So I'm not an expert on the matter of how grading companies work etc, but afaict they seem quite susceptible to fraud on top of causing price hikes, neither of these 2 are beneficious to the retro computing community. On top of that, I don't see why, say, a forum like cpu-world would even need such a grading company.
I don't see any benefit to us, as end user, if someone that is not us nor the market is the one who determines the value of CPUs.
And one thing that might actually make it harder to have any set value for an item is its usability. This isn't like baseball cards or coins where the material value is not the determining factor for its end value. A bronze age coin (if these even exist) might be worth more than the few grams of bronze or copper that the coin is made of and the cardboard and ink a baseball card is made of is definitely not the determining factor for value.
But with hardware there is a larger degree of functionality. Many of the CPUs have their value determined by how hard it is to find a fully functional replacement. Try finding a fully functional replacement for a Socket 3 Cyrix 5x86 running at 133MHz or a Socket 3 POD 83MHz or a Coppermine running at 1100MHz without it being the real thing.
Same with for instance sound cards or graphics cards. Good luck duplicating an FX 5950 Ultra.
There (thankfully!) are some reproductions especially for things like sound cards and for some harder to find graphics cards. They are wanted for what they can do and not for what they look like and this is hard to do without actually testing it and any kind of testing will involve wear and tear which will uhm... "de-grade" the, heh, fine looks of any uhm pristine looking cards. Yeah there's a tiny little scratch on the AGP connector there, that knocks off another 100 bucks of the value of your card sir! 🤣
On the flip side one could argue that for a good looking card it doesn't even matter whether or not a card is still functional or not (which will make it easier to fraud with), but that's for a different kind of collector.
And who will be doing the grading? Most likely people with less experience and less knowhow than some of the more experienced people within the retro computing community which for me seems really quite questionable. You'd have to be extremely knowledgeable to know better than those people or it's gonna get cringeworthy I reckon.
If anything, I'd say it's old PC games that could be on their target list.
But man, it would make this hobby a terrible world indeed, CPUs locked inside sealed plastic cases, never ever gonna get used again and tested with, with a bunch of market-inflating-hypermanianic narcissists telling us how valuable an item is instead of our own wallets. Definitely a degrade of the hobby if you ask me.
When we can expect this? I don't know.
Btw do collectible items always need to be mostly useless things? Cars come to mind as collectible items that still have some practical use. It is kinda cool looking at an oldtimer riding by but a baseballcard collection just doesn't do it for me.
Interesting yet potentially terrifying question.
Replying to edit:
user33331 wrote on 2022-06-13, 06:24:
Below MSpainted example. Not real photo.
Fuck you, you had me there for a second 🤣!
My heart skipped a couple beats 🤣
But could it? I guess so? Will it ever? Nobody knows 😋
Really final edit:
So before reading this I never even considered this, but having let it sink in for a little bit it seems as silly and preposterous a thing to do as doing certificates and grading and sealing up of worn women's underwear or something 🤣
Oh and btw will this sealed packaging be ESD safe packaging?