Optiplex series 4, 3020 MT, setups, modifications and secrets
Sold in 3 case form factors MT mini tower , SFF small form factor and Micro. (light weight aluminum case is nice !)
Below is MT case coverage only and is the best, for full expandability. (the wiki covers this)
OEM Dell Build dates 2013 to 2015.
This PC has one of the finest BIOS ever designed with amazing ePSA ( extended Pre-boot System Assessment.) runs even with the HDD missing! (a fact key to how good this is)
Click to zoom images above.
Featuring these key components:
Intel chip set H81, DDR3-1600 MHz. 16GB max. 4x PCI-express slots, and two USB v3.0 ports, Realtek™ sound chip ACL3220, and supports most HASWELL Intel CPU processor (Desktop class up to 84watts TDP)
TDP means thermal design power, and is max power (in the form of heat) the CPU uses (at max load)
The 3 minor limits on this PC are , 300watt PSU (no larger sold at Dell and is non ATX spec .8pin connector and non standard standby power voltage +12vdc.) (SOLVED)
This PC uses a OEM designed micro-ATX motherboard, with 6 screws. (the manual on it is here)
This PC can run the newest Windows 10 64bit no problems and is fast and very stable. The W10 and older drivers are here.
The Plug and play did all that, took no extra work by me to install W10. (from ISO built USB stick and working Ethernet cable to my router and web connected so PnP can do its job)
All PCs OEM have some non standard ATX spec parts inside, seen here (PSU) is one surprise but is a simple $7 fix to end that needless worry etc.
Listing of topics :
Front panel power switch has 4 wires. (3020) the real power button cable jack is here a 6 Pin JACK, one pin is missing for 5 total.
For those lacking real Dell CASE (chassis MT) or lost the power button?
The below is how I test these simple circuits.
See how a generic power switch is wired up here. (ACPI is complex but not the PWRSW wiring !) It is just 1 wire and 1 PULL-up resistors to make the power button work.
We use this simple fact (current measurements and voltage) (math ohms laws ) and a meter to find which pin is which.?
What ever you do, do not apply 12vdc to any pin, in fact only ground pins to test them. 5VSB means +5vdc standby power, this is the power that is always there, PC off, and line cord HOT to wall AC jack.
The PSU has +12vSB pin at 1.67amps that is not standard at all. (data: I measured the trip point and is at 4.95vdc exactly so is in fact a LDO regulator. (but marginal for any real PSU ATX supply.)
The below is GENERIC as a TRAINING AID: (okay?)
This shows how electronics works in relation to the ICH7 south bridge.
All ACPI power modes are in the ICH chip.(called power states and is complex but the power button is simple and works as show.
The PSU or the mobo can auto trip to power off , if any VRM overloads in the PSU or (the VRM onboard any MOBO)
The above is primer on power wiring in a generic PC.
Next up is the actual 3020.
Reverse Engineering(steps): There is no ATX standards here so Dell takes free license to do as they please and does.
This works on any Desktop ( the 2 pins and how they work)
With my volt meter (DMM) I find the 2 pins on the 3020 power on/jack that reads at power supply voltage spec 3.3vdc . those are LED and the power switch pins. the other 0volt pins are ground.
Then I short all pins 1-by-1 that were measured at PSU Standby voltage to ground using any 100 ohm resistor jumper and if the PSU is plugged in to the wall AC then the PC turns on. (fans spin ,etc) bingo you found it.
As you can see the power pins operate as latching function. (just kissing the pins with a jumper bam it turns the PSU/PC on.)
In fact all top brand modern MOBO have protection resistors on each pin here, and can stand up to any action of grounding any pin here directly even the great and common practice of using a screw driver tip shorting trick.
wire colors can and do vary at Dell, (proof)so I made drawing below (table) showing at least the power pins. P3/P6
To power switch simply closes or jump P3 to P6. ( all you need to know is here) The switch is standard by function a normally open momentary switch.
The LED is a bi-color LED (polarity reversal) yellow plastic but glows white or yellow. (confirmed on P2 and P4 this is the power button switch LED pins)
Some newer cables are all black wires, again proof here.
The power on pin is: (P3) if you ground this pin PC will turn on. (jump P3 to P6 ground) This is my cable. (actual)
The Acid test for the Power LED blink codes, is force PC errors (like unplugging all RAM and make sure you get the dead ram blink codes) The factory manual covers all this.
The Power LED blinks 3,3, amber code, but is code 3, with NO RAM, no Memory installed. (the VGA ports are dead due to NO RAM)
I could not figure out P5 pins purpose or usage. (sorry not wrecking a button to learn this)
This is the bi-color L.E.D. used, (In the power button actual)
CPU list. all known to work correctly, except the red marked Xeon.
Learn that Intel built all CPU below, (not Xeon) to be fully working i7 top value and featured, processors, but maybe only 20% made that grade, the chips are graded for speed and for working features sets !
Intel generation 4 only work on this DELL MOBO, like i7-4nnnn the 4 means gen 4. (Intel coding)
To see your processor in Windows, open the RUN box type "system information" and behold what you have now in your PC.
CORE™ CPU only and only Intel Generation #3 (eg: I5-4nnn)
The cheaper CPU's sold new, are all defective i7 processors , that means some i7 features are dead like dead cache sections or dead cores,! Not just slower clocks) You do get what you pay for here.
The LIST: (avoid dash -T ,-R and -S CPU they are for laptops )
i7-4790 (or 4720) has all 4 cores working all CACHE good. 8MB full sized + proof it runs on this box here.
i7- is best with hyper threading and TXT (trusted execution technology) the i5 and below do not have this.. but i5's are not really chopped liver...
i5-4570/4590/4690 first CORE that has mostly has 4 good Cores. and full 6MB cache. (2MB of cache is dead, found at final testing.) The 4690 has 4 CORES. i5-4nnnT (The T at the end means 2 Cores)
i3-4130 Gen3, only 2 cores work, (But does have hyper-threading working and dead other sections of the CPU are (2cores and 1/2 the cache 4MB are good at final test, Intel.
Pentium Gen4, G3320 all defective i7's The 3MB cache and only 2cores functional (ie: 1/2 dead) and Lots of "NO's" in the advance technologies section unlike above .
Celeron Gen4, G1829 ($20 used value) this chip has the most defects of all, the above. 2cores only 2MB cache, The largest list of NO's is here. (this is the super dog chip, below this is scrapped by Intel)
i7 processors sell used at a premium ($$$) due to gamers bidding like mad for them... ($150 used is big money this old)
The name Pentium "P5" no longer means 1993 SILICON, it now means even brand new defective i7 CORE™ processors. (now that is cute)
Look here in the wiki for CORE gen4, and look only at Desktop CPUs at 95watts or less( only in G4 Haswell and only Desktop)
Xeon processors can be a cheaper to buy used, after expulsion from Server farms vast the Haswell Xeon is, E3-1225 v3 (NOT V2) SR-14V OR SR-1KX (this is not confirmed to work yet, hypothesis ! )
The H81 chip spec.
The block diagram is like this.
In all cases above for CPU upgrades, update the BIOS firmware first, so the PC supports all Gen4 microcodes.
Processors are sold just like CUT diamonds, the more perfect the cut , the more valuable they are (given: size /color all same just cut)
Final testing at Intel production plants, grades the CPU, with very expensive ATE test equipment and if any feature is dead, it is Down graded, call BINNING down. (BIN#1 is i7, my guess)
Core i5 & i7- processors use 84watts CPU and the DELL PC has larger Heat-Sink (HS) for it.
I show the two sizes of HS here, and full part numbers.
The X3JDD fan is 95watts, this is the best Heat sink by DELL , the tag on the connector must be marked like this.
A used i7 goes for $130 and up, and is not really warranted. (on my $50 PC)
All CPU's found in ANY 3020 will run Window 10 -64bit (proof is here)
Even the lowly Pentium.
The PSU funny power cables secret adapter colors and wiring,
Rumor has it that this Adapter ,works with T20,T1700,7020 and 9020 and not just the 3020.(and does for sure on mine)
I check this out very carefully so I did not blow up my system as so many have.
I gleaned all these facts from wiki on ATX spec, and reverse engineering every inch by hand.
I needed a bigger (wattage) PSU for my Video GPU card.
See my Nvidia GPU cards hogs cards list, this is only the hogs , all others run with stock PSU.
The small 4 pin is ATX standard v2.3 up is best , but not the 8pin seen on the Mobo. , it is Dell 100% unique.
The Dell key facts to know are:
Next up the adapter card that cures all my power problems: (do not read this ,it is only supporting evidence , testing and proofs)
Below are the imported $4 china cable adapters, that gringo's in USA sell for $7 to $20 +shipping. Seen on Ebay or Amazon.
ATX12V SPEC, AND SPEC, COLORS. ATX spec. and the PCIe-8/6 pin or EPS must never be used on this mobo, the atx12v is correct 4 pin. (v2.3) CPU power jack .
If standby is working okay, a tiny Motherboard SMD Orange LED glows about 1/2" inch from left the 8 Pin PowerCON connector, if not the PC will not turn on until 12vSB power is restored. (bad PSU?)
The Orange LED glowing means do not unplug internal parts until all AC line power is removed (do not HOT plug devices inside any PC)
FACTS to skip , (only for me)
The Molex P/n for this plug is (Minifit jr. 4.2mm pitch)) 5566-8 socket or 5557-8 plug (seen here) or here at Mouser.com( I say this only if you want to make your own cable from scratch from a scrapped PSU cable)
My Pin number # are molex spec, not Dells. Male 5557-8-BL end.(5557-08R-BL) First sold by molex year 1990.
The only potential problem is here:
Looking INSIDE THE PSU (Dr; Evil)
Both White/yellow wires go inside the PSU and connect a single RAIL, and is 0.00 ohms between them. (and voltages exactly the same, so again one rail, and rated at near 25 amps and the limit is the wire gauge not the VRM.
The PSU may in fact violate the 240VA limit rules(ATX) on each 12vdc rail. (I'm not sure and have no 250 watt load bank here)
The truth of all this is covered here. by Mr. Mark Allen. (thanks Mark !)
The PSU has an 8 amp fuse inside.(pig tailed cylinder normal looking fuse)
All black wires also go to a single point. (ground)inside.
Now back to the business at hand, the upgraded PSU:
Actual: Top photo view is right side. (note the VRM chips just below the molex 8jack )
The actual location of purple is top right corner, this photo is rotated CCW 90degree's I did this to match MOLEX documents.
The above is DELL normal colors and below is new with my adapter.
I am using molex Pin number spec.'s only. P1 to P8
The Motherboard has ink mark for P1 too, top left in photo above. The Motherboard asserts pin 8 with 0vdc to turn on to PSU. (or when bench tested, jump P7 to 8
Jumper pin 7 to 8 and PSU turns on , a bench tested. The PSU will run forever, jumpered.
There are 2 views , mobo socket view and end of PSU plug view. This is mobo socket view.
Molex view. and # Seems Dell uses the same pin # names as molex drawings do.
Note the small lie here, ATX this is NOT ATX spec. of ANY KIND. and for sure not EPS-12v
Data (collected by me using meters) Careful testing or risk blowing up good parts. (SOLVED)
MY NEW raw data (live testing) for the above jack: (all voltages real and measured by me)
P1 Standby power is 11.3vdc "ON"(and I measured the trip point threshold on this pin, using variable power supply, and was at 4.95vdc exactly < reverse engineered by me.
P2 , P3 and P7 black, are 0.0v ground. as is pin 7.For sure GROUND and confirmed.
Pin 4 gray is 4.9v "POWER OK" output to PSU status. ( 5v = Power ON and 0v mean off (logic pure).
Pin 5 and 6 , Yellow is 12.17vdc exactly on both pins and tells me there is only one 12vdc VRM inside the PSU. Raw power from PSU. ( I think proves it is a Virtual RAIL PSU) Same exact voltage hints to that.
Pin 8 is 0.06vdc, the "power ON input" (PC powered on) The PSU and the MOBO VRM's can see overloads and turn the PSU off in under 1 second, even in 16mS fast.
The JOY OF lots of cables and connectors can be confusing, even with ATX spec,. The below is ATX spec, parts and are not used on most DELLs.
Do not let the smoke out wiring this up wrong. (that be NO JOY):
The big blunder here is 2 fold, using the word ATX above markings, and even vastly worse, not using custom MOLEX jack with custom keys ! no ATX keys !!!
The best fix would have been to make the 2 square keys not SQUARE ending blowing up new PSU, but alas we can't put the tooth paste back into the tube. (but I never just guess, when I see non spec parts I read, or use my meter)
NOTE carefully the unique MOLEX keyed SHAPES on the plug below, same as wrong using EPS above, but dead to rights wrong (boom smoked if wrong) Luke "Avoid the dark side" do not guess.
Below are real ATX v:2.2 or v2.3 modern PSU, that use ATX12v spec connectors and correct colors. the yellow (ATX spec) means 12vdc rails, black is ground. The PCI-e work on Video cards (hogs)
The 4 pin above works on our 3020 mobo VRM jack, do not use the 6 pin unless inserted into a high powered, GPU card, or let the smoke out.
The 4 Pin powers the CPUs VRM regulators modules and is NOT OPTIONAL
One serious issue using old PSU's is the minimum current spec, sees 3.3vdc rails/ 5vdc rails with no current allowed and self shuts down. (yah that) < mostly RARE to see today.
Buy a PSU with spec version 2.3 no less, and no minimum current limits.
Watch out for any PSU with minimum 3.3vdc load of 3amperes or on the 5vdc rail, and if this trips the whole PSU goes off line (power_OK false)
The PSU should run ok at 0 amps load on any pin, per ATX spec; but some do not. (avoid cheap PSU? or relics)
One way to avoid this is run the HDD/SSD/DVD drives power directly to the PSU, not using this mobo power feeds for those. Leaving only un-used 3.3vdc to worry)
The rules of this game are simple buy new PSU, not 10years old, and from top brands not "XinTongYe or the like"
I like what is seen on Newegg, and one is Thermaltake brand., or Corsair. (buy PSU that has no 1x4 molex power plugs for year 2000 HDD or DVD , buy only SATA grade PSU, for sure if used. (nor floppy power)
There is no need for 2 decade old device power plugs today, only SATA, mobo and PCIE power.
One way to avoid tons of useless cables inside any PC and better air flows., is this choice, modular design.
Only connect up cable 1 to 4 below top down list right side. (note how the avoids ATX true wire color spec)
This is my PSU.
See my page on bench testing any PSU
MY PC is now fully modified, and works perfectly.
MORE TEST DATA BY ME: (power consumption testing) "I use both PASSMARK and FurMARK to overload the 2 main processors"
Before modifications , the AC power line current on my PC uses 24 watts w10 idle, (no GPU card at all) NO LIE my PC before hacking is A GREEN PC at 24 tiny watts.
With my new GTX650 card (old card sure and power hungry) (Kill-o-Watt) data (measurments)
Standy power off, 12 watts
W10 idle, 84watts
FurMark GPU bench-mark fully loaded, is 282watts, never green, but wow fast, there is no free lunch. "that faster CMOS is clocked the more power it uses (wastes)" Physics at work.
The larger the fan 120mm, the quieter it will be, and for sure a smart fan will be the most quite of all even silent below 20% load.
We now know the mobo, 12vSB input has a LDO regulator inside that works at 4.95vdc, (on the cusps of working) This is a fact, that I discovered. (tested and has Hysteresis a bit lower)
This PC has firmware embedded DIAGNOSTICS called "ePSA" , Enhanced Pre-Boot System Assessment. Dell Optiplex PC's are great PC's !
This tool runs even with the HDD removed ! (it resides in FIRMWARE is why.)
IT IS THE BEE's Knee's.
See beeps here
The top 3 errors on any PC and sure same here is bad laptop battery death (or shorted worse) but not applicable to any desktop.
The RTC coin cell dead at 7 year mark, and last HDD death at 5 years (common) below 2.9vdc is no good and doomed if close. (3.3v is normal )
Next is HDD failures (5years old or more)
Before doing all the HDD tests, turn on S.M.A.R.T hard drive testing in the main boot F2 menu's so the HDD tested properly
Power on PC and hammer the F12 key gently, tap tap tap F12 then pick Diagnostics from the boot F12 boot menu list.
The HDD test is very important to run and will run on encrypted drives and Bitlocker drives (it does not touch your data, is how this works) the HDD under test can be blank or a non Dell HDD of any kind (SATA).
To abort tests , hit ESC key, then click check box "Thorough Tests" mode (full), and use the space bar (help = F1) and de-select all tests but Hard Drive 0 (boot drive) and then click run tests for a better HDD tests
2000-0151 (this error code flags any HDD that has failed S.M.A.R.T tests 142 ! or any HDD errors, not just lost boot files or just can't boot)
If the HDD is missing or not connected , the 151 pops up fast! (and begging for F1, (no boot found)
If the HDD fails, we run a boot Linux "Disk Test" in demo mode.
If any HDD fails S.M.A.R.T tests. You can install Windows fresh 10 times and will never install or fails fast. (buy a new drive now)
The other PSA codes are here.! at DELL.com easy as eating pie to find.
Here is the HDD failing, (the drives are bad if S.M.A.RT or ePSA or PSA , learn to believe PSA it will not lie to you and the HDD actually has a brain inside that does all this magic, 2001 to now.
The below laptop battery, ignore that for any desktop PC, there is no such part;
The below errors first a new main battery is to be installed then charge it and then see if the HDD wakes up from the dead?, as many know, low power can make the HDD self shut down to protect itself. (a FACT)
The power on button LED has blink codes too and can beep, all this is in the manual to read.
The top of the SATA cage has beeper that beeps on errors. (It first plays a melody like song first, then uses beep codes and the power button flashes yellow (amber) same code)
The codes are in the manual on page. 39/of 47, code 2,4 is dead coin cell, 3,2 (a USB device shorted) 3,3 memory failures, I pulled the case fan got code 5,1,1. (newer BIOS, more codes, that I do not know yet)
Youtube secrets. on PSU and power switch .
INTEL (tm) best processor. Gen 4 , CORE:
My parts list with Dell P/N (DP/n)
This PC does have standard devices. (my list of yes/no standards)
The ATX motherboard holes are and industry standard, per this drawing. and this too.
ATX PSU RAIL, facts best I've ever read, and is true.
WHAT ARE RAILS:
My i5-4670 is much better than the Pentium.
Here is mine.
The FAN deep is Dell P./N 06gcny (with or with out that 0) one on the left is 20mm , and right is 32mm.
Look Ma... no Dell PSU !
Micro_ATX (m_ATX) is a SUB SET OF ATX HOLE SPACING, ( The 2 key documents are Here and Here)
Lets talk RAILS, (PSU topic) , no each seen single yellow wire is not a rail , sorry , no way Jose'.
WHAT ARE RAILS:
New PSU, GPU card ,heatsinkfan,SSD, HDD 1TB, best of class processor i5,
Not covered here: is me reverse engineering the front panel USB jacks or HDD activity blink LED , just buy the panel for $10 if lost or missing and avoid that pain.
This page I made helps others mix parts up and get a working PC.
version 2. 4 -23-2019 . No association with DELL company, am a Retired USER only now. and this page is only my Opinion....