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I've spoken with HP representatives a little bit, but I would like to get some real-world feedback.

I need a few servers and have pretty much settled on HP. I'm curious about the differences between the 100 and 300 series, aside from the basic differences in configurations and warranty.

I can configure something like a D180 to have similar specifications as a D380, including redundant fans and power and warranty, and they price out similarly. From what I've read the 100 series has a lower build quality than the 300, and that's something that I'm not going to find in a spec sheet.

If you've worked with models in each line, what are your opinions?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The DL180 only has 12 DIMM slots, the DL380 has 18 and has much more capable NICs, 6 PCIe slots, more sensors and MUCH better iLO.

I have to say that there's a reason the DL380 has been the best selling 2U server globally for about 4 years running, it's just one of those things in life that just does a 95% good job of 95% of the things you want. You can always find specific machines that are a tiny bit better than a 380 for certain things but they're just a great work-horse machine and I don't regret a one of those I've bought over the years (and we have hundreds of them around the place).

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The improved iLO in the 380 makes a big difference. I have used and supported both 100- and 300-series servers, and if I am given the choice I always go with the 300 series. They do seem to be built better (just an opinion) and are typically more expandable than their 100-series counterparts. 100-series machines seem to be the entry level/budget machines, and the 300-series are the HP flagship products. – bta Feb 22 '10 at 19:17
totally agree with you, in particular the 380 G6 (oh which I has a small hand in the design in fact) is spectacularly expandable for its size. – Chopper3 Feb 22 '10 at 22:11

Ive worked with both model lines and a company I previously worked for had a client that built motherboards for HP. As far as the actual build quality of the server, I don't know about that, I do know that between the different series of HP servers the internal components are manufactured the same and built for HP the same, just using different models of parts. I can tell you from years of experience there is not much difference, aside from the obvious spec differences. The hardware is basically the same, aside from some older chip sets etc. I can tell you they both will survive about a 8ft drop and turn on and continue to serve mail to your organization, that's from personal experience. I was never personally a fan of HP's hardware until I actually started using HP servers. They are all really well built and in comparison to other big name companies that make servers and desktops etc, HP is my personal choice over the other options.

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