- May 29, 2013
- Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
- i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.1GHz
- Radeon VII
- Classic Mac
- , ,
- Mobile Phone
pastrychef's $62 Dell OptiPlex 3050 Clunker
i3-6100 - RX 560
i3-6100 - RX 560
Dell OptiPlex 3050 MT (B250 chipset)
Apple BRCM94360CSAX w/ PCI-e adaptor
Over the last few years, I've accrued a fair number of spare parts, and I realized that I had an i3-6100, RAM, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card, and an Nvidia GT 640 sitting around doing nothing. So, I decided to see if I could find a bare bones Dell or HP on eBay and scored on a Dell OptiPlex 3050 that was pretty dinged up for $62. That included the dinged up case, power supply, heatsink, and motherboard. Not bad for a relatively recent (mine was manufactured September 2017) system.
When it arrived, I found that it wasn't in nearly as bad a shape as I was expecting, and it just took a little bending to put everything back in to shape and some wiping brought it back to respectability. There are still scratches, but they don't bother me. First two are the "Before" pictures and the last two are the "After".
I proceeded to install the components which only took a few minutes. However, when I tried to fire her up, I got nothing but a black screen and orange blinking light on the power button... Of course, the first thing that came to mind was that I got a lemon... Fortunately, I had enough sense to search and found out that the blinking orange lights were diagnostic codes! Further searching revealed that the computer was telling me my RAM is bad. One of the damned Samsung sticks bit the dust... Once I removed it, the system booted right up.
Next up was to install macOS. I just took the EFI folder from my Z370 build, made a few minor adjustments, and tried to install. Due to the inability to set DVMT prealloc in BIOS, trying to install with IGPU enabled was a no-go. I kept getting the dreaded gIOScreenLockState 3. Fortunately, I have a GT 640 which is a Kepler card and has native macOS Mojave support. So, I disabled the IGPU and installation went without hitch.
Once macOS was installed, I was able to re-enable the IGPU and use it headlessly. This means things like AirPlay mirroring, HEVC, etc., are all working.
Unfortunately, the motherboard audio out isn't working, but HDMI audio is working perfectly which is more important to me on this system. The on-board audio is now working as of EFI r3. As expected, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth are working OOB since I'm using an Apple branded card.
I picked up a used PowerColor RX 560 DHV2/OC from eBay for $70. I chose this card over other RX 560s for no reason other than it happened to be the least expensive one I found at the time. Works great in macOS and Windows.
General > Boot Sequence > UEFI
System Configuration > Serial Port > Disabled
System Configuration > SATA Operation > AHCI
- Create a USB installer. Apple provides instructions on how to do it here.
- Download and copy the attached EFI folder to the EFI partition of your USB installer.
- Install macOS.
- Copy the attached EFI folder to the EFI partition of your main system drive.
The attached EFI folder works because I have included the DVMT Prealloc patch (all credit goes to RehabMan for the patch). This means that the EFI folder can be used whether you use IGPU alone without a dedicated graphics card or with a dedicated graphics card.
Warning if you intend to use the HD 530 only and without a dedicated graphics card: In my testing, my system did not offer 4K resolutions and/or HiDPI resolutions when using HD 530 only. EDID injection may be required to get 4K to work. I will test more as time permits. In the meantime, I was running at non-HiDPI 1080p resolution on my 4K monitor. This is not an issue when using a dedicated graphics card.
HDMI audio works OOB with either HD 530 only or with dedicated graphics card.
macOS only sees 14 USB ports on the OptiPlex 3050. Therefore, there's no need for any 15 port limit patches and/or fixes!
- Sleep/Wake (when using HD 530 only or with dedicated graphics card)
- On-board audio
- HDMI audio (both with HD 530 and dedicated graphics card)
- Built-in speaker for Startup Chime
- 4K and HiDPI resolutions when using HD 530 only
On-board ALC3234 (ALC255) audio. (I tested all suggested audio-IDs with no success. I did not test VoodooHDA but it should work.).Audio is now working perfectly with AppleALC as of EFI r3.
- Continuity/Handoff (I don't expect any problems with this. I just don't want another system registered with my AppleID for Messages so did not test)
So, the system is up and running now. But running with just one stick of 4GB RAM is really torture. I get in to beach ball hell with just two or three Safari tabs open. The only other thing that I wanted to spend on this was maybe a more modern video card, but it looks like RAM will be an inevitability... Having just 4GB of RAM is so bad that I can't even post benchmark results that would accurately represent it's performance.
One thing that I was not able to confirm from reading posts throughout the forum was whether or not sleep/wake is now working on HD 530. Back when I put together my first hackintosh, HD 530 prevented wake, and I never read about any fix. I'm happy to see that it's working really well now.
I previously had an HP ProDesk 600 G2. Between that and this Dell OptiPlex, I would have to say that the Dell is much more hackintosh friendly. Both systems are good examples that with a bit of good bargain hunting, you can put together relatively modern systems with very little money. Skylake is one generation removed and Kaby Lake is still the current iMac model that Apple is selling. A couple of months back, I even managed to get an i7-6700 engineering sample for just $50.
I will try to work on the two remaining "not working" issues as time permits. Neither are major concerns for me since I will be using a dedicated video card and HDMI audio is all I need since it will be connected to my TV. Actually, it will probably spend more time in Windows than macOS since I want to use this for emulation gaming.
Update #1 November 22, 2019:
Updated EFI to r2. Catalina ready.
Update #2 December 23, 2019:
Updated EFI to r3. Audio ports are now all working!
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