[SOLVED] Reputable sources for "new" Dell OEM PSU for T3500?

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Jan 31, 2021
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Hello, this is my first post here. I signed up after a lot of obsessive Googling yielded some great information from this forum. However, I can't find a good answer to my current question about PSUs, and am hopeful those who know more than me can help out.

I have a Dell T3500 and have owned it since brand new in 2010. I was the lucky beneficiary of a steep Dell discount through my workplace at the time and wanted a solid desktop that could handle Adobe products. I'm a communication consultant and don't do a ton of graphics-heavy work, but do use the programs. The IT team of my then-employer spec'd out the Dimension and it has been a reliable beast ever since with only a few upgrades (A17 BIOS, more RAM, and a new GPU) to keep it going. However, it has been slowing down and needs more upgrades. I'm not ready to be done with it just yet, which leads me to my current question:

If I want to replace the PSU with the same 525 watt Dell-branded unit (model H525AF-00), is there a known, reputable retailer that might have original, but new-in-package PSUs? If not, is there a non-OEM manufacturer who makes the same model that is reputable? I'd like to use the original wiring harness so it's a matter of plug and play, rather than cutting wires and/or lifting the motherboard.

I have seen many used, refurb, and open-box Dell PSUs online. There are also a couple listed as "brand-new" but I'm not sure whether to believe it. One is even in original packaging, but again, I question the authenticity.

My current PSU is running just fine. But it's 11 years old and I fear it's running on borrowed time. Since I use this desktop for my work, I'd rather address things preemptively. Not to mention, I've just ordered more RAM, a new-to-me CPU (Xeon 5680), and plan to replace the original HDD with a 1TB SSD. I might eventually upgrade the GPU again (currently running a GTX 750 ti), but it wouldn't be to anything overly hot or power hungry. I'm not a gamer. If the prices ever come down, I might opt for a 1050 ti.

Sorry for typing so much and thank you in advance for any advice!
 
Thank you. I know there are other PSUs I can replace it with, but I was hoping to avoid that so I could use the existing wiring harness and simply plug it in. To my knowledge (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), I can't use that wiring harness with anything other than the stock Dell PSU common among the T3500, 5500, etc. lines. Otherwise, I have to cut the existing harness wires and either 1) Lift the motherboard out to remove the rest of the wires underneath it (not doing that, because I am not that confident in my abilities) or 2) Figure out how to attach new wires, make sure I have all the correct connectors, etc. Maybe the latter is easier than I'm making it out to be in my head, but I'm not someone who regularly works on computers, so I've been trying to avoid extra work unless necessary.

I just wondered how likely it is to actually find an OEM model H525AF-00 PSU that has never been used. Because again, I've seen listings, but can't tell if they are crappy knock offs. One in particular, is still sealed in a silver package, but I doubt that means anything, unless Dell was known for packing its 2009-12 era PSUs in that manner. I really don't know.

Thanks again for any advice. It's possible I'll just have to opt for another brand.
Chances of finding a new, exact replacement from a retailer are slim. Perhaps Dell has one. You are correct that you can not reuse the cables with anything other than an exact replacement. That being said, it's an old design, group regulated and uncertified. It appears to be a standard ATX type so a store bought model should fit.

You'd be far better off replacing it with something like a non-modular, budget model Corsair CX550 which is made with newer technology, better topology, 80+ Bronze certification, better protective circuitry, a 5 year warranty and will probably cost less. It's worth the hassle to change it out.
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FdRFf7/corsair-cx-2017-550w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-cp-9020121-na

If budget is not a big issue you could use a better model such as Corsair RM550x or Seasonic Focus Plus 550 which are both fully modular types, 80+ gold rated and longer warranties.
 
Reactions: ACuriousMind
Jan 31, 2021
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10
0
Thank you. I know there are other PSUs I can replace it with, but I was hoping to avoid that so I could use the existing wiring harness and simply plug it in. To my knowledge (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), I can't use that wiring harness with anything other than the stock Dell PSU common among the T3500, 5500, etc. lines. Otherwise, I have to cut the existing harness wires and either 1) Lift the motherboard out to remove the rest of the wires underneath it (not doing that, because I am not that confident in my abilities) or 2) Figure out how to attach new wires, make sure I have all the correct connectors, etc. Maybe the latter is easier than I'm making it out to be in my head, but I'm not someone who regularly works on computers, so I've been trying to avoid extra work unless necessary.

I just wondered how likely it is to actually find an OEM model H525AF-00 PSU that has never been used. Because again, I've seen listings, but can't tell if they are crappy knock offs. One in particular, is still sealed in a silver package, but I doubt that means anything, unless Dell was known for packing its 2009-12 era PSUs in that manner. I really don't know.

Thanks again for any advice. It's possible I'll just have to opt for another brand.
 
Thank you. I know there are other PSUs I can replace it with, but I was hoping to avoid that so I could use the existing wiring harness and simply plug it in. To my knowledge (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), I can't use that wiring harness with anything other than the stock Dell PSU common among the T3500, 5500, etc. lines. Otherwise, I have to cut the existing harness wires and either 1) Lift the motherboard out to remove the rest of the wires underneath it (not doing that, because I am not that confident in my abilities) or 2) Figure out how to attach new wires, make sure I have all the correct connectors, etc. Maybe the latter is easier than I'm making it out to be in my head, but I'm not someone who regularly works on computers, so I've been trying to avoid extra work unless necessary.

I just wondered how likely it is to actually find an OEM model H525AF-00 PSU that has never been used. Because again, I've seen listings, but can't tell if they are crappy knock offs. One in particular, is still sealed in a silver package, but I doubt that means anything, unless Dell was known for packing its 2009-12 era PSUs in that manner. I really don't know.

Thanks again for any advice. It's possible I'll just have to opt for another brand.
Chances of finding a new, exact replacement from a retailer are slim. Perhaps Dell has one. You are correct that you can not reuse the cables with anything other than an exact replacement. That being said, it's an old design, group regulated and uncertified. It appears to be a standard ATX type so a store bought model should fit.

You'd be far better off replacing it with something like a non-modular, budget model Corsair CX550 which is made with newer technology, better topology, 80+ Bronze certification, better protective circuitry, a 5 year warranty and will probably cost less. It's worth the hassle to change it out.
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FdRFf7/corsair-cx-2017-550w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-cp-9020121-na

If budget is not a big issue you could use a better model such as Corsair RM550x or Seasonic Focus Plus 550 which are both fully modular types, 80+ gold rated and longer warranties.
 
Reactions: ACuriousMind
Jan 31, 2021
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0
10
0
Thanks. It sounds like I'll be pursuing a different PSU. The links you listed look promising, I'll have to do some more reading to find out how compatible they are with the t3500 in terms of motherboard cord length (apparently the connector is opposite corner of the PSU and can be a challenge for short cords). Is pin count on the connectors standard among the ATX?

If I install a new PSU and don't lift the motherboard, are there ways to secure the cords with ties, without causing other issues? Has anyone else done it that way?

On a positive note, my new CPU and RAM should arrive today, so I'll have it opened up again soon and will take some more photos for reference before purchasing a new PSU.
 
Thanks. It sounds like I'll be pursuing a different PSU. The links you listed look promising, I'll have to do some more reading to find out how compatible they are with the t3500 in terms of motherboard cord length (apparently the connector is opposite corner of the PSU and can be a challenge for short cords). Is pin count on the connectors standard among the ATX?

If I install a new PSU and don't lift the motherboard, are there ways to secure the cords with ties, without causing other issues? Has anyone else done it that way?

On a positive note, my new CPU and RAM should arrive today, so I'll have it opened up again soon and will take some more photos for reference before purchasing a new PSU.
Power supply pinouts are standard at the component end but not at the back of the power supply. This is critical to observe and the main reason why you can't use old cables. It's also possible an old model may have thinner gauge wires but I'm not positive about that. Cord lengths are usually listed at manufacturer websites along with other specifications for the power supply model.

Cable management is all up to you and how much work you're willing to put in to it. Newer chassis' (cases) have many cable route holes but probably not yours considering its age. Zip ties may help in your situation. Take some 'creative license' here.

I'm unsure why you'd have to lift or remove the motherboard unless you want to run cables under it. You don't want cables under the board near the CPU or the chipset due to heat. I'd avoid doing it at all if possible.
 
Jan 31, 2021
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I'm unsure why you'd have to lift or remove the motherboard unless you want to run cables under it. You don't want cables under the board near the CPU or the chipset due to heat. I'd avoid doing it at all if possible.
The Dell T3500 has a cord that runs under the motherboard. It was designed that way. Here is a YouTube video I have referenced re: a T3500 PSU upgrade, where he explains the issue. It does sound like I don't need to remove the motherboard, provided I can be creative, as you mentioned.

Reading up on PSUs is overwhelming to me. So many pros/cons and criteria I am not educated about. But I appreciate the leads you have provided thus far.

Edited to add I assume I could use a 600 watt PSU of the same brand referenced in the video above? Whether or not it's a reputable PSU will probably require some more reading, though it seems to have good reviews.
 
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The Dell T3500 has a cord that runs under the motherboard. It was designed that way. Here is a YouTube video I have referenced re: a T3500 PSU upgrade, where he explains the issue. It does sound like I don't need to remove the motherboard, provided I can be creative, as you mentioned.

Reading up on PSUs is overwhelming to me. So many pros/cons and criteria I am not educated about. But I appreciate the leads you have provided thus far.

Edited to add I assume I could use a 600 watt PSU of the same brand referenced in the video above? Whether or not it's a reputable PSU will probably require some more reading, though it seems to have good reviews.
The lower budget EVGA BQ series is semi-modular, making cable management easier but it's very average in quality. If you're considering any other models feel free to ask.
 
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