rs6mra

Microserver G7 N54L or Gen8 1610T

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Hi Guys,

 

There isn't a lot in price between the G7 and the G8 and common sense to dictates to buy the latter which comes with 2Gb of RAM & Intel Celeron G1610T (2 core, 2.3 GHz, 2MB, 35W).

What i would like from the server is to (a)store backups of PCs and Laptops (b) store music, photos, downloaded videos from Youtube and © store movies for the kids to watch on their laptops & tablets.

I am keen on having XPEnology due to the clients being Android & Apple based but may want to install Plex at a later date.

 

I am pretty sure of what i need to do to set up the G7 but given the specs of the G8, what is the absolute minimum that I will need to achieve the above.

 

Thanks.

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The entry level G8 isn't a major leap forward in raw power over the G7's. The big advantage is that USB 3 is standard and the processor is in a socket so in that respect it's a major bonus as it's more future proof. Oh and the extra NIC is nice to have. The downside is it's not as flexible if you want to mod it especially with extra internal 3.5 drives that are laying around.

 

Both will be OK for most of your applications and both will struggle with transcoding which may be something you will need with mixed devices on the network if the files aren't in the right format for them. I have an N40L and it can manage to transcode low quality video to an android without too much of a problem. Having said that the experience varies depending on the file that's being played and other server activity. My machines have 8GB of ram and 2 x USB 3 PCI-E (NEC chip set) by the way. I haven't even had the need to take advantage of the extra drive capacity yet. You can add more drives to the Gen8 internally but they need to be 2.5's.

 

A processor upgrade would probably help the transcoding situation if that was proving to be an issue on a Gen8 but that will be more costly to run especially if the unit is available 24/7.

 

I'm happy with the N40L they are pretty efficient on the power usage front and they function well considering. If I saw one at the right price I wouldn't have a second thought about buying another. Having said that if I was starting afresh today I would probably go for a G8 because of the USB3 and socketed processor. But to be honest my next main machine will be a custom build which gives a lot more freedom to select hardware and modify. The plug 'n play aspect of the HP's is appealing and it tends to curb any crazy upgrade fantasies and they are great value for money when all's said and done. I couldn't resist the bang for the buck they offer.

 

The G7 and G8 are both good home NAS solutions - only you can decide where you want to put your cash and for what reasons at the end of the day. There are plenty of used G7 up for grabs which could be an option. Then wait for the G8 to become more readily available and maybe drop in price. That way you can add one as a second machine and use the G7 as your on site backup and test rig.

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There's no choice. The Gen8 is far better than the G7. I had a G7 and I agree it was a good value for the price but with G8 1610T I have no problem with Plex to transcode 2 movies in 1080P resolution. It's really reactive and I don't really care about USB3.

 

You can upgrade the Gen8 and it's most beautiful and tiny so forget the G7.

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I really don't think a G8 could be better value than the price I got both my 40L's for. I paid £185 for the pair both with 8GB of ram and the original 250GB HDs, 1TB Seagate, 1xDVDRW and an ATI graphics card, 1x2GB of ram...both like new and one was boxed. That price includes £20 for the fuel to pick them up I don't think £92 a box was too bad. That's not exactly a fare comparison I guess unless used machines are an option in the case of the OP?

 

It's good to hear about the experience from someone who has first hand experience of living with both and have found transcoding to be vastly superior with a G8 with a Celeron cpu by comparison.

 

On spec. the two processors are close in the core features but the AMD doesn't have the same clock speed nor gpu as well as failing to support some instructions.

 

Personally I don't transcode very often and the N40L is far more power efficient (-10W) over the N56L which in turn is significantly better on power consumption over the Celeron by about 10W. I guess it really depends on what your core requirements are and how you intend to use the NAS. I specifically wanted N40L's because of the power saving over the N54L and increased performance over the N36L. The 40L meets my day to day needs and in reality I could probably getaway with a 36L most of the time. Wants on the other hand would be a different kettle of fish.

 

Here is a link with some head to head info > AMD_Turion_II_Neo_N54L_vs_Intel_Celeron_Dual-Core_G1610T and the N40L vs N56L.

 

That extra 20W 24/7/365 would cost between £18 and £26 per month depending on your tariff so I think I will settle for saving £240 quid a year while running my old AMD 40L. And yes I know that's a bit of an exaggeration, because it's not under full load 24/7 - but the percentage saving between the processors is significant if you don't require the extra grunt. Once I get my router set-up the NAS is going to go to be put on a power plan. The router can collect all the logs and manage the downloads etc. and it needs to be on 24/7 anyway.

 

With the cost of power it pays to think honestly about what your real world requirements are, and what your usage patterns will be when selecting a NAS especially if you leave it on all the time.

 

The performance gain using the Celeron in the G8 sounds pretty dammed good though. Way better than I had envisioned it based on specs. alone - it's no doubt worth it if your main goal involves streaming media or you use virtual machines.

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with the G8 it's changed my views on that processor in a NAS...in a good way I hasten to add.

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The one big drawback for me with the gen 8 is that it doesnt seem possible to fit a 5th 3.5 disk in the top.

 

If anyone has done this successfully I'd love to hear it though! :smile:

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Thanks very much and interesting input so far. Honestly any of the above mentioned servers would work for me, but there isn't a big difference in price from what i can see. An N40L would set me back at least £100 whilst a G8 new would be £150.

The G7 was sold with a 250Gb drive. Am i right in thinking that the G8 doesn't come with one?

For those with a G8, is your OS on an SSD or HD? Is there any real advantage in having an SSD over a HD?

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The Home Server Show forum has a useful links resource for all things Gen8 related > ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Links.

 

@rs6mra,

 

You can pick-up used N40L's for less than £100 and a little more with extra ram and HD's. The main reason for going the N40L/N54L would be for better flexibility with drive upgrades and more economical running costs.

 

Gen8 win out on raw performance at the expense of power economy they lack versatility of Gen7 machines with respect to HD upgrades but you can install more 2.5 drives and you have the option to change the cpu.

 

Just basing the purchase based on price alone isn't really relevant compared to which machine will suit your needs in the long term. If you don't want to modify the unit and you're not concerned about the increased running costs the Gen8 is a good choice. You need to decide how you want the machine to fit in with your usage medium and long term how much processing power will you really need in the future? If you just want to store and move data then the slower less power hungry Gen7's will see you through for many years.

 

Afaik the Gen8's don't come populated with any HD's which is a good thing because the small drives supplied with the old units weren't really useful in a NAS it was OK if you wanted to use it as an OS drive. At least with the Gen8's you have a choice about the drives and don't spend money on a drive that's too small for your needs. And most people running an OS would usually go the SSD route for the performance gain.

 

If you intend to use the machine to run Xpenology bare metal then you don't need an OS drive as the OS is stored on each drive in the system. I don't use the ESXi method so I'm not sure what the optimum configuration is for that and there are a different ways of configuring it depending on your needs.

 

@Drizzt,

 

I don't think you can fit a 3.5 in a Gen8 case but there are ways to get up to four 2.5 drives in there two in the OD bay and two between the PSU and the side of the case. The link above will have links to how to's which explain the mods others have done.

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Okay.......time for a detour! my current thoughts are go for an N40L second hand and a Gen8 at a later date if my needs change. I have no intentions of setting up RAID and so I could effectively start up with 1 HDD which if I am correct would hold the Xpenology software?

What is the maximum sized drive it would accept?

As the N40L is older, does it have a gigabit LAN?

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Afaik the N36L,N40L and N54L can all support WD 6TB Reds but I haven't used any 6TB drives personally.

 

There is a review on Amazon by an N36L owner and he reports all was well for him > Review is here.

 

Yes, Xpenology will work fine with one disk and a 1 or 2 GB USB stick for the boot loader. There will be a small partition on every disk installed which holds the DSM software. You can run single volumes, groups and RAID combinations as you add new disks and the N40L will handle 6 x 3.5 disks pretty easily.

 

Yes the N40L has 1 x Gigabit NIC. It also has 2 x PCIe slots to add extra NIC's, USB3 and video etc.

 

If I added a new NAS to sit along side the ones I have now a Gen8 would be top of the list just behind a custom build. For me the N40L offers the right balance between power and performance. I'm not sure I would want to change my primary storage for anything else, especially if it's on demand all the time, which mine is currently.

 

It's also nice to have two machines so you can backup critical data across both devices for peace of mind, so adding a Gen8 down the line when there are more used units about would be a good option imho.

 

Gen8 weren't about when I got my units so I never had to throw that in to the decision making process, but if they were I think I would take the route you're thinking of taking.

 

If I needed a unit for virtual machines or transcoding I would go for the Gen8 after reading le_slip_qui_pue's report on his experience performance wise.

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Your N40L is all but powerful. Low price and very low performances. The 1610T is 2x more powerful than N54L and is upgradable. The ILO card makes also the difference. There is no argument for this AMD solution. If video transcoding is an argument, the N54L can't be in competition. With Xpenology, the video card isn't used. Happily because the Gen8 has a shitty matrox integrated on the ILO card.

 

The advantage with ILO is that you don't need for a screen plugged to make an installation of Xpenology, an update or a change in bios. This advantage is priceless.

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No one said that the N40L is a powerful machine quite the opposite in fact. It's an efficient machine with adequate power for a NAS which is primary a file server and data repository. Please explain why I would need the power of the 1610t for moving a few files about and storing them? And why would I want to burn twice as much power than I need to as part of the process?

 

If I needed to use a machine for virtual machines and transcoding then obviously I would want more power - the fact of the mater is I don't need horsepower, I need a power efficient box with enough grunt to do the job. The N40L does what it needs for the role it plays for me. If I need power I turn on an i7 or i5 which share files on the NAS.

 

The ILO maybe useful but it's hardly a lifesaver and to get the remote screen functions you have to pay extra afaik. Most people have access to a monitor and if your really stuck you can just edit the gurb menu order to apply the Xpenology update. So life without ILO is not really an issue for most people.

 

Which is best all depends on the real world use that the machine is being put to. Shit my router can act as a NAS and download station and its only got a 600Mhz CPU and 256MB RAM, a microsd card and USB drive attached, and it has to be on 24/7.

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You seems to have low needs and you can't reed the question. The guy need to transcode video. The N54L is not a good choice. For a file server there's no problem but if you ask more to your server like Plex it's good enough but considering the price difference, the 1610T is a better choice. If he need more power, he can upgrade to a xeon. If you look at the quality build, there's a huge difference between G7 and G8.

 

I really don't care about your needs and nobody cares here. rs6mra ask a question and I answer it. You only write about you and you are not the subject here. Considering the rs6mra's needs, the G7 is NOT a good choice at all. When the Gen8 was twice more expensive it was a good value but now it's not anymore.

 

Access to a monitor? You kidding right? A server has never a monitor attached in. If it is, it's simply a desktop computer. And ILO is free when you stay on boot process. You can get one free licence as you want so it's not a problem for a non professional user.

 

It should be interesting that you separate your need and other's when someone asking for advice.

 

You have poor installation, great for you but everyone hasn't your simple needs. And transcoding is really not in your needs...

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I did read the question and answered it giving an honest unbiased opinion with real world use cases based on my experience and thought process, which can only come from explaining my situation. That way the OP can make an informed decision based on his real world situation. Leaving a high performance machine on 24/7 when you don't need all that raw power all the time may not be a good choice for some people and electricity isn't going to be getting any cheaper any time soon.

 

If people are using their NAS as a NAS is generally intended to be used then pure horse power isn't the priority most people tend to go for a balance of economy and performance.

 

Your "personal" opinion seems to be coming from a very narrow view point and while I agree with some of your points as I have stated there are reasons why they may not be applicable to everyone.

 

I agree the Gen8 is a better number cruncher only a fool would think other wise, but that comes at a cost and that cost is around 20W which is significant if you don't need that sort of processing power. A file server doesn't need that much power although people running encryption or compression would see a benefit.

 

The Gen8 isn't as flexible when it comes to modifications it's very limited on space for hard drive mods etc. that may well be a consideration for some people while it clearly isn't a concern to you personally at this moment in time.

 

ILO is a luxury not a necessity unless you are living in a server farm or some remote location. The reality for the rest of us is we use our NAS devices in our domestic environments you know normal houses or apartments etc. Many of us have access to a TV or monitor capable of connecting to computer. I imagine most people are smart enough to either carry a monitor to their NAS or NAS to monitor whichever is most convenient as and when they need to. If that's not an option then they can always edit the grub menu assuming they have brains enough to use a text editor which the average people are capable of in my experience. So ILO is anything but a must have feature unless you're very lazy or way to dumb to work without it.

 

And I totally agree with you my machines are low powered in every sense of the word! And I'm neither ashamed or embarrassed by that fact, it doesn't make my dick any bigger or smaller than yours, and the thing that matters is what you do with it and whether all parties involved are satisfied. I have had no complaints about the quality of my file shares nor the size of my dick so all is well in my little world!

 

I don't disagree with you in the least bit on the points you have made and my only point is that choosing which NAS you want to live with isn't just a matter of buying a unit with a powerful CPU. Plenty of memory can be a major advantage over CPU grunt in many instances which involve regular file transactions and not transcoding. If people want a Media Centre device they aren't looking at the same things as people wanting a traditional NAS experience there is a very important distinction between the two use cases!

 

I and many others expect our NAS to be a NAS and our media players to be media players, we don't necessarily want to compromise in either respect by building a machine that is neither one thing or the other. I have tones of machines that can play media directly from the file servers...I don't need a dedicated media box and that is the case for other people as strange as that may seem to you!

 

I totally disagree that buying a Gen8 is the best options for everyone even if the price of the units were exactly the same. The fact of the matter is they both perform differently and lend themselves to different applications. It's also a fact that you can't add two more 3.5 drives in a Gen8 and for some people myself included that's an issue that can't be worked round unless you install 2.5's. USB 3 and additional NIC's can be added to a Gen7 and the average home user can live without ILO. Some people may need two expansion slots and the built in external eSATA port?

 

The reality is all the units can be better or worse when it comes to individual needs and wants! It's not a pissing competition it's being realistic based on real world applications in order to tick the most boxes to achieve what you require from a NAS/Media machine.

 

I repeat I do not disagree with much of what you have said although I totally disagree with the importance you seem to give to the inclusion of ILO in a domestic environment. I have no idea what the licensing deal is in that respect either from what I have read it seemed to me that you do not get access to all the ILO features without buying a licence. I'm more than happy to be corrected on that if my understanding is incorrect which you seem to be indicating. From what I have read there are inn fact limitations associated with the free licence for Gen8 Microserver owners and here is one post that seems to confirm that iLO licence for G8 Microserver. I'm guessing based on what you have said and what they say on that thread that you have access via iLO for 25min's when using the free package. I also assume from what you have said that the free license feature set is usable for the average user in a home environment? It would also seem to be correct to state that iLO does involve an additional cost if you want the full features available via iLO? Which in my experience tends to mean that all the nice stuff to have is locked away by the vendor, and the limited free portion is a crippled basic utility that acts as a carrot/gateway to your wallet.

 

I'm sure people with a genuine interest can weed out the chaff form the contributions we have made to the thread! And I accept that not everyone will see things from the same perspective as me, and not everyone's requirements match mine. But there maybe a tiny minority of crazy people out there that want their NAS to simply be just that call us old fashioned if you like. :wink:

 

Hopefully our points of view have been of some benefit to the OP which is the whole point of a forum after all. If the Gen8 turns out to be the best fit for him then that's cool with me - it's a great little box if it ticks the boxes for him. It's also good to know that the Gen8 works well for you and what you have said has been useful to me...so thanks for that. :smile:

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A problem nobody mentions is noise. Gen7 is a bit noisy, but gen8 is famous for sounding like a washing machine. Location then becomes important. Do you have a closet where to hide it?.

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Thanks for highlighting the potential issue regarding noise. Fortunately mine would be under the stairs.

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Yep, noise can be an issue. One of my 40L's is whisper quiet while the other is annoying and irritating when it steps out of idle speeds. It's probably just bearable enough to have in a living room but you certainly would notice when it got turned off. It's not that big a deal as they live in an electrical cupboard, but I intend to swap out the fans on the noisy one eventually.

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The Gen8 makes no noise at all. At first start when it runs bios checks and ilo it makes a big noise. When xpenology is running, it makes no noise at all. The cpu is fanless.

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Hi,

 

Please, think on this:

 

- Price of G7 N54L is 1/3 than Gen8, so you can purchase THREE G7 instead of one G8.

 

- You can add ALL memory that you like on G7: 2x8GB of RAM.

 

My opinion is that HP has done a big mistake changing from AMD to Intel in the Microserver line: All Intel chipset have artificial limitation about RAM.

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The price i found was £180 for a G8 & £130 for a G7.

However I intend picking up an N40L which i can play around with and then get a Gen 8 if need be.

My Buffalo NAS is 'ok' but does not give me all i need which i would get from the N40L.

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The price i found was £180 for a G8 & £130 for a G7.

However I intend picking up an N40L which i can play around with and then get a Gen 8 if need be.

Proces on UK are... :eek:

Here, I found G7 for 140€ and G8 for no less than 299€ (regular prices around 400€).

 

Anyway, I prefer AMD over Intel because the limitation in the MAX RAM. I hope HP will release soon Microserver G9 with AMD CPUs. :oops:

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Anyway, I prefer AMD over Intel because the limitation in the MAX RAM. I hope HP will release soon Microserver G9 with AMD CPUs. :oops:

What do you mean by RAM limitation? Both microserver Gen7 (AMD N54L) and Gen8 (Intel Celeron/Pentium/Xeon) handles 16GB RAM.

Or am I missing something here...?? :???:

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