Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Caveats of the HP MicroServer Gen8

If you intend to buy the HP MicroServer Gen8 as a home server there are a few caveats that I didn't find on the interwebs before I bought the device:
  • Even though the main chassis fan is now fixed in AHCI mode with recent BIOS versions, there is still an annoying PSU fan that's tiny and high frequency. You cannot control it and the PSU seems to be custom-built.
  • The BIOS does not support ACPI S3 (suspend-to-RAM) at all. Apparently it being a server BIOS they chose to not include the code paths in the BIOS needed to properly turn off devices and turn them back on. This means that it's not possible to simply suspend it and have it woken up when your media center boots.
  • In contrast to the older AMD-based MicroServers the Gen8 comes with iLO, which will consume quite a few watts just for being present even if you don't use it. I read figures of about ten watts. It also cannot be turned off, as it does system management like fan control.
  • The HDD cages are not vibration proof or decoupled.
If you try to boot FreeBSD with its zfsloader you will likely need to apply a workaround patch, because the BIOS seems to do something odd. Linux works as expected.


  1. It's also lacking ECC RAM being non-Xeon Intel. I got one of these last year and went with Gen7 due to that. No issues with FreeBSD zfsloader on the Gen7. Though it's not without problems; since I installed an LSI MPT HBA (I think), it randomly hangs at the end of POST before loading the bootloader. Not found the cause of that yet, probably buggy firmware.

    1. No, they all do ECC. Even the Celeron G1610T. You can check ARK.

    2. Interesting, thanks, I wasn't aware of that. When I was looking at the specs, it was missing from the Gen8 descriptions I saw.

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