Possible HP Gen8 Microserver Upgrades

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Over the last month or so, been getting quite a number of hits on my posts that deal with upgrades to the HP Gen8 Microserver so I though i’d collate everything together in a definitive post with links to more information.

Due to its small footprint, the Gen8 Microserver is fairly limited on what you can upgrade, but i’ve listed everything below:

Gen8 Microserver CPU Upgrade

I’ve previosly blogged on the all the possible CPU upgrade options for the Gen8 in my post – HP Microserver Gen8 CPU Upgrades.

The post itself is pretty extensive, but because the server can support a maximum TDP of 35W and need ECC support you are limited to some specialised options only:

Possible HP Gen8 Microserver Upgrades

Good luck finding them 🙂

Gen8 Microserver Memory Upgrade

The basic stock Gen8 Microserver ships with 4GB as standard however the unit supports up-to 16GB of ECC DDR3. I’ve added links direct to Crucial’s website as i’ve used this manufacturer extensively over the years and with good results.

The downside is that ECC DDR3 is getting harder (and more expensive) to get hold of so get it while you can.

ODD Swapout with additional HDD

The Gen8 Microserver has an additional internal SATA port designed to be used with an optional (and in my view, unnecessary) internal DVD drive. With a little playing around, you can use this space to mount a 2.5 inch hard drive – i’ve previously blogged about this my Gen8 ODD/HDD upgrade post – HP Gen8 Microserver: Power for additional HDD

Gen8 Microserver Additional Internal Storage

The Gen8 Microserver features 4 3.5 inch HDD bays when fully populated gives one hell of a lot of internal storage in such a small package – however you can go one further with a few internal modifications.

If you can locate a Schoondoggy Drive Bracket then there is just enough room (with a minor bit of dremelling) to squeeze 2 additional 2.5 inch HDD’s/SSD’s.

Theres a handy install guide on Youtube that’s worth a quick watch should you be interested in this type of upgrade.

You can check the entire review thread over at the HomeServerShow website.

Gen8 Microserver USB/MicroSD Card Storage

The Gen8 Microserver also has often overlooked Internal USB and Micro SD ports. These are designed to be used if the server is deployed in as a bare metal hypervisor and it allows you the option of booting the Microserver from USB/SD (for VMWare ESXi for example) without having any thumb drives sticking out of the front or back of the unit.

HP Gen8 Microserver Internal USB and MicroSD Ports

HP Gen8 Microserver Internal USB and MicroSD Ports

The downside to these ports is they are not especially quick and limited to USB2.0 speeds (480Mbps), which isn’t an issue with booting, but rubbish for any decent file transfer speeds.

Conclusion

Due to the small size of the Gen8 Microserver, any upgrades beyond memory and CPU can be a little tricky. The cost of some of the upgrades can also be prohibitive – this again is down to the compact nature of the device and the thermal limitiations of the CPU.

If you can get hold of a CPU upgrade on the cheap or find some compatible memory without breaking the bank then go for it. Otherwise hang on for a (hopefully) updated Gen9 Microserver.

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