How to safely buy a used video card or processor: simple tips
The secondary market for components is very extensive now, where you can buy both very old video cards or processors for the Pentium 4, as well as more modern models. It is very attractive for its price proposals; you can buy a high-performance video card of the past for the price of a new budget analogue. In many ways, the suppliers of used components are mining farms. On the one hand, this is good, since it is really possible to buy inexpensive equipment from here, on the other hand, the video adapter and the processor worked for a very long time without interruption and could use up most of its resource. How not to get caught on warmed up video cards and processors, remanufactured models and buy high-quality used components? The answers are below.
Step-by-step visual diagnostics
It should be noted right away that in the case of a processor, it is much more difficult to determine its serviceability. It is often not possible to do this visually. When purchasing this equipment, it is imperative to negotiate a return in case of a problem with the CPU. If the sale takes place in person, it is worth going to the service center, where the processor is tossed to the test bench and run through stress tests. Although this does not give a 100% guarantee that the processor is not warmed up, it will at least make it possible to understand the stability of its operation. It is better not to buy remotely or only by cash on delivery.
The CPU is usually not repaired, but it is often warmed up, so you need to look at the color of the chip when buying – it should be light gray, not dark, and also pay attention to the integrity of all contacts.
In the case of a video card, you need to devote more time to visual diagnostics.
- We check the presence of seals. Even if they are installed, this does not mean that the video card has not been repaired, they can be removed and reinstalled. If there are no seals, some work was definitely carried out with it. Buying video cards without them leads to great risks.
- We look at the condition of the components on the board. It is important to check that the capacitors, these are barrels on the board, are not swollen (the top should be perfectly flat). We also look at everything that may catch the eye: one of the memories is installed from another manufacturer, where there should be identical transistors, etc., a strange set is installed. If suspicions crept in, it is better to refuse the purchase.
- PCB color near the chip. Very often, when the processor warms up, the color of the PCB around it becomes dark. It is better to refuse such a purchase. Yes, it may be that it darkened without warming up, but this is also not good, since it means that the video card worked at elevated temperatures. It is worth checking the textolite in other areas, since in some models the cooling is incorrectly arranged and another component of the board may overheat.
- Inspect the condition of the PCI-E pins. Any problems, traces of work or darkening should not be visible here. If there are any defects, it is better to refuse to purchase.
- Check for traces of soldering. If there are traces of soldering products on the board, buying it is not a good idea.
- Scroll the cooling cooler with your finger. While driving, he should not make extraneous sounds or slow down too quickly, the course must be uniform and smooth.
- We look at the condition of the connectors. We can not stay here for a long time, if visually everything is normal, then we move on. Ports do not fail very often.
Important! If you have access to a multimeter, it’s best to use it. This will allow you to check the resistances on the main lines of the video card.
Tips for Correct Software Diagnostics
If the visual inspection ended successfully and no extraneous interventions or traces of work in extreme conditions were found, it is worthwhile to engage in software diagnostics. It is important to understand that you have already learned how to fake video cards. When connected to the BIOS, the required model will be written there, but in fact, this is far from the case.
In order not to fall for a fake, it is worth conducting a few tests. Without this, it is better not to buy a video card:
- TechPowerUp GPU-Z… We hammer the characteristics of the original video card into the Internet. Then we see if the information of the real video adapter matches the values that should be. First of all, you should check Shaders, GPU Clock and Default Clock. If there are much less of them, we have a fake. For example, a GTX1060 3GB is required to have 1152 shaders. If there are 192 – 100% of them, as in the screenshot, this is not the right video card. Its power will correspond to the device of 2011 release.
- FurMark you can use other programs like Aida64. We select settings for the features of the screen and run the stress test in full screen. Everything should work stably, without extraneous sounds. Moreover, it is better to hold it for about 20 minutes to check that the component keeps the temperature and does not reboot.
- We run the benchmark in a game, better resource-intensive, like Assassin Creed. We check fps, and most importantly – the absence of artifacts.
If the video card or processor showed itself on the positive side during visual inspection and tests, the components should be bought. This does not mean that you are 100% protected yourself. Even a new graphics card can die unexpectedly. However, it will be 95% good and will last long enough.