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The 4K Dell OptiMac - 9020 MT - Core i7-4790 - Radeon RX 570 - LG 4K IPS Monitor

Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
24
Motherboard
Dell 9020 (SFF)
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
HD 4600 | WX 4100
Should work theoretically but I've never owned that card or a 5K monitor. If it can power four 4K displays you'd think it should have no problems. You might search in some Mac Pro 2010/12 forums to see if anyone has done this with a 5K monitor. The Late 2014 iMac was 5K but Apple accomplished that with two streams from DP 1.2. The WX4100 has DP 1.4 which is 8K capable. Since the drivers for the 4100 are native in macOS my guess would be that it will work quite well if the monitor you pick has DP 1.4 inputs. It might require that you use an iMac SMBIOS that is newer than what the guide suggests and works for 4K monitors. Will take some experimenting on your part.

4K/5K Display Support
Drive a single, 5K (5120x2880 pixel resolution) display, or up to four, 4K displays.

I wonder if the discontinued HP monitor would be a better bet then.

As an it's older monitor with DP1.2, it similarly relies on two 1.2 streams. I imagine two 1.4 streams should be backwards compatible with 1.2, but I'm not sure.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
21,304
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
As an it's older monitor with DP1.2, it similarly relies on two 1.2 streams
Post the exact HP model name and specs. Apple used a special chip in the first 5K iMac I wonder if HP actually copied what they did or not.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
21,304
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
As an it's older monitor with DP1.2, it similarly relies on two 1.2 streams. I imagine two 1.4 streams should be backwards compatible with 1.2, but I'm not sure.
I might have been mixing this up with a different 4K MST LG monitor, here's what Anandtech said back in October of 2014 about the then new Retina 5K iMac.
Much more interesting is how Apple is driving it. Since no one has a 5K timing controller (TCON) yet, Apple went and built their own. This is the first time we’re aware of Apple doing such a thing for a Mac, but it’s likely they just haven’t talked about it before. In any case, Apple was kind enough to confirm that they are driving the new iMac’s display with a single TCON. This is not a multi-tile display, but instead is a single 5120x2880 mode.
 
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Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9020
CPU
i7-4790
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I followed this guide to the Tee! And WOW! Everything is working perfectly! Thank you so MUCH for all of the work you put into this! This was a Christmas gift to myself, and boy did Santa deliver! I'm currently downloading Catalina to update to latest.

I built this to code in Swift. With 28GB of RAM, I'll be coding very comfortably. Eventually I'll throw in an RX570 GPU. I don't really intend to do much other than coding on this machine. So my current setup works perfect for me.

I also put the hardware in an aftermarket case. I did this because I bought the motherboard with CPU on eBay for $150. It was a great deal for me! I did have to buy the OEM power switch button as the aftermarket one in the case didn't work. I watched a YouTube video of someone who made an Optiplex 9020 into a budget gaming PC. But their little hack for the power switch button didn't work for me. I also bought a barebones Optiplex 9020 MT for the thermal sensor, system fan, and front IO panel. Because Dell uses proprietary components, it was better to use those items to prevent an error that appears at boot up. It's a simple F1 and it still boots; just a little annoying.

So far I'm in about $500 on this build. That includes; MOBO + CPU, 16GB RAM(i had the extra 12GB from other PCs), aftermarket case, 850W Gold+ power supply (Cyber Monday deal ;)), wifi + bluetooth card, new thermal paste, 3 extra system fans, power switch, and barebones MT. Not bad for a beast Mac. ;) I think I did good in getting the best bang for my buck.

Again, thank you so much for all of this! I love the internet and forums like this! I would not have done this without this community. I'm feeling eternally grateful for all the hard work everyone has and continues to contribute to this.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
21,304
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Again, thank you so much for all of this! I love the internet and forums like this! I would not have done this without this community. I'm feeling eternally grateful for all the hard work everyone has and continues to contribute to this.
Thanks for the kind words. If you'd like to post a few pics of this 9020 transplanted to a new case I'd be interested (and others) to see how it worked out for you. Just so you know all of the individual parts can be found on Ebay with some searching. Since you already had the mobo/CPU you could have gotten by without the whole barebones MT purchase. It's nice to have it though since you get a backup motherboard and an I/O shield etc.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9020
CPU
i7-4790
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks for the kind words. If you'd like to post a few pics of this 9020 transplanted to a new case I'd be interested (and others) to see how it worked out for you. Just so you know all of the individual parts can be found on Ebay with some searching. Since you already had the mobo/CPU you could have gotten by without the whole barebones MT purchase. It's nice to have it though since you get a backup motherboard and an I/O shield etc.

I'll post pics soon :D

I bought the barebones because it was super cheap compared to buying individual pieces. I bought the barebones for $28. The power switch button was $10. So for $18 more, a barebones wasn't bad. When I searched for the other pieces i needed, it was a better deal to just buy a barebones MT. Plus, I have another PC in storage that I believe has an i5 1150 socket that will work. So I may just build another one in the future. :D

Again, I'm so grateful for your work and everyone else who has contributed! I seriously can't thank you and the community enough!
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
21,304
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Transplant your Dell Optiplex into a New mATX Case

I just got a new 50 dollar mATX case that has a white/black theme. Won't add any RGB fans or lighting but it looks to be very usable for a 9020 MT transplant. The OEM Dell PSU is pretty much non-usable in this due to the short 4 pin CPU power cable. It's designed to be top mounted only. Mine has coil whine anyway so I'm getting rid of it for something better. The fit and finish on the DLM 21 is really good and I haven't owned a white case in about the past 6 years so this one appealed to me. Mostly because of the hinged glass door for ease of access. I really hate losing side panel screws and constantly taking them on and off. This solves that annoyance in a very elegant way. The case is available at Newegg and Amazon for anyone interested. The DLM 22 is the same case but with a flat front that is steel. Looks like the NZXT H500/510.


The designers of this "borrowed" ideas from the Fractal Design Meshify C and the NZXT H500 cases. It's about 20-25 dollars less than those and isn't nearly as "high end" but it's certainly one of the nicer mATX cases available. There are many sub 35 dollar mATX cases that are really low quality that you'll regret buying later on. It's worth spending 15-20 dollars more for one you'll enjoy using for many years. So far, I've got the mobo installed, the SSD and cables routed but need to decide on a PSU that will work. The existing Dell CPU and rear exhaust fans will work just fine. May add one on top as well for exhaust. The ketchup, mustard and orange Sata power cable will be gone later on when I get the PSU. I can also put black sleeves on the multi-color fan cables too. Those are minor issues. Here is how the top I/O looks. Neat and clean layout. Magnetic dust filter on top. Room for a 240mm radiator if you're running an i 7-4790(K). All this in a 50 dollar case ? I'm impressed.

DSCN0017.JPG

The best feature of this case as opposed to the Dell OEM is the extra space to the right of the mobo so that 10" plus graphics cards don't have any problems fitting. You can also place a 120mm fan in front to blow cool air directly over it. In the Dell case it takes much work to drill out all the rivets holding in the HDD cage to remove it. Then you must drill more holes in the front to be able to mount a 120mm fan properly. Two things I didn't want to mess with.

Also note the temperature sensor cable in the lower right corner of the mobo. You must plug that in and place the sensor inside your new case. If not, the CPU and case fan will run full tilt all the time. PWM control will be non-existent without it. You can ditch the internal speaker and chassis intrusion button when you make the transplant. Those aren't necessary at all. If you want to keep them that's fine too.

Screen_Shot_16.png


20191225_190846.jpg


Compare the above picture to how your Dell 9020 might look when you upgrade to an EVGA PSU to install an RX 570 or 580 graphics card into the Dell OEM case.

Screen Shot 21.jpg


You get a major mess of cabling when using a non-modular PSU. No room for cable management.

Zoomed in view of where the temperature sensor plugs in. Connect this to enable PWM fan control. Without it your CPU and case fans will run full speed all the time.

DSCN0006.png


You can also connect the 19 pin front panel USB/Audio connector just below there so you won't get warning messages at boot up.

Overall the Dell mATX motherboard lines up perfectly with all standoffs (there are 8). The rear I/O shield fits perfectly. It's really easy to install this into a DLM21 case. I think that I should be really happy with the result of this experiment.
Find the Dell Optiplex MT owner's manual attached below for directions for all of these things.
 

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Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
24
Motherboard
Dell 9020 (SFF)
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
HD 4600 | WX 4100
Post the exact HP model name and specs. Apple used a special chip in the first 5K iMac I wonder if HP actually copied what they did or not.

Hi @trs96, I didn't know if you still wanted this, but below is a link with the specs to the discontinued HP Z27q.

I believe this is the explanation you were looking for. In the specs under 'Native Resolution', it reads:

5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz
NOTE: The video card of the connected PC must be capable of supporting 5120 x 2880 at 60 Hz and include 2 DisplayPort outputs to drive the monitor at the Preferred Mode.

 
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
3
Motherboard
Asus Z97 Pro-Gamer
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi everyone,

I found online a good 9020 MT.
It's 8gb, BUT it has a crappy Pentium G-something.
I a spare i5-4690 (4c/4t) at home. Can I swap it and build the CustoMac of my dreams?

(...and it will it be the same as a 9020 i5 made directly by Dell? Will I encounter problems in the installation progress by doing swap?)

Thanks

 
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trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
21,304
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I have a spare i5-4690 (4c/4t) at home. Can I swap it and build the CustoMac of my dreams?
That will work with no problems. All i5-4690s are the same whether they come in a Dell or any other PC. Intel doesn't make special versions for OEM PCs.
 
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