The HP Proliant Microserver Gen 8 is one of the best LAB server for Hyper-V, Private-Cloud, System Center, Windows Server since it has dual network adapters AND a full blown iLO 4, so we can do all kinds of in-bound and out-of-band monitoring. It also support IPMI so it is possible to test and play with bare metal deployment in SCVMM 2012 (R2). But it lacks a bit of performance around the CPU. It comes with the Intel G1610T or Intel G2020T, but since it has a standard 1155 socket and it is of course possible to change the CPU, however this s of course NOT SUPPORTED by HP.
There are a couple of CPUs you can change into (since is a 1155 socket) but basically it comes down to either the “server” version Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2 or the “desktop” version Intel Core i5-3470T. You can look for yourself here to see the difference http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/490/Intel_Core_i5_i5-3470T_vs_Intel_Xeon_E3-1230_v2.html. My choice was the desktop version, just because I wanted to try that (could not find anyone that had tried it). I think the Intel Xeon E3-1230 v2 is a better choice, but just for fun I wanted to test it. You can compare the Intel I5 3470T with the original G2020T here http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/466/Intel_Core_i5_i5-3470T_vs_Intel_Pentium_Dual-Core_G2020T.html. The I5 has Hyper-Threading, Intel VT-d and Turbo Boost (plus some more stuff) and and slightly higher CPU speed, but it consumes the same amount of power 35 Watt, so it is a bit more “safe” then the Xeon E3 that consumes 69 Watt (TDP). I do recommend this excellent post to read before you even consider doing anything at all. http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6596-hp-microserver-gen8-processor-faq/
There are some posts out there that shows how to change the CPU, just remember to get thermal paste before you start, also if you had any form of warranty, which is gone by the wind when you do this…
Here is guide on how to change the CPU http://b3n.org/installed-xeon-e3-1230v2-in-gen8-hp-microserver/
This is how it looks in iLO after replacing the CPU.
This is how it looks in Windows Server 2012 R2 after replacing the CPU.