HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 Review Compact and Nimble Server

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HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 Performance

At STH, we have an extensive set of performance data from every major server CPU release. Running through our standard test suite generated over 1000 data points for each set of CPUs. We are cherry picking a few to give some sense of CPU scaling. We also had a fairly limited selection of Intel Xeon E-2100 series CPUs at launch to test in the server.

Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark

This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read.

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark

This is going to be a theme. If you saw in our Intel Xeon E-2100 Server Re-Launch piece, the turbo frequencies of many of the 6-core SKUs are very similar. Which means that we have relatively tight groupings. In this section, we are going to also highlight the Intel Core i3-8000 series SKUs as they are options that one may choose to configure for a lower cost HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 configuration.

c-ray 1.1 Performance

We have been using c-ray for our performance testing for years now. It is a ray tracing benchmark that is extremely popular to show differences in processors under multi-threaded workloads. We are going to use our new Linux-Bench2 8K render to show differences.

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 C Ray 8K Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 C Ray 8K Benchmark

Again we are seeing a pattern here where the biggest deltas are between the 6 core/ 12 thread CPUs versus the 4 core 4 thread CPUs.

7-zip Compression Performance

7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 7zip Compression Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 7zip Compression Benchmark

Compression wise, again we see that the new Intel Xeon E-2136 and up processors have awesome performance. If you are looking for comparison data, check out John Lee’s Intel Core i3-8100 Benchmarks and Review Low Cost Server Processor where we have benchmarks comparing the Core i3 SKUs and Intel Xeon E-2100 SKUs with previous-generation Intel Xeon E3-1200/1500 series processors, Xeon Scalable, Xeon D, Atom C2000/ C3000, and AMD EPYC 7000 and 3000 series SKUs.

OpenSSL Performance

OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 OpenSSL Sign Benchmark

Here are the verify results:

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 OpenSSL Verify Benchmark

Moving from an Intel Core i3-8100 to an Intel Xeon E-2186G is about a 2x improvement in OpenSSL speed. For servers like the HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10, OpenSSL is a fundamental application technology that underpins websites and transactional systems. One should weigh the delta between the cost and performance of moving higher in the SKU stack.

Chess Benchmarking

Chess is an interesting use case since it has almost unlimited complexity. Over the years, we have received a number of requests to bring back chess benchmarking. We have been profiling systems and are ready to start sharing results:

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 Chess Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 Chess Benchmark

When higher clock speeds and hyper-threading are efficient, the additional performance gained can be well over 2x of the lower-end CPUs to the higher-end models. We wanted to point out here that if you do not have a need for video support for display or Quick Sync video transcoding, then the Intel Xeon E-2136 may be our pick of this generation as the best value recommendation.

GROMACS STH Small AVX2 Enabled

We have a small GROMACS molecule simulation we previewed in the first AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks piece. In Linux-Bench2 we are using a “small” test for single and dual socket capable machines. Our medium test is more appropriate for higher-end dual and quad socket machines. Our GROMACS test will use the AVX-512 and AVX2 extensions if available. On the Intel Xeon E-2100 series system, this is only AVX2 since the platform does not support AVX-512 like Intel’s higher-end Xeon Scalable parts.

Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 GROMACS STH Small Case Benchmark
Intel Xeon E 2100 And Core I3 8000 GROMACS STH Small Case Benchmark

This type of application takes advantage of the AVX2 instructions. Due to the high clock speeds, the Xeon E-2100 series parts are competitive with some of the Intel Xeon Silver range. If you are looking for an embedded AVX-512 powerhouse on an Intel CPU, we strongly suggest looking at Xeon D-2100 as it seems, despite Intel’s claims, that this has a dual port FMA AVX-512 unit found in higher-end Intel Xeon Gold 6100 series and Xeon Platinum SKUs. Check out our Intel Xeon D-2183IT Benchmarks and Review for why that is. Still, in terms of all-around CPU performance, these new 6-core Intel Xeon E-2100 SKUs are great. Further, the Intel Core i3-8000 series is a significant step up from previous generations as the core count has gone from 2 cores / 4 threads to 4 cores / 4 threads.

Generally, in our reviews, we focus on storage and networking performance. The HPE DL20 Gen10 utilizes dual 1GbE networking and basic SATA III storage with a single M.2 NVMe slot.

In the last part of our review, we are going to focus on power consumption and give our final thoughts. on the platform.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.6
Performance
9.3
Feature Set
9.4
Value
9.0
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

12 COMMENTS

  1. This might be the most comprehensive review of any HPE server product ever done. I’m happy to see you’re reviewing HPE again.

  2. We’re a big Dell shop and use your R740xd and R7415 reviews all the time. I know several of our customers that used STH reviews as the deciding factor when we’ve quoted for them. This is a great review but I’m not thrilled about our HPE competition having access to STH review material.

    Only 2 LFF is weak. Dell has better m2 options too.

  3. Another stellar review STH.

    You’re right. I think we priced out a DL20 Gen9 and the config was $1050 and the iLO Advanced for internet KVM and media was $200. We were buying 4 servers so it was buy 4 HPE or 5 white box. We don’t need any of the other features but our remote hands cost is $120. We even did the analysis of what it’d cost to just do remote hands and it was cheaper.

    Your market assumption is off. I don’t think outside of dedicated web hosting there’s a market for these in quantity at a location At 5 servers we’d just get a dual Xeon Gold or Silver server and virtualize. I’d say there’s either really big installations of hundreds or thousands of these servers or small 1 to 4 server installs but not much between.

  4. I love this site.

    That’s a great insight you’ve got on kvm over ip. Maybe they sell advanced on one of 4 servers and that’s like all the margin for the product line. It’s a shame they don’t get more competitive with that feature.

  5. I was interested until you talked about the hamstrung iLO, I’ll stick with Supermicro who provide virtual media included in their lower priced boxes.

  6. Did you try to fit a Nvidia Quadro M2000 in the half length full height pci-e gen 3 slot? Looking at the picture the P2000 might not fit due to the heat sink

  7. Hi,

    I am going to order a CTO DL20 Gen10 tomorrow.
    The price jump from Single 290W PSU to Redundant 500W is really big.
    I am thinking of buying the single 290W model and maybe buy an extra PSU in case of failure.

    How many years do they work 24/7 before they fail at average? 5-7 years?
    I have a Dell R710 (2010) with redundant PSU and I had a failure in 3-4 months!
    DL20 will replace old dell.

  8. Hello! Can somebody tell more about noise which is produced by this server. We hava a small branch Office and I am wondering if this server can take place in 19″ rack under the Office desk? Thanks

  9. Hi Andrej, it was too loud to be under my desk if that helps. We have an upcoming review of the ProLiant HPE ML30 Gen10 along with other tower servers in this class that are quiet and can be placed under a desk.

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