Gen 8 Microserver CPU Upgrade

The HPE Gen 8 Microserver was a great value offer for the home enthusiast when it was released. They actually seem to sell for more now on the second hand market than they did when they were new. When they were new HP offered a really generous cash-back offer.

The Gen8 Microserver could also quite easily stand up to small business use.

Unlike predecessors, and successors for that matter the Gen8 had a lot of options for modifications and upgrades. With the popularity of 3d printers the gen8 became one of those products that far exceeded its retail price and was great for home labs. The more recent Gen10 Plus would be the natural successor to the gen8 but it is significantly more costly and in my opinion the only real plus point for the gen10 plus would be the RAM capacity. The biggest failing of the Gen8 is a maximum 16GB RAM – but for most, this will not matter.

Out of the box however the gen 8 was usually limited to poor performing processors in the guise of either a G610T or G2020T Pentium Processors. If you had just one use for the gen8 these would do a job. However, the gen8 is too good for just one use so a CPU upgrade is a must!

The Gen 8 uses an LGA 1155 socket. The onboard stock heatsink is rated for 35w TDP. However, what you will find is that pretty much all of the below will work fine without getting to hot (unless its under 100% load for extended periods). As most will have the Gen8 powered on 24x7x365 energy consumption costs should be considered.

Personally, the best bang for the buck while not over adding energy costs is the 1265l v2. With the 1260l and the 1265l coming second and third (which is generally reflected in prices on the second hand market). This would allow the Gen 8 to be used with esxi delivering multiple servers with normal usage. I am able to run plex servers, Home Assistant and a couple other servers simultaneously. I should note I do not allow transcoding for my plex setup. I could quite easily run another 2 or 3 more servers on these processors but the limiting factor is available RAM – which again, maxes out at 16GB for the Gen 8.

If you are only using the Gen8 to run one function, I would strongly recommend you go for the 1220l v2 or the 1220l. This will minimise power consumption while still offering decent performance.

CPU ModelClockCores/ThreadsTDPPassmark
Xeon E3-1280 v23.6/4.04/8699410
Xeon E3-1275 v23.5/3.94/8699313
Xeon E3-1270 v23.5/3.94/8699505
Xeon E3-1240 v23.4/3.84/8699039
Xeon E3-1230 v23.3/3.74/8698867
Xeon E3-12225 v23.2/3.64/4777291
Xeon E3-12220 v23.1/3.54/4696955
i3 32503.52/4554601
i3 32403.42/4554376
i3 32203.32/4554351
i3 32103.22/4554250
Xeon E3-1265L v22.5/3.54/8457312
Xeon E3-1265L2.4/3.34/8455830
Xeon E3-1260L2.4/3.34/8456071
i5 3470t2.9/3.62/4354554
i5 2390t2.7/3.52/4354009
i3 3240t2.92/4353636
i3 3220t2.82/4353737
Xeon E3-1220L2.2/3.42/4203608
Xeon E3-1225L v22.3/3.52/4174266

1 thought on “Gen 8 Microserver CPU Upgrade”

  1. Thanks for providing a compatibility list, I knew the supplied CPU in the gen 8 was pretty poor (1610 in my case), but didn’t realise there was an upgrade path that still meant the existing heatsink should handle it. So I’ve ordered a 1275 which will hopefully help the server run a couple of VMs it’s been struggling with, along with also being a media server.


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