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

Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
73
Motherboard
Optiplex 9020 MT
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
Sapphire RX 580 Pulse
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to share some pictures of my re-casing experience, moving my optiplex 9020MT to a cooler master silencio S400 MATX case using the harbin repairs power and audio/usb2 adapters. I have also installed a 4790K and cooler master hyper 212 RGB Black air cooler.

The case. The CM s400 is a MATX case that i liked for the looks and quiet design. I put 2 140mm be quiet silent wings 3 pwm fans in the front and left one of the 120mm silencio fans (that came with the case) in the back as an exhaust, connected via a noctua NA-FC1 fan controller. The board fit no worries but the harbin audio/usb2 adapter was a very tight fit at the bottom, however it does fit without touching the psu shroud...just! The power adapter was a bit of an issue as a corner of the optical drive bracket came very close and made it hard to insert the power button led leads from the case. I ended up taking the bracket out and bending down the corner slightly with plyers to give better clearance. I also added a couple of pads to the bracket that lifted the optical drive up slightly so it didn't rest on the top of the adapter. If you didn't want an optical drive, then this wouldn't be an issue. First pic also shows the thermal sensor. Other than that the optiplex fits in the s400 very well.
IMG_7115.jpg
IMG_7114.jpg

The hyper 212 Air cooler. I had previously asked on here if it was possible to fit a Cooler Master hyper 212X air cooler to the optiplex board...it is not! I was able to look at the mounting system for the hyper 212X (which is the same as the older evo) and the 'long nuts' on those older coolers are shaped like standoffs with the threaded end designed to pass through the motherboard and screw into nuts placed on the back. The thread used is 6-32 UNC (think a standard thumb screw) and wouldn't fit through the threading hole in the optiplex backplate which is standard M3 thread (like a ssd mounting screw). Enter the new CM hyper 212 RGB Black edition (and I assume non rgb black edition) that come with a newer/revised mounting system. Instead of coming with long nuts shaped like standoffs, the long nuts (black hexagonal things in pic3) are female at both ends and most importantly, threaded all the way through in standard M3 thread. On a normal board, you use the screws with the square end and the black backplate shown below to secure the long nuts at the front. Instead I used a standard M3 12mm bolt and 3 washers (2 metal,1 fibre) that i screwed through the standard optiplex backplate to take the place of the square end bolt (If you got 10mm M3 bolts, you could use less washers but i already had the 12mm ones). After that, the I screwed in the long nuts and cooler fit as normal without issues.
IMG_7128.jpg
IMG_7133.jpg
IMG_7131.jpg
IMG_7135.jpg
IMG_7140.jpg

Do I need a 120mm tower cooler in this set up...probably not lol but it looks cool and considering I have upgraded my 4770 to a i7 4790K (couldn't help myself), it can't hurt!

I could probably fit a bigger graphics card in there now.....hmmm
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
20,524
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
@bjay77 Thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks really good. Will help people a lot that want a CPU cooler and case upgrade. The CM Hyper 212 Black is very affordable and does a good job cooling too. The plastic backplate from CM is mainly a cost saving measure which worked out well for you. The Dell stock metal back plate is much preferred to something that is made of plastic IMO. That metal backplate is really thick and well made, will never crack like plastic will eventually. Those that live in hot dry climates have this happen more than you'd think.

Also just want to make sure this: https://www.newegg.com/black-cooler-master-silencio-series-micro-atx/p/N82E16811119382 is the exact same case you bought. Sometimes models are slightly different in various countries around the world. For those that want a budget version CM case without all the sound dampening the N200 from CM should work as well. For those that want the extra room of an ATX case, the S600 goes for around 87 USD at Newegg. https://www.newegg.com/black-cooler-master-silencio-s600-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811119376 Should have plenty of clearance for the Harbin Power SW and USB/Audio adapters.

I know that a quiet system was one of your goals. Does the Noctua fan controller do the job adequately ? Can you keep the fan speeds low enough to keep it silent ? I know it took a lot of time and careful planning to pull this off so congrats on the job well done. It will help many people learn the best way to move and adapt to a new non-OEM case. It didn't require any serious case modding as you would have to do in the stock Dell MT case. For that you need a battery powered drill, various size bits and a good dremel to do the job.

I prefer the green/black color scheme to how my white DarkFlash mATX case looks but I really wanted a white case instead of black for my build this time. It would also be good to tell your readers that moving over the Dell thermal sensor cable is mandatory to keep the CPU cooler fan from running full blast. I can see from the pics that it is installed and connected to the case. It's a black cable that is hard to see though.

Screen_Shot_3.jpg
Screen_Shot_9.jpg


Are you happy with the overall results ? Would you recommend that the average Optiplex 9020 MT owner go through this whole process of case conversion ? I think it's worth it if this machine will be your daily driver that's used for both Windows and macOS and includes PC gaming in Windows. With that 4790K and 32GB of ram you can do most anything a newer 9th/10th gen system can. I would stay with the Sapphire card a few years and then upgrade to an RX 5600 XT later when prices get more reasonable. Maybe even the 5700 XT if you need a lot more graphics power by then.

Would be a good idea to make a summary post of your experiences in Case Mods -> Others with links to all the upgrades that worked for you. https://www.tonymacx86.com/forums/others.142/ I suppose it could also be posted in case mods -> retail cases since you are technically moving a pre-built Dell to a new case with some minor modding.

Those that want a bigger/better case with more airflow can have all the relevant info in one easy to find post focused on just the CM Case/Cooler and Noctua fan controller upgrades. Hard to imagine it could have worked out any better than this did.

I always like to have a record of what I did to look back at years later. That's how my multiple lengthy User Builds all got started. I always document everything for future reference. I'm glad I could share this with hundreds of thousands of readers here in the community. :thumbup:
 
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Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
73
Motherboard
Optiplex 9020 MT
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
Sapphire RX 580 Pulse
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks Trs, I agree with you reference the Dell backplate, it seems very study and I have no worries about hanging the Hyper 212 off it given that the bolts I used are threaded all the way through the motherboard. I think it is probably stronger than most stock (ie normal motherboard) configurations. The CM black plastic backplate does look pretty robust but certainly not as strong looking as the stock dell metal one.

That link to the S400 looks to be the same except I got the tempered glass model, which is slightly more but otherwise the same. Like you said the S600 is a ATX case and would have more room at the bottom but not sure how much extra room at the top it would have for the power switch adapter...depends where the motherboard attaches. The N200 seems to be basically the same case without the door and sound proofing as you said so could be a good cheaper option for others. I do like the case layout with the grommets, SSD mounting and cable management area behind the motherboard. There is plenty of room in the back for the cables, the Noctua controller (which is really small), the dell speaker and the Hyper 212 rgb controller.

Only issue I have is with the CM Silencio fans that came with the case which have some coil whine. (I have tried both in the exhaust spot and both make noise.) So I may look at getting a 120mm silent wings 3 fan for the back at some point. The SW3 fans have a big RPM range with the normal 120mm one going from 400ish to 1450 while the high speed versions goes up to 2200 RPM. In contrast the CM fans that came with the case run from 800-1450. The two 140mm SW3 fans I have in the front of the case run from 400-1600rpm. If I get a 120mm SW3 to replace the exhaust Id probably get the high speed edition so that at any duty cycle % I set on the Noctua controller, the rear fan will be spinning slightly faster than the front fans...if i understand how it works correctly!! Overall, I'm happy with the Noctua controller and at idle the system is silent, which is what I wanted so that I can leave it on all the time, since our sleep wake function doesn't work. Currently, I have the fan controller turned down to about 40% duty cycle (at a guess). At about 50-60% (again a guess as there is no graduations on the little dial), the front fans become audible just due to air whooshing noise when rpm (measured by the rear fan is about 1200). Any higher than that and the system kicks in and keeps the fan speed at 1200rpm when its at idle.

As you said, the dell thermal sensor has to come into the new case. I also bought over the internal speaker (not sure if this is required). I zip tied the thermal sensor to the front of the case just outside the direct flow of air from the front fans. Most of the sensor cable is tucked through the lower cable grommet into the back and out of the way. I liked the all black cable look so I 'sheathed' the two fan cable adapters and the 24 to 8 pin power adapter in black electrical tape to cover the coloured wires.

Reference changing graphics cards, I'm in no hurry to update to catalina or big sur so not looking at a Navi card just yet. I still use my copy of Adobe CS6, and I'm not interested in a subscription so need to keep 32bit capability. If I go to a Navi card, it would probably be in a new system, and I'll keep the Optiplex for my 32bit needs.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
28
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9020
CPU
i5-4590
Graphics
HD4600
Mac
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
  1. PowerBook
Thanks for everyone's help in putting together this guide, it is amazing to have it so well laid out.

I am having difficulty with my (9020MT Mojave) machines sleep. it seems like it goes to sleep but reboots instead of waking normally. can someone please point me to where to look or what to try to resolve it? Here is my post with my output files

Thank you,
BigG
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
20,524
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Thanks for everyone's help in putting together this guide, it is amazing to have it so well laid out.

I am having difficulty with my (9020MT Mojave) machines sleep. it seems like it goes to sleep but reboots instead of waking normally. can someone please point me to where to look or what to try to resolve it? Here is my post with my output files

Thank you,
BigG
Are you using iMac 14,2 or 15,1 ? Is Enable Legacy Option ROMs checked or unchecked ? Do you have an AMD card installed ?
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
74
Motherboard
Dell 9020 MT
CPU
i7-4790
Graphics
RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Read through the guide to find out. Prices have gone up since the pandemic this year. A core i7-4790 MT sells for over $220 refurbished. A professionally refurbished one sells for closer to $300. See Newegg.

It may be worth buying if you don't need Thunderbolt, a 6 core CPU or DDR4 memory or HEVC decoding. If you need any of those, build new. The 4 core 8 thread i3-10100 CPU* is as good or better than the i7-4790 and only costs around 120 USD. That's a great value. It wasn't available when I first wrote this up. Optiplex 9020 prices were a lot lower then too. So what used to be a Core i7 a few years back in 2017, that sold for $320, now costs $200 less thanks to competition from AMD Ryzen.

*See post # 2,043.

Here's what you can get for about $336 for all new 10th gen hardware on Newegg today.

View attachment 488898
View attachment 488899

If you get the 9020 MT you'd have to upgrade the PSU anyway to run the RX 580 in it. So going new is probably the best value right now. If you can get a 9020 with i7-4790 in good condition for under $200 that is still worth pursuing. It won't have macOS support for as long as a new 10th gen. build will. The 9020s will run Big Sur with no problem. After that we don't know about longer term support when using iMac 15,1.

Is this mobo proven? Thinking about building a second Hackintosh, this time based on OpenCore. Would be a nice, affordable way to foray into OpenCore without having to tear down my working OptiMac and compromise the production setup.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
28
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9020
CPU
i5-4590
Graphics
HD4600
Mac
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
  1. PowerBook
Are you using iMac 14,2 or 15,1 ? Is Enable Legacy Option ROMs checked or unchecked ? Do you have an AMD card installed ?
Hi, thanks for your help....
the clover configurator indicated that for my i5-4590 to set the system def as 15,1 so that is what I went with, I do not have legacy option ROM enabled in setup, I do not have a AMD card installed (just the basic graphics).
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
20,524
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I do not have legacy option ROM enabled in setup, I do not have a AMD card installed (just the basic graphics).
Try enabling Legacy OpROM first and see if it resolves.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
1,144
Motherboard
GA H110MSTX HD3
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
RX 560
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  1. iMac
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  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to share some pictures of my re-casing experience, moving my optiplex 9020MT to a cooler master silencio S400 MATX case using the harbin repairs power and audio/usb2 adapters. I have also installed a 4790K and cooler master hyper 212 RGB Black air cooler.

The case. The CM s400 is a MATX case that i liked for the looks and quiet design. I put 2 140mm be quiet silent wings 3 pwm fans in the front and left one of the 120mm silencio fans (that came with the case) in the back as an exhaust, connected via a noctua NA-FC1 fan controller. The board fit no worries but the harbin audio/usb2 adapter was a very tight fit at the bottom, however it does fit without touching the psu shroud...just! The power adapter was a bit of an issue as a corner of the optical drive bracket came very close and made it hard to insert the power button led leads from the case. I ended up taking the bracket out and bending down the corner slightly with plyers to give better clearance. I also added a couple of pads to the bracket that lifted the optical drive up slightly so it didn't rest on the top of the adapter. If you didn't want an optical drive, then this wouldn't be an issue. First pic also shows the thermal sensor. Other than that the optiplex fits in the s400 very well.
View attachment 490841View attachment 490842
The hyper 212 Air cooler. I had previously asked on here if it was possible to fit a Cooler Master hyper 212X air cooler to the optiplex board...it is not! I was able to look at the mounting system for the hyper 212X (which is the same as the older evo) and the 'long nuts' on those older coolers are shaped like standoffs with the threaded end designed to pass through the motherboard and screw into nuts placed on the back. The thread used is 6-32 UNC (think a standard thumb screw) and wouldn't fit through the threading hole in the optiplex backplate which is standard M3 thread (like a ssd mounting screw). Enter the new CM hyper 212 RGB Black edition (and I assume non rgb black edition) that come with a newer/revised mounting system. Instead of coming with long nuts shaped like standoffs, the long nuts (black hexagonal things in pic3) are female at both ends and most importantly, threaded all the way through in standard M3 thread. On a normal board, you use the screws with the square end and the black backplate shown below to secure the long nuts at the front. Instead I used a standard M3 12mm bolt and 3 washers (2 metal,1 fibre) that i screwed through the standard optiplex backplate to take the place of the square end bolt (If you got 10mm M3 bolts, you could use less washers but i already had the 12mm ones). After that, the I screwed in the long nuts and cooler fit as normal without issues.View attachment 490843View attachment 490844View attachment 490845View attachment 490846View attachment 490847
Do I need a 120mm tower cooler in this set up...probably not lol but it looks cool and considering I have upgraded my 4770 to a i7 4790K (couldn't help myself), it can't hurt!

I could probably fit a bigger graphics card in there now.....hmmm
Thanks for sharing your work!, this is awesome. I've considered moving my 9020 SFF to a new case, but delayed doing it because of other projects. Finally seeing pictures of a successfully completed case swap on here is really inspiring. Good job and yes, you could easily fit a Sapphire RX 580 Pulse in there, its a big phat card!.
 
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