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The old crusty trusty Dell Optiplex


Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2019
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Picked up this Dell Optiplex 9020 from a local guy for 120.
It had 12gib of ram and a 240 ssd and a 500gib 3.5 drive .
Now it has 32gib ram and 2TB drives. i5 4690k cpu clocked at 3.5GHz . Very speedy machine for its age. 700W power supply and a Nividia1060 GTX gpu.


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I've always liked Dells of that vintage. Any built during that period were built like the proverbial brick out-house; tough, sturdy and made to last.

Our very first Dell, a 2002-vintage Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop, weighed nearly 7.5 lbs with the battery. But if you took it out, for any reason, then the thing would tip over on its back.....because the screen XGA display unit had a steel frame, and needed the weight of that massive 19.2 volt battery pack to counterbalance it!

Up until 2 years ago I'd been struggling along with an ancient, 2005 'original' Compaq Presario PC; one of the very last assembled with original Compaq components shortly after the HP buyout in 2004. Built like a tank, that thing was.....came with a single-core Athlon64 and a gig of DDR1. I upgraded it to within an inch of its life; dual-core Athlon64 X2, 4 GB RAM (max the MSI-built mobo would handle), discrete Nvidia GPU, SSDs, large external USB hard drives (two), high-power 850W Seasonic PSU (those old Athlons guzzled 'leccy like it was going out of style).....etc, etc. Eventually the Nichicon / Rubycon caps it was endowed with gave up the ghost after 15 years, and simply dried-out. I gave it a spring-clean in January 2020, shortly before the pandemic hit.....and she simply refused to boot-up any more. Dead as the proverbial dodo!

Happy days..... :p

Mike. ;)
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I'm still running a 15 year old desktop curb find.
~$ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: puppypc26119 Kernel: 5.10.0 x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: JWM 2.3.7 Distro: Slacko64 Puppy 8.2.1
Machine:   Device: desktop System: HP-Pavilion product: GN556AA-ABA a6200n
           Mobo: ECS model: Nettle2 v: 1.0 BIOS: Phoenix v: 5.12 date: 06/11/2007
CPU:       Dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips: 11255
           clock speeds: max: 2800 MHz 1: 1800 MHz 2: 1800 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 8400 GS Rev. 3] bus-ID: 02:00.0
           Display Server: X.org 1.20.11 drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           tty size: 126x43 Advanced Data: N/A for root
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA MCP61 High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:05.0
           Card-2 NVIDIA High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 02:00.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k5.10.0
Network:   Card: NVIDIA MCP61 Ethernet driver: forcedeth port: ec00 bus-ID: 00:07.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 113.4GB (8.2% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: Hitachi_HDS72168 size: 82.3GB
           ID-2: USB /dev/sdf model: USB_DISK_2.0 size: 31.0GB
Partition: ID-1: swap-1 size: 8.15GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram0
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 28.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 48.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 139 Uptime: 45 min Memory: 741.9/7963.5MB Init: SysVinit runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: N/A
           Client: Shell (bash 5.1.81) inxi: 2.3.8

I have several Dell Optiplex 380 desktops running Ubuntu 22.04.1 and Windows 10.
I have 1TB drive for Windows and 1 TB drive for Linux so instead of grub dual boot. I just hit F12 at start up for what OS I need to run.
Also have another computer a HP prodesk 600 g2 Dm mini pc with just Windows on it for some reason it doesn't like Linux.
I also have them both on remote connection.
Something interesting happened when they were both connected .

I opened steam in Linux and it started to load the games from my HP to the Dell like it went into remote steam .

I couldn't get GTA to load up through the connection.
So I turned off the HP and found that Linux was feeding off the HP .

I need to get my steam good on Linux .
When I used to dual boot dual hard drives was the only way each with their own OS boot loader so never any problems.

Some will say that Linux and Windows dual booted on one drive won't interact and create issues with each other but they can sometimes.
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Stand alone is best I think .
Some will say that Linux and Windows dual booted on one drive interact and create issues
the problem is some windows updates WILL re-activate windows quick start, whilst some others WILL break the Linux Grub, nothing you can do about it , if you want to duel boot but be prepared to turn off quick-start and re-install grub
Ice tower on the CPU is the next step on this build I think.
Also gonna get a front drive bay fan controller
Stand alone is best I think .
Virtual Box is OK. I once have Windows 10 stand alone, in Qemu and Virtual Box - then find out that I seldom touch the previous two.
Using a an ext4 shared folder between Linux host and Windows guest is safe... unlike the old days when I mount a NTFS partition with ntfs-3g to be used both by Windows and Linux, recipe for disaster.
So I got this fan controller now and I love it! Also picked up this CPU cooler for free from my good buddy.
I always wanted to get a cool looking heat sink like what you have posted but I figured I can't do any better than the oem heat sink and 120mm fan.

having fitment issues I need get one with all the attachments.
having fitment issues I need get one with all the attachments.
That's always a bummer Dell don't like third party non oem stuff being fitted onto their proprietary motherboards leastwise from my experience.

The newer Dells are pretty generic parts wise and not as proprietary as the old Dells are.
with the aftermarket power supply and the stand alone Fan controller I have more non proprietary options.
So far with this setup only adapter I have needed was a 24-8 pin power to the motherboard.
Your Dell Optiplex 9020 is a newer generation Optiplex where Dell used standard PC parts which is actually better.

My old generation Dell Optiplex 380 is pretty much all proprietary PC parts. {scream}

I also have a Dell Optiplex XE the non SFF desktop.

Dell desktops are one of the best oem factory built computers imo.
This PC also has preprietary parts well used to lol!
now that I have a stand alone Fan controller and a newer power supply I have a lot more options to go with.the only original parts as of now is the motherboard and the rear outlet fan . I just bought this 120mm crazy huge Cpu Cooler.
Cpu cooler
Nice cooler.

I've always thought those coolers looked cool even before the RGB LED's were added as I always thought the copper tubes looked cool going up into the heat sink fins.

Nowadays I can get by with the plain old oem processor heat sink and fan since processors seem to rum cool compared to the olden days.
If it doesn't make a difference I will take it back to Micro center lol!

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