ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL)

Re: Overclocking A HP Proliant


Overclocking A HP Proliant

I am wondering if it is possible to overclock an HP Proliant server.  The server specifically is a DL380 G7 with a single Xeon E5620 cpu.  At only 2.4, this CPU is pretty slow, but it ought to be able to go up a bit no problem.  This is not a production server and it is long out of warranty.  Actually, I have no use for it now since ESXi came along and replaced it and a ton of other bare metal servers.

Does anybody have any advice for this?  This is just a fun project to see if I can get some more juice out of some otherwise unused hardware.  My preference though is to use only the BIOS to do it, but I doubt if that is possible since I have not seen any settings in there for over clocking.  Using a software solution makes me wonder how well it will work and how stable it would be in the overclocked state, but I am willing to try and find out!


Respected Contributor

Re: Overclocking A HP Proliant

There's no way to overclock these, although you can try and squeeze as much as you can out of it by altering some advanced settings here and there. For instance, from the BIOS setup if you hit Ctrl-A you'll get the advanced menu where you can try tweaking some memory timings related to ECC and other little things.

Nothing that would get you more than a tiny percent bump in something that was extremely memory intensive though.

The other thing would be to set it to high performance mode which basically sets it to run the cores at their max turbo speed all the time, and not merely in reaction to the system load. You can verify it before/after with something like CPU-Z that shows the core speeds.

Your other option is simply to upgrade the CPUs, but that's not free and not a BIOS-only solution like you mentioned, but hey, if you have a "free" server and simply needed to shell out some extra money for a couple of used CPUs, that's something to consider. You could re-use the heatsink from your existing CPU but to add a 2nd one you'd need to order a CPU kit to get the heatsink for the second one. Unless you can find the HP kits in the speeds you want, you could order the cheapest used HP 2nd cpu kit for the DL380 g7 just for the heat sink (if you can't find the heatsink alone), and then get a matching pair of CPUs.  The DL380 G7 supports up to the Xeon X5690 which is a hex-core at 3.4 GHz.  I see matched pairs of those for just over $200 USD at the moment.

I have some DL380 G7's with pairs of those CPUs (from the factory) and they're solid workhorses, providing our dev environment with suitable virtual machines for testing purposes.