Adding or Upgrading a Processor in a ProLiant DL380 G6 Server

By Dylan Kerling – Velocity Tech Solutions

Today, I am going to be doing an overview on adding a new or upgrading an existing processor in an HP ProLiant DL380 G6 server.

The first thing we are going to want to do, if you are adding a second processor, is to find the step code of your current processor.  Next, we are going to remove the shroud and shipping bracket that is securing the lid covering the processors. (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1Shroud Covering the Processors

Once you have that lifted, you should see your heat sink.  You are going to twist the heat sink slightly to break the bond the thermal compound has made to make it easier to remove and lift it off the processor.  Next, you will want to lift the lever on the side of the cpu socket to release the cover on the cpu.  Then, carefully remove the processor from its socket.  Lastly, we are going to want to clean off all of the remaining thermal compound on the heat sink and processor.  Any remaining compound there, when you reapply thermal paste, will cause it not to cool the processor as effectively as it should.

Fig. 2Location of Step Code

With that done, now look at the top of the processor and find the step code located here. (Fig. 2)

Now that you know the step code, you will want to get a second processor of the exact same code.  Using a different type can cause the computer to not function.  If you are simply upgrading your current processors with new ones, you are going to want to again make sure that both new ones are the same code.  Also note, if you are adding a second processor, you may not have the full six fans in the front assembly and will need to add the last two for the server to function. (Fig. 3)

Fig. 32 of 6 Server Fans

Once you have received your new processor/s, we are going to again open the case and get back to where the processors are located.  Lift the socket levers to allow you to install the processors.  Make sure to line up the notches on the cpu’s themselves with the notches on the socket. (Fig. 4)

Fig. 4Notches in the Processors

It should be pretty apparent once you have them in hand.  Once you have them lined up, let the processor drop into place.  You shouldn’t need to force anything at this point.  So, if it doesn’t feel like it fits perfectly, it probably isn’t set right.  Once you are certain it is set properly, you will lower the cover and lower the latch.  At this point, it may feel like you are forcing the lever down.  But as long as it doesn’t get caught completely, this is normal.

Now that you have your processors seated correctly, you are going to need to apply thermal paste.  There are several different methods people tend to use.  I always go with using either a pea-sized dot in the very center or a thin line going straight down the middle. (Fig. 5)

Fig. 5Applying Thermal Paste

This tends to have the best effect as it lets the heat sink’s pressure spread the thermal paste thinly and evenly across the entire cpu.  Methods of spreading the thermal paste prior to attaching the heat sink can create air bubbles in the compound which will lead to poorer cooling.  Now that we have the thermal paste applied to the processor, lower the heat sink down on top of it.  Make sure the side with only one pin on the underside is matched up with the side with only one pin on the board. (Fig. 6)

Fig. 6One Pin Location

Once you have the heat sinks installed, you are all set to secure the latch covering the heat sinks.  Put the shroud back in place.  After that, close back up the case and boot it back up and you should be good to go.

Don’t forget to check out the video to this article and our video tutorials at our YouTube channel: velocity783. Have a How-To request?  Request your own and we will get right to work on it for you!

Please feel free to call us anytime at 888-784-2088 or visit our website at

5 thoughts on “Adding or Upgrading a Processor in a ProLiant DL380 G6 Server

  1. Tim says:

    When I was doing my testing on which was the best thermal grease by far the best product I came across was ALFA’s ULTRATHERM 500 which is a diamond filled silicone base thermal grease. They have different grades and ones that aren’t diamond filled in their product line I didn’t test any of the non-silicone base to see how well they perform but if you look at the datasheets it gives a pretty good indicator..

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