HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decoding)

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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mg1394
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by mg1394 » Sun May 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Hi Mike,

I certainly appreciate you rapid reply. I think I will start this project (new copy of WHS 2011, you know.)

I could use a hardware controller (do have Fan Mates setting around), but based on your review results, I thought I'd just use a good quality (above) fan fixed in the 800-1000 rpm range and let it run. With four F4 Samsungs and an SSD, I don't think heat should be a problem. I'll watch temperature and see if I need a faster fan.

Thanks again as always

Marsha

DanaG
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA, USA

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by DanaG » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:30 pm

Anyone else find that the power supply fan is like 3-5 times as loud as everything else in the system?

In fact, right now it's making a really irritating high-pitched tone. It's giving me a headache, and freaking out my dogs. I had to move them out of my room and close the door -- one of them was terrified, so he went and sat, tail-down, right under my desk (a foot away from the microserver!).

I've just made a recording of the sound it makes (using the mic built into my usb sound card). I've used Audacity to normalize it, to remove the offset caused by the fan pushing on the mic. If you stick it in Audacity and do Analyze -> Plot Spectrum, you get a nasty spikes at 1899 Hz and 20142 Hz.

Note that this is the first time I've heard that noise from it -- I'm copying stuff to it, so it's sitting at high CPU usage.

Is this kind of noise normal, or do I have a bad PSU? I've heard some people say they can't hear the PSU, but I can tell the difference when I stop it -- even when it's not making that tone.

I've attached a short audio clip (to fit within the attachment size limit) of the fan noise.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Current laptop: HP EliteBook 8530w, with ATI card.
Current server: HP Microserver N40L with PicoPSU and reversed+filtered rear fan.
The difference between "loud" and "noisy": A baby fussing, even if quietly, is still noisy. A person who lacks volume control, talking with normal tone of voice, is just loud.

MikeC
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Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by MikeC » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:20 pm

DanaG --

I'm sure you hear what you hear -- but the recording does not help us hear what you hear. This is a very clear demonstration of just how tricky it is to use audio recordings in hardware reviews. First, because there is no reference "quiet", we have nothing to compare the sound to. Second, I simply do not hear anything up that high in frequency (you mentioned 20142 Hz) in the recording. I doubt your mic captured it, and even if it did, I doubt most forums members' audio gear could reproduce it. 3rd, I trust the 1899 Hz tone is there, but it is not particularly prominent when played on my system.

I reiterate our experience and testing with our Microserver sample: The PSU is not a primary source of noise. It does have a complex signature but relatively moderate in level, and I could not possibly describe it as "3-5 times as loud as everything else in the system".
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

DanaG
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA, USA

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by DanaG » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:26 pm

I know humans can't hear the 20kHz tone, but dogs can -- and it drives them crazy.

I do have very sensitive ears, so the 1.8KHz tone is quite noticeable.

There's another thread where they said the power supply part number has changed since you got your review sample. It'd be helpful if you could get a sample of one of those power supplies, and rerun the tests.

EDIT: here's the other thread: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=62063&p=544217

EDIT again: I can also hear the tone from, oh, about 5 yards away from the front of the thing.
Current laptop: HP EliteBook 8530w, with ATI card.
Current server: HP Microserver N40L with PicoPSU and reversed+filtered rear fan.
The difference between "loud" and "noisy": A baby fussing, even if quietly, is still noisy. A person who lacks volume control, talking with normal tone of voice, is just loud.

DanaG
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA, USA

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by DanaG » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:33 pm

Thanks for the tips about how that noise must be something wrong. I contacted HP, and they sent me a new PSU. I've installed it, and it's much much quieter. No tone except at boot time (and presumably times of high load) -- and even then, it's not earsplitting.

(Oh, and the new PSU somehow smells like a shoe store, or something like that.)

Now, if only we could get them to fix their firmware bugs (wrong ipmi base address), and give us the serial-over-LAN that the remote access card (AST2150) should support...
Current laptop: HP EliteBook 8530w, with ATI card.
Current server: HP Microserver N40L with PicoPSU and reversed+filtered rear fan.
The difference between "loud" and "noisy": A baby fussing, even if quietly, is still noisy. A person who lacks volume control, talking with normal tone of voice, is just loud.

mr-b
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:59 am

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by mr-b » Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:25 am

Hi

I've just got a Scythe SY1225SL12HPVC fan to replace the stock Delta unit, but am stuck on how I should change the pins around to suit the HP connector.

The review http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1193-page7.html says "This requires a very small screwdriver to unlock the conductor pins from the connector and swap them around to the desired slots." but how do you actually do this? It's very hard to see where the locking mechanism is inside the connector so I'm not sure where I should be poking around.
Sorry if this a newb Q!

MikeC
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Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by MikeC » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:07 am

mr-b wrote:Hi

I've just got a Scythe SY1225SL12HPVC fan to replace the stock Delta unit, but am stuck on how I should change the pins around to suit the HP connector.

The review http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1193-page7.html says "This requires a very small screwdriver to unlock the conductor pins from the connector and swap them around to the desired slots." but how do you actually do this? It's very hard to see where the locking mechanism is inside the connector so I'm not sure where I should be poking around.
Sorry if this a newb Q!
One side of the connector is smooth, w/o any holes. The other side has a a small rectangular hole for each contact. A bit of silver-colored metal can be seen in these holes. Pushing straight down with a small screwdriver (or other object small enough) against this metal while pulling gently on the wire attached to it will unlock the clip and allow the contact to be removed.

It is a simple friction fit; once you pull one of these out, all this will make perfect sense, and you will also figure out how to splay each metal piece a bit to ensure good contact when it is inserted back into the plastic connector housing.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

mr-b
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:59 am

Re: HP's new Neo (12W TDP) based microserver (with HW decodi

Post by mr-b » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:30 pm

Tx Mike! Just what I needed and I swapped the connectors over just fine.

FWIW the cable on my Scythe fan was plenty long enough and I left the rheostat near the front of the case for easy access.
It would be much better if SpeedFan could detect/control the fan though ...

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