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ML350p as a computing server

kavermeer
Occasional Advisor

ML350p as a computing server

Hi,

 

For our lab, I want to get a central processing server for our long-running data analysis tasks. I am considering getting a basic ML350p gen8 server and adding some components to get a high-end system:

 

ML350p gen8 server (669045-425, comes with a single E5-2609)

Additional fan (659486-B21)

2 x boxe E5-2680v2 (BX80635E52680V2)

4 x 16 GB memory (ECC)

 

I'm not asking for any guarantees that it'll work, but am I missing anything obvious here? (For example, do I need more than the additional fan to be able to run the second CPU?)

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

Koen

6 REPLIES
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

The CPU heatsink that may come with a standard boxed Intel E5-2680v2 is not likely to be installable without warranty-voiding modifications, as HP tends to use custom heat sinks. It would be better to use an appropriate HP CPU kit that includes both the CPU and the heat sink.

  • to install a standard heat sink, you would probably have to remove the HP heat sink attachment frame which is installed to the system board at HP factory.
  • the HP heat sink is designed to work with the air baffle of the ML350p Gen8; the standard Intel heat sink is not. As a result, 1.) the standard sink might not physically fit within the air baffle,  2.) the standard heat sink might include a fan that requires power - you're not likely to find a convenient power output for standard heat sinks on HP Proliant system boards, and 3.) there is no guarantee that the standard heat sink is thermally adequate for use with the air baffle solution.

For some reason, E5-2680v2 is not listed as an available option for ML350p Gen8, but E5-2690v2 CPU kit is part number 709486-B21.

MK
kavermeer
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

Thanks for your help!

 

One problem is the price, the other is the availability. The 709486-B21 is not in stock, and it'd cost me about € 2390. The boxed E5-2680v2 is € 1330. I find more than € 1000 a bit steep for just the heat sink... A standard heat sink (STS200P) is passive and rather small (25.5mm). It's rated for 130 W TDP, so that should be fine for E5-2680v2/E5-2690v2.

 

Alternatively, would I be able to get a lower end CPU kit, for example the 660597-B21 (E5-2609), which would set me back about € 320, take the heat sink off of that, and use that on the standard E5-2680v2? Or are the HP heat sinks different for different processors?

 

Please note that this isn't for an enterprise setting, but for research. We're on tight budgets, so I'll have to be creative... Because of that, I accept that I may void my warranty. Of course, I would like the system to eventually work! In the light of that, would the fact that HP does not sell a E5-2680v2 as a second CPU mean that the processor itself is not supported?

 

Thanks!

Koen

Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

>... would the fact that HP does not sell a E5-2680v2 as a second CPU mean that the processor itself is not supported?

 

Yes, it could mean that. Unfortunately, the easiest way to be sure would be to actually have the parts on hand and try. If the BIOS says something like "UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR", then it won't work.

Another way would be to carefully read through the release notes for ML350p Gen8 BIOS firmware updates, and see if E5-2680v2 is mentioned there.

 

Here is a link to the Maintenance and Service Guide for ML350p Gen8:

 

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/action.process/public/psi/manualsDisplay/?sp4ts.oid=5177961&javax.portlet.action=true&spf_p.tpst=psiContentDisplay&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&spf_p.prp_psiContentDisplay=wsrp-interactionState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c03251598%257CdocLocale%253Den_US&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken

 

The HP heatsink seems to be more or less like a cube that sits entirely inside the four screws used for attaching the heat sink (or its attachment frame, as is the case with the HP heatsink) to the system board. Based on the pictures, the idea seems to be that the heat sink more or less fills the channel within the air baffle. That means, the heat sink must be slotted in the right direction and have its grooves spaced so that the airflow is not constricted too much.

 

On the other hand, the standard heat sink seems to have quite a bit smaller height... but it seems to be shaped like a fat + sign, so it reaches beyond the attachment screws. Within the air baffle, the extra width might be a problem.

 

Note that I have no way of confirming that the four screws used to fix the HP heatsink attachment frame to the system board actually have the same spacing as the standard Intel heatsink screws... but I would think that is reasonably likely, because the CPU socket design rules are defined by Intel. But HP might not have used the same type of screws as the standard heatsink.

MK
kavermeer
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

Thanks for the BIOS suggestion. The latest update (2013.09.18) actually mentions the E5-2680v2 in it's release notes:

 

Addressed an issue where a system configured with Intel Xeon E5-2690 v2, E5-2680 v2, E5-2670 v2, and E5-2660 v2 processors and Advanced Memory Protection configured to Online Spare Mode may experience incorrect behavior when multiple Online Spare switchovers occur on the same processor.

 

 

So the processor itself seems to be supported.

 

For the heat sink: I guess I'll order try it with the Intel one, and if that doesn't fit, I'll order the cheapest available HP CPU kit and use that heat sink on the new processor. I'd be more than happy to hear from anyone who's convinced that this isn't going to work, though. (I'm not asking for guarantees, I just want to make sure that I'm not making obvious mistakes.)

 

Thanks!

Koen

kavermeer
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

Made some progress! I was able to find out through the partsurfer service that the heat sink's part number is 667268-001. See here for a photo. I'm not sure if I can order it separately, though. I did find some refurbished components through resellers, but no new HP parts yet.

 

Fortunately, it seems that the same heat sink is indeed used in both low-end and high-end CPU kits, so worst case I can order a cheap CPU kit and put that on a high end CPU.

kavermeer
Occasional Advisor

Re: ML350p as a computing server

So, in the end I got the system, an additional heat sink (667268-001), the fan kit and two E5-2680v2's. To install the new processors, I first removed and cleaned the heat sink from the E5-2609, removed the E5-2609, put an E5-2680v2 in it, applied some thermal paste and put back the heat sink. For the second CPU, I removed the blank processor cover, put the E5-2680v2 in there, and put the new heat sink on top (it already contained thermal paste).

 

Compared to the HP-solution, I'm now missing the processor holder (the blue plastic container). Given that these CPUs don't have fragile pins, I think not using it is pretty safe. So far I've experienced no problems. The system recognized the processors and it's now running some stress tests.

 

I'm seeing a 7 degrees difference between the two processors (proc 0 is cooler), but the hotter one stays at about 75 degrees, so I guess it's still safe. So far, it seems like I've got a 20 core server system at a very reasonable price.

 

Thanks for the  help - now I need to find a cheap SFF caddy for my SSD.