Last night was fun. I thought I
have had all the correct parts to upgrade and beef up this server. I was wrong. I ordered the wrong system fan 🙁
There seems to be some confusion and not enough clarity on what fan(s) are required when upgrading this server from a 1-processor to a 2-processor configuration. When I was ordering my parts and covered my server expectations in my initial post here, I never really explained what I was ordering for the server.
I spent a bit of time trying to find ways to cut costs any way I can. I looked at using the HP ML330 G6 heat sinks and the ML330 G6 system fans. I wanted to give it a try as they tend to be a bit cheaper than the ML150 G6 parts but I chickened out. I chickened out because looking at both the ML150 and the ML330, there is a air direction baffle inside both servers that directs the air flow from the front system fans – through the heat sinks – and out the back. The air direction baffle on the ML330 looks at first glance perfect but it appears to have tiny adjustments for the heat sink that is located underneath the baffle.
Either the heat sinks on the ML330 are taller then the heat sink on the ML150 or the air direction baffle is shorter on the ML330 vs the ML150. I didn’t want to experiment so I forked out the money and purchased the following:
- ML150 G6 OEM heatsink from aliexpress
- ML150 G6 fan also from aliexpress (INCORRECT FAN/Part Number…keep reading!)
The parts arrived and last night I started installing them. The easiest thing to test was the fan and within a moment of trying to install it, I realized it was the incorrect fan. Let me explain what I found.
HP designed the ML150 G6 (unsure about the ML110 or the ML330) with 3 different kind of fans (from what I can see).
- Front Main System Fan (519740-001)
- Redundant Front System Fan (519737-001)
- Rear Case Exhaust system Fan (unknown part number at this time)
Below I’ve attached an outdated chart of what HP recommended for fans. Part number 513927-B21 looks to have been updated to: 519737-001, according to this HP Customer Advisory.
The first and main front system fan is the HP 519740-001. This is a thicker fan and seems to have a grill at the back of it (facing the motherboard).
For the HP ML150 G6 to use redundant/additional system fans, the next part number that needs to be purchased and installed is 519737-001. The aliexpress seller that I listed above identified their fan as 519737-001 but what arrived was another 519740-001. This was unfortunate as it won’t work without some slight case hacking.
You may be wondering, what’s the big deal and why can’t it work? Well that’s what I thought until I tried to install it. When HP designed the spacing for the additional fans, they used a smaller and thinner profile so that the fans will have enough clearance under the airflow baffle.
The first image above on the left shows the HP 519740-001 system fan installed with the air direction baffle installed.
The middle image shows the baffle removed and two front fans exposed. The top fan is the 519740-001 and the bottom fan is 519737-001. Look at the design and difference. It’s not a massive difference but it’s enough to prevent the baffle from fitting.
The far right image shows the system with the 3 fans at the front and one in the rear.
If you try to fit the 519740-001 fan into a slot where 519737-001 should be, the mounting points will be completely off.
Above you can see that I tried to fit the 519740-001 into the other fan slots. The tabs and mounting points do not line up. Thus, the 519740-001 cannot be used (without hacking up the case) in the ML150 G6 as redundant fans.
With all that said, I choose to re-purchase another fan from a seller that correctly identifies the fan being as 519737-001 with the corresponding images.
The 513927-B21 / now revised as 519737-001, can be found at a reasonable price on eBay, if anybody is looking for one.
The reason I keep referring to the incorrect and now clarified and correct part number is to make this as clear as possible for anybody looking at upgrading a HP ML150 G6.
The final system fan is the exhaust fan, at the rear of the case. This is a black fan that does not have any blue housing. You can see it in the system images above.
That was my evening last night. I’m glad I’ve sorted out my confusion and wish there was a more documented or updated list available from HP for this. If not for that customer advisory from HP, I wouldn’t have realized which fan part number is correct for this server.
With all that fan nonsense out of the way, I proceeded to install the new-to-me Intel Xeon E5540’s onto the motherboard with Kryonaut Thermal Grizzly thermal grease and the stock heat sinks.
With the heat sinks installed, I proceeded to re-attach all the motherboard cabling and filled the rest of the memory banks with Kingston kvr1066d3d4r7sk3/24g. This should give me 96 GB of memory.
That’s all I have for now. I’m waiting for the last fan to arrive so that I can power on the server and start slowly configuring it.
Some uncertanty that I have is, what do I do for storage? Right now, I’ve installed three hard drives into the server cage:
- HP Enterprise 7200RPM, 250GB HDD (Planned for hypervisor storage)
- WD Blue 750GB HDD
- 2TB Hitachi HDD
I would like to play with a different raid configuration than what comes built onto the motherboard. I am unsure of what RAID controller to purchase or how to approach storing data on here.
I do have a few enterprise grade SSDs that I would like to use with this server so I would need to get SATA 3 operational in the server.
Another future post that I will write about will be regarding updating the HP ML150 G6 Bios/Firmware.
I found a HP ProLiant ML150 G6 Server – Option Parts list. This is a good reference for any upgrades on this server model.