Breaking Stereotypes on Refurbished Technology: Cost, Performance and Availability

In our experience there’s a common misconception when making a purchase decision on 2nd hand technology - that you must be “settling for less”. Many associate faults, failures, problems, and unreliability with buying 2nd hand equipment, particularly where IT hardware is concerned. It is also commonly believed that second hand technology is not readily available when compared to new devices and that the discounted cost must mean that something is too good to be true!

But what if we could prove that all of that is false?

What if we could show you that 2nd hand equipment isn’t riddled with problems designed to drain your money away?

That high-quality refurbished equipment isn't hard to get hold of and that high-performing 2nd hand tech isn’t a thing of fairy tales and happily never after?


Does Refurbished Mean Lower Performance?

The lack of moving parts means that IT hardware will either function or not. In other words, IT hardware does not wear out over time. This means that a refurbished machine will perform identically to the new equivalent. The slow down in Moore’s Law means that newer machines are no longer twice as good as the last, in terms of compute power or energy efficiency. This is why, for example, you can upgrade a Gen 9 server to outperform a basic configuration of a Gen 10 server.

2nd hand technology, therefore, does not mean that you are getting a lesser product that can’t match the performance of newer equipment. With refurbishment processes and the correct configuration, 2nd hand technology performs just as well as new and can even outperform new devices with the right component upgrades.

We conducted a two year long research study with the University of East London, focusing on the efficiency of CPUs on server performance and usage. We compared the performance and efficiency of brand new, factory sealed server options against refurbished and configured, yet older, technology. With extensive testing our research found that refurbished technology performed identically to new equipment, even outperforming it under certain configurations.

2nd hand equipment, with this in mind, does not mean lower performance; with refurbished matching the performance of new technology, yet costing less, it is the optimal choice for many businesses around the world to aid the maximisation of IT budgets.


Why Does Refurbished Technology Cost Less?

The price of refurbished IT is one of the main factors that draws doubt. Many believe that the reduction in price must mean that 2nd hand technology is not as good new in some way, and because of this, they turn towards new products.

Our mission to prove, and subsequently have done with our IEEE published research paper, is that where it counts, refurbished can match new bout for bout. We have already discussed the performance of 2nd hand equipment and demystified the idea that refurbished equals lesser capabilities. The IEEE paper examines performance and energy draw to address cost payback points. The research analysed how long a previous generation server would take to pay for itself against a new server. What we have proven is that for the same performance, refurbished technology results in a cheaper option to many businesses for identical capabilities.

This means that not only will you be spending less on technology that can work as well as new, but many companies will be able to afford higher-end equipment that may have been inaccessible before due to price. For example, a company looking at a basic Gen 10 HPE erver may have reservations and restrictions due to cost. However, a refurbished Gen 9 server with component upgrades, is a more affordable option yet fully meets their performance needs.

It’s here that we make the comparison between IT and cars, in that both are worth less as soon as they leave the production line. A factory sealed model is worth more than a model with its seal broken, even if it has never been used. The reduction in price is simply market dynamics, and nothing to do with the equipment itself.


Is Availability Limited with Refurbished Technology?

Globally we have been faced with a drastic situation in terms of product lead time, material and component shortages, and shipping issues that have resulted in an exponential drop in the production and delivery of new technology. A great example of this issue in practice can be seen with the infamous ps5! This games console is as elusive as it is desirable with the current state of manufacturing and global shipping. However, what many gamers are not struggling to get their hands on is the ps4, in either a refurbished or new condition.

What this tells us is that new technology is not always as readily available as we all expect it to be. In contrast, refurbished technology functions in a completely different market and supply chain to new IT; refurbished technology does not require the shipping of materials and parts across the world for assembly and is often available in your country of residence. This means that products can be shipped directly from a more local location, speeding up the lead time on your delivery.

With more and more companies and individuals turning to refurbished equipment, the 2nd hand industry is growing at an exponential rate! With many of the benefits of new equipment, as well as fewer of the downfalls, refurbished IT hardware is important to consider when looking at your latest tech purchase. Get in touch with our experienced team today to hear how refurbished IT can maximise your IT budget!