load of the server, as running prime95 does not cause the fans to ramp up.

Lastly, I see in quickspecs that using RDIMMs require the redundant enablement kit (part# 664046-B21)

Could this be related?  We do not have the kit, we have the base non hot swappable 460W power supply.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



New Member

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I have the same issue and i wanna install bios update but cound't do so, the download is locked for me. Although i introduced my serial number of my ml350e. could you please email me the update file of Online ROM Flash Component for VMware ESXi - 

my email is personal info removed

i'm using esxi 5, thank u in advance ;)

I hope we find a solution for this because the noise is annoying indeed.

Regular Visitor

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

Regular Visitor

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I'm thinking the source of my problem is the Smart Array P420 Controller.  It is the hottest sensor of them all, and although it has a caution limit of 100C, the ILO appears to control the fan speeds to maintain about 68-70C.   CPU usage has no effect on fan operation, however anytime disk I/O utilization goes up, the fan sirening begins.

This hack looks tempting: added a fan to the heatskink on the P420 (Microserver Gen8) using a custom 3D printed bracket

I might not go that far, but at least I'll try redoing the thermal paste to see if it helps.  Might also be willing to try an after-market heat sink.  

Occasional Visitor

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I have the same issue, were you able to figure out what was causing this?
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I'm having a similar problem with my ML360p Gen8 and the same SMART ARRAY 420i. But i did few test with different OS to understand it more deep.

With all the firmware update until these month July 2019 with Windows 2019 Server the fans where at 19% on IDLE with only  HDD HP SAS installed. The iLO for the ARRAY TEMP is around 84 that appears is a CUT TEMP position, I have my power profile on BALANCED. I use the server on a OFFICE environment so i will very annoying is the fans go more 20% and still on 20% you can still hear it.

I bought the server for using VMWARE so i then downloaded the ISO images of the ESXI from HPE Custom images. The weird thing is that only with ESXi 5.5 had the same IDLE fan speed like Windows Server 2019 at 19%.

When i tested the 6.5 i have IDLE fans speed of 33%. So even tought it says is supported on the HEALTH page of the ESXI there are a few sensors missing around 11 sensors with unknown and no data. 

I will test more and do incremental updates from 5.5 to 6.7 and then do updates directly from 5.5 to each version, 5.5 to 6.0, 5.5 to 6.5, 5.5 to 6.7 

I will copy the results here.

On the matter of the BRACKET and the FAN for the P420i array, I was thinking to change the thermal paste too. And maybe try to put a FAN after but my proliant is a 1U height so I don't have much options here to play.

The reason for the FANs to be on 19% (ESXi 5.5) - 33% (ESXi 6.5) are 100% the SMART array P420i and the PCIe HP network card add on (HP NC523SFP 10Gb 2-port Flex-10 Ethernet Server Adapter) that is on the PCI 1 slot.

The HD controller TEMP for the P420i is around 84C and the PCIe Add on Network 10GB card is on 66C with 19% fans speed. 

So for sure the airflow there is not so optimal with the array on 60C for sure the FANs would be on IDLE like 9% to 11%.

Digo97 did you try to change the thermal paste? 



Occasional Visitor

Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

I think I find the reason for DL360p Gen8's ESXi 6.x fan speed issue, see this page:

It says ESXi 6.x is using a new driver for flexibleLOM Network Adapters, but it not support hp's OCSD/Sea of sensors, so iLO can't get the flexibleLOM's temperature, then the fan speed increased.

I compared the temperature map in the two versions, ESXi 5.5 and 6.7, on ESXi 6.7 the [35-LOM Card] is missing, so I think this is the true reason of this issue.

But when I installed the igb driver and disabled the origal igbn driver on ESXi 6.7, there is nothing changed, the [35-LOM Card] is still missing, it's really weird.

I'm still trying to solve this issue, if you have any idea about this please tell me.


Re: ML350e Gen8 Fan Noise

Fan noise is inherent to this line of servers. The Cooling design in terrible. Period.

In order to mantain the CPU's temp below 60C at 100% you need the 6 fans spinning at a speed that will generate unnaceptable noise for an office environmnent.

The only option is to let the CPU roast, which according to the research I've done is not a crazy idea because they are pretty hard to kill.

If you cannot afford noise, then get another server.