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Dell Optiplex 7020/9020 SFF Desktops at Amazon

trs96

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New Hardware Prices have Skyrocketed Recently

If you want to run macOS Big Sur or Monterey, building a new system from components is a very expensive venture. A decent performing graphics card like the AMD RX 5700XT sells for over $1,000 or the newer 6600XT costs over 450 USD. Previously, macOS compatible AMD cards like the RX570/580 would sell for under $200 in 2018/19 and were very affordable. At one point, new MSI RX 570s with 4GB of Vram sold for around $130 !

Even quality, name brand, empty PC cases, with no hardware pre-installed, now start at $90 and go up to $145 or more.

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A build with a new 10th gen Intel motherboard and CPU will get you the longest term support from macOS. It's a rather large investment and sometimes difficult to even find a new Gigabyte or Asus 10th gen board. If you must be on the latest macOS version for the next 2-3 years, that is the best way to go. If you are new to macOS and just want to try out the latest Big Sur and Monterey versions, the good news is that you can still buy older compatible hardware and use the Intel iGPU to power your display. You don't have to take out a second mortgage for a new build and go into high interest debt just to gain some hackintosh experience.

Who are these Dell desktops for ?

If you are new to hackintoshing and want to get a system running macOS quickly and easily this is by far the best path to take. You may have never built a PC before and don't want to spend hours researching what components to buy. You don't have the free time to build a system from the ground up. These Optiplex desktops let you bypass all those steps and get a working system within a few hours after this Dell PC gets delivered to your door.

If you already have extensive hackintosh experience and need a secondary system that is affordable, this is for you also. You don't want a case with glass panels, RGB fans and lighting that just add extra to the cost. These Dells have very good specs that outperform any older Apple Mac mini or iMac from the same era (2014-2015). Buy one for your spouse or children to use without having to pay the Apple tax for a new or used Mac.

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Some 20 years ago Apple was installing and running Mac OS X on Dell computers. Steve Jobs even asked Michael Dell to bundle it with new Dell desktops. Reported by Macrumors.com 10-7-21

"After Jobs rejoined Apple, he once again attempted a software licensing deal, trying to get Dell to license Mac OS. At the time, Jobs pushed Dell by telling him PC buyers could choose between Apple's software or Microsoft Windows."
"He said, look at this - we've got this Dell desktop and it's running Mac OS," Dell tells me. "Why don't you license the Mac OS?"
Now in 2022 you can have what Steve wanted all those years ago as Apple's CEO.

Why are these such a good value ?

The cost of these Haswell based Dell desktops is generally about 1/3 the cost of building with new hardware that has similar specs and performance. There are currently some great Amazon Deals on the 7020 and 9020 USFF, SFF and MT models. Consistently in the top 10 best sellers of all Amazon desktops. As of 12/31/2021 the Core i5 9020 SFF is the number one best seller. They come with Windows 10 Pro clean installed to the SSD. These desktops are part of the Amazon Renewed Program. You can also easily upgrade these to Windows 11 Pro and it runs just as well as 10 Pro.
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Large and small businesses and multi-national corporations have used these Intel based Windows machines from 2014 through 2020 to get work done. Now that there are tens of millions "off a 3-4 year lease" they are widely available and extremely low cost for the specs you get. The professionally refurbished models on Amazon (from most sellers) are in great condition. Very few if any, scratches or blemishes. Dust has been cleaned out and the fans work quietly. If the one you buy has anything not right with it, you've got a full 90 days to return it to Amazon for a refund.

9020 SFF with i5-4570 and 16GB ram 512GB SSD (#1 Amazon.com Best Seller)

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The MT (mini-tower) is not a true tower. It's similar to a micro ATX size case. The small form factor (SFF) works either on your desk or on the floor next to it. These run quiet (with the stock fans) and have high quality power supplies. Many are made by Delta and are 80+ gold rated for efficiency.

7020 SFF with i7-4770 and 32GB ram 512GB SSD

The 7020 SFF with i7-4770 is the best "Bang for your buck" version. You get a large SSD boot drive and the maximum 32GBs of ram all for $325. Choose this model for photo and video editing or even audio production.

9020 SFF with i7-4790 and 16GB ram 1TB SSD

The i7-4790 is the fastest Haswell CPU available for these Optiplex desktops, with a turbo boost up to 4GHz.
It's got 4 cores / 8 threads. Also perfect for Photoshop or an Audio/Video Production hackintosh.

9020 USFF with i5-4590S CPU 8GB 256GB SSD
9020 USFF with i7-4770S CPU 16GB 512GB SSD
USFF is closer to Mac mini size, but still has a bigger footprint than a mini does. 9.4 x 9.4 x 2.5 inches.

9020 MT with i7-4790 CPU 16GB 1TB HDD

See the 7020/9020 Golden Build description HERE

These machines can run OS X Mavericks 10.9 through to macOS 12 Monterey via the iGPU. No discrete graphics card required. Nine different versions of Apple's Mac Operating System to choose from. You may need to use a different SMBIOS for some of these nine versions of the OS. For example, Mavericks would need iMac 14,2. Big Sur iMac15,1 and Monterey, Macmini7,1. If you want to start with Monterey from the beginning, you can use the Hackindrom App, choose Mac mini 7,1 SMBIOS. Generate your Serials + SmUUID to get started. https://hackindrom.zapto.org/

On the HackinDROM page, scroll to the bottom first, then click on the CopyConfig icon you see there.

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Download the EFI folder via the app's green Download EFI button and enter your serials and other info by generating them in HackinDROM. The SmUUID though, should be re-generated after macOS is installed on your Dell Optipex. See my guides for how to create your unique serials and SmUUID. You will get the ROM value from your Optiplex BIOS configuration settings panel. It's simply the Ethernet MAC address with all of the colons removed. Big Sur OptiMac Thread

Rename the folder "EFI" and place it on the EFI partition of your Monerey USB installer. Your 7020/9020 BIOS must be flashed and configured before you can install. Read the Golden Build Guide BIOS section and apply all that info before the install attempt.

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What other low cost Monterey capable hackintosh desktop you might build under $184.00 can do that ?

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Here are all nine OS X/macOS versions that work on the Haswell based Dell Optiplex line when your CPU has Intel HD4600 graphics. If you are an aspiring iOS and macOS developer, purchase the i7 version with 32GB of ram. Install Monterey and the latest Xcode version from Apple, then start your work and create some great Apps for the world to see.

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In today's excessively overpriced GPU market, you can barely buy a supported AMD graphics card for $245. Note that you can add a supported Low Profile Nvidia Kepler or AMD Polaris 21 graphics card to these if you need stronger graphics performance. Kepler support was dropped in Monterey.

Here's a short video showing the inside and outside of a 9020 SFF. One in Grade A condition should look like this.


The best part of buying a 7020/9020 is that you won't have to assemble anything. Windows 10 is pre-installed so you can boot it up the minute it's unboxed. Make sure to test out the hardware and flash to the newest available BIOS when you get yours. All the detailed instructions are in the Golden Build guide linked above.

Since they have two DP 1.2 outputs you can use a 4k monitor for a great macOS or Windows 10 experience.

Note that there are many different 3rd party sellers on Amazon. They don't all refurbish these equally well. Try to go with Skytech USA (which I've linked to above) to be sure you'll get one in the very best condition. I have no affiliation with this seller. See all the Dell Desktops at Skytech's Amazon Store

Recent reviews from Amazon buyers November 2021:

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Here's what you'll get when buying from Skytech USA:

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If your monitor or TV only has HDMI inputs, then buy this affordable DP to HDMI adapter. Works at 4K too.

 
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trs96

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Great deals on rock solid Hack desktops !
Yes, these are the most solidly built Dell SFF models I've ever seen. The steel case is 2x as thick as any retail case. With one exception. The Fractal Design R4 mid-tower case I owned had side panels this thick. Pretty much indestructible. Seems like they'll run forever too. Here's a pic with the dimensions so potential buyers will know what they're getting.

3.7 inches = 9.4 centimeters
11.4 inches = 29 centimeters
12.3 inches = 31.2 centimeters

Screen Shot.jpg

These are a completely tool less design. You'd only need a Philips head screw driver to remove the CPU heatsink.
 
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trs96

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Those on an even tighter budget can get the 3020 SFF model for less money and deploy an old Sata SSD they may not be using for anything else. There is a User Build to follow for the 3020s too. Selling for $142 at Amazon right now.



For those in the UK, you can buy a 3020 SFF with good specs at Amazon.co.uk

Newegg does have a lower cost 9020 SFF which doesn't have an SSD boot drive.

https://www.newegg.com/p/1VK-0001-5NET6?Item=9SIASS5DY25923
 
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trs96

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Great deals on rock solid Hack desktops !
These are even Oprah approved. No matter what economic state someone is in, they can buy one of these and have a fully functional hackintosh running most any macOS version they want. Make a nice Xmas gift for other members of your family too. Those that don't need a Core i9 and 64 GB+ of ram at least.

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I found the following on my local craigslist. It appears to be the same but Mini Tower. Would it be a better deal and fully hackintoshable?
Thanks
John
Dell Optiplex 7020 MT I7-4790 @3.60GHZ 1tb 16GB RAM $200
 

trs96

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Dell Optiplex 7020 MT I7-4790 @3.60GHZ 1tb 16GB RAM $200
Yes, a great price if it's in good condition and has no booting problems. The i7-4790 is the best you can do.
Make sure to read the Golden Build dedicated to these. For anyone that buys one with an HDD and wants to install a 2.5" SSD, this video shows how easy it is to do that.

 
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trs96

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Suggestions for Optiplex 7020/9020 SMBIOS Choices
SMBIOS is also commonly called "System Definition."

Mavericks 10.9.5 -- Use iMac 14,1 14,2 or 14,3

Yosemite through Big Sur -- Use iMac 15,1

Monterey -- Use iMac 17,1 or Macmini 7,1

If you will use a discrete GPU instead of HD4600 then it's best to go with iMac 14,2 15,1 or 17,1 for the respective versions of OS X and macOS. These iMacs all have a dGPU.

This complete teardown shows you how to do most any kind of upgrade you'd like to. Even shows the official Dell blue plastic SSD drive tray that you can purchase separately.


 
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In Europe, if you are on the lookout on local 2nd hand sites, you can buy those Optiplexes for peanuts.
Not refurbished, so make sure to re-do cooling compound etc...
Recently picked up two SFF'd with 500GB spinning disks @ 35€/piece, and two with factory 256 GB SSD's @ 50€/piece.
Didn't really need them, but, heck, at those prices
That obviously was exceptionally cheap, but still, the 9020 MT I use as my daily Optimac I bought half a year ago for 90€, another 80€ for a RX560, a 500W PSU I had lying around an the 24 to 8 pin adapter (12€), makes for a dirt cheap pretty decent performing Mac!
Now on the lookout for a fairly priced i7-4790 to replace the i5 for a bit of extra grunt....
 
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Hi, and thanks for sharing your advices. Making a Good Hackintosh at these low prices is a dream.

I found this here in Italy, on Amazon at a good price:

Computer Dell Optiplex 7020 SFF Intel Core i5-4440 Ram 8GB DDR3 Hard Disk 500GB DVD-ROM USB 3.0 Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit (Refurbished)​




Is it possible to make it a full hackintosh? I read all the specs and it should work.

I would like to install Monterey.

I will add just an ssd and Not a dGPU.

I read that there is a problem with unlocking cfg in bios or something like that, is it mandatory to run macos?

Thanks a lot,

Andyapple
 
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