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pastrychef's $62 OptiPlex 3050 Clunker - i3-6100 - RX 560

pastrychef

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Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
8,884
Motherboard
Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 + UHD 630
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
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iOS
pastrychef's $62 OptiPlex 3050 Clunker
i3-6100 - RX 560

Components
OptiPlex 3050 MT (B250 chipset)​
Already Owned
i3-6100​
8GB 4GB RAM (foiled by shoddy Samsung quality again...)​
GT 640 (Kepler based) PowerColor RX 560 DHV2/OC​
Apple BRCM94360CSAX w/ PCI-e adaptor​


Comments
The Story
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 barebones 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".​
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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. As expected, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth are working OOB since I'm using an Apple branded card.​
Update:​
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.​



Installation
BIOS Settings
General > Boot Sequence > UEFI​
System Configuration > Serial Port > Disabled​
System Configuration > SATA Operation > AHCI​

  1. Create a USB installer. Apple provides instructions on how to do it here.
  2. Download and copy the attached EFI folder to the EFI partition of your USB installer.
  3. Install macOS.
  4. 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!​


What works
  • Sleep/Wake (when using HD 530 only or with dedicated graphics card)
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
  • Ethernet
  • HDMI audio (both with HD 530 and dedicated graphics card)
  • FileVault
  • Built-in speaker for Startup Chime
  • AirPlay
  • HEVC
  • AirDrop
What doesn't work
  • 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.)
Not tested
  • 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)
Epilogue
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 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.​
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pastrychef

Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
8,884
Motherboard
Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 + UHD 630
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
macOS 10.14.3 Supplemental Update went fine...
385848
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
DELL Optiplex 3050 SSF
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD530
Hello. I just read your installation process. Right now I'm at work but tonight I'm going to try to install the Mojave instead of the High Sierra. The fact that the onboard audio does not work does not matter to my target. I'm a musician and use an external sound interface. I would like you to give me more details about your BIOS settings. Has another question, my Imac is very old and I am not able to download Mojave directly from the Apple Store, it is not available.
 

pastrychef

Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
8,884
Motherboard
Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 + UHD 630
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hello. I just read your installation process. Right now I'm at work but tonight I'm going to try to install the Mojave instead of the High Sierra. The fact that the onboard audio does not work does not matter to my target. I'm a musician and use an external sound interface. I would like you to give me more details about your BIOS settings. Has another question, my Imac is very old and I am not able to download Mojave directly from the Apple Store, it is not available.
The BIOS is very basic. The settings I have listed should be enough to get you booted in to the installer.

As I stated, installing High Sierra should be the same as Mojave.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
DELL Optiplex 3050 SSF
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD530
For now thank you very much. After I try to install it I will post the result here. I'll try the High Sierra using your EFI folder. Should I create the bootloader and then I can simply overwrite the EFI folder using yours?
 

pastrychef

Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
8,884
Motherboard
Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 + UHD 630
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
For now thank you very much. After I try to install it I will post the result here. I'll try the High Sierra using your EFI folder. Should I create the bootloader and then I can simply overwrite the EFI folder using yours?
Just create the USB installer, then copy the EFI folder to the EFI partition of the USB flash drive.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
DELL Optiplex 3050 SSF
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD530
Just create the USB installer, then copy the EFI folder to the EFI partition of the USB flash drive.

I used your EFI folder, High Sierra installed on the first attempt on a Sandisk 240Mb SSD drive.
Then I installed my PCI-e to Firewire card (TI XIO2213B Chipset).
I installed the Saffire White (aka Saffire Legacy) audio interface driver and connected.
I have sound working through a ten-year-old firewire audio interface.

First impressions: fast installation, fast boot, fast and stable machine.

The audio onboard does not work.
Audio from HDMI does not work. It does not matter to me.

I'm going to return here to report more severe tests after Protools install.

Thank you so much! Gracias ! Muito obrigado!
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
DELL Optiplex 3050 SSF
CPU
i5-6500
Graphics
HD530
Update. Everything still works very well.

Could you give me a suggestion for a GPU that is not too expensive?
 

pastrychef

Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
8,884
Motherboard
Asus ROG Strix Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 + UHD 630
Mac
MacBook, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Update. Everything still works very well.

Could you give me a suggestion for a GPU that is not too expensive?
I purchased a used PowerColor RX 560 from eBay for $70 and it has been working great. The RX 560 is completely powered by the PCI-e slot so it works well with systems like these that don't have additional power cables for video cards that need it.
 
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