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Yet another ML350e Gen8 Fan noise problem.

davidfowler2000
Occasional Visitor

Yet another ML350e Gen8 Fan noise problem.

I have recently obtained a ML350e for a home lab use and I'm getting the dreaded fan noise issues. The fans are running pretty much at a constant 33% and producing too much noise for a home environment. I have read various threads online from various people with various setups running various fixes and getting various results. So here's my scenario...

The base system is a E5-2407, 2GB HP Smart Memory, HP 500GB SATA hard drive and non-hotswap PSU. The system has Intel network adapters and the B120i SAS controller.

I had initially installed a M.2 / PCI-E SSD adapter card for the OS to boot from but removed it when I read addon cards, especially non-HP ones, can cause fan speed increases. It made no difference to the fan speed.

I had also upgraded to 32GB system RAM. It wasn't HP Smart Memory so I put it back to the original HP 2GB. It made no difference to the fan speed.

I have installed the full Redundant Enabledment Kit with a single 750W hot swap PSU, 2 extra fans and the PCI Card air baffle. It raised fan speed from a constant 29% to 33% (The 4 fans with the non-hotswap PSU ran at 29%).

The array controller has been in RAID and AHCI modes. No difference to the fans.

The BIOS power settings have been set for Dynamic, Static High performance, Static Low Performance and OS Control. Negligible difference to the fan speeds. Cooling is set for Optimal Cooling. Increased mode runs the fans at about 55% and maximum runs them at, well, maximum.

I've set PCI-Express 3.0 power control on and off when I've got cards installed. No difference.

Backup ROM / BIOS? No difference. In fact when I got the machine home it had the 2012 BIOS which got upgraded to 2014 with the SSP which calmed the fans down a bit.

Although not thoroughly tested, OSs don't seem to make any difference to the fan speed. I have used Windows Server 2016 (unactivated), clonezilla (based on a linux distro to clone the SSD to HDD) and the HP intelligent Provisioning from the BIOS menu.

iLO reports the CPU at 40 degrees C so I renewed the heatsink thermal paste. No difference. Not even to the 40C temperature. The hottest part of the system is "13-Chipset" at 44 degrees C. (Caution 105C, Critical N/A). Inlet ambient air temperature usually floats around 19 - 21C.

So where do I go from here? I'm going to try a Xeon E5-2450L CPU next to see how cool it runs being a lower TDP output than the E5-2407 and the only other possible thing I can think of is using dual PSUs in the hot swap configuration but it's only drawing 50watts according to iLO from a 750W supply.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
-David