Is a second-hand computer recommended? Pros and cons

second-hand computer can help us save, but we must carefully analyze the benefits and risks of buying a used PC. In this article, we are going to go through them in depth so that you can make the best decision possible. Let’s go there!

Index of contents

  • Second-hand “domestic” and “professional” computer, big differences
  • What are the benefits of a second-hand computer?
    • Very large cost reduction
    • Better components at the same price
    • expansion possibilities
  • The bad thing about buying a second hand computer
    • Component wear, useful life and warranty
    • Obsolescence

Second-hand “domestic” and “professional” computer, big differences

The first thing we must understand is what type of second-hand computer we are going to buy. And it is that we must differentiate it basically according to who sells it.

On the one hand, we have “domestic” second-hand computers, corresponding to individuals who put their regular or secondary PC up for sale on some platform. On the other hand, there are the “professionals”, which are those who sell many second-hand PC units , generally from companies and which are refurbished and restored computers.

Some of the most famous platforms where we can buy or sell a second-hand computer are Milanuncios, Wallapop or eBay.

Why is it important to make this distinction? Well, because professional vendors are usually subject to more competition: there are many different vendors, all of them have a lot of PCs to sell, and they often buy them at ridiculous prices (companies sell them cheap when they revamp their office PCs). ). On the other hand, a private seller sets the price that seems appropriate, but it does not have to be correct.

Therefore, when you buy a second-hand computer you should analyze the price very carefully, especially if it is sold to you by an individual. We have seen many gaming PCs for sale at sky-high prices, while professional sellers often simply sell many old computers for a very low price.

What are the benefits of a second-hand computer?

Let us now analyze what are the benefits of a second-hand computer. As we will see, everything is summed up in the lowest cost, this is logical since it is the objective of most second-hand purchases, to save.

Very large cost reduction

By choosing a second-hand computer well, we can save a lot of money. For example, if we are looking for a very basic computer, we can get it for less than 200 euros, and even with this price we will see features such as SSD storage, 8 or 16GB of RAM, 4-core processor… Obviously, it will have nothing to do with a New PC for 1000 euros, but it will not be so far from what we can build new for a little more.

This is especially important in a context where new components are going up in price somewhat exaggeratedly. We are not referring to the scarcity situation experienced in 2020/2021, but to the trend of recent years.

Better components at the same price

We can also opt for a slightly more expensive second-hand computer, with the aim of getting better components at the same price. For example, if someone gets rid of their gaming PC, we need to compare its price to comparable performance parts, and it should cost significantly less, or it should perform much better than a comparable new PC.

expansion possibilities

Another very interesting option that we can take advantage of in a second-hand computer is to buy to expand. These are PCs that have already been tampered with on the inside, and we can do the same. For example, going back to the case of gaming PCs, many try to build their own, taking a very cheap refurbished computer and adding a gaming graphics card. The possibilities are endless.

The bad thing about buying a second hand computer

Not everything is good in second-hand computers. If people keep buying new PCs, it’s for a reason, and there are good enough reasons for it.

Component wear, useful life and warranty

Buying a second-hand computer is assuming that the components come with the “wear” of several years of use (or the time it has). This can lead to problems such as the fans starting to make a lot of noise, or abruptly running into the end of life of a component.

For example, if our second-hand PC’s power supply is on its last legs, there’s no way of knowing. We’ll just be surprised.

However, there are reasons for calm in this regard:

  • In part, all this also applies to a new computer. Not because of wear, but because of the simple possibility of defects and failuresin the electronics, which is possible and unpredictable.
  • Many used computers, especially refurbished ones, are better built to last by replacing those parts that might be near the end of their useful life.
  • The guaranteeoffered by the store or seller can be essential. A second-hand computer with a good warranty period can be an excellent purchase option.


What we cannot get rid of in a second-hand computer (according to the specifications, of course) is the possible obsolescence of the components. Buying a computer with a processor from almost 10 years ago is not a drama, unless we are going to need some new technology or we are very demanding in terms of performance.

A 6 year old GPU will not allow you to have Ray Tracing and other new technologies. A CPU from 6 years ago will not be -by any means- as optimized for games and you will have worse FPS.

For basic office uses, any “average normal” processor is more than adequate. In gaming, the use of an old processor will be noticed, and we could reach a bottleneck situation in CPU and GPU. This is one of the great reasons not to buy a second-hand computer to adapt it to PC gaming, but if our budget is low it is the only option.

Of course, do not buy the first cheap refurbished PC you find to mount a high-end graphics card. It would be better a new computer with a mid-range or low-mid-range GPU, so that there is a balance that avoids the bottleneck.

If you are interested in a second-hand computer, take a look at our selection of  refurbished computers .

We recommend reading our guide on what is hardware .

With this explanation, we hope we have helped you understand the pros and cons of a second-hand computer. PCs like this are perfect for entry-level uses where economy is more important than performance, or even long-term reliability.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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