[Guide] Install High Sierra or Mojave on the Dell Optiplex 7010 / 9010 Desktop PC - Revision II


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
The Dell Optiplex CustoMac Mini Desktop


This guide for the Dell Optiplex 7010/9010 is a complete description of 7 steps necessary to get your system working with macOS High Sierra or Mojave. These business desktops are Ivy Bridge based and have the Intel Q77 Express chipset. Q77 chipset* Optiplex PCs are a very good choice for your first hackintosh or as an additional, secondary one if you already have a newer system. They have BIOS and UEFI which allows for either legacy or UEFI booting. UEFI is the preferred method and will be described here. This guide may appear to be excessively long, only because I've described each step in great detail. I've done this so beginners will know exactly what they must do to succeed without having to find the information elsewhere.

*The Dell Optiplex 3010 models are related but use the older Intel H61 chipset. Avoid using those with this guide. They require a completely different install and post install process.

What Works
  • HDMI/DisplayPort audio
  • Headphone and Mic Jacks
  • USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
  • Sleep and Wake
  • Intel 1 GigE wired Ethernet
  • Updates via the Mac App Store
  • Messages/Facetime
  • HD4000 Integrated Graphics
  • Dedicated Graphics SFF/DT/MT
  • Airplay Mirroring
  • Night Shift
  • Dual monitors via onboard graphics
  • Compatible with macOS Mojave
  • Continuity and Handoff *
* Requires a macOS native PCI-E Wifi/BT card like the BCM94360CD - Fenvi FV-T919 (no LP bracket)
Purchase the Mini-Tower form factor Dell Optiplex as the Bluetooth requires a USB 2.0 internal header.
(USFF and SFF form factor Dell Optiplex models do not have this internal USB 2.0 header)
BCM943602CS Wifi + Bluetooth Combo Card
Is a Macbook Air Wifi/BT combo card that works via a PCI-E adapter and also requires a USB 2.0
header on your motherboard. Enables Continuity and Handoff as well. You can use the Desktop
Dell 7010/9010 with this or use the Mini-Tower version, either will work. (LP bracket included)

If all you need is Wifi try this TP-Link card. TP-Link Archer T6E
This will fit in the SFF, DT and MT versions of the 7010 or 9010 Optiplex. No USB header required.

For USB Wifi that works in all form factors. EDUP Wireless Adapter is not natively supported, requires a driver.
Can I install Mojave first and skip High Sierra ?
Yes, if you want to install Mojave now simply make a Mojave Unibeast 9.1.0 installer and follow this guide for Mojave. The primary difference from installing High Sierra on your Dell is that you can't use Nvidia graphics cards that require the Nvidia Web drivers. There is no ETA for those. Use HD4000 graphics or buy a GT 710 for temporary use if you have HD2500 only.
Since this was originally posted, I’ve learned some new techniques that will be utilized in this second version of the guide. If you are still looking for the original guide you can find it in Mojave Desktop Guides. The one posted by Nicksoph.

This version will use Unibeast for either High Sierra or Mojave but not use Multibeast as the previous guide did. There will be no DSDT patching required, instead we’ll be using custom SSDTs for optimizing DSDT. This UEFI hot patch method will make your Dell perform better, use less energy and also make it less likely to suffer issues with macOS updates. I’d like to say thanks and commend Sniki for helping me in the process of learning this and providing lots of valuable feedback and support throughout the process.
Why should I buy a Pre-Built Dell Computer that was new in 2013 ?
  • The Dell Optiplex 7010 or 9010 is the perfect "starter" hackintosh
If you are new to hackintoshing and macOS, this is the best way to get an affordable and fully working system. Since these are older PCs, the prices have come down to a level anyone can afford. If you shop around for a good deal you can find a Core i7-3770 Dell Optiplex for under $200. If you only need an i5 CPU those go for about $110 to $130.
  • It's also a nearly perfect fit for macOS High Sierra or Mojave
You don't need any previous experience with PC building or even installing macOS on a PC. All of the hard work of figuring out how to install and run macOS has already been done for you. Just follow this guide and in a few hours you've got a working CustoMac. You can do most things you could with a 2018 Mac mini. Thunderbolt 3 upgrades are not possible.
  • It has all that you need for a system that performs as well as many newer CustoMacs do
With an i7-3770 CPU, 16 GB of ram and a 550 MB/s Sata SSD installed you won't be able to tell the difference between this and a newer 4 core Kaby Lake system. You also have the option to add in supported AMD graphics cards. See post #2.
  • It's much better for the environment to buy used/refurbished
When you buy used, you don't contribute more to the massive amount of e-waste created during the past three decades. These are EPEAT Gold rated. Most come with an 80+ Gold PSU. If you get a PSU that is not 80+ Gold you can easily buy one on Ebay. Buy a refurbished Dell and you'll be saving money and helping to preserve the environment at the same time.

Graphics Options
If you buy an Optiplex with HD4000 graphics then you can use any form factor. You'll need to connect your monitor via one of the two onboard DP outputs. There are five Ivy Bridge CPUs you can use in your Dell Optiplex desktop that have the HD4000 graphics built in to the CPU. i3-3225 - i3-3245 - i5-3475S - i7-3770S - i7-3770. Do not try to use the i7-3770K in the 7010 or 9010. It produces too much heat and the BIOS doesn't let you overclock it anyway.

Most 7010/9010s shipped with the i5-3470 or the i7-3770. The 3470 has only the unsupported HD2500 graphics. It is easy to swap that out for an HD4000 CPU if you'd like to. The USFF model has no PCIe x16 slot. Therefore your CPU must have HD4000 graphics if you want working video. You'll need to purchase a Displayport to HDMI cable or get an adapter if your monitor only has HDMI inputs. 15 pin VGA is not supported. You can use a DP to VGA adapter for older monitors.

Using a Full Height Graphics Card
The Mini-Tower version allows you to use a replacement standard ATX power supply with a 24 pin power connector. This gives you the option to use more powerful PSUs that have supplemental 6 and 8 pin power connectors. You can easily use a mini-itx sized RX 570 with the right power supply upgrade to a 450W or higher model. Your graphics card length can be up to about 7.5 inches (19cm). If longer it will run into sata connector ports. It is probably best to go with 7 inch Mini-ITX versions of the RX 570 or GTX 1060 if you want more graphics power for gaming in Windows. This MT version is the only one of the four Optiplex form factors that gives you the option to use a full height dedicated graphics card. Click Here to view some of your best choices from a list of High Sierra and Mojave compatible graphics cards.

Two Important Preliminary Steps
1. Replace the Existing Thermal Paste on the CPU IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader)
Even if you bought your Dell from a professional refurbisher, it's highly unlikely that they took the time to replace the thermal compound between the CPU and heatsink. After five or six years, it needs to have the old compound removed and a fresh coat applied. Use 99% isopropyl alcohol and some guaze pads to remove it. Then apply some new paste like the Arctic MX4 which is available on Amazon or Newegg. If you don't have experience doing this look for some online video tutorials that show you how. Especially important if you buy the i7-3770 CPU version of the Optiplex. A new coat of thermal paste will help keep temps much lower when you are pushing your CPU during gaming or video/photo editing.

2. Replace the CMOS Battery
The CMOS battery in these is likely have lost it's ability to hold a charge. These Dells are at least 5 years old so it's a good idea to replace it. My USFF and SFF model both had a battery like this. I kept getting a black screen at boot up on my 7010, was not able to even access the BIOS until I removed the battery for a minute and replaced it. Replace it with a fresh new one before you make the BIOS changes in step 1. Once you remove it from your board, all BIOS setting changes will be lost and you'll have to reapply them. See the following post for more on this topic. CMOS battery failure If you buy the USFF form factor, replace the thermal compound at the same time. You'll have to completely remove the CPU heatsink anyway just to get access to the CMOS battery in the 7010 or 9010 USFF Dell Optiplex.

Available at
2 Pack or 5 Pack
Installation Tips

If your Dell has any kind of wireless adapter installed (USB, PCIe or Mini PCIe) remove it before attempting the installation of macOS. Use Ethernet until after you've got everything else working properly. Then you can work on Wifi function after that. If you are unfamiliar with any of the terminology used here, please consult the tonymacx86 CustoMac Glossary for a clear and concise definition of the various acronyms and hardware components mentioned in this guide. You can also find the Dell 7010/9010 technical manuals attached below. Refer to those for specs and hardware upgrades.

This guide is complete in and of itself. Don't mix parts of or techniques from other guides. Even from ones for this same hardware. The only other guide you'll need to look at is the Unibeast creation guide if that is new to you. There's a guide in step seven (for Messages and Facetime) that is located in the General Help section of this site. Use only the RehabMan version of Clover in step #4. Versions downloaded elsewhere will not work with this guide.

Seven Step Dell CustoMac Mini Guide

Step 1. Update your BIOS and Adjust the Settings for UEFI Booting
You can do this from right within Windows by double clicking on the .exe file. This will initiate the flashing process. Make sure you have IE or Edge set as your default browser. If you don't have access to a Windows drive simply create a DOS bootable USB on a PC and boot from that and flash the BIOS. Rufus works well to make a DOS USB. If you do not have access to a Windows machine then try the Etcher App and FreeDOS LITE to create the USB on a Mac or CustoMac.

BIOS Downloads available here: 7010 BIOS ver. A29 -- 9010 BIOS ver. A30

Run the BIOS update utility from a DOS environment in Legacy Boot Mode
  1. Copy the downloaded BIOS file to a bootable DOS USB key.
  2. Power on the system, then Press F12 key and Select "USB Storage Device" and Boot to DOS prompt.
  3. Run the file by typing the copied file name where the executable is located.
  4. DOS System will auto restart and update the BIOS.
  5. After BIOS update finishes, the system will auto reboot for it to take effect.
Setting up the Dell BIOS (Tap on the F2 key at boot up to access)

Load Optimized Defaults after you've flashed the BIOS and before you make any other changes to it.
There is a "Load Defaults" tab in the lower central part of the window. Click on that and then click Apply.

Go to Boot Sequence and set the Boot List Option to UEFI. Under Advanced Boot Options leave the Legacy Option ROMs box unchecked unless you have an older graphics card without UEFI capability. For example a GTX 650 by Nvidia which is only Legacy capable. The GT 710 and all 10 series Pascal cards have UEFI capability. Also leave Legacy Option ROMs unchecked if you are using built in HD4000 graphics. Under System Configuration disable the Serial Port.

Secure boot is disabled by default. SATA Operation should be set to AHCI by default. Check both of these and if they are set to anything else, change them. If you don't plan on ever booting your Dell remotely, change Integrated NIC to Enabled instead of Enabled w/PXE. If your CPU has HD4000 and you have no dedicated graphics, leave the Primary Display set to Auto. If you have installed an AMD or Nvidia card select that under Video -> Primary Display

Summary of BIOS Settings Changes


Boot Sequence -> Boot List Option -> UEFI​
Advanced Boot Options -> Uncheck - Enable Legacy Option ROMs
System Configuration
Serial Port -> Disabled​
Sata Operation -> AHCI​
Integrated NIC -> Enabled​
Primary Display -> Auto (For HD4000)​
If using a graphics card -> Nvidia or AMD HD Graphics​
BIOS Settings Screenshots: Click here to view the the Suggested BIOS settings changes.

January 2019 - Revision II of the Guide

A macOS High Sierra or Mojave Clean Install is Mandatory

Q. I’m on High Sierra right now. Should I upgrade through Software Update or the Mac App Store to get Mojave installed ?

A. This will likely not work well if you attempt an in place upgrade to Mojave and want to apply this new guide to your Dell Optiplex. Start with a clean install on your original boot drive or better yet, use a second SSD/HDD to start fresh with this guide. You’ll format your macOS system drive in Disk Utility before installing the OS. Follow all the steps exactly as they’re presented here and you’ll have a fully working, fully optimized Dell Optiplex CustoMac.

Download links for Unibeast High Sierra
or Mojave

Q. The new version of this guide uses Mac mini 6,1 or 6,2 instead of iMac 13,2 SMBIOS. Can I continue to use 13,2 instead ?

A. It's best to use Mac mini 6,1 or 6,2 due to USB problems that are related to using iMac 13,2 with this hardware. I won't go into the technical reasons here. You can read more about this in post #406 by Sniki Click here to view

You will generate a new and unique serial number in Step 7. This will be perfectly matched to a 2012 Mac mini model.

Steps 2-5 Are Completely Revised - Read Carefully
Step 2. Create your Unibeast Installer for UEFI Booting
Download macOS from the Mac App Store on a real Mac (2012 or newer) or a CustoMac running at least 10.8.5 Mountain Lion. Leave the macOS installer in Applications. Create your Unibeast installer by following the standard guide for this. There is one critical step to remember when formatting your USB or other drives in Disk Utility. Always click View and then Show All Devices instead of leaving it at "Show Only Volumes."



After you "show all devices" you'll see your USB's name, click on it then erase it in Disk Utility. I used a Samsung drive.

Once creation of the Unibeast installer has completed, you will need to replace the Unibeast created config.plist with a Custom one attached below. Do this before ejecting the Unibeast installer or you'll have to mount the EFI manually later.

A. There will be an external drive on your desktop that represents the Unibeast USB's EFI partition

B. Double click that EFI drive icon to open it up​
C. Now open the EFI folder and then the Clover folder inside of that​
D. Download the Custom Clover config.plist (zip file) (attached at the end of this post)​
E. Delete the existing config.plist and then add in the new Custom one you just downloaded​
F. Open up the kexts/other folder and drag and drop the Release version USBInjectAll.kext into that folder​
G. Download "SSDTs Dell Optiplex" zip file from the end of this post and copy and paste all​
of those files in that folder to the /Clover/ACPI/patched folder in the EFI partition of your USB.​
H. Finally, download the HFSPlus.efi file and place it in the drivers64UEFI folder​
Step 3. Install High Sierra or Mojave
A. First, disconnect the Sata data cables from any Windows or Linux drives you may have in your Dell.​
B. Put your Unibeast installer into a front USB port. Either a USB 2 or 3 port should work.​
C. Boot UEFI from the Unibeast installer (tap on the F12 key at boot up).
Always boot in Verbose mode during the install. It helps you see the exact place where a kernel panic may occur. If all you see is a progress bar, you'll have no idea. Get to the Boot Manager screen by pressing the spacebar on your keyboard at the Clover Boot Menu screen. Then place a checkmark in the Verbose (-v) box.


The initial boot from your Unibeast drive to the macOS installer is very slow. Be patient and let everything happen in it's own time. Follow the tonymacx86 guide for formatting the hard drive you will be installing on. Use GUID Partition table and Mac OS Extended Journaled as your choices in Disk Utility.

There will be 3 to 4 automatic reboots after you agree to terms and start the install to your hard drive. The progress bar may only go about 1/4 of the way across, then a reboot happens. That is normal for this part of the install. Let this process happen without interference. Select the hard drive you are installing to in the Clover Boot menu each time it reboots. If it stops at the "Install macOS Mojave" USB icon in the boot menu i.e. your Unibeast installer drive, use your keyboard's arrow key to select the other drive.

If you've followed this guide verbatim up to this point, you should reach the "select country" screen part of the initial setup. Choose your region, your keyboard, etc. but do not sign in to iCloud at this time. Choose Setup Later instead. Signing into iCloud registers the serial number of the computer, this serial number will change in Post-Installation, which will then result in two new systems being registered in iCloud. So skip iCloud sign-in until post-installation is done and you've rebooted after Step 7 is completed.

After you've created your Admin account you will reach the macOS desktop.

D. Now open up Terminal and copy/paste this text into it and hit enter:
sudo spctl --master-disable
This allows you to run various apps we'll use later that are not signed by Apple.

Optional: While you have Terminal open you can also disable Hibernation and recover some disk space.
Enter the following one line at a time. (Hit the return/enter key after each line)
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo rm /var/vm/sleepimage
sudo mkdir /var/vm/sleepimage
To complete step #3 you should eject your Unibeast installer as you won't need it for steps 4 and 5. In those two steps you'll do everything needed to enable booting directly from your system drive, not Unibeast. Keep your Unibeast installer handy if you ever need it for recovery. When your system won't boot you'll be able to easily boot to the desktop from that.

Step 4. Install and Configure Clover

Link to get the newest RM version
(r4701) of Clover:
A. Double click the Clover package to open it and then click through the prompts to agree to terms.​
B. Once you reach "Desination Select" choose the hard drive you formatted for the install.​
C. Now click "Continue", after this step, click on "Customize" as seen in the screenshot below:​

D. Next select the appropriate configuration. Clover for UEFI booting only + Install Clover in the ESP
E. Under Themes, drill down and select only "BGM" (Black Green Moody) for installation purposes. It's the theme that is set on the config.plist which will be needed for installation. After you are done with installation, you can change the theme to anything else that you like. The Clover Theme Manager is an optional install choice.​

F. Click Install. The appropriate UEFI drivers have already been selected for you. You can also select​
Filevault 2 UEFI Drivers pre-install if you plan on using the Filevault 2 features in macOS.​
Step 5. Install Three Essential Kexts + AppleALC and Lilu + WEG to /Library/Extensions


Link to get the Kextbeast app from Downloads:
Links to download the essential kexts (release version)
Use the USBInjectAll kext (release version) as well that you have previously downloaded.

AppleALC and Lilu Kexts + WhateverGreen
If you'd like to use the builtin ALC269 audio, install the AppleALC 1.3.5 and Lilu 1.3.3 kexts to /L/E.
Include Whatevergreen (WEG) as well to support your Intel graphics and/or AMD or Nvidia card.

Find all of these attached below. Use only these two versions of AppleALC and Lilu together and
don't mix other release versions with either of these, it won't work.

After download, place them on the desktop as well.

A. Now you are ready to run Kextbeast and install all of these kexts to /L/E​
Make sure to put the checkmark in the tiny box to the left of /Library/Extentsions.​
NOTES: Kextbeast will install every kext that is on your desktop. Make sure only the ones​
you want installed are on the desktop before running the Kextbeast application.​
B. Download Kext Utility (attached below) Run it to repair permissions and rebuild caches​
You'll know it is finished when you see the quit button appear in the lower right of the window.​
Do not drag and drop the kexts into the open window of Kext Utility as it suggests. Just let it run.​
If you were to do this you'll have kexts installed to /S/L/E. Where you should not place them.​

Go to Finder Preferences and put a checkmark next to Hard Disks


While your system drive's EFI partition is still mounted, go to the EFI folder and open it, then open the Clover folder.
C. Download the Dell Optiplex SSDTs from the zip file at the bottom of this post.​
D. Go to /EFI/Clover/ACPI/patched - copy and paste all of the files from that SSDT folder into the patched folder​
E. Drag and drop the HFSPlus.efi file into the /Clover/Drivers64UEFI folder (it is also attached below)​
F. Once again, add the Custom Clover config.plist (attached below) to your Clover folder after deleting the existing one. (This config.plist has Audio layout-id set to 21. Make sure to use the latest kexts: AppleALC 1.3.5 and Lilu 1.3.3)​
Nvidia Drivers for a High Sierra Installation
If your Nvidia graphics card is not supported by the drivers in macOS High Sierra (Maxwell/Pascal based cards) GeForce GT 1030, GTX 1050, 1050 Ti, 1060, 1070, 1070 Ti or GeForce GTX 750, 750 Ti, 950, 960, 970, 980 graphics cards, alternate NVIDIA drivers are required. Download the correct Nvidia Web driver for your build of macOS. Download it here Open the installer package and click through the prompts to install the drivers. Remember that there are no new Nvidia Drivers for Mojave so don't install the High Sierra versions if you are installing Mojave. Get a Metal 2 capable graphics card by AMD or a GT 710 by Nvidia (see post #2) if you don't have HD4000 and want to run Mojave on your Dell.
Step 6. Onboard Realtek ALC269 Audio via the AppleALC + Lilu Method
This AppleALC method gives you a working front headphone jack and rear line out jack via ALC269. The mic jacks are also functional. When using these kexts you will get the best audio output possible from your Dell. VoodooHDA used to be a part of this guide. Since AppleALC and Lilu work so well now, don't even consider using the VoodooHDA anymore. You have already installed these two kexts in step number five. If you are using dedicated graphics, AMD or Nvidia, it's highly suggested that you also install the WhateverGreen kext. (This was also mentioned in step #5 earlier)

A. Eject Unibeast (if you didn't do this earlier) and reboot your system.​
You should now be able to boot from your High Sierra or Mojave system drive instead of from the Unibeast USB. Once at the desktop check to make sure that everything is working. Audio should now be enabled so check the sound preferences. Plug in some headphones or speakers and see if you get any sound from them.​

Step 7. Implement the iMessage Guide and Generate a Unique Serial Number
It is important to do this before you sign in to iCloud and the Mac App Store the first time. You will do this through the Clover Configurator application. Clover Configurator Global Edition P1LGRIM's guide gives you step by step directions for doing this. You won't want to be using the serial number from any Mac computer that is in Apple's database. Read the guide carefully and implement each step. If you are using an i3 or i5 CPU select Mac Mini 6,1 if you have an i7-3770 then select Mac Mini 6,2 as your SMBIOS. Link to the guide: iMessage Guide to enable Messages and Facetime

SMBIOS tab in Clover Configurator
I highly suggest that you go through the full iMessage Guide. Doing so will make your CustoMac function normally with most all Apple services. If you choose to skip the iMessage guide completely because you don't use that service or FaceTime, you should still perform these these four simple steps in the SMBIOS section of Clover Configurator after you have mounted your EFI and opened up the /EFI/Clover/config.plist on your system drive. (make sure the "Trust" box is check marked, not Mobile)


Once you've finished those three steps in CC, click on the Check Coverage Tab (on the right just below the Mac mini icon)


Next, enter the Captcha code info. Press Continue. You should see the following response from Apple: That your Mac mini serial number is not valid. (means no real Mac uses the exact same serial) This is exactly what you want to see.

Reboot your System
Eject your Unibeast Installer if you haven't already.
You should now be able to boot from your High Sierra or Mojave system drive instead of from the Unibeast USB. Once at the desktop check to make sure that everything is working. Audio should now be enabled. Check the sound preferences. Plug in some headphones or speakers and see if you get any sound from them. Now you can sign into iCloud and set that up according to your needs. Test out Facetime and iMessage/Messages. Everything should work normally.

Concluding Options: Final Three Steps Post Installation
Create an SSDT for CPU Power Management
Simply follow the tonymacx86 guide and place the ssdt.aml in the Clover/ACPI/patched folder on your system drive. Click here to see the guide If you already have an SSDT created for your i3, i5 or i7 CPU in High Sierra or Sierra use that. Drag and drop the file into the /Clover/ACPI/patched folder along with all the other SSDTs.

Dual Boot with Windows 7, 8.1 or 10
See the UEFI Dual Booting Guide: Note: when installing High Sierra or Mojave APFS you should not install Windows on that drive.

Use your IGPU in Headless Mode in Conjuction with a Graphics Card
Moderator jaymonkey has written a guide that will help you do this. Should work whether you have HD2500 or HD4000.
It can be helpful to enable this if you plan on working with video and photo editing on your Dell Optiplex CustoMac.
Pay close attention to the suggested changes you'll need to make to your config.plist for this to work on your system.
Link to the guide by jay: Guide to Lilu and it's Plugins

Free Hackintosh Insurance Policy
If anything goes wrong with your install of macOS and you need to be back up and running again quickly, prepare a bootable clone of your system drive once everything works. Either purchase a new 120GB SSD or use an older but still functional mechanical drive to do this. You can use CCC or Super Duper or even Acronis True Image as shown below.
Important Final Step: Backup your working EFI folder and make a clone of your System drive
Put a copy of your finalized EFI folder onto your Unibeast installer USB. That way you can easily replace it if your config.plist or anything else gets corrupted. You can also make a complete Clone of your system drive by using Acronis True Image after you have everything installed and working exactly the way you want it. Use Kyhi's WinPE boot USB. Using Acronis True Image this way is completely free. Click the link below for the guide on this.

Three Important Points to Remember

1. When you are installing kexts and not using Multibeast, you'll need to use Kextbeast 2.0.2 to install them to /L/E. After that you should run Kext Utility to repair permissions and rebuild caches.

2. The SSDTs and Clover Config.plist attached below are designed to work together. If you use just one or the other individually it will create problems and you won't have a fully functional and stable system. Follow this guide exactly as presented here for the best results. Don't mix in other kexts or make modifications to the config.plist that are unnecessary.

3. This is Revision II of the guide. The posts in this thread from #6 through #412 (July 2018 through January 2019) are related to the first version of this guide. Most of those problems have been resolved with changes to the guide. The issues you'll see reported there should no longer apply to your install of High Sierra or Mojave.


Last edited:


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Hardware Choices and Upgrades for Your Dell Optiplex

There are six non-K CPUs you can get with HD4000 (compatible) on board (CPU) graphics


If yours has Intel HD2500 (i3-3220 or i5-3470) you can either
use a dedicated graphics card or replace it with the following:

HD 4000 Graphics

Intel Core i7-3770 / Intel Core i7-3770S

Intel Core i5-3475S / Intel Core i5-3335S

Intel Core i3-3245 / Intel Core i3-3225

Best to choose an Optiplex with HD4000 CPU Graphics
(The S versions are clocked lower, run cooler)

When using HD4000 Always Connect via DisplayPort (not VGA)


DP to HDMI Cable --


Dedicated Graphics Cards for your Dell Optiplex

Gigabyte GT 1030 2GB LP
(Fits in the MT / DT and SFF Models)


If you have a 4K monitor and want to get a 60Hz refresh rate
then purchase the MSI Version of the GT 1030 (has DP output)

EVGA GTX 1060 3GB (Good for 1440p Gaming or Ultra settings at 1080p) Newegg

You will need to replace the OEM PSU in the Optiplex Mini-Tower
with one rated 400W or more to use a 1060 like the one below
Note that both Nvidia Cards shown above will need the Nvidia Web drivers installed
after you have installed macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 on your new CustoMac

The Following Cards are all Mojave Compatible
Zotac GT 710 2GB DDR3 LP Nvidia Card

Low cost, fanless, Mojave Compatible Graphics Card
Versions with GDDR5 memory will also work with Mojave
MSI AMD RX560 LP 4GB (Best for video/photo editing)
Will fit in the SFF, Desktop or Mini-Tower versions of the Dell Optiplex.

LP version has native support in macOS 10.13.4+ Great for a single 4K monitor via DP output.
The LP RX560 will fit in the Small Form Factor 7010 or 9010. Not much room for airflow though. /

Below is a picture of a dual slot, low profile card installed in an SFF Optiplex 7010


The next two cards fit in the Mini-Tower only

MSI RX 560 Gaming Aero 4GB
Apple recommends this for the 2010-12 Mac Pro

Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 570 Mini 4GB

Natively supported in macOS HS 10.13.4 +

You'll want to avoid older Nvidia cards that require Inject Nvidia=True to work

I tested my MSI GT640 and Asus GT210 cards but failed to even reach the installer.
If you use these you'll constantly get the Mach Reboot error at boot up. Not sure why.

If you already have a mATX or larger case, PSU and a hard drive, you can simply
buy the CPU, Dell Motherboard, heatsink and ram for only about 70 US dollars.
Click this link to see how to do that

Sata Power Y Splitter Cables from Amazon

Link to the Sata Power Cables

If you use the stock Dell PSU you may not have enough Sata power connectors
for all of your drives. This is a simple and inexpensive solution to that problem.

Using 3rd party 3 or 4 pin Case or CPU Fans in your Dell Optiplex

Unfortunately these Dells have proprietary 5 pin fan headers on the motherboard.


There are some 5 to 4 pin fan connector cables you can buy inexpensively on
The cost is about 4 USD shipped. Buy a few to use any standard fans in your Optiplex.

As you can see below the yellow and black cables are switched back and the
fifth "dummy" pin (5) is left out altogether. I used one for my CPU fan. It won't
give you true PWM function but this is better than using a stock Dell fan that is noisy.

Link to the Dell fan converter cables on Ebay

Replacement 80 mm PWM Fan for stock Dell Heatsink

If the stock Dell 80 mm fan is too noisy buy this to replace it

Here is a 520/620W Seasonic PSU that you can use to replace the OEM Dell in the Mini-Tower version

M12II Modular Power Supply by Seasonic

Whichever PSU you choose it should be 5.9 inches (150mm) in length from front to back. From where the power cord plugs in to where the cables come out the back. Install it with the fan facing down towards the bottom of the MT case.

2 x 4GB DDR3 Ram Upgrade Kit

These are available refurbished or new on for about 40 USD
Best to stay with either Hynix or Samsung branded ram for your Dell

TP-Link Archer T6E AC1300 PCIe Wireless Adapter
If you need just Wifi (no BT) for your Dell CustoMac mini and you have the Optiplex SFF, DT, or MT model this is one of the best and simplest solutions. Works OOB and no need to install any drivers, kexts or software. Should work in any of your PCIe slots. You can find it on Amazon and many other online retailers.



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Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
BIOS Settings for Dell Optiplex UEFI Booting
UEFI.jpg Legacy_Option_Roms.jpg

Serial Port Disable.jpg AHCI.jpg

Integrated NIC.jpg Secure Boot.jpg


Primary Display Settings for HD 4000 or a dedicated graphics card.

Dell Optiplex 7010/9010 Default BIOS Settings
Click on the image to Enlarge

Optiplex 7010 BIOS Defaults.jpg

Optiplex 7010 BIOS Defaults 2.jpg

Dell Optiplex 7010/9010 Motherboards

Optiplex 9010 Motherboard.jpg

Optiplex 9010 MT - Click to Enlarge

Above you can see the excellent build quality of these Optiplex Motherboards.

Note the standard 24 Pin Power Connector, 4 Sata ports and USB 3 on the MT board.
The SFF and DT models have 3 Sata ports but still have the 24 Pin Power connector.
The USFF models do not have 24 pin power and only 2 Sata ports onboard to utilize.

Each form factor has at least 2 Sata 3.0 ports that you can use for dual booting SSDs.

Sata 3 Ports.jpg

What can I expect in a performance improvement over the Late 2012 Mac mini ?
A core i7-3770 CustoMac mini should beat the highest end 2012 Mac mini by over 1500 points in multicore and nearly 440 points in single core performance. HD4000 graphics in either one perform the same.

AppleMacMini_6_2.jpg CustoMac_Mini_6_2.jpg

Purchase your Dell 7010/9010 Optiplex Desktop
Here are some buying options on Newegg and Amazon. Lots of choices and various prices due to a huge supply of these.

Optiplex 7010 buying options on
9010 buying options on

Remember that the majority of i3 and i5 CPUs installed in these Optiplex models at the factory do not have HD4000 integrated graphics. In that case you will need a compatible dedicated graphics card. HD2500 graphics do not have support in macOS High Sierra.

Best MT/3770 price at Amazon right now.

Standard SFF/3770 version at for $250 USD
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Nov 6, 2015
HP EliteBook 8570p
Intel Core i5-3320M
AMD Radeon HD 7570M (1920x1080)
Thanks man. I'm test in my desktop DELL 9010 USFF with i5-3475s, HD4000


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Time for an Update
I've installed High Sierra 10.13.6 on my USFF Dell 7010 and everything is fully working. Sleep and wake, USB 3.0 ports all work at full USB 3.0 speeds. I'm using AppleALC and Lilu kext to enable the ALC269 audio. It runs cool and quiet and boots up fast. Very happy with the results of this build. Note that the monitor colors and picture quality (in the pic below) are degraded by the poor quality LED lighting in the ceiling of my basement where this pic was taken. I'll try to update with one in natural lighting later on.

DP/HDMI audio will work through your monitor or television's speakers if you use AppleALC +Lilu method for audio. To get that working via AppleALC method just select that option in Step 6 as shown in the Guide in post #1.

This build consists of an HP 27" monitor, Dell Optiplex 7010 running macOS High Sierra along with an Apple keyboard and trackpad. Total cost was well under $350 for the whole system. Sure beats paying $1799 or more for a new iMac that is sealed up and extremely difficult to upgrade. What I like the most is having front USB 3.0 ports and not needing to use a USB hub the way most iMac users do. The Dell 7010 is not quite as small and quiet as a Mac Mini but it sure is a lot faster and costs a lot less. Let's see what Apple does with the next rumored Mac Mini upgrade. Read an excerpt from the Bloomberg story here

DSCN0035 2.JPG

Above: I installed a blank, black cover in the DVD drive's place as I rarely use DVDs anymore

Here is a look at the inside of the 7010 USFF Version with the DVD/HDD tray removed
The PSU is 80+ Gold and is rated at 200W! Way more than is needed for this PC
I have an Atheros AR9280 Wifi card installed, works natively with High Sierra


The CPU fan even looks like something you'd find in an iMac or Mac Mini


The heatsink and heat pipes are all 100% Copper, they didn't go cheap here !​
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Nov 2, 2016
Mobile Phone
Machine I have: Dell Optiplex 7010 MT, i7-3770 CPU, 12 GB RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970 OC GPU.

I did this installation on my previous HP Elite 8300 SFF, without problems.

But now I am totally clueless.
1. I set up the UEFI
2. Created the installer with Unibeast (for 10.13.6)
3. Booted into the installer with Clover using verbose mode (well sometimes it hung up at different places, but lets say it worked every 3rd-4th time) from the USB 2.0 port (success from front and from the back)
4. I even installed it (strange thing: with HD4000 it rebooted only when finished with loading something, with the GTX 970 it rebooted one more when it said 12 more minutes left and then it continued after I reached the installer again)
5. This is the strange part: at the language selection with the GTX 970 it hangs, cannot move the wired mouse and keyboard, which I could do when I installed with only the HD4000).

So, I had success installing it with only the iGP, but no luck with the GTX 970. Any ideas?

Should I install it with only the CPU then put the GPU back inside?


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Should I install it with only the CPU then put the GPU back inside?
Yes, it always works best using the HD4000 instead of dedicated graphics. I had the same issue with using keyboard and mouse at the language selection screen. I just kept rebooting till the USB ports worked, eventually they did. You could put a generic usb kext into kexts/other on your unibeast installer and see if that helps.

I didn't need it to finish the install. Maybe I should add that to the guide. The 8300 Elite never has these issues, too bad it's so difficult to upgrade the PSU in those.
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Nov 2, 2016
Mobile Phone
Yes, it always works best using the HD4000 instead of dedicated graphics. I had the same issue with using keyboard and mouse at the language selection screen. I just kept rebooting till the USB ports worked, eventually they did. You could put a generic usb kext into kexts/other on your unibeast installer and see if that helps.

I didn't need it to finish the install. Maybe I should add that to the guide. The 8300 Elite never has these issues, too bad it's so difficult to upgrade the PSU in those.
Okay, I'll start rebooting continuously (max. 20 times, then I try the kext thing) :D One thing is for sure, the mouse and the keyboard gets current, the LEDs are glowing.

The PSU...that was the only cause I switched. Well, one of two, the second was your excellent thread :)


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Okay, I'll start rebooting continuously (max. 20 times, then I try the kext thing) :D One thing is for sure, the mouse and the keyboard gets current, the LEDs are glowing.

The PSU...that was the only cause I switched. Well, one of two, the second was your excellent thread :)
Did you go with Dell instead of HP to be able game with the 970 ? If so which PSU upgrade are you using ?


Jul 31, 2012
HD4600 / RX 570
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
I'm using a Dell Optiplex 7010 USFF with an I5-3475s as a Mac Mini replacement. It really works quite well and only cost me about $100 to buy and configure it. No way to find a quad core i5 Mac Mini at anywhere near $100 these days. Best one could do is a Core2Duo 2010 model that is slow as molasses in January when outdoor temps are well below zero.

My Optiplex included the COA sticker for a Win7 Pro license which can be upgraded for free to a Win10 Pro license. That is worth at least a hundred dollars should I ever want to use Win10 for some reason. I'm not dual booting but it's very easy to do that.

Here is the total i5-3475S CPU power draw and temperature at idle. Less than 4W of power usage and a temp of 32C !
I'm using a custom SSDT for the CPU power management.

Idle CPU power draw.png
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