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HP DL380 G3 Fans noisy but I've only just got it....

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have just bought an HP DL380 G3 for £100 from eBay. The trouble is I never realised how noisy the fans were in it.

All I wanted it for was something more powerful to play around with and learn from. It was meant to sit in my bedroom but it is so loud.

I have only just got it so it doesn't have an OS on it. Although I have read reports saying that the noise quietens down once an OS is installed using the SmartStart CD.

All I want is a reply from someone who has one of these servers that has tried this and knows it works or doesn't work. So I can make a decision as to whether to send it back.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Kris2512
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TechnicallyMaybe earned 75 total points
ID: 33457536
Yes, the fans will quiet down once the OS is installed and the drivers for the hardware which control the fan speed has been installed.  I worked for a HP reseller for 12 years so I have a lot of experience with these servers.
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33459640
"quiet" is a relative term.  With just booting up, all fans will run at top speed, and sound like a plane taking off.  During normal production running, it is _quieter_, but still nothing I'd put in a bedroom or sit next to.

Also, is this FCC classA or classB?  I can't see the label on mine, but the Dell rackmount server next to it is clearly marked FCC Class A, which can be used only in a business or commercial environment.  Class B devices have more stringent requirements and can be used in the home.
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Author Comment

by:Kris2512
ID: 33459759
I cannot see what class it is but it does say in small writing "for home or office use".

So really I should send it back if I can. It sounds as if it isn't the right server for me.
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33459913
Not for a bedroom.  It's not quiet.  Most servers aren't.  At best, they'll be as loud as a desktop with extra drives.  At worst...well, that's why we have server rooms.  :)

Home-media type servers are made from quietized components, like giant heat sinks with no fans or very quiet fans, etc.  You can still get there on a budget with a barebones kit, quiet hard drive (5400rpm made for DVR) and quiet power supply.
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by:TechnicallyMaybe
TechnicallyMaybe earned 75 total points
ID: 33460547
I agree, even when the fans are running low speed, it is still going to be unacceptably loud in a bedroom.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 50 total points
ID: 33462817
Should be OK in a bedroom so long as you sleep downstairs on the couch ;)

If you get a ML350 instead of DL380 you'll notice it's much quieter, more room inside. Also the newer DL380 G5, G6 and G7 are much quieter.
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Author Comment

by:Kris2512
ID: 33463104
I must admit the main reason I bought this one was because it was at quite a good price. I'm only a student learning about networks so I thought this one would be OK.

If any of you know where I could get a better one for around the same price I would be grateful :)
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33468930
>Should be OK in a bedroom so long as you sleep downstairs on the couch ;)

If you're learning to be an admin, this is good practice.  3am tech support calls from remote employees overseas...you'll get to know the couch.

Did you install an OS yet?  From the spec, it's supposed to be under 60db while "idle".  I can't confirm because the din of the rest of my server room drowns out any one server.

Probably too big to run in the closet without extra ventilation.  At 1500Btu, that's probably 100+cfm fan to keep the closet within 15 degrees of the room.


http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11473_div/11473_div.html#Technical%20Specifications

That is a good price.  Consider that I'm still running this server in live production.  Actually, andyalder was just helping me with a problem with a 6+TB array attached to it.

Would be a shame if you didn't have the room for it.  I'm building a space in the spare room with closed cabinet and exhaust fans to remove hot air.  It's a good compromise.   The equipment won't be scattered about, relegated to the dusty garage..and I won't have to sleep on the couch.  :)
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Author Comment

by:Kris2512
ID: 33469228
Unfortunately I have decided to send it back. I am going to see if I can find another server that is lower spec but can be upgraded.

But the main thing I shall do is research the specs and noise of the machine before buying it.

I can't really make plans for making a special place for this server as I have only got one more year at college before I think I will be going to University. Granted it would be such as useful thing to have to learn about these things but at the moment it just isn't feasible.

Are rack servers normally louder than standalone servers? If so then I know not to buy a rack mount. I do have another "server" in my bedroom but it was one I built myself so isn't a fantastic spec because a lot of the money that went into it was spent on a silent PSU, CPU Heatsink + Fan and a Case fan.
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by:TechnicallyMaybe
TechnicallyMaybe earned 75 total points
ID: 33469280
Rack mounts are more louder because the fans are smaller than normal so they have to spin faster.
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33469602
You can see by your silent components that they are larger, slower, and quieter.  The opposite in rackmount equipment.  More fans, smaller, faster, louder.

For learning purposes, there's no problem with a moderately quiet desktop/mini-tower.  If you're learning admin, server OS setup, virtualization, etc. then RAM is the biggest issue.  You can get a 16GB-capable mobo with multiple SATA controllers that is still micro-ATX.

I have one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002NN5M0U

You can fit it in a tiny cube or in a mini-tower with big CPU cooler and a half-dozen drives.

Total cost for any new computer will be over what you paid for this server.  But, definitely more suitable to a bedroom environment.
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Author Comment

by:Kris2512
ID: 33469641
Any thoughts on this?:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HP-ProLiant-ML370-G3-Tower-Server-Lot-1-/180547908899?pt=UK_Computing_Networking_SM#ht_1235wt_1137

or do you think it is going to be as bad as the G3 DL380 I have at the moment?
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by:aleghart
aleghart earned 125 total points
ID: 33469861
Quieter, at <50db.  But the thermal rating is almost twice that of the DL380 G3.  But, it's not in a closet, so I wouldn't worry too much.  That all depends on the PSU, load, drives, etc.

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11450_na/11450_na.html#Technical%20Specifications


60 db = conversation at 3-ft
50 db = quiet street
40 db = quiet house

Sounds like a much better fit than the DL380.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 50 total points
ID: 33470354
ML370 G3 will be much quieter than a DL380 G3 although not anywhere near as quiet as a new-ish PC (nor anywhere as powerful as a new PC). aleghart is right to say ignore the quoted max thermal ratings - it's got more PCI slots to power but they're empty in your case, ditto noise level is for when it's crammed full.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kris2512
ID: 33546561
Thanks all. I finally settles for a Dell Poweredge 2600.

Seems to be running fine. Just need help setting it up :)
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