Question Dell OptiPlex 7020 upgrade options

Nov 1, 2020
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Hi,
I'm looking to upgrade my CPU from: i3-4160 to an i5 or i7, but I cannot find the page on the DELL website advising me which CPUs will work. Some models have a handy list of the exact CPUs that are supported, but for this model it just generically says: i3/i5/i7. Can anyone point me to a list of compatible CPUs please?

I found this page: https://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Intel_(chipsets)/Q87.html but i'm not 100% sure if all those CPUs are supported by my machine. How would I even go about finding out this info if it's not in the online manual?

Also, on wiki, the max ram for this model is listed as 32GB, but on the official dell spec sheet is 16GB. Has there been some kind of bios update opening up more ram to be used in these machines does anyone know, or is wiki just wrong? Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dell_OptiPlex

Thanks!
 
Dell doesn't usually provide sufficient documentation, but most of the Haswell CPUs should work.

I'd just stay away from the K intel chips... The other versions like non-K, S or T 4th Gen CPUs should work without issues.

Make sure you're on the latest BIOS before upgrading the CPU.
 
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Thanks
Dell doesn't usually provide sufficient documentation, but most of the Haswell CPUs should work.

I'd just stay away from the K intel chips... The other versions like non-K, S or T 4th Gen CPUs should work without issues.

Make sure you're on the latest BIOS before upgrading the CPU.
Thanks for your quick response. Ones i'm thinking of are:
i5-4590, i5-4670, i5-4690 , i7-4770, i7-4771 , i7-4790 or their 'S' equivalent. Should I be fine with any of these? When you say: "non-K, S, T", do you mean non-S and non-T also?

Also, do I need to do any checks with the model numbers before buying? i.e. numbers in square brackets: i7-4790 - [CM8064601560113 / BX80646I74790 / BXC80646I74790 ]

Thanks again
 
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Thanks


Thanks for your quick response. Ones i'm thinking of are:
i5-4590, i5-4670, i5-4690 , i7-4770, i7-4771 , i7-4790 or their 'S' equivalent. Should I be fine with any of these? When you say: "non-K, S, T", do you mean non-S and non-T also?

Do I need to do any checks with the model numbers before buying? i.e. these in square brackets: i7-4790 - [CM8064601560113 / BX80646I74790 / BXC80646I74790 ]

Thanks again
No... S and T are fine too, because they're even lower TDP than the non-k (I7-4790 for example).

The I7-4790 is actually the best you can do on that optiplex.

About the different versions:
CM8064601560113 - tray version of the CPU... that means no CPU cooler included, just the CPU

BX80646I74790 - CPU cooler included on this one

BXC80646I74790 - CPU cooler included... this version was sold in China, hence the additional "C".
 
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About the different versions:
CM8064601560113 - tray version of the CPU... that means no CPU cooler included, just the CPU

BX80646I74790 - CPU cooler included on this one

BXC80646I74790 - CPU cooler included... this version was sold in China, hence the additional "C".
Did not know this. Learn something new everyday. Thanks again for all your help!
 

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I wouldnt upgrade something like that and move towards a ryzen 3100 system instead because upgrading an older systems cpu is not worth it unless you find one for 20-50$, if you were using lga 1156 there is a xeon upgrade path for that the x34xx series, 1155? Also a xeon upgrade path e3 12xx v1 and v2, 1150? Also a xeon upgrade path but those are not worth it since the e3 12xx v3 are wayy overpriced, so just get a budget ryzen 3100 system instead of upgrading a crappy dells cpu, tho for budget gaming that dell is pretty decent, just put in a gtx 750 and voila a decent budget gaming system
 
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I wouldnt upgrade something like that and move towards a ryzen 3100 system instead because upgrading an older systems cpu is not worth it unless you find one for 20-50$, if you were using lga 1156 there is a xeon upgrade path for that the x34xx series, 1155? Also a xeon upgrade path e3 12xx v1 and v2, 1150? Also a xeon upgrade path but those are not worth it since the e3 12xx v3 are wayy overpriced, so just get a budget ryzen 3100 system instead of upgrading a crappy dells cpu, tho for budget gaming that dell is pretty decent, just put in a gtx 750 and voila a decent budget gaming system
I got the dell pretty cheap and it’s not for gaming. At worst i’ll be watching tv shows and using Excel. That CPU you recommended alone is £100+, so it makes no sense me getting it for my needs. I should be able to have an i5 or i7 7020 SFF machine with 8gb ram all in for circa £100-120. More than enough for my needs 🙂

Oh and why do you say dell optiplex is crappy? I’ve had a pretty good experience with them lately. They seem to be built to last. My current machine is a dell optiplex 390 and with a cpu and ram upgrade it’s going strong 2 years after I bought it.
 
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I got the dell pretty cheap and it’s not for gaming. At worst i’ll be watching tv shows and using Excel. That CPU you recommended alone is £100+, so it makes no sense me getting it for my needs. I should be able to have an i5 or i7 7020 SFF machine with 8gb ram all in for circa £100-120. More than enough for my needs 🙂

Oh and why do you say dell optiplex is crappy? I’ve had a pretty good experience with them lately. They seem to be built to last. My current machine is a dell optiplex 390 and with a cpu and ram upgrade it’s going strong 2 years after I bought it.
If the system is only for office work, watching videos and maybe some light gaming, get an i5 45xx or 46xx or 4770 S, T or 4790 S, T. An i7 will make the system last at least another 2-3 years before you may feel you need a full system upgrade. I would avoid the full speed 4770(K) and 4790(K), because they will require a new CPU cooler and a higher wattage SFF PSU (around 280-300w) if you have the 7020 small form factor case.
 
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If the system is only for office work, watching videos and maybe some light gaming, get an i5 45xx or 46xx or 4770 S, T or 4790 S, T. An i7 will make the system last at least another 2-3 years before you may feel you need a full system upgrade. I would avoid the full speed 4770(K) and 4790(K), because they will require a new CPU cooler and a higher wattage SFF PSU (around 280-300w) if you have the 7020 small form factor case.
Thanks for the tip! I spent all afternoon browsing CPUs on ebay and the i7’s are too expensive. Will bide my time and wait for a good i5 deal to come around. I3 will do for now. Is there any point me bothering upgrading the ram to 16gb for office work/web browsing? In my dell optiplex 390 i am managing fine with 8gb.
 
Thanks for the tip! I spent all afternoon browsing CPUs on ebay and the i7’s are too expensive. Will bide my time and wait for a good i5 deal to come around. I3 will do for now. Is there any point me bothering upgrading the ram to 16gb for office work/web browsing? In my dell optiplex 390 i am managing fine with 8gb.
Nope... unless you're opening A LOT of tabs in Chrome.
Also, getting another module might be risky... even if you buy one with the same model number they might not work together. It might be worth if the module is returnable though.
Otherwise, getting a memory kit is the recommended thing to do (if you want to upgrade). You can sell the old module.
 
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If the system is only for office work, watching videos and maybe some light gaming, get an i5 45xx or 46xx or 4770 S, T or 4790 S, T. An i7 will make the system last at least another 2-3 years before you may feel you need a full system upgrade. I would avoid the full speed 4770(K) and 4790(K), because they will require a new CPU cooler and a higher wattage SFF PSU (around 280-300w) if you have the 7020 small form factor case.
I created a spreadsheet with some CPU data, and noticed that the i7-4770 uses 84W, as does the i7-4771 and i7-4790. Interestingly the i7-4770K also uses 84W, and the top i5 and top i7 (i5-4690K and i7-4790K) use 88W, only 4W more than the non-K ones mentioned above.

On this basis, if the Q87 dell optiplex 7020 motherboard can handle the i7-4790 without special cooling fan, should it be able to handle the 88W CPUs too (i.e. the i5-4690K and i7-4790K)? Can't see 4W being a huge additional burden on the fan, esp. if i'm not maxing out the CPU. Thoughts on this guys?

Also, just for peace of mind, is it possible to underclock the 88W CPUs to reduce the wattage or will the CPU consume as much power as it is rated for, regardless of how much it is being used?

This is not to say i'd necessarily get the 84W or 88W CPU for my machine, but just curious about the heat issue.

Thanks.
 
I created a spreadsheet with some CPU data, and noticed that the i7-4770 uses 84W, as does the i7-4771 and i7-4790. Interestingly the i7-4770K also uses 84W, and the top i5 and top i7 (i5-4690K and i7-4790K) use 88W, only 4W more than the non-K ones mentioned above.

On this basis, if the Q87 dell optiplex 7020 motherboard can handle the i7-4790 without special cooling fan, should it be able to handle the 88W CPUs too (i.e. the i5-4690K and i7-4790K)? Can't see 4W being a huge additional burden on the fan, esp. if i'm not maxing out the CPU. Thoughts on this guys?

Also, just for peace of mind, is it possible to underclock the 88W CPUs to reduce the wattage or will the CPU consume as much power as it is rated for, regardless of how much it is being used?

This is not to say i'd necessarily get the 84W or 88W CPU for my machine, but just curious about the heat issue.

Thanks.
That wattage is not how much the CPU uses, but the TDP or thermal design power. The CPU should be using less power than the CPU TDP under load. You want a CPU cooler that is rated for at least the CPU TDP, to keep the CPU from overheating past its thermal throttle limit. Typically you would be running a 90mm-120mm tower cooler that is rated at around 125-200watt TDP for an i7, but it's not always necessary to have the best cooler if the case has good ventilation.

The issue you have with an SFF case, is you are limited to a small selection of slim coolers. You might also have the possibility that Dell did not use standard Intel cooler mounting holes on the motherboard so you might not be able to use other coolers easily. I really don't know what cooler will fit and can't find any definitive answers as of writing this. That is partly why I was suggesting you buy the S or T models. The S model would be the best and faster CPU option without having to worry about replacing the PSU and the CPU cooler. The lower end cooler is rated for 65watt TDP CPUs. There is a decently cheap ($10-20/ £7.50-15) 95watt TDP cooler (0G8CNY) that Dell installed on the higher TDP CPUs in the SFF case, so you have at least that option.

You likely won't need a PSU upgrade to run the non-K model CPUs, but I would still look for an i5/i7 S model 4570/90, 4670/90, 4770/90 if you don't want to replace the cooler for whatever reason. I should mention though that the stock Intel cooler that came with my 4770S was barely enough to keep it under 80c when I was running it as a server before using it as my main system. I have no idea what the rated TDP is of that cooler, but I'd guess about 65watt. When I made the 4770S my main system, I replaced the cooler with a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo 120mm tower cooler and dropped temps to 60-65c under load.
 
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That wattage is not how much the CPU uses, but the TDP or thermal design power. The CPU should be using less power than the CPU TDP under load. You want a CPU cooler that is rated for at least the CPU TDP, to keep the CPU from overheating past its thermal throttle limit. Typically you would be running a 90mm-120mm tower cooler that is rated at around 125-200watt TDP for an i7, but it's not always necessary to have the best cooler if the case has good ventilation.

The issue you have with an SFF case, is you are limited to a small selection of slim coolers. You might also have the possibility that Dell did not use standard Intel cooler mounting holes on the motherboard so you might not be able to use other coolers easily. I really don't know what cooler will fit and can't find any definitive answers as of writing this. That is partly why I was suggesting you buy the S or T models. The S model would be the best and faster CPU option without having to worry about replacing the PSU and the CPU cooler. The lower end cooler is rated for 65watt TDP CPUs. There is a decently cheap ($10-20/ £7.50-15) 95watt TDP cooler (0G8CNY) that Dell installed on the higher TDP CPUs in the SFF case, so you have at least that option.

You likely won't need a PSU upgrade to run the non-K model CPUs, but I would still look for an i5/i7 S model 4570/90, 4670/90, 4770/90 if you don't want to replace the cooler for whatever reason. I should mention though that the stock Intel cooler that came with my 4770S was barely enough to keep it under 80c when I was running it as a server before using it as my main system. I have no idea what the rated TDP is of that cooler, but I'd guess about 65watt. When I made the 4770S my main system, I replaced the cooler with a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo 120mm tower cooler and dropped temps to 60-65c under load.
I thought all the cpu cooling fans used on dell optiplexes would have been the same regardless of cpu. I’ve got a bad bad feeling the fan may struggle with the “S” CPU’s given it will be cooling an i3 54W rated cpu. Will find out tomorrow what kind of fan i’ve got under the hood. More I think about it, the more I regret my purchase. Should have just been more patient and bought an i5 machine to start off with!
 
I thought all the cpu cooling fans used on dell optiplexes would have been the same regardless of cpu. I’ve got a bad bad feeling the fan may struggle with the “S” CPU’s given it will be cooling an i3 54W rated cpu. Will find out tomorrow what kind of fan i’ve got under the hood. More I think about it, the more I regret my purchase. Should have just been more patient and bought an i5 machine to start off with!
It's not that big of a issue. The system will run hot unfortunately, but there isn't much you can do about that. Fortunately you still have the option of moving the motherboard to a tower case and using a standard ATX PSU with an adapter to work on the motherboard. If the motherboard supports standard Intel cooler mounting hardware, you could even use a 120mm tower cooler. The biggest issue with moving to a larger case is getting the front panel buttons and lights connected, which will require some tools to adapt the cables. You can buy adapters that just plug in place, but they're expensive.

Here is an example of a front panel adapter for "standard" ATX case front panel wires.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Optiplex-7010-9010-7020-9020-and-Precision-T1700-Front-Panel-Header-Adapter/264733441811?hash=item3da357bf13:g:Y-4AAOSwglZflP9B

Here is the PSU adapter.
https://www.moddiy.com/products/Dell-OptiPlex-7020-PSU-Main-Power-24-Pin-to-8-Pin-Adapter-Cable-30cm.html?setCurrencyId=6
 
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The machine is way smaller than I was expecting. Not much room in there to do much! Looks like I'll probably just sell it on without bothering to upgrade the cpu! The cpu fan is tiny and there isn't much space to put a bigger one in. I think i'll stick to DT/MT machines in future - extra interior space is much needed and these SFF machines lack them!
 
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That wattage is not how much the CPU uses, but the TDP or thermal design power. The CPU should be using less power than the CPU TDP under load. You want a CPU cooler that is rated for at least the CPU TDP, to keep the CPU from overheating past its thermal throttle limit. Typically you would be running a 90mm-120mm tower cooler that is rated at around 125-200watt TDP for an i7, but it's not always necessary to have the best cooler if the case has good ventilation.
Hello,

I was hoping I could get your/someone's opinion on this part no: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Dell-OptiPlex-7010-CPU-Cooling-Fan-Heatsink-P-N-89R8J-089R8J-/283643327641

Edit: just found this link too: DP/N: G8CNY . Not sure if the one I have is the same but it looks like this. The fan itself has DP/N: 89R8J. Can't see code G8CNY anywhere, not on cable either.

I have the equivalent in my SFF machine, and i'm trying to figure out whether it's rated for 65W CPUs or can handle up to 84W. Important because if it's only rated up to 65W, it'll rule out a lot of the i5 and i7 CPUs. Fan looks pretty tiny, so a bit concerned it may not be poweful enough to handle a more powerful cpu.

Will continue googling in the meanwhile!

Thanks!
 
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Hello,

I was hoping I could get your/someone's opinion on this part no: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Dell-OptiPlex-7010-CPU-Cooling-Fan-Heatsink-P-N-89R8J-089R8J-/283643327641

Edit: just found this link too: DP/N: G8CNY . Not sure if the one I have is the same but it looks like this. The fan itself has DP/N: 89R8J. Can't see code G8CNY anywhere, not on cable either.

I have the equivalent in my SFF machine, and i'm trying to figure out whether it's rated for 65W CPUs or can handle up to 84W. Important because if it's only rated up to 65W, it'll rule out a lot of the i5 and i7 CPUs. Fan looks pretty tiny, so a bit concerned it may not be poweful enough to handle a more powerful cpu.

Will continue googling in the meanwhile!

Thanks!
89R8J is the fan model and the 95watt TDP CPU cooler is labeled 0G8CNY or G8CNY for the same model. I don't have the model number of the 65watt TDP CPU cooler likely on the 7020 SFF that I found on the Dell forum, but never posted it in a previous post where I mentioned the G8CNY model.

Edit - The 95watt cooler is not worth more than £10. It looks like you can probably use any cooler that fits the Intel LGA stock cooler mounting holes, if you remove the Dell cooler mounting hardware on the bottom of the motheboard.
 
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89R8J is the fan model and the 95watt TDP CPU cooler is labeled 0G8CNY or G8CNY for the same model. I don't have the model number of the 65watt TDP CPU cooler likely on the 7020 SFF that I found on the Dell forum, but never posted it in a previous post where I mentioned the G8CNY model.

Edit - The 95watt cooler is not worth more than £10. It looks like you can probably use any cooler that fits the Intel LGA stock cooler mounting holes, if you remove the Dell cooler mounting hardware on the bottom of the motheboard.
Sorry if i'm being stupid, but what's a TDP CPU cooler? Is that the heatsink, or the heatsink and fan combo, or the fan?

Also, is 89R8J a 65W watt fan, or did you mean you think it's 65W?

Thanks.
 
Sorry if i'm being stupid, but what's a TDP CPU cooler? Is that the heatsink, or the heatsink and fan combo, or the fan?

Also, is 89R8J a 65W watt fan, or did you mean you think it's 65W?

Thanks.
89R8J is the model of the fan itself and G8CNY is the 95watt TDP heat-sink. CPU cooler is the fan and heat-sink together. 89R8J G8CNY is the 95watt TDP CPU cooler. The 65watt TDP heat-sink is X3JDD. So the model for that CPU cooler would be 89R8J X3JDD.

The thing about the Dell CPU cooler, is that as far as I can tell, it's not designed by Dell and is just rebranded for them. You could likely buy another brand that is the same exact cooler for the same price or less as the used Dell cooler will cost. I'm recommending you buy the Dell cooler because it was "designed" for the 7020 and other Dell systems using the same parts.

If you want to try to buy something else, something like the Cooler Master i50c (copper core) 95watt TDP CPU cooler would work well and likely match the Dell 95watt TDP cooler. Depending on how much space there is in the case when it's closed up, you might be able to install the Cooler Master i70c (120mm fan version of the i50c) to maintain the same airflow over the motherboards components as the original CPU cooler may be doing. You are probably going to have a hard time finding either coolers on European web stores.
 

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