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Should You Buy a Used CPU? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

PC enthusiasts are always looking to boost their rigs’ performance, but frequent upgrades at full price can quickly become costly. That’s where the used market comes into play, offering fantastic deals on components like CPUs.

However, while the allure of saving money is strong, one must ponder: is buying a used CPU truly a smart choice? The short answer is yes! CPUs are incredibly durable, and can easily last for a decade or even more with proper care.

Still, there are some factors to look for to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Stick around, because you won’t want to miss these tips!

Evaluate the Seller’s Credibility

The first thing I recommend doing is thoroughly checking the seller’s rating. While it’s possible for ratings to be manipulated, a seller with a high positive percentage and a substantial number of reviews generally indicates reliability.

However, pay close attention to the timing of these reviews. If you notice a surge of positive feedback, all posted around the same time and lacking detailed comments, be cautious. This pattern can often be a sign of someone boosting their rating through purchased review packages.

Authentic sellers typically show a consistent flow of feedback over time, not a one-day onslaught of praise.

Importance of Original Photos

Thermal paste on a CPU

When looking at listings, if you come across stock photos, don’t hesitate to ask the seller for original images of the CPU. I can’t stress enough how this simple step can make a big difference.

Original photos give you a real look at what you’re planning to buy. While CPUs are robust and wear isn’t always obvious, seeing the actual item can provide peace of mind.

Specifically, you’ll want to check the pins side to ensure there are no bent or damaged pins.

Clear and authentic photos, (not important if they’re not professional-grade), are what you’re after. They offer a truthful glimpse of the CPU, helping you move forward with confidence.

Location and Shipping

Another important tip is to pay attention to the seller’s location. Whenever possible, try to buy from sellers in your area or at least within the same country. This approach minimizes potential shipping complications, like delays or damage during transit.

Plus, if there’s a chance to pick up the CPU in person, seize it. This allows you to inspect the processor directly, giving you an immediate sense of its condition and possibly even testing it before finalizing the purchase.

Platform Protection

Platform protection for buyers

Don’t overlook the importance of buyer protection when purchasing a used CPU. Platforms that offer robust buyer protection policies provide an additional safety net for your transactions.

Before committing to a purchase, familiarize yourself with the platform’s policy on returns, disputes, and refunds.

This knowledge is your shield against potential issues, ensuring that you have recourse in the event the CPU doesn’t meet the advertised standards or if there are any discrepancies upon arrival.

Conduct a Stress Test on the CPU

Keep in mind, that not every faulty CPU refuses to work right out of the box; some may only show problems under heavy workloads. That’s why it’s important to test the CPU as soon as you receive it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely genuine sellers out there who will tell you everything about CPU usage. But, there are also scammers who won’t share the whole story.

As a result, I strongly advise you to do a stress test to check the CPU’s stability and performance under load. This method helps reveal any hidden issues, ensuring the CPU can meet your usage demands.


I hope you found this guide useful as you navigate the journey of buying a used CPU. Your experiences and strategies are invaluable to us, so feel free to drop a comment below.

Share what you prioritize when selecting a used CPU and which model you’re currently considering. Also, if you already possess a processor, why not check our article about how to sell your CPU? This way, upgrading to a better one will be less costly.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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