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Optiplex 7020 Catalina weird intermittent freezes and beachballs

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Another day another build. Got my hands on an old Optiplex 7020. Everything works as expected apart from the display not waking up after sleep (which is a known WEG related issue) and the worst niggle; intermittent freezes and beachballs. 

 

They happen rarely and seemingly random. Like when opening disks or apps things just freeze up for a bit and sometimes showing a beachball for a second or two before resuming things as normal. But I can spend hours using the machine normally and everything is smooth and lovely without any freezes. Is it because I have HD4400 graphics? If that's the case then the only options I have are to replace the CPU or put an external graphics card. None of which are really an option at this moment.

 

I tried finding others with a HD4400 and/or these freezes but couldn't find anything similar so maybe it is caused somewhere else? I've attached my EFI folder and I'm willing to try anything and do reinstalls too. No problem. I'm stuck at home and have time to play around and it would be great if this weird freezing can be fixed as I vastly prefer macOS over other operating systems (where this freezing does not happen. the h/w should be capable to run macOS smooth all the time).

 

I've tried different ram sticks, ram slots, drives and bios settings but nothing seems to sort these weird freezes out. I don't have another cpu for this socket that the HD4600 or an external graphics card supported by macOS. 

 

I hope maybe someone in here -- where things are very Dell centric -- has ran into these odd freezes before and knows what's causing them.  Thanks a lot for reading and if I need to provide any logs or other things let me know and I gladly provide it. I'm going to be trying Mojave as well so make sure it's not Catalina related.

 

Any pointers or ideas are welcomed!

 

EFI.zip

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Everything looks Ok to me, especially on the HD4400 graphics front. You' have full graphics acceleration and I see your display connected over HDMI. How's CPU power management? Check it with HWMonitor app (if you have FakeSMC PlugIns installed) or Intel's Power Gadget.

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Intel power management looks good to me. Temperatures are between 35-45 when browsing/playing music etc. It does look like the core freq remains at 3.6GHz at all times, but I'm not sure if I read the power gadget correctly and that it should change realtime depending on current clock speed. I generated the ssdt using this script. 

1562282534_Screenshot2020-03-26at18_02_00.thumb.png.160a21ab817c70816e6a4d17fa548856.png

It's connected using DP to DP. Maybe I need to use Hackintool to sort those ports out? I was also reading it might need some kind of patch to increase DVMT allocation. It is 32mb now and it should be 64mb if I understand correctly. I've never had the need to Framebuffer patch from scratch but maybe this a good time to try it and maybe learn something new 😅

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We have an entire thread dedicated to Azul framebuffer patching in our R&D->Graphics section; look it up. But if things work fine on the graphics front, you've got nothing to do really... 

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Thanks! I'll check it out and see if there's anything missing or could be better. After watching Intel power gadget for a while it does sometimes change the cpu clocks under 3.6GHz but very rarely. Despite the cpu usage being very low it runs at the high speed a lot. But that shouldn't cause anything other than more heat.

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From what I had read, the freeze occur with unused connector(s) on an Haswell I3 CPU. This issue doesn't occur on higher CPU like i5 or i7.

Determine the ports that you don't need and disable it.

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