Ask a PC expert: Is it okay to buy a used CPU?

We answer a common question from our Full Nerd community!

Credit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Look, processors aren’t cheap. People save pennies up for months to afford new computer hardware. But you can save some serious cash by buying used CPUs. Is the risk worth the reward?

Emotions run high when used parts come up. Some people swear by them; others swear never to buy them. Not all computer parts are as risky to buy used as others, however. PCWorld CPU guru Gordon Mah Ung dives into the complicated question by explaining why processors tend to be less risky to buy used than other PC hardware, then outlines several other considerations, such as where to find used gear you can trust and whether you’ll be able to find affordable motherboards for older chips.

He also explains why used Xeons can often be more reliable than used consumer chips.

We’re trying out a new format here, responding to common questions we receive on our Full Nerd podcast. If you like it let us know!

Have a PC- or gaming-related question? Email thefullnerd@pcworld.com and we’ll try to answer it in the future. You can also join the PC-related discussions and ask us questions on The Full Nerd’s Discord server. And be sure to follow PCWorld on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch to watch future episodes live and pick our brains in real time!

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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