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Are used PC parts the way to go?

Keatonmc
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I'm in the process of planning my first PC build and being a noob to the PC building game I was wondering if there are many reliability issues with used parts.  For example, going with a used graphics card would allow me to get a card with higher performance than buying one new.  I'm specifically looking at either a new RTX 2070 or a used GTX 1080Ti.

 

Edit: If anyone knows of any posts already talking about this topic could you point me in that direction?

Edited by Keatonmc
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As someone who dabbles in used parts, I would say yes you're exposing yourself to potential problems. Some people are dishonest, and also it's a peace of mind thing. I'd be fine buying small parts used, but I like my manufacturer warranty on big expensive parts like CPU and GPU. Everything is a gamble - if you're buying new you're paying more for peace of mind. If you buy used you're saving a certain amount with the possibility to lose it all. Having had two different GPUs fail on me, I can say I'm not buying those used unless the price is really good.

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1 minute ago, Bynming said:

As someone who dabbles in used parts, I would say yes you're exposing yourself to potential problems. Some people are dishonest, and also it's a peace of mind thing. I'd be fine buying small parts used, but I like my manufacturer warranty on big expensive parts like CPU and GPU. Everything is a gamble - if you're buying new you're paying more for peace of mind. If you buy used you're saving a certain amount with the possibility to lose it all. Having had two different GPUs fail on me, I can say I'm not buying those used unless the price is really good.

Thanks for the input.

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I would never buy used PC parts. The previous owner might have overclocked it to the point of near damage or reducing lifespan. They might not have a good surge protector or UPS and plug stuff directly into the outlet or things of that nature.

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Some parts are pretty safe to buy, some are better to be bought new.

Stuff like RAM, SSDs, cases, air CPU coolers can be bought used without worrying too much (just get a picture with RAM and SSD tests). CPUs should be pretty safe to buy used as well as they are somewhat recent. It takes lot of time to kill CPU, even with overclocking.

PSUs should be bought new, video cards are a tossup, same with motherboards (thought I would say new is safer due to warranty)

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It's very hit and miss, brother had a CPU (4790k) off ebay die after a week, whereas I had 2 gtx 780s off ebay (the 6gb versions, company had bought 4 of them for some project and then decided to go AMD so were selling dirt cheap) that lasted me until I replaced them with a 1080 after 3 years, I still have them and they still work.

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it all depends. i've pulled gpu's out of bins, and those still worked. others died after a while. 

 

as for my current pc, the cpu's, ram, motherboard, cpu coolers, psu's and case were all used. i'm putting my used 780Ti in soon, so then the gpu will be used too. 

 

but, it did take me a long time to put this rig together, and i got scammed twice on motherboards that didn't work. one had socket damage, which i managed to fix, and that board works now. the other one i never got to work stable. 

 

so it all depends on the risk you want to take. my pc started as a project system, just as a challenge for myself what kind of machine i could build using mostly used server hardware. and i ended up with a nice machine that i now use for basically everything i do. 

 

oh yeah, my laptop is also used. it has some scratches and stuff, but apart from that it's perfectly fine. 

 

again, it's all about risk, and if you're willing to take that risk. 

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it depends:

 

cpus or ram are a good buy, you have to be very unlucky to get one that doesn't work.

 

things like motherboards or gpus, depends a lot on the quality of the components, if you buy good brands and good sku's you have little change of having problems, if you buy cheap brands and cheap skus chances of a bad deal increase a lot. 

gpus also depends on the load the owner give them, things like fans can die, and are hard and expensive to exchange relative to the price of a low/middle end card

 

ssd's or hdd's i would never buy used, unless i use them for data i simply don't care about.

 

psu's are relatively cheap and on the other hand can destroy other more expensive components, so i wouldn't risk it

.

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Honestly *knocking on wood* I purchase quite a few parts used and I don't run into too many problems. You obviously can't just be completely clairvoyant and automatically know that the parts will work but generally when it comes to GPUs and things like that, I always purchase them from a machine that I can actually physically see running (or get them to install it in one) and then I also ask them to install a few stress tests and games so that I can give them a try and see if there is anything super obvious. If they can't do that for me, I just move on because I don't want to risk grabbing something and leaving most of it to guess work. Another thing that is handy to know is the general setup and layouts of GPUs in case you get screwed by some POS Chinese counterfeit GPUs. Like, a real 1060 isn't running VGA ports and 1GB of GDDR3 in 2018. A bit of common sense is needed in situations like that as much as it might be tempting to think you got a 1060 for a steal at 50 bucks USD new. 

 

 

In terms of CPUs, I would say it's relatively rare for a CPU to fail outright. Usually other things tend to be the culprit but I still like to see the CPU running in a machine and being able to verify that it is indeed the thing I'm looking to purchase before I commit. Although I have ordered Xeons sight unseen from overseas but generally with websites that offer good buyer protection in case I get bootied by an empty cardboard box.

 

I usually skip on buying used HDDs unless they are dirt cheap. SSDs I'd be more likely to pick up. Cases I'll get used so long as I can do the once over and make sure it isn't super scratched up. I usually buff them up (and treat the side panels if they're scratched up) so having a bit of crud isn't the worst thing, but at the same time, it still has to be a decent case and not beat to shit. 

 

PSUs I don't really buy used often even though there isn't really anything wrong with doing so. Generally with PSUs, I'll buy used higher end ones or modular ones. I'll skip out on older no-name PSUs or even some older, lower end CM and Antec level PSUs because I feel a bit more comfy in that sense getting something newer. 

 

 

Fans are usually cheap enough that I'll just get them new. Same thing for air coolers. I usually stay away from AIOs and water cooling unless it's a build for me so it's never really in the cards. 

 

 

But yeah, obviously there is a risk involved in getting anything used but IMO you can save a lot of cash that way if you are a little diligent in your parts hunting. :)

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I bought my graphics card used.  It is working fine and I got a good deal (EVGA 1070 FTW for $237).  I was not in a hurry to buy the part, so it took me about 2 months of looking.  I set a price I was not willing to go over ($250) and used the filter to narrow down my ebay search.  I also excluded any cards that did not offer returns.  That way I could send it back if there was a problem and if the seller tried to refuse the return I would still have the buyer's protection from ebay and paypal.  Do not send anyone cash or check before you have the card.  Pass on the card immediately if they want to finish the transaction outside of ebay (ie.  Meet me at this location and I'll knock a $100 off since I don't have to pay shipping or commission).  That is most likely a scam.  Read the description carefully to make sure they promise the card is working fully.  I saw several listings that were just selling the fans, but had a picture of the full card or that were selling a broken card.  A real picture of the card is better than a stock photo.

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On 11/22/2018 at 2:43 PM, Keatonmc said:

I was wondering if there are many reliability issues with used parts.

Depends on how much or how long each part has been used. If this is unknown, going with said part is not a great idea unless you're not investing much money into the entire build. When you do know how much or how long each part has been used, then going with it is an obvious choice provided that you like how long or how much it has been used. Always make sure to go with a new power supply, motherboard, ram, case and hard drive because you can always obtain these parts new on the cheap.

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I pretty much buy exclusively used parts, because I find the hunt for deals to be way more fun than simply picking out new parts and going to the store to pick them up.

That said, there are a few things I won't buy used; Peripherals and storage. Now, that's not to say I won't buy storage from a place other than a store, so you can still save a lot of money on new, sealed storage.

 

On 11/22/2018 at 1:10 PM, Bynming said:

As someone who dabbles in used parts, I would say yes you're exposing yourself to potential problems. Some people are dishonest, and also it's a peace of mind thing. I'd be fine buying small parts used, but I like my manufacturer warranty on big expensive parts like CPU and GPU. Everything is a gamble - if you're buying new you're paying more for peace of mind. If you buy used you're saving a certain amount with the possibility to lose it all. Having had two different GPUs fail on me, I can say I'm not buying those used unless the price is really good.

Unless you're buying the CPU outside of the warranty (in which case you shouldn't be spending much of anything on it anyway) it's perfectly fine. Same with the GPU as long as you buy from a manufacturer that doesn't require proof of purchase for warranty.

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2 hours ago, dizmo said:

I pretty much buy exclusively used parts, because I find the hunt for deals to be way more fun than simply picking out new parts and going to the store to pick them up.

That said, there are a few things I won't buy used; Peripherals and storage. Now, that's not to say I won't buy storage from a place other than a store, so you can still save a lot of money on new, sealed storage.

 

Unless you're buying the CPU outside of the warranty (in which case you shouldn't be spending much of anything on it anyway) it's perfectly fine. Same with the GPU as long as you buy from a manufacturer that doesn't require proof of purchase for warranty.

Interesting, how do they determine that the item is within warranty period? 

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9 hours ago, Bynming said:

Interesting, how do they determine that the item is within warranty period? 

Serial number.

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Storage: WD 750 SE 500GB, WD 730 SE 1TB GPU: AMD Radeon 6700XT 12GB PSU: Corsair SF600 Case: Streacom DA2

Monitor: LG 27GL83B Mouse: Razer Basilisk V2 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red Speakers: Mackie CR5BT

 

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CPU: Intel i3 4160 Cooler: Integrated Motherboard: Integrated

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 16GB DDR3 Storage: Transcend MSA370 128GB GPU: Intel 4400 Graphics

PSU: Integrated Case: Shuttle XPC Slim

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

Budget Rig 1 - Sold For $750 Profit

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i5 7600k Cooler: CryOrig H7 Motherboard: MSI Z270 M5

RAM: Crucial LPX 16GB DDR4 Storage: Intel S3510 800GB GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: EVGA DG73

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

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CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

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PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

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14 hours ago, dizmo said:

Serial number.

But that informs them about date of manufacture rather than date of purchase.

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6 minutes ago, Bynming said:

But that informs them about date of manufacture rather than date of purchase.

Right. So you don't get the full warranty, but you do get some kind of warranty. 3 years from date of manufacture is still longer than most people would realistically need for used hardware anyway.

CPU: Ryzen 9 5900 Cooler: EVGA CLC280 Motherboard: Gigabyte B550i Pro AX RAM: Kingston Hyper X 32GB 3200mhz

Storage: WD 750 SE 500GB, WD 730 SE 1TB GPU: AMD Radeon 6700XT 12GB PSU: Corsair SF600 Case: Streacom DA2

Monitor: LG 27GL83B Mouse: Razer Basilisk V2 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red Speakers: Mackie CR5BT

 

MiniPC - Sold for $100 Profit

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i3 4160 Cooler: Integrated Motherboard: Integrated

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 16GB DDR3 Storage: Transcend MSA370 128GB GPU: Intel 4400 Graphics

PSU: Integrated Case: Shuttle XPC Slim

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

Budget Rig 1 - Sold For $750 Profit

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i5 7600k Cooler: CryOrig H7 Motherboard: MSI Z270 M5

RAM: Crucial LPX 16GB DDR4 Storage: Intel S3510 800GB GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: EVGA DG73

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

OG Gaming Rig - Gone

Spoiler

 

CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 Storage: Kingston Fury 240GB GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

Monitor: Dell P2214H x2 Mouse: Logitech MX Master Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

 

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26 minutes ago, dizmo said:

Right. So you don't get the full warranty, but you do get some kind of warranty. 3 years from date of manufacture is still longer than most people would realistically need for used hardware anyway.

Cool, good to know, thanks

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