Chris Matchett

A blog to remind me how to fix stuff and other tech thoughts…

64-bit Quad-Core Opteron computer for under £200

with 7 comments

I started thinking about getting a new desktop and giving my son my existing Dell desktop a few weeks ago. He now has my old Dell and I have a new desktop with the following specs for under £200!

AMD Opteron Quad-Core 2.1Gh CPU
Connect 3D x1050 256Mb PCI-E Graphics Card
250 GB SATA  Drive

A friend gave me the idea of buying a budget server and that was the key. I purchased a HP Proliant ML115 G5 server from cbccomputers for £165 (the prices on these servers seem different everytime I look at their site). I replaced the 512Mb of installed ram with 2Gb from crucial for £20 and the on-board graphics with the graphics card mentioned above for £18 at

Being a server there is no OS supplied but I have already have XP running on the machine and my next task is to install the 64-bit Ubuntu Studio.

I must say I am delighted with the purchase! I was orginally looking for a Xeon based ML110 Proliant but I couldn’t find any in stock anywhere. From what I read the Xeon may be quieter than the ML115 but I think I was just use to my Dell machine making practically no noise. The fans go mad on the Ml115 at startup but they quieten down after 10s. I worked with servers and often wondered why the fans work so hard on startup, will have to look into that. I think I also read the ML115 has better graphic slot support than the ML110 but I can’t confirm that.

Anyway, my last job is to pickup a soundcard as the ML115 doesn’t come with one. If you like buidling computers and don’t want to have to worry about how much thermal paste to use and are tight like me this is an excellent option.


ML115 G5

ML115 G5


Written by Chris

January 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Hardware, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows

7 Responses

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  1. My theory on the fans going bonkers on startup is as follows :-

    Servers run 24/7 as do their fans. After a while, dust builds up in the fans and after a power down or hardware upgrade, this dust can stop the fans from working. It could be possible the fans run flat out startup to “blow out the cobwebs” or give the fans an extra current boost to overcome any friction caused by dust/dirt

    Just a theory but possibly correct 😉


    April 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm

  2. I think you are probably right about the big blow being a maintenance issue Dom. It would probably be good for home pcs as well but people wouldn’t want to put up with the noise!


    April 8, 2009 at 11:45 pm

  3. Chris,

    I’m thinking of getting one of these HP’s. Did Ubuntu install smoothly?

    Does the RAID work also? Would I *have* to use raid if I fitted multiple disks in there or can it be turned off? I might want to use SW raid…

    Thanks 🙂



    May 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

  4. Simon,

    Ubuntu installed fine, I use the 64-bit Ubuntu Studio.

    Regarding raid I can’t help I’m afraid, I am using a single sata disk drive that came with the computer.




    May 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm

  5. Chris,

    Thanks for the response 🙂

    Is there any indication, in the bios perhaps, that the onboard raid can be switched off? If so I could presumably use SW raid if need be. It’s a bit bonkers to *force* the use of raid isn’t it?



    May 21, 2009 at 8:27 am

  6. […] […]

    [Ubuntu] hp servers

    June 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm

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    October 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm

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