HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8

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HP and other OEM server cases, especially those designed for enterprise/business use, are fairly modular in order to facilitate easier service. The Gen8 adheres to this philosophy as well. With a fixed drive cage and compact physical dimensions, it can be difficult to maneuver inside the chassis delicately. Still, it's an improvement over the messier interior of the first MicroServer. The overall fit, sturdiness and modular design are excellent compared to just about any desktop system or case.

The slim optical drive at the top is mounted to a frame that can be removed by pushing on a simple lever clamp. It you do not require an optical drive, it's possible to replace it with a 2.5 inch SATA drive, an SSD perhaps.

The drive cage sits over motherboard tray, a fanless CPU heatsink, and the DIMM slots. Our review unit had 2x4GB of Samsung DDR3-1600 ECC memory pre-installed.

The PWM exhaust fan has an unusual 6-pin connector and five wires. This design combined with the the server's built-in fail-safes makes it incredibly difficult to mod/replace. More on this later.

The individual SATA data and power cables have been paired off and consolidated into the backplane.

With a 35W processor and only four hard drive bays, a modest power supply is all that is required. HP opted for a FlexATX 150W unit manufactured by Delta.

The SATA data cables are bundled together into one port, though there is a standalone standard SATA port next to it for the optical drive.

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