Redditor snags AMD Ryzen 9 5900X with bent pins for ridiculous low price of US$3, resurrects it back to life sans integrated audio
It's quite common to find enticing deals on laptops, CPUs, GPUs, and other peripherals, but a Redditor may have just bagged the absolute best deal for a PC part ever in this century — a 12C/24T Zen 3 Vermeer AMD Ryzen 9 5900X for a ridiculous US$3.
Redditor u/bogerton managed to source the Ryzen 9 5900X for pocket change at a store selling returned Amazon items. Apparently, the CPU was thrown away since it had a few bent pins. However, with some delicate maneuvering, the OP managed to get them straightened.
OP's CPU also had some missing pins, but they didn't seem to affect the processor's functionality. The missing pins correspond to AZ_RST_L and AZ_BITCLK indicating that they are for the Azalia HD audio, meaning that integrated audio will not work. The Redditor also did a Prime95 stress test for five hours and the salvaged processor seemed to be doing just fine.
Bent or broken pins are not uncommon with pin grid array (PGA) processors such as those based on AMD Socket AM4. AM4 CPUs, especially those with stock coolers and thermal paste, had a bad rep for being difficult to replace from the socket. The stock AMD thermal paste made removing the CPU particularly difficult often requiring considerable force. This led to the CPU pins getting bent or broken in the process.
A similar predicament was faced by yours truly resulting in a bricked Ryzen 9 3900X, which is now rendering honorable services such as a keychain, paperweight, and other such esteemed offices.
AMD has transitioned to land grid array (LGA) sockets with AM5 wherein the pins are within the socket and the CPU is relatively safer to handle. That being said, even LGA pins bend and can actually be more cumbersome to straighten than PGA ones.
AMD has not published an official pin layout diagram for AM4, but lookups did leak on the interwebs. Broken pins can be soldered back with proper equipment, but more often than not there's a high probability that the severed pin is just redundant, and the CPU can probably do just fine without one. The only issue is that one can never be sure if such CPUs can be overclocked or whether any hitherto unknown functionality is affected.
If you are not too particular about production usage or just need a CPU to tinker around, be sure to visit your local warehouse to see if they stock such returned items.
Who knows, you may even stumble into an enticing GPU deal much to the envy of many!