Server tour: RAM, PCI Express and Graphics

close-up view of the 8 RAM slots.RAM sticks are installed in pairs into
banks – Slots 1 & 3 make up Bank A slots 2 & 4 Bank B and so
forth. These combinations are clearly visible on the main board.

shown in this image server RAM is very similar to what you’d install
in a PC – but there is subtle difference with the in-configuration. The
RAMretention mechanisms however are identical to what you see on a
regular PC.

Thumb-screws retain the PCI Express riser cage within the server. In most cases these can be unscrewed with your hands…

… but there are other occasions where you’ll need to use a hex
key. For convenience one is supplied with all HP servers. The key for
this server is mounted in a slot on top for the fan baffle that sits
atop of the SAS controller.

Once the cage has been removed PCI Express expansion cards can be
installed. This side of the cage allows a full-height x16 card to be

The other side of the cage allows for the installation a
half-height x8 card. We’re limited to just a half-height card because
full-height cards would fall foul of the RAM slots.

Adjacent to where the PCI Express cage plugs in to the main board the
CMOS battery can be seen. This battery is the same CR2012 battery that
you see in any PC.

A close-up of the two integrated network controllers which provide dual-Gigabit Ethernet in this server.

generally don’t require dedicated PCI Express video cards – onboard
solutions more than suffice. This server features an ATi ES1000 GPU
with 32MB of VRAM.

The IPMI controller within the server (HP call their IPMI
implementation “Integrated Lights Out”). As long as the server has
power this controller is active and can be used to manage the server –
even when it is switched off.

Next: Power supply

The Full Tour
A typical rack server
Opening it up
Heatsink CPU and fans
Memory slots and graphics card
Power supply
The USB and LED panels
Storage options
Managing the server