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I bought an used HP DL380e G8 and installed at my home. I'm a little bit confused about the fan noise. ILO says, they running at 37%-47%, but the noise is like they running at 70%.

On Youtube there is a video showing a DL380 G8 which is less loud after booting up than mine - tuning down the fans when OS started.

ILO says, I have one peak temp (71°C) at sensor 30-PCI-2 - I guess nearby the RAID P420 card? All other temps are around 20-30°C.

Hardware is: 2x E5-2430L v2, 12x 8GB DDR3, P420 RAID in slot 2, some non-HP harddisks (which are deteced by ILO and proven "Status OK"), an additional Broadcom NetXtreme in slot 4. Firmware is up-to-date (ILO 2.70 May 07 2019)

Can anyone tell me, why fans at 40% are loud as running at 70% or are those ILO-numbers wrong?

And a second question: I installed an additional HP PCIe NIC (4port) in slot 3, but neither BIOS or Debian-OS are seeing it.

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  • FYI
    – Déjà vu
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 11:25
  • My experience is the opposite of many others. DL380e Gen8, 2x E5-2420, 32 GB, 6 fans, P420 controller, 2x750W PSU. Fans at 19%, tested with various combinations of old non-HP SATA drives, it doesn’t matter if I insert 1 or 6 drives (without caddy). A short CPU stress test has no effect on CPU temperature or fan speed, power increases by 100 W. The firmware is from 2013 and I am afraid of updates, maybe after the update I would have the same problem with high fan rpm.
    – Hrvoje
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 23:00
  • Youtube video is not a great benchmark for fan noise, or noise in general. See audio normalization and low-pass filter in audio compression (e.g. in LAME MP3, but also present in a lot of audio compression software, and I highly suspect YouTube also employs one).
    – mforsetti
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 6:59

5 Answers 5

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Simple answer.

Your use of non-HPE disks is a cause because they're not reporting proper temperatures to the RAID controller.

The ILO controls thermal settings on this platform and the hysteresis curves that govern fan speeds.

I commissioned the work of a developer who wrote a machine-language hack that exposes ILO fan controls to the SSH command line. This will allow you to manually cut your fan speed.

Have fun. This will allow the use of the hardware you already have.

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Servers are loud. They are designed to operate in data centers where noise isn't an issue. When running a server at home (I do as well), you'll need to expect them to be very loud and plan accordingly.

Server fans are optimized for performance. Desktop fans on the other hand are designed for a compromise of performance and sound.

Your fans are probably working just fine. Place the server in your basement, garage, or a closet (pay attention to the ventilation/cooling) and you'll be fine.

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    I know that servers are louder than pcs. But I'm confused because my old ML350 G6 was much less noisy than the DL380 G8. Also I saw videos of DL380 G8, which were not as loud as mine! Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 7:55
  • Server loudness can vary a lot between generations, or even within a generation. For example, my DL380G7 is barely louder than a desktop PC under normal conditions, whereas a DL360G6 screamed like a mutilated banshee.
    – Too Short
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 8:10
  • The ML series are also tower servers. They will often be located in offices instead of datacenters, so fan loudness is more of a design consideration for them. It's not surprising that it's quieter than a DL series server.
    – Too Short
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 8:12
  • It's a very opinionated question. How can you tell it's like fans run at 70%? And of course it's impossible to comprehend how loud a server is from a youtube video! Set the volume higher and it'll make the same noise as yours :P
    – Krackout
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 8:13
  • Another point here is that the DL380 is a 2U server. That means that its fans will be small and need to run very fast to push enough air through the chassis. The ML on the other hand is roughly equivalent in size to a 4U server, which means it can use much larger and quieter fans.
    – Too Short
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 8:20
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A HP DL380 (certainly some older generations, probably G8 also) can have different fan configurations.

With a minimum number of fans, it might run them with slightly higher RPM at ”steady state” and will need to shut down if any fan fails. In this configuration, the fan slots for the missing fans may be blocked to ensure the air will flow only in the desired direction.

With a redundant fan configuration there will be extra fans in the system, so if one fan in a particular section fails the system can compensate by speeding up the remaining fan(s) in that section. When all fans run normally, there will be extra fan capacity and possibly more total fan cross-section area for the necessary air mass to pass through, so it may allow further reduction of fan RPMs and still get the job done.

A major part of the noise of a rack-optimized server (which is what the DL series is) comes from the requirement to pass cooling air through comparatively narrower channels than in a tower/”expansion-optimized” model of similar specifications (with HP, that would be the ML series). As a result, the number and type of installed components can have a significant effect on server noise.

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I have a HP DL380e Gen 8 (with 12 LLF in the front & 2 LLF at the rear), also with the P420 Raid card on PCIe slot 2. I did a load of research when I got it (for home use) as it was simply much loader than my DL380 G7. After hours of searching the web I discovered that it is indeed something very specific to this model. Due to the full LF bays in the front panel and the very hot P420 card, HP decided to fix the minimum Fan speeds when the P420 card is present. When I removed it, it was quiet as a baby. If I add another card (LAN) in addition to it (also certified HP hardware) it gets even louder (min. 60% RPM on all fans). This is regardless of how many drives are physically installed. You could run the two back bays only and have a completely open front, the fans still goto min. 35-40%. I have all HP HDDs, all certified hardware, I have downgraded & Upgraded my BIOS, no differences. This won't help you much ther than provide you with two avenues:

  1. Remove the P420 and live with the Bxxxi on-board soft controller (limited with esxi but okay for a windows server)
  2. Hack it and manually drop the fans, ensure that you leave either the top row Drive Free or the right hand side on the front panel for sufficient Airflow
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I have a Gen7 - same issue. With sudo ipmitool sdr I found out that Temp 30 was at 77 degrees C. This is the Northbridge the big cooler behind the CPUs.

For an other toy project I had a small USB cabled fan which I placed just loosely beside/above the cooler, the temperature went below the threshold to 73 °C and all fans now operate with 13,73 percent. Making the system as silent as other servers of the same type I have tested before.

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