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Short Thought: The Rip Off "Gaming" PCs of eBay

Short Thought: The Rip Off "Gaming" PCs of eBay

Recently during the lockdown, I’ve taken to looking at ways I could do a little more in my free time to make some of that precious gold. Or, money, as it comes down to.

As I’m very much a tech geek, I tried scouring eBay for faulty PlayStation 4s or Xbox Ones that I could repair and sell on, or other such similar hustles. That’s when I thought – “hmm, maybe I could build some PCs to sell on?”

That’s when I searched for gaming PCs on eBay. WOW – what a mess. “ULTRA FAST i3, AMAZING SO QUICK BULLDOZER, IT’S FROM THE FUTURE i3-2100!!”

eBay Gaming PC

Hoping these frankly awful builds were just falling by the wayside, I switched over to “Completed Items” and I was saddened by the sheer amount of these PCs that were, and are, selling. To me, these listings are nothing more than a scam. Most of them are vastly overpriced, marketed as “ULTRA FAST”, whilst packing a CPU from nine years ago and whichever random refurbished GPU they can shove in there. Some of them even include a relatively recent and decent performing GTX 1660 with a PC costing around £400; but heavily bottlenecked by the bargain basement CPU and motherboard – by today’s standards.

Let’s take this one as an example.

For £420 at the time of writing, you’re getting a nine-year-old i7-2600 (not even the K variant so you can overclock), 16GB RAM (DDR3 memory is pretty cheap), 2TB hard drive with a 480GB SSD and a…GT 710. That particular seller allows you to choose a GTX 1660, but in more demanding titles that i7 will cause you bottlenecking, with realistically no upgrade path – short of an eight-year-old CPU instead. That, though, bumps the price up to £690! You’d be better off with a laptop.

My recent £300 build will perform better than that PC, with the 3200G APU outperforming the GT710. That also comes with a B450 motherboard so you can upgrade to AMDs upcoming Zen 3 CPUs and a power supply that doesn’t suck.

amd ryzen baseepecpic

This particular seller isn’t the only offender, as there are plenty of others all peddling the same crap. It’s no surprise who will be buying these, either; parents of kids who have no idea, or interest, in the market so these sellers have a prime market to mislead.

I wish these kinds of listings weren’t allowed and it was more obvious to people just how outdated these PCs are.

But hey, at least it comes with TeamViewer pre-installed! 

Short Thought
James Martin

James Martin

Senior Staff Writer

IT technician by trade. Probably running around turning everything on and off again.

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