HP ProLiant DL120 G7 review

HP's ProLiant DL120 G7 is aimed at SMBs replacing their old tower servers with rack models and for running dedicated apps in the enterprise. In this exclusive review Dave Mitchell finds out if HP's first Xeon E3 entry-level rack server is a capable dual purpose system.

The review system came with a 3.3GHz Xeon E3-1240 processor, but HP offers plenty of other options so there's room to manoeuvre with the price. You can go for cheaper Core i3 processors, but these don't support server grade ECC memory so they aren't a good choice if you're running business-critical apps.

The DL120 G7 comes as standard with HP’s excellent iLO3 chip which provides quality remote management features.

The DL120 G7 comes as standard with HP’s excellent iLO3 chip which provides quality remote management features.

The motherboard has four DIMM sockets, but support doesn't stretch beyond 4GB modules so the server tops out at 16GB. The price shown for our system included 4GB of memory supplied as a pair of 2GB modules.

Internal layout is tidy with easy access to all key components. The processor is mounted with a passive heatsink and a clear plastic shroud ensures air from the three small rotor fans in front is directed where it's needed. For a 1U rack server, internal expansion is good as the riser card at the rear of the motherboard has a PCI Express slot on each side. The one occupied by the P212 RAID card can accept a full height, full-length card whilst its opposite number has room for a low profile card.

HP gets our vote for remote management as the basic Lights Out 100i in the DL120 G6 has been upgraded in the G7 to a top of the line iLO3 controller. This will appeal to data centres and IT service providers as it offers excellent remote access features for monitoring, controlling and diagnosing the host server.

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.