HP ProLiant ML150 Gen9 review

A compact but powerful tower that’s ideal for SMBs and remote offices

Room to expand

The basic six-core E5-2603 v3 Xeon in our system limits memory speed to 1,600MHz but HP offers seven other CPU choices up to the 10-core E5-2660 v3 which opens up memory speed to 2,133MHz. Each CPU socket is partnered by eight DIMM slots and you can go up to 256GB using LR-DIMMs and 512GB if you can afford 32GB RDIMMs.

One CPU activates five of the PCI-Express slots and adding the second gives you all six. HP offers dual- and quad-port Gigabit or dual-port 10GbE fibre and copper adapter cards. The seventh slot is for HP's iLO dedicated port kit and if you're in the mood for virtualisation, the motherboard also has a microSD card slot for booting into an embedded hypervisor.

The entry model comes with a pair of cold-swap cooling fans and you'll get a third module shipped with the second CPU enablement kit. Either way, the ML150 is a quiet customer making it highly suited to small office environments.

The price includes a single 550W fixed PSU but you can upgrade to dual hot-plug 800W PSUs with the redundant power supply backplane option. The E5-2603 v3 CPU and its low 85W TDP made it presence felt in our power tests as we measured our system with four hard disks drawing 53W in idle and peaking at only 80W under maximum CPU load.

HP's excellent iLO4 controller delivers agentless monitoring of your server

Conclusion

SMBs suffering IT growing pains will like HP's ProLiant ML150 Gen9 as they can start small but know it'll be there when the time comes to upgrade. There's little we can fault it for making it highly recommended for SMBs that want a well specified tower server at a price they can afford.

Verdict

A low starting price and plenty of room to expand makes this tower server a top choice for growing businesses

Chassis: Tower CPU: 1.6GHz E5-2603 v3 Xeon (max 2) Memory: 4GB 2,133MHz DDR4 RDIMM (max 512GB) Storage: No HDDs included (max 10 LFF/16 SFF); Drive backplane: Cold-swap 4-bay backplane RAID: HP Dynamic Smart Array B140i Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5 Expansion: 6 x PCI-E 3 (with 2 CPUs) Network: 2 x Gigabit Cooling: 2 x cold-swap fans (max 3) Power: 550W cold-swap PSU Management: HP iLO4 Standard Warranty: 3yr parts/1yr on site NBD warranty

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