What would you do if you doubled up on PC parts because the first one didn't work?

I’m putting together an AM5 build. It’s been in progress for over a month because when all the parts finally arrived and I put the basic system together and bench tested it, it didn’t work! First time this has happened (it’s true I tell you! I put together a 5950X and i9-12900 system last year and they’re working perfectly).

I bought a replacement motherboard - same unit - plus memory and a processor from a large well-known online retailer.

After swapping everything and replacing the original 7950X with a 7600X (least expensive Zen4 processor at the time) it looks like the original CPU is DOA. I’m attempting to RMA it.

So I have two motherboards and two sets of memory and an extra CPU. I’m not going to attempt to return the CPU (it’s been slathered with thermal paste, or thermal paté as they once said on GN) - I may ebay it - but I’m thinking of attempting to return the original motherboard and memory even though they seem to work OK. But I didn’t know that until I’d replaced everything in a quest to get the system working.

It seems that returning items that are already opened and tested is an acceptable protected consumer right, but personally I’m not normally in the habit of returning anything, and I feel in a bit of a moral quandary returning the items. Should I have bought replacements in the first place? I didn’t have an easy way to try and track down what the problem was (thanks in large part to inadequate debug facilities on the particular board I purchased, I feel) without swapping items and I didn’t have spare ones just sitting around.

So, would you attempt to return the items and get the money back, create a second machine, flog the parts on ebay etc., or stick them on a shelf in the hope that they could be put to good use in the future?

PS: The two systems that worked perfectly from the off both have POST codes, which of course were not required. Kind of Sod’s Law?

Why not? Nothing a bit of rubbing alcool and q-tips won’t make go away super quick. I removed 5 years old Noctua NT-H1 without issues. I think it’s worth to recover a bit of cash from all of these unfortunate events.

Absolutely! It’s the fastest way to get all your money back and can be the less “stressful”. If you ever need more components they’ll get cheaper over time and maybe more refined.
Once you got it running I really doubt you’re gonna have any issue whatsoever for a long long time.

Nhaa, if you don’t have a plan it’s better to recover those money. Cash is always better than hardware.

Possibly. I cleaned off the original CPU in such a fashion, but it didn’t quite return to its original pristine state: it seems there was a very slight discoloration from the thermal paste: I used Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut.

This is one thing I’m thinking: contrary to everything else in life, computer parts seem to be deflationary (the amount that the prices have gone down for the parts I bought last year is depressing).

Thanks for the opinion. I think you’re right.

That’s really really weird. I never heard of “traditional” thermal paste so aggressive. I don’t know what I would do too at that point.

Exactly. Money is too, but on a way less downslope than other goods. You nailed it!

Returns have been initiated. I feel slightly guilty. I should probably say a few dozen Hail Marys, if I had a priest. Or a religion (other than Emacs, natch)