There are a lot of computer parts to be found on Ebay. We all want to find that processor or memory at a good price, but just because it is a good deal doesn't make it a smart buy.
There are processors and memory modules being listed as new, when in fact they are not. If the package/seal is opened then the item is no longer new. Sure it could have been opened and tested for inspection, but why do that if it's factory sealed? The seller should be able to get his/her refund if the item is defective and so should you. Once a seller tests it, it's definately not new.
Be careful with the used item that still has the manufacture's warranty. A lot of manufacturers, do not honor a resale receipt of an item, they want the original receipt to determine how long you have actually owned the item. Intel is a little picky when you tell them you need an RMA on a processor that you bought new, from an individual on a website. Trust me, I've been there.
There are, of course, those that buy the wrong item and discover they can't return it so they have to sell it, but keep in mind, it's not new. Don't get me wrong, you can find what your looking for and get a good price as well and never have an issue.
Their are a lot of processor's, for example, the socket 478 3.4ghz, available. They are no longer being manufactured, and unopened retail boxes are very rare, but we see a ton of listings, even from the same seller, as new CPU's. Well, processor's taken from servers from a defunct business that are rarely used are still not new.
There are 2 types of PC owners, in my opinion. Those that want one but just ask salesmen what is good and have no knowledge of what they are getting into, and those of us who are experienced and buy the components to buld them to our personal specifications.
We are the ones you have to watch out for!
Keep in mind, savy PC builders know how to overclock memory and Processors which can lead to premature death or degraded performance of the unit, especially if that person doesn;t cool these parts down enough or know what they are doing. Overclocking involves changing the voltages on the motherboeard to get the processor and/or memory to work a lot harder than designed, for better performance. Overclocking involves A LOT of heat, heat needs cooling.
You have to ask some important questions, and trust the answer you get.
1. Ask if these are new, never been installed chips or pulled from a PC.
2. Ask if the unit was ever overclocked and under what conditions it was used. Ask them how they cooled the unit, and if they upgraded the cooling after overclocking.
3. Make sure you specifically ask about the return/exchange policy and keep the emailed response in case you need to return it to the seller.
As I said, all you can do is ask and trust you get a real answer, then you can decide if the wear and tear is worth the investment.
When getting the module, inspect that pins on the processor are not bent, nicked or have wear from inserting and removing. Look at the top of the processor and see if it is scraped or scratched or if it has a feint gray patch on the bottom. This gray patch or smear is the thermal paste or thermal pad that was once attached to the processor. If it is, then it's almost a sure bet a heatsink was attached to the module and it was installed in someone's computer.
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