Building yourself a PC is often considered expensive but can you save money with used parts? PCs have a number of components and some of them are safer to buy second-hand, but which ones? Let’s find out.
For most of us, when it comes to purchasing anything, we always look for a bargain. Second hand or refurbished items are cheaper than buying new ones, and a majority of us are tempted to go this route.
It’s no different when it comes to purchasing parts for your PC, there items that are safer to get brand new and those that are okay if they are second hand. When you chose to go the second hand way, there are parts which are advisable to get used since they still work and will save you money.
Below are a few parts you can safely buy used:
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Getting a used Central Processing Unit can save you lots of money. The CPU gets connected to a lot of components that help a PC run smoothly. Ensure before purchasing one that works since a faulty one may end up damaging your PC altogether. The beauty of a CPU is that if it’s working, it will continue to do so for quite some time unless you keep knocking it around or pouring liquids on it.
There aren’t many faults that can happen with a CPU, so it is a safe part to buy used. It cannot be broken easily unless that is your primary intention. When it comes to overheating, there are internal mechanisms that protect it. If there is too much heat, the CPU will automatically shut itself down for protection. Just check that the pins are not bent and you’re pretty much safe.
PC Cases, Covers, and Enclosures
When it comes to PC cases, and covers, used ones are the best option. They are usually either plastic or steel, and you can tell a good one just by looking at it. Here, you will save money by going second hand. Ensure that the frame is intact though; other than that, not much can go wrong with it as it’s mostly a piece of plastic. Parts such as fans, switches, and USB ports are electrical, but they are simple and have a long functioning life. Check that all the cables in the case are intact and make sure it is compatible with the build you’re going for. Even if a case fan is not in top condition, it’s often cheaper to replace it than to go for a brand new case.
Power Supply Cable and Other Cables
It is advisable if going for a used one to get it from a renowned retailer or a trusted friend. Anything that has to do with electricity supply is sensitive. However, power supply cables last for a long time, and it’s difficult to find one that’s malfunctioned unless there was an electrical mishap which ruined it or it was bent at a bad angle and broke that way. The trick in getting a good one is checking the brand. If it’s from a reputable company, you are okay. The good news is that it’s very easy to check if the cable is working so you can ask the seller for a demonstration
RAM prices have increased over the years so going for second hand parts became more of a desired option. Especially since the amount of RAM you need is quite large nowadays and can even help you increase the longevity of your computer.
Thankfully, RAM is a very durable component – when used as intended and not subject to unusual stress it doesn’t become worse for wear. Similarly to the CPU, if it works well then it will continue to. Of course you’ll need to make sure that RAM is in working condition, but you can ask the seller to run one of the numerous RAM diagnostics programs to make sure everything is fine.
While having a bunch of moving elements, disc readers mostly either just work or just don’t. If you put in a disk and it reads it without issues, then it’s good. The downside is that since the large decline in demand the disc readers significantly dropped in price so you won’t save a lot by going for a used one – and that’s presuming that you actually need one for some reason.
Quick Overview – The parts that you shouldn’t buy used:
- Motherboard – it has the whole system connected to it and undergoes a lot of stress. If something goes wrong it can take the whole system down with it. Not worth the risk.
- Graphics Cards – nowadays the used parts market is flooded with GPUs abused from mining cryptocurrencies. Chances are you’ll get one of those wrecked by overheating.
- Power Supply – similarly to the motherboard, if it has a bad enough failure it can ruin all the other parts. Not worth it.
- HDD – it has a lot of moving parts and physical damage over the years. Initial testing might be fine, but a few months later might will die on you.
When it comes to purchasing used PC parts, getting a bargain is the main idea for anyone. There are very few parts that you’re not advised to buy used; but other than those, you can save yourself a lot of money going for used parts.
What has been your experience with used PC parts? Share with us in the comment section below
Editor’s Note: The Hardware Hounds would like to give a huge thank you to Roland Harris for guest contributing to our site. For more of his articles, check out his blog at https://besttechexpert.guide/.