Up For Debate - Do you consider buying refurbished PC components?

Written by Stuart Thomas on Sun, Dec 27, 2020 2:00 PM

The PC gaming community is huge, and largely comprised various different setups and rigs. The unimaginable amount of customizability is one of the many reasons why so many of us are attracted to the platform. But upgrading/building a new rig can get pretty pricey, especially when you’re looking at some of the top-of-the-line hardware like the RTX 30 series or RX 6000 series.

However, there is another way to cut down on costs when buying new PC components: getting them second hand.

Oof, I know, I know, I heard the collective gasp of many of you as soon as you read that statement. To many, it’s blasphemous to even suggest getting refurbished PC components, as any good PC gamer would know: it’s bad luck to get a GPU tarnished by other hands.

It does make sense to be hesitant though considering that PC hardware can be so delicate at times, and the idea of one component that could potentially break down the line because some guy from the town over loved to blow his vape through his PC fans and make them go whoosh in the RGB lighting isn’t exactly the most comforting.

What’s worse is that if a PC component does eventually die on you later down the line, you’ll have no idea if it was because of you or that rando you got it from online. And usually an essential component dies just when you need it the most, as is Murphy's law.

Probably the biggest issue with buying refurbished components is the worry that the previous owner used it for mining, as mining GPUs are often kept running for weeks or even months at full power, which potentially damages the circuitry and reduces the lifespan significantly.

Then again, all that pretty much pales in comparison to how much cheaper you can get some of these components at times. A top end GPU could potentially drop to half price, and considering that all the RTX 30 cards are out of stock, wouldn’t that be a pretty good deal?

Last year we asked you the exact same question around Christmas time as well, but considering all the issues with stock availability at the moment we wanted to see if any of you have changed your minds?

For perspective, last year's results were as follows: when asked if you buy refurbished PC components, most of you said "Never" with 200 votes, followed by a humble 125 votes for "Sometimes". 37 of you voted for "Rarely" and only 17 voted "Always". Will those numbers change this year? We'll see...

What do you think? Is it okay to buy refurbished PC components? Have you ever bought one? How often do you usually buy them? Let’s debate!

Do you buy refurbished PC components?

Is it okay to buy them? Or is there too much of a risk?

Would you prefer a second hand GPU now? Or a brand new one much later?

Login or Register to join the debate

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22:04 Dec-28-2020

it's a matter of luck indeed, but I'm fine with my current GTX1080Ti I bought second-hand :)

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02:49 Dec-30-2020

When did you buy it?

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14:00 Dec-30-2020

year ago around this time I think :)
it still had protective sticker/foil on, as it was barely used in some office/graphic workstation

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00:34 Dec-31-2020

Damn, you were really lucky.
Hope you got a good deal on it.

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17:07 Dec-28-2020

New parts, i dont trust the second hand and refurbished parts as those sometimes have problems or just not working at all

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16:16 Dec-28-2020

1 1070tu bought used using it for a year 1 gtx970 bought used sold 1 970 bought new sold...why the fck not. i got the 1070 tii for 260eurosa year ago.does all i need in 1440p,why would i buy a new one for 3x that much?

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12:48 Dec-28-2020

Most of the time. It it's hard to get a brand new PC components. Especially if the the demand is too high. So it's better to get the recent one. It may not be as powerful as the new component. But you can still play the games you want.

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09:45 Dec-28-2020

I've only ever bought a refurbished PSU. The case was bent on the side like it was hit with a small bullet and the fan stopped working 20 minutes after installing. I had a second CPU fan which I attached to the PSU. Works like a charm :D

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17:06 Dec-28-2020

The least thing you want to cheap on is the PSU as it may dmg other components on your pc or even your entire pc.. just sayin

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06:01 Dec-28-2020

I always try to get new PC components but tbh with the way these insane prices are (looks at gfx cards) right now or should i say for the last 2-3 year?! I think i'll have no choice but to get a used pc component!


With that said i would never get a used ssd/hdd, motherboard and ofc PSU (seen enough of what can happen with psus to give me nightmares)!

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03:07 Dec-28-2020

I personally prefer new parts, but that is mostly down to me buying latest and greatest. But if I were pushed to more budget parts, buying refurbished parts is nice way of getting good deal, even if it is previous generation hardware. Which depending on generation can still hold up pretty well. Though there are few parts I would never buy refurbished, like SSD/HDD or PSU, obviously.

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22:24 Dec-27-2020

my faith in used pc parts and who sell them, didn't change, and neither the answer .


3D MARK Stress test run it 3 times on the pc of the seller and if everything run as it should you can make the deal, but if it run as it should the difference in prices will not be high enough to go for a used part, kind of a paradox.

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20:50 Dec-27-2020

I sell my used GPUs and CPUs second-hand but prefer to buy new, usually using the sold funds towards it.

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18:44 Dec-27-2020

It's not generally something I practice outside of the retro space, but I would buy "refurbished" parts if they were selling cheap enough. Problem is you never really find anything at cheap prices even on the used market until it's good and obsolete.

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18:23 Dec-27-2020

I've honestly had luck with buying second hand GPUs, for me and a friend. Even my current one being the same, also RAM, except it was for my previous rig that had DDR3. But other than that there was this one time i got a motherboard for an old CPU, LGA775, and the old guy i was buying it from called himself an engineer so i thought it was all good. Payed for one board, got sent two duds, even though they looked high end, and was blamed for them not working right. It was my first and only time i had that kind of trouble. So yeah, kinda hit or miss.

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17:06 Dec-27-2020

hdds and ssds are the only parts i would never consider buying used or refurbed...everything else depends on the price and seller...

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16:47 Dec-27-2020

I've grown price conscious enough to buy all my components either second-hand or from a sale. It really boils down to where and from who you buy them. Yes It can be difficult if you're not up to date on the prices and overall market but that might be just another reason for you, personally, to buy new.

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16:10 Dec-27-2020

So here's my take on it.


You can buy some components with almost 0% chance of them being crap/broken.
DISCLAIMER
You must test/benchmark the components in a system before you purchase them.


With that out of the way, here's my reasoning.


CPUs - ok to buy used (even if they were OC). If the CPU can handle a 30 min stress test it's good


RAM - same as above


GPUs - 50/50 chance of the purchase being ok. Greatly depends on how it was taken care of.
30 min benchmark + a 20 min gameplay demonstration with several games before purchasing.


MOBOs - the most suspect/problematic of them all. I personally wouldn't buy a used MOBO just for piece of mind.
Now some brands tend to be more reliable (some MSI boards can work for decades - hit and miss).
Should you choose to get a used MOBO, a 60 min long test is a min. Gaming, watching videos, encoding etc... should be done prior to buying one.


Won't mention PSUs, cause most ppl that I have talked to said "are you nuts".


That's about it.
If you have experience buying used PC parts pls share your thoughts.

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16:47 Dec-27-2020

I buy some used stuff that's old, but never really got anything that was broken or broke yet, so I'm good - just need to pay attention to the listing, talk to the seller, etc.
I do, however, sell GPUs as I upgrade. I provide photos and benches, sell with the original box, etc. It's also good for the buyer, because my upgrade schedule is every 2 years (when new stuff comes out), which means that when I sell my old cards - there's still a year of warranty left on them.

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16:57 Dec-27-2020

Thx for sharing your xp.

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15:36 Dec-27-2020

Buying PC hardware is too big of a gamble, unless it's dirt cheap, but also being dirt cheap implies there is something wrong with it.


Only a handful of people buy top tier components and as such, buying GPU in the ranks of RX 580 or 590 (1080p High 60FPS), and CPU in the lines of Ryzen 5 1600, or whatever the price tier is right now is quite cost and performance effective. NVidia is still 50%+ more expensive whilst providing 1-2 FPS more in most of the games, here in Croatia so AMD components are better in that regard. CPU doesn't need mentioning when it compares to Intel's prices.

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15:54 Dec-27-2020

There are a few components which are pretty safe second hand purchases.
CPUs and RAM being the obvious, but MOBOs and GPUs are another matter.

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15:19 Dec-27-2020

I never buy any PC hardware used.

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16:48 Dec-27-2020

For a new rig, if you have a good budget - sure. But if you want to tinker with older stuff and build a "retro" gaming PC - you have no choice but to buy used.

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01:43 Jan-05-2021

I have no reason, need, or want to do any of that, so the joke's on you. :P

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02:06 Jan-05-2021

There was no joke. But you did perform a self-burn xD

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