CPU Upgrade wrapped in bubble wrap, Worth The Risk?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by P00t, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. P00t macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2012
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    Nottingham UK
    #1
    Hey guys
    Today I got my upgrade CPU for my Mac Pro 2010 from an eBay seller.

    It wasn't greatly wrapped to be honest, just some bubble wrap around it and some tape and from my experience with bubble wrap, I know it's full of static.

    I've took it out to let it settle and I'm on the edge about doing the upgrade now.

    One of my plans is to clean the bottom contacts as I don't know how it's been handled, possibly with greasy fingers etc.

    Saying he's a big seller of used CPU's, you don't always see the negatives if people have returned and got a refund etc

    What do you guys think, is it worth the risk???
     
  2. h9826790, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    If nothing looks wrong, better not to touch it. I get my W3690 online, coming with same kind of packaging. No problem at all.

    At least install the CPU first, only consider to clean it if the computer doesn't boot. Then you know that you are not the person who kill the CPU.
     
  3. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #3
    You mean it was not sealed in a static sensitive bag? If they were loose in bubble wrap, I would not mess with it. Just return it to the seller and move on. I've had good experience with:

    http://stores.ebay.com/computersales/

    Lou
     
  4. P00t thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2012
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    #4
    Yeah, I purchased it like this, little bit of bubble wrap around it with tape and then shipped in a paper envelope.

    I just don't fancy the risk of blowing up my £1,300 Mac Pro I purchased only a year ago.

    If he packs like this, it makes me think how about the ways its been handled, don't get me wrong though, I'd love to upgrade and I have a good upgrade with computer building experience, but who hasn't now days.

    I may have to email him, it's going to cost me to send it back from the UK back to Hong Kong.
     
  5. FrancoisC macrumors 6502

    FrancoisC

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    Location:
    Montreal, Qc
    #5
    I never heard about a "bad" CPU blowing up a motherboard, worst case scenario is your machine won't boot, after which if you put back your original working cpu it would be fine :)
     
  6. P00t thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    If that's the case, then I'm willing to try it.

    I'm just thinking it could short something which blows a working part.
     
  7. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

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    #7
  8. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #8
    Again, why mess with it? The seller is shoddy, I certainly would not want a CPU packed like that in my machine.

    Lou
     
  9. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #9
    Don't mess with it.

    I've done tests on this exact topic for a previous employer many years ago. We came to the conclusion that standard bubble wrap could and would irreparably damage a CPU (this was using P4 processors as test subjects). In several cases, the damage to the CPU extended down into the north bridge once the chip was powered on, destroying the motherboard as well.

    I would assume the same dangers apply to a modern LGA CPU, even more so considering the complexity of silicon today. Honestly, I wouldn't touch those with a 40ft pole. The seller couldn't be bothered to employ proper handling procedures for ESD sensitive equipment, end of story. It's not worth risking your hardware (which I doubt the seller could be held liable for). Return them and move on.

    -SC
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #10
  11. P00t thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Thanks for all your opinions guys, I really do appreciate it.

    I know for a fact he's used plain bubble wrap, like what I use to package from a large roll for my sales, I of course always make sure they're wrapped before going into this kind of bubble wrap, when I unroll from my large rolls all of my hairs will stand on end from all the static discharge.

    I honestly dread to think how it's been handled before be packaged like this.

    Hong Kong sellers I know try to keep the package low profile to keep costs low, but is it work avoiding those little CPU containers you can get for 50 cents, I know I'd invest heavily to make sure they were stored well before and after a sale.

    Now it leaves me with an un-upgraded Mac Pro, I was really looking forward to this upgrade to see how things were different.

    I'm very weary with what I buy now days anyway, I was just expecting better I guess.
     
  12. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
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    Poland
    #12
    You guys are overestimating the danger of static etc.
    I've dealt with many, many CPUs over last few years. Some were packed even worse than OP described. As long there's no missing parts on the CPU (esp underside where micro resistors are mounted), it's perfectly safe to install into the machine. Just check that all resistors are in place and there's no dirt/remnants of thermal paste on contacts and you're good to go. Believe me or not. Many times I just cleaned contacts with isopropanol if it was needed.
     
  13. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 4, 2008
    #13
    I don't think so.

    The moment you get slack with ESD protection is the moment it bites you in the ass. Just because you've been lucky doesn't mean other people have had your same experience.

    To elaborate on my last post, I used to work for a used computer part shop some time ago. We dealt with tons (literally, tons) of "eWaste" and such from all over the city I was living in at the time. Truck loads and truck loads of this stuff would come in. It was crazy back breaking work to unload a semi filled to the brim with towers, but damn, did I ever find some rare and obscure hardware.

    Anyways...

    We destroyed the disk drives if the client asked for it, but everything else pretty much got broken down, tested, and resold second hand (with the clients permission, of course!). One of the things I was tasked with was figuring out the cheapest way to safely ship silicon (CPUs, RAM, AGP/PCI cards, etc). We tried a whole bunch of different materials, including plain bubble wrap, and basically simulated a shipment by packaging them up and sticking them in a large industrial dryer next door with the heater turned off. They'd bounce around for a couple of hours, then we'd open them up and see if the parts survived and still worked.

    The failure rate on P4 CPUs was somewhere around 80% when packaged in bubblewrap. As I previously stated, some of those chips managed to destroy the test motherboards we were using as well (which would typically fail and hang at the BIOS, regardless of what CPU was installed afterwards). The packages that used anti-static bags OR anti-static bubble wrap had a 0% failure rate, apart from a few bent up pins on a couple of heavy double-stacked full length ISA cards.

    We landed up just adding the cost of proper anti-static shipping materials to the cost of S&H itself, and never had anyone complain. The amount of hardware that arrived damaged or inoperable was basically non-existent (I think we had 2 or 3 cases in 5 years).

    Improperly shipping ESD sensitive components can and will damage them. There is no way around that. Furthermore, even if op's CPU is broken and he can prove that it happened during transit, the seller probably won't be on the hook for any collateral damage (if any) caused by the defective CPU. So if you do get a refund on the CPU, you'll still have to fix the rest of the system, which could cost $$$$.

    -SC
     
  14. crjackson2134, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #14
    ^^^^^^. While I don't have nearly as much experience as SC, I've popped a couple of 486 motherboards with bad CPUs showing no physical damage. I never killed any boards for the 8088 or Z80 though :)

    Given the amount of $$$ I have invested in my MP, there is no way in helheim I would roll the dice on this. Just my 2¢.
     
  15. ShawnF macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #15
    I'm somewhat a noob at CPU replacements myself. But mustered enough courage after watching all the tutorials and videos to give it a try.

    My X5670 came in the same type of package as TS. I swapped it with the old CPU and it worked fine. The best advise I found online was to touch ONLY the sides of the CPU when installing it and not anywhere else. I followed that advise to the letter - I think I held the X5670 in my fingers for all of 5 seconds when popping it into the socket. Applying thermal grease I used a plastic spreader that came with my Arctic Silver.

    Everything's running rock solid in both OSX and Win 7 for a week now.
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #16
    It has nothing to do with luck. I'm not the only one in the world with such experience.

    I once even got a pair of 5355's shipped to me in regular (not even bubble) envelope. Without anything else inside. That was pure stupidity from seller's side, but they survived and work till today.
    This is what I call "luck".

    I'm dealing with CPUs, GPUs, RAM (lot of them), motherboards and all that stuff for years. Hundreds of computers went through my workshop. No single issue caused by static. I use vacuum to clean computers as well. I don't wear anti-static wrist-straps on every arm and leg all day long. Some things require ESD protection, some don't.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that CPUs should be shipped in bubble wrap instead of anti-static bag. It's bad, but if you'll receive one like this, just look carefully if it isn't mechanically damaged.
     
  17. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2012
    #17
    While respecting the opinions of the more cautious folk here, I think this test is a bit over the top and not a very good representation of real life shipping conditions, especially from the perspective of static.

    Ever pull socks out of a dryer…?
     
  18. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    Location:
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    #18
    @P00t

    So there you have it. We're all products of our own experiences and observations. In the end, it's your decision and your result to live with (good or bad).

    Make your choice and let us know how it plays out. Good Luck!
     
  19. P00t thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2012
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    Nottingham UK
    #19
    Thanks for all your views about this as I mentioned previously I don't fancy the risk of trying this in my Mac Pro.

    Maybe there is damage, maybe not, either way it's a 50/50 scenario.

    I have messaged the seller in Hong Kong about my issue with his packaging and why I am not going to install this in my system and it looks like I got an auto message that he's used to sending out, I won't be covering the return shipping since he's at fault, also if anyone wishes me to name this seller so people can understand what they might get from him, just let me know.

    Now I have the task of communicating with the language barrier and a possible case to open with a month of waiting for the refund.

    I hope you guys understand I'm not being picky here, I just don't want to make a mess of my system, I paid well direct from Apple, so it's a BIG loss for me if something did go bad.
     
  20. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #20
    I applaud your self-control and your decision. It's not being picky, it tells the seller that he needs to upgrade his packaging practices if he wants to avoid returns and poor feedback.
     
  21. greenmeanie macrumors 6502a

    greenmeanie

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    Location:
    AmigaWarez
    #21
    I just ordered a Brand New Intel XEON for my server.
    Guess what it comes in a BOX with the CPU in a Plastic Square inclosure. No anti static at all!
    I have never heard of a CPU holding a charge. It will be either dead or good to go so Install it and find out jeesh.
    And it sounds like you shouldn't be playing in your systen anyways because you have no clue what you are doing.
     
  22. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #22
    Oh look, another self-proclaimed expert.

    Read the thread bro. Those plastic square enclosures don't make contact with the CPU anywhere other then along the PCB edges. The rest of the CPU is suspended in air.

    This was about people shipping the same kind of chip in bubble wrap, with the wrapping directly contacting the underside of the CPU. And "charges" have nothing to do with it. A CPU will not be "charged" having been exposed to an electrostatic discharge. The silicon can be damaged by ESD in random ways, and a damaged CPU may or may not take your motherboard with it.

    -SC
     
  23. longname, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014

    longname macrumors newbie

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    Feb 1, 2014
    #23
    Some of you are over thinking. I've been dealing with CPU packaging for more than 10 years, and faced with hundreds of CPUs, and electronic devices that were wrapped by the bubble wraps. None of them was fail. If it fall into your case, the worst thing you can get is the computer won't boot up. That's it. I have never heard anyone said that a broken CPU could burn your motherboard or such a thing (except you go to apple store to hear this old story). Don't just believe in everything that you read online. Taking your time and doing some research will help you gain a lot of knowledge.
     
  24. P00t thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 14, 2012
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    Nottingham UK
    #24
    LMAO

    I've been building computers since 1995, so I think I know what I'm doing, along with my qualifications I acquired at college.

    I have never seen poorly wrapped computer parts with non ESD safe packaging, obviously you're misreading the whole situation.

    What you got with your "new" CPU is what should of been used with this CPU, from the moment they get removed from a system all the way to the new owner.

    [​IMG]

    I don't know why you decided to come into this thread and insult people you don't know, I guess you live up to your forum ID.
     
  25. artherd macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2013
    #25
    I had a moron for a client, we shipped them a dozen Xeon CPUs in INTEL SUPPLIED plastic treys. They tried to refuse shipment... I should have charged them to teach them how stupid they were.
     

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