HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8

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CPU PERFORMANCE

To get a sense of CPU performance, we performed a few of our usual CPU benchmarks. The Pentium G2020T equipped with our sample configuration is a competent dual core chip despite lacking features like Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost. It was only a tad slower than the Core i5-4250U in our tests.

NETWORK PERFORMANCE

For our network performance tests, we used one of our lab's PCs as a main server and conducted a couple of different tests from it. Three different systems were used for comparison: the Gen8, and two custom builds with different integrated NICs. All the machines tested were running Windows 7 except for the Gen8, which was loaded with Server 2012. Data was transferred between SandForce-based SSDs to prevent any possible drive bottlenecking, and additionally, the SSDs were configured as secondary drives to avoid any O/S overhead. All traffic flowed through an unmanaged D-Link gigabit switch. There's nothing special about our network — all our hardware is consumer grade.

First we benched each machine using LAN Speed Test, a network benchmark tool configured to transfer 10 packets successively with packet sizes of 1MB, 10MB, and 100MB. The program was run on our server and three runs of each test were performed with the results averaged.

Our custom builds using a pair of older Intel-based desktop motherboards performed similarly to one another in these tests but the MicroServer fared poorly by comparison. The results were particularly disappointing when transferring 1MB and 10MB packets. At 100MB, it caught up in writes but reads were more than 20% slower.

For a real world test, we initiated a manual file transfer from our designated server, copying a batch of 99 files of varying sizes totaling 1,741MB. Three runs were conducted both ways, with the results averaged.

Performance of all the machines was rather dismal compared to the theoretical top speed of a gigabit network with none of the systems cracking 200 mbps (25 MB/s) though transferring multiple small files is always burdensome on LANs. The MicroServer's results were more promising this time around but it was still consistently slower than the other two PCs, albeit by a small margin.

AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 5~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.



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