An Upgrade Story, With a Twist!

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Dec 4, 2012
In late June, 2014 I purchased the parts to build a proper FreeNAS home file server. I purchased a Supermicro motherboard and paired it with a Pentium G3420 Haswell Dual-Core 3.2 GHz LGA 1150 and 16GB of RAM. I did this to save money with the full intention of upgrading both the CPU and RAM one day. After all, this machine was intended, and has been, nothing more than a file server for our important documents, photos and music.

This summer I decided it was time to either upgrade the entire machine to current Xeon E3 v6 hardware and bump up my RAM to 32GB DDR4 or just upgrade my Pentium G3420 to a fast Xeon E3 v3 and take the RAM up to 32GB of DDR3. I decided to go ahead and upgrade my current hardware and start with the processor as the first upgrade component.

I began my search on eBay. I had always known that the Xeon E3-1270 v3 was the fastest E3 v3 during the time that I had purchased my hardware four years ago. I found a great deal on a E3-1271 v3 that was for sale here in the U.S. The photos looked good so I got it for $180 and free shipping.

My "new" E3-1271 processor arrived the day before I needed to leave for a long business trip. I was just going to leave it in the package and open it when I got home, but I decided to go ahead and take a look at it. I was too excited! I opened up the box only to find that several of the pin contacts were BURNT! WTF?! I immediately contacted the seller and sent them pictures.

I was pissed that I had received a damaged CPU, that nobody noticed this when they shipped it to me, and that this was clearly not the same CPU in the pictures on the eBay listing as the serial numbers didn't match. It was most likely pulled from a data center so I wasn't expecting the exact serial number but I DID expect it to be in perfect physical condition.

The seller was apologetic and sent a return shipping label. They did not have any others as a replacement.

Disappointed but not discouraged, I resumed my search.

I was extremely lucky! I found a new listing for a E3-1270 v3 for only $119.36 USD. The catch; it was being sold from England. Even with the $17.77 in shipping, I was only out $137! Hoping that this wasn't a scam, I was optimistic.

A few weeks later, my replacement arrived. I couldn't believe it, it was an actual E3-1270! I popped it in, fired up the computer and it shows as the correct model in both IPMI and FreeNAS! Too cool!

I scored a great deal after having to deal with a bad purchase. Next will be to find an additional 16GB of matching memory!


Server Wrangler
Feb 15, 2014
That's a nasty burn mark...
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