Would you buy a used processor ?

12 replies
Found 5th Aug 2016
I'm looking to upgrade my son's pc. It is approx 5yrs old and I am finding that 2nd hand cpu's on ebay are a fraction of the price of new.As long as the seller is reputable would you risk it?

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12 Comments

yeah, the pc is already old, why not make sure you add lots of thermal paste..

yes I bought a old core 2 duo a couple of years back to to replace a Intel q6600 in my sons pc. as already said add loads of thermal paste. and you should be good. the duo is still going strong and it's keeps my daughters happy now. :-)

What socket type does the motherboard have?

What CPU are you upgrading from and to?

Remember that an upgrade to the CPU does not automatically make the PC a huge amount faster as all the rest of the PC is still running at the same speed (hard disk, memory, BUS, graphics etc.)

So for example a CPU 20% faster than the one you have wont make the whole PC run 20% faster. Unless the new CPU is a whole lot faster than the one you have it may not be worth it.

I have done, but depends what sort of upgrade you are expecting by just swapping a 5yo cpu, what the rest of the components are, and what uses you expect from it

Original Poster

Thanks all. Originally I was only going to upgrade the graphics card but someone warned that the cpu may bottleneck it. My thinking is that even being 2nd hand it will have had far less use than his current one that has gamed for many hours a day everyday for 5yrs.

I bought a 2nd hand i5 2500k (1155) many years ago and it's still working fine now. Considering the price these were new I managed to get a bargin.

From a different angle. I've sold old CPUs but never bought one on eBay. Never had a problem with any of the sales.

Do not use loads of thermal paste, the 'HUKD Experts' above are pretty clueless. You want a wafer thin layer, the heatsink and the processors IHS are significantly better conductors than thermal paste is, all you want to do is fill the tiny gaps between the two, a pea size amount is fine. If you add loads all you're doing is adding a much poorer conductor as a barrier and will increase your temperatures. Also, some thermal paste conducts electricity so too much and it comes out the side and could short your CPU/Mobo.

Anyway can we have some specs. There's no point upgrading to a new CPU if it's still a really old/poor one and you won't see much improvement at all.
Edited by: "dcx_badass" 6th Aug 2016

as said by dcx_badass too much thermal paste is not good, even the instructions warn of this.

buy a 2nd processor is fine if buying from a reputable seller, just use anti-emetic precautions, I leave the case plugged in (but turned off) and just keep a bit of skin on a unpainted metal part of the case.

Finding these comments quite amusing lol I do agree with dcx_badass on the "pea size amount" method. Probably the easiest method although watching some videos from YouTube recently I wouldn't worry to much about what way you apply the thermal paste just make sure you don't use to little. Some specs of your PC would help too.
Edited by: "adam45417" 6th Aug 2016

As above a rice pudding to pea size is size you are after. The worry about putting too much on is not shorting your board (thermal paste is not electrically conductive, although some can hold a charge), but that too much can get in the pins or pads and be an insulator stopping a good connection. Also it's a pain to clean.

As for the original question generally processors are pretty tough so buying a bad one is pretty rare.

Original Poster

Thanks again all. Managed to check his cpu when he wasn't around and was surprised to find that his 5yr old pc has an Intel i7 3.5GhZ cpu which is actually marginally better than the ones I was monitoring on ebay!
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