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

Stork

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I must have missed it. What's the name/model # of the case. Links, please, too.
 

trs96

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I must have missed it. What's the name/model # of the case. Links, please, too.
They're not a household name case maker like Corsair by any means. They are called Darkflash and are based in Taiwan. Case is the DLM21 model which is one of the best selling mATX cases on Amazon. Newegg also has it but charges slightly more for shipping. https://www.darkflash.com/chassis-dlm21 I've never seen any micro ATX case with a PSU shroud, glass door, magnetic dust filters and no plastic (other than the power button and feet) sell at 55 USD.


1577975519266.png

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R4L54NX/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

You could think of this as a better version of the Bitfenix Prodigy cases that came in ITX and mATX sizes. This one doesn't have the "wobble" that those cases did. It also has much better cable management than the prodigy cases. See the following review for details about that case. I owned this Prodigy case many years ago (2013) but sold it shortly thereafter.


You can also get it in Matte black. I got tired of having all black cases so I went with the DLM21 white version instead. I've ordered a black Apple logo/vinyl sticker (3" size) that should cover up the df logo completely on the PSU shroud. I'll post pics when I get it. The Ebay seller is jameyturner. He gives you two for three dollars shipped.

It is relatively light weight and easy to move a around. Glass side panel has two hinges and it's also easy to remove completely. For the build quality and features these are well worth the 55 dollar asking price.

Here is the related DLM22 which is similar but has the flat front instead of the "low poly" design on the DLM21. This was my second choice but I've opted for the white DLM21 version instead. If you prefer black I would highly recommend this case which goes for about 55 USD at Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RBKWH8P/?tag=tonymacx86com-20
1577973004705.png
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Screen Shot 20.jpg


You can put one of your white Apple logo stickers over the darkflash logo on the front. That way you'll make your macOS install be on "Apple branded hardware." Which is of course a part of the EULA you agree to when installing macOS.

For anyone that doesn't want tempered glass on the side of their case I would recommend the Thermaltake Versa H17. It is a case I've built in and it has excellent build quality. Is only $45 on Amazon and the Dell Optiplex motherboard fits in it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07THWKT6V/?tag=tonymacx86com-20
 
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Dell Optiplex 9020 MT
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It's not a household name co. by any means. They are called Darkflash based in Taiwan. They are less than two years old. Case is the DLM21 model which is the best selling mATX case on Amazon. Newegg also has it but charges slightly more for shipping. https://www.darkflash.com/chassis-dlm21

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R4L54NX/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

You can also get it in Matte black. I got tired of having all black cases so I went with this instead. I've ordered a black Apple logo/vinyl sticker (3" size) that should cover up the logo on the PSU shroud. I'll post pics when I get it.

Are you transferring the 9020 into it? Looking forward to seeing the build.
 

trs96

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Are you transferring the 9020 into it? Looking forward to seeing the build.
Yes, in the process. Waiting for some key components to come in like the PSU and 24 to 8 pin adapter needed for that to connect to the motherboard.
 
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Yes, in the process. Waiting for some key components to come in like the PSU and 24 to 8 pin adapter needed for that to connect to the motherboard.

I'm looking forward to seeing the details of the transfer and if you're able to find an elegant solution to:

Case power switch wiring
Front panel I/O

If you're able to figure out something that looks good/works well, I may very well go out and purchase a bare MT Motherboard and do the same. While the WX 4100 was recognized instantly and is doing great, it's way too expensive for what it is, especially when I have a spare RX 580 sitting around.
 

trs96

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1/3/2020 - Dell OptiMac Golden Build Updates
I've added a new BIOS flashing method to the BIOS section of the originating post. It uses the Dell DDDP software that you install to a USB flash drive. It makes it much easier to flash the BIOS without the need to use a Windows install.

I'll be testing Catalina 10.5.3 once that comes out later this month. I'll also be looking at Opencore bootloader to see how well that works with the latest macOS. OC is still in beta at the present time.

Case transplanting Since some are interested in this I've added some general info and a video guide to post #3 of this thread. Have a look at that if you are considering moving your hardware into a new home/case in 2020.

 
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trs96

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I'm looking forward to seeing the details of the transfer and if you're able to find an elegant solution to:

Case power switch wiring
Front panel I/O

If you're able to figure out something that looks good/works well, I may very well go out and purchase a bare MT Motherboard and do the same.
I'm no where near done with the case transfer but here are a few pics to give you an idea. The plastic protective cover on the glass is still on so that's why the side doesn't look completely clear. PSU is not in yet. No front fans yet.

IMG_20191030_145305396.jpg


The front I/O is at the far right side of the PSU cover. It's connected up and the audio/mic/USB 2.0 works. The motherboard's USB 3.0 header is connected to the top of the case for easier access. I removed the steel cover over the I/O panel's black/white plastic. I've ordered a 3" black Apple logo that will cover up the Darkflash logo on the PSU shroud. Should look great. Was lucky that the Dell I/O panel stays with the black and white theme too. If you buy the black version of the DLM21 or 22 it will blend in even better at this location.

The Dell OEM power button cable hangs down to the right of the mobo. Blends in with all the other black cables. Just open the glass door to have access to it. You can see all the extra inches of space for a longer gfx card that this case offers. Cards up to 12.5 inches in length will fit in this mATX case. The lower front 120 mm fan will blow air directly over the Aorus RX 570 GPU.

IMG_20191030_144532828.png


There is a small opening beneath the I/O panel you see above. All the cables fit easily and the 19 pin header plugs into the mobo via a cable routing hole in the PSU shroud. The hinged glass door opens quite easily so it's no problem to access the power button and front I/O. If you will be booting from an NVMe drive you could put Clover on a USB 2.0 flash drive and plug it in internally into one of the two (external) USB 2.0 ports shown above. Also, you could plug in LED lights and use a USB 2.0 port for power.

IMG_20191030_144613602.jpg


Here's the Dell power button that lights up white when on and orange when you're getting diagnostic info. I've decided to keep it plugged in for now as I can access it easily and didn't want to cut off the power button to connect the cables. If you do there is no way to get that diagnostic info from the orange LED.

View of the top front case I/O panel. I can connect up the power button later if I want that. For now it's not functional.

DSCN0017_copy.png


If you do want working headphone/mic jacks on the case you can purchase these adapters on Ebay and do just that.

Here's why the non-working case Mic and Headphone jacks are not a deal breaker for me. I never use a Mic via the 3.5mm jack anyway. The few times a year I use a Microphone it's connected via USB 2.0. I have PC speakers on my desk by Creative. Those have headphone and Aux inputs right on the speaker. Those speakers connect to the rear panel line out 3.5mm jack. So I really don't need either the headphone or mic jack working on the front top of the case.

51J9yuUC0cL.jpg

The lack of a working reset button on the case is also a non-issue for me. Holding down the power button for 4-5 seconds does exactly the same thing.

I like this case because it's not a large ATX case with too much empty space. Has just enough room for everything to fit comfortably. The cable routing for a non-modualr PSU is excellent and you can make a really clean looking build with good airflow. It's not giving you great airflow like the Fractal Design Meshify C but I don't plan on gaming with this system so that's why I opted for this high quality lower cost case.

Here's what the case maker suggests. Which is complete and utter overkill for a Dell Optiplex 9020 transferred to this case. They've got a dual 120mm fan/radiator on the top. Dual 120mm fans in front and a 120mm exhaust fan. All with LED bling. Of course they sell all of that under their Aigo brand. You might possibly need all that cooling with an overclocked 8 core 9900K that was used for triple A gaming with an RTX 2080. For my modest needs it would be a complete waste of money.

Screen Shot 19.jpg


Here's an example of a combo liquid and air cooled DLM 21. Note how much interior space these have with a mATX motherboard installed along with three case fans.

 darkFlash DLM21 MESH.png
 
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trs96

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Does anyone have any questions or comments on the case transfer process ? Is it completely clear what you need to do to accomplish that ? Is anyone going to try it ?

The power switch workaround and having the front I/O from Dell inside your case is not ideal but it's something that is workable if you must have more interior room and better airflow for your individual use scenario. If your Optimac is just for general use and you don't have a 580 or better, don't stress the CPU a lot, then there is really no advantage to moving to a new case. Best to just leave the mobo inside the Dell case and save the extra time and expense of transferring.
 
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I think that your work is remarkable. Everyone should be grateful.

About the front I/O:
I think that losing front jack it's no big deal. You can use the ones at the back if you necessary need them.

I'm planning to switch case, but not for now since I have to get the dGPU first (possibly a XFX 570).
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
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Motherboard
Dell 9020 (SFF)
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
HD 4600 | WX 4100
Does anyone have any questions or comments on the case transfer process ? Is it completely clear what you need to do to accomplish that ? Is anyone going to try it ?

The power switch workaround and having the front I/O from Dell inside your case is not ideal but it's something that is workable if you must have more interior room and better airflow for your individual use scenario. If your Optimac is just for general use and you don't have a 580 or better, don't stress the CPU a lot, then there is really no advantage to moving to a new case. Best to just leave the mobo inside the Dell case and save the extra time and expense of transferring.

Looking at the motherboard layout, when you say USB 3 is hooked up to your case, but I’m confused about the USB 2 ports in the photo of the top of the case that are listed as working. What connection is happening there?

For the front I/O, if you were to purchase a spare one off of eBay for example, would it be possible to cut back enough material to expose the pins and connect to the case I/O using standard DuPont connectors? Is there anything (sizing or spacing) that would impede that? If it were to work, it would allow you to use the headphones and all other I/O, correct?

Right now everything’s theoretical for me as I only have the SFF one built and I was told I was not allowed to already start disassembling the Hackintosh I just finished :)

I have my search alerts set and a few friends at university that are on the lookout for a cheap MT for me to experiment with. Until then, I won’t be able to try the transfer myself. For this to achieve the wife approval factor, I’ll have to look into your Option 2 that you listed for the power switch and investigate the front I/O panel further. If any of these are obvious questions, I apologize as I’m trying to visualize this and having a hard time with a few points.

Side note: For anybody looking to use USB WiFi, I had great success using the TP-Link (Archer) T9-UH (Version 2). I used the drivers from Chris1111’s GitHub and was up and running near instantly. Bluetooth is also working great using the GBU521 from the Buyers Guide.
 
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