eBay Purchase

Due to the price of DDR4 RAM now dropping well below that of DDR3 RAM I’m in the process of slowly building a 1151 build, but on a very, very limited budget. The point of it is likely to be for a family PC & storage server, unless I can get the parts to outstrip my current ITX build.

I’ve said previously I’m not afraid to take a punt on fixing 2nd hand equipment (up to a certain level - more on that later). So Trainsmash & I are undertaking purchasing cheap repairable motherboards on eBay with the thought to try to tinker & fix with hopefully the view to either on sell or use in our own 1151 builds. Any dud motherboards can either be kept for our kids to experiment with or sold here in New Zealand as non working to recoup some of the cost.

In order to do this we obviously need to have the necessary components to ensure we could bench the board to troubleshoot & work out errors.

In this manner I pulled out my FSP Raider 550W PSU (has the 8Pin EPS connector so good for Z series motherboards)
I purchased locally a 2x4GB pack of Adata XPG RAM for $59NZD (~$42 USD) - allows the ability to check dual memory slots & some OC ability.
Trainsmash purchased a Celeron G3920 for $76.50 NZD (~$54.50 USD) incl shipping to NZ, cheap CPU & comes with iGPU so you can diagnose PCI issues with discrete GPUs.

So the motherboard I took a punt on is:

The things going for it are - no bent pins, an undiagnosed fault that prevents boot up, a USB BIOS Flash bility ,a removable/swappable bios chip & generally decent mobo specs(the Asus brown & gold series is the lowest tier of their Z’s). I purchased it for $30USD with free shipping to a my US freight forwarding address which then cost me $26.50NZD(~19USD) to ship here to the arse end of nowhere.

It took about 3 weeks from purchase to get to me, but it allowed time for me to find the RAM & the CPU to come in.
Apologies for the poor quality photo’s that follow.

So after being kicked off my PC on Friday night I commandeered the lounge & built up the motherboard with the CPU & stock cooler (replaced the Intel TIM with Noctua NT-H1) and a single stick of RAM and a Chassis fan installed for diagnostic purposes. I should not I cleared the CMOS fully by pulling the battery (and checking its voltage) and shorting the jumpers.

What happened next was a pleasant surprise:

I was able to get the motherboard to POST with a single RAM module in each of the slots and in also any combination of 2 of the 4 slots. I also managed to get it through to BIOS with and without an external GPU (my XFX HD6950).

So it seems I’ve managed to hit the jackpot & get hold of a Z-series mATX motherboard for $50USD. Not sure what the seller’s issue was, but I’m more than happy.

Next procedure will be to install an OS - probably on a retrieved 2.5" laptop drive as that’s all I have spare XD and make sure it works properly.

So this motherboard may or may not be used as the base for my very budget 1151 build, the only thing holding me back currently is the form factor - would prefer to make a full ATX build as opposed to mATX.

I have a chassis possibly lined up & will use the Noctua cooler I won through EnosTech.

I will be purchasing a new PSU, new SSD for OS & storage drives. Will also source a CPU - likely an i3 to start & wait for the eventual upgrade. Additionally I will purchase DDR4 at bargain basement price for this too.

The current CPU & RAM will be kept as sacrificial components for future troubleshooting/fixing.

Keep us posted! That sounds like it will be nice when you upgrade.


teh_g I think I’m going to try to do little write ups of gems I find cheap as well, I have to rely on luck & timing to move forward. I have something being delivered shortly that will hopefully sort out an annoying issue I have with some hardware. I’m hoping it’ll fix it & then some. But don’t want to count my chickens before they’re hatched… but even if it doesn’t work I’ll post up about how much of an idiot I am anyway :slight_smile:

I’m looking at this i3 post on eBay, but everything about it screams SCAM! I like to take a gamble & I’m a sucker for a deal, but this ticks the box of simply too good to be true:
warning signs: zero transaction seller; price is too good; copy-paste pictures; Chinese (it’s not racist if its true); low numbers of goods (easy to just cut & run if only selling 10 vs 100).

I’m almost tempted to see what the heck they’d send instead! I said almost because I can’t throw money away like that.

Sgt_T8ie Long time ago I’ve bought a nvidia GT630 GPU that was so freaking cheap that I clicked the “buy it now” button immediately. And when I got it, it really looked like a GT630 and even the specs in GPU-Z was showing that the GPU was “legit”. Why “legit”, you ask? Well, the GPU I got had a lower clock speed and when I tried to update to the latest GT630 driver, it didn’t work. Later on I found that the Hong Kong dudes were making a fake GT630 by manipulating the BIOS from a 9500GT (I believe it was that one). So I was scammed, yes.
Don’t buy that CPU. You’ll get an i3 that’s probably a Athlon without pins. xD


Katsuo I’ve found a YT video with a guy with fake i7 4770K it looks to be a LGA775 with new top plate glued on…

Like I say I’d love to see what they’d send. But not at the cost of $50! Not that curious


Sgt_T8ie Maybe the scammers will send you a last gen i7 by mistake and you’ll have a win situation?

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Katsuo That would be so funny - but your Athlon estimate is more likely. Or an i3 froma laptop :stuck_out_tongue:

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Sgt_T8ie “He who doesn’t risk never gets to drink champagne.”
Is that how the saying goes? XD
Throw dem 50 bucks. And after you get that i3 from a laptop, feel free to yell at me because I was the one who made you throw dem monies :grin:

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Katsuo I’ll set my kids on you when they don’t get their Xmas presents, cos “Daddy had to risk it all on a dodgy Chinese CPU on eBay”


Sgt_T8ie Sheesh, okay okay, I apologize. Don’t do it! haha
I’m more afraid of kids than anything.

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Nice write up dude.

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Trainsmash With luck we can get your one repaired as well.

this is awesome. I love this kind of stuff.

I’m learning from my boss, who is the king of re-purposing and fixing old electronics. He knows nothing about computers, he is a AV/sound man. But he has an electronics background, and anything to do with circuit boards and resistors, he can diagnose.

I’d love to have a bench area in my house where I could have a test rig set up


Polekatt We’re treating this as a huge learning experience, the hope is to get some hardware that otherwise we could not normally purchase.

We’re more enthusiastic, than enthusiasts.


This reminds me of my old eBay days. Used to love spending hours a couple of times a week looking through for all the best deals. Got my first proper gaming PC which consisted of an AMD 1090T, HD 7970 and 8GB of Ram all on eBay for stupidly cheap price lol

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So I received my accidental impulse purchase from Ebay, a damaged socket on a ASRock Z170 Pro 4. Not a bad board, but not my first choice. In summary, I made a offer I was certain would be rejected, but was not.

Initial socket damage. I could talk through it, but the mangled mess speaks for itself. Especially the trainsmash in the center left, where 3 pins were inter twined (not visible on the poor quality pic, sorry.

As I was not in a rush to get the job done immediately. I felt no pressure to painstakingly fiddle with pins. I got my high tech pin straightening tool out and slowly cracked on while chatting to mum and controlling kids. Look at easy ones and did them to kill time.

Left Quandrant neatened (not complete when taking photo). It was the upper left quadrant in initial pic.

Happy with upper half and yes light reflects funny, but the head of the pins line up in the matrix.

Only the Mangled mess left and I did not take a pic of the final product. Unfortunately, I broke the head off two pins due to the heads being bent over backwards and completely flat. Metal fatigue bending them back saw them snap. Not happy, but I am happy that they could not be rescued, as this is the only job I do which is never rushed. Patience is key.

Went over to SgtTaitie to show him.

He asked if we should try to post the board and I said the pins won’t get any straighter.

And it posted into UEFI witha G3920, all RAM slots work 2x4gb 2300MHz, PCIe x16 works HD 6970. Unfortunately I forgot my Linux USB to play with an OS to test further diagnostics.

Pretty happy really. Only sad thing is that I never took a pic of the BIOS for proof. Taitie can vouch though.


I wonder what those pins where for, could be ground pins :slight_smile: And what the hell did they do to it to do that kind of damage??

milkywayman As I tinker more and more with these I can see that it doesn’t take much to stuff up a CPU installation or removal. So bending a pin or two I can understand but the twisting together of them had to be something catching & the person pulling & twisting to free it- say a stray thread on a sleeve or maybe even the black socket cap itself?

It’s when you see sockets entire quadrants looking like brass scouring wool that you need to wonder - my gut feeling is a customer return to a shop where the distributor/manufacturer doesn’t want the board back so they dispose of it so it never makes it back into the marketplace.

Or… they really are too stupid to be left unaccompanied around technology :confused:


Sgt_T8ie geez what the hell is that xD

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