This link says the HP Proliant DL 180 G5 server only supports Smart Array E200, E500, P400 and P800 controllers.

Can I use a Smart Array P410 instead?

Currently the server has only the default internal controller, I need an additional one for better performance and to support additional drives (the default controller only supports 4, with a Smart Array controller all 8 bays can be used). The disks are SATA ones.


This will depend on your backplane connections and whether you can find the right parts. You can use the P410 in an older server, but you'll need to change SAS cables to match the specific backplane connections. G5 systems usually used internal SAS SFF-8484 connectors to mate the Smart Array P400 to their backplane.

I've confirmed that your DL180 G5 8-bay backplane has 2 x SAS SFF-8484 ports. The SmartArray P410 has two SAS SFF-8087 ports.

You will need a SAS SFF-8087 -> SFF 8484 cable to make this work.

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For that generation of server and your use-case, though, I'd just use a new-old-stock or used P400 controller. You won't gain anything performance-wise using a P410, especially given the low drive count, the fact that the disks are probably 3G SATA and the age of the system (G5's were end-of-life in 2009-ish).

  • Problem is, a P400 is quite hard to found around here... and it also costs more than a P410, at least from our usual reseller. – Massimo Oct 22 '12 at 13:03
  • You're right about the cabling, anyway. I've checked pictures of the two controllers. – Massimo Oct 22 '12 at 13:03
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    @Massimo You have to go the used market or eBay... Makes no sense to buy a new one. They go for about $30 US on eBay. – ewwhite Oct 22 '12 at 13:08
  • Are the connection on the backplanes of the two servers the same? Will a standard P410 cable suffice or do I need a custom cable? – Massimo Oct 22 '12 at 13:12
  • G5's have SFF-8484 ports. G6 and above use the smaller SFF-8087 ports internally. The P410 has the latter. The P400 has the former. You would need an aftermarket cable. HP didn't officially have a SKU for a conversion cable. You can buy the cable you need on Amazon. No need for custom. – ewwhite Oct 22 '12 at 13:19

It may not be officially supported but I'm sure it'll work just great, there's little real difference between the 400 and the 410 from the PCI side.

  • I think the exact same thing... but I'd like to be on the safe side and avoid management coming at me to ask why I make them buy an unusable controller. – Massimo Oct 22 '12 at 11:14
  • Haven't got any G5's left over to test it with sorry. – Chopper3 Oct 22 '12 at 12:10

Just tried it... but there are 2 problems with this.

First, the physical card. While it fits in the low profile slot, does not allow room for a straight through SFF-8087 connector to fit because the CPU heatsink is too close to the end of the card. The P400 has it's connectors at the top of the card, and the P410 has them at the end. You can move the card to the other side of the riser, but you will need to find a full height bracket for it.

Second, compatibility. The card I had was bought used so I can't be 100% certain if it is not damaged. I could not get the card plugged in and attached to the backplane and have the server boot. I could get it to boot without a connection to the backplane. I had 2 cables from monoprice, and tried both.

I will try again and see if there is anything I missed. I will try the card in a G7, as well, to ascertain if it is damaged.

  • It's possible to get right-angle SFF-8087 connectors... but really, this is such a narrow use-case, it doesn't matter much. The G5 DL180/185 was short-lived and there are far more G6 variants in the field. The faster backplane, CPU, RAM capacity and forward-compatibility would probably lead more people to the newer systems. – ewwhite Jul 31 '13 at 2:42
  • i thought about a right angle, but haven't seen one with the 8484 on the other end. it is still a tossup whether that would fit, as well. – dtatum Jul 31 '13 at 16:42
  • there are two ports at the end, one would have about 5mm clearance, and it is doubtful a right angle would fit at all, the other, because of an indent in the heatsink, has more clearance, maybe 11mm. i will take a picture. all in all, it's a pretty dicey fit. you risk putting pressure on the CPU heat sink, and having that heat on the cable, long term. i will test it on the kill-a-watt too, and see if it is a viable long term solution. – dtatum Jul 31 '13 at 16:48

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