For a long time, the high prices for cryptocurrencies, above all Ethereum, caused sometimes exorbitant prices for graphics cards. Now the tide is turning dramatically. Miners are flooding the markets in the Far East with used GPUs. We are not (yet) feeling this effect in Europey, but more and more disused heavy-duty graphics cards could soon be found on Ebay and Co. in this country as well. But how safe is it to buy a GPU that has been strained by intensive crypto mining?
RTX 4000 und RX 7000
Cryptomining could drive prices up that high
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First buyers complain about problems
Here, too, it is worth taking a look at Asia, because the first buyers are already reporting problems with the used accelerators. For example, a user of NGA.CN-Forums (via Wccftech), who bought an MSI Geforce RTX 3080 Suprim X for the equivalent of around 510 dollars.
The price sounds fair for a GPU that is used a lot and probably gave the buyer little reason to doubt the seriousness of the offer. However, it turned out that the graphics card was not doing its job properly. She didn’t boot. The reason was quickly found after a workaround: Instead of 10 GB, only 8 GB did its job. Two memory modules appear to have been corrupted by cryptomining.
How can this happen? The main memory and graphics memory are actually quite robust. However, the RTX 3080 has GDDR6X modules that can get particularly hot. In addition to the high clock rates, this is mainly due to the pre-installed thermal pads. Resourceful inventors were able to reduce the temperatures dramatically with alternative cooling solutions.
Persistently high, perhaps even too high, temperatures outside of the specifications can clog the memory modules and damage them after months of uninterrupted operation. So caution is definitely required here. Read the offers very carefully and, if in doubt, ask the buyer twice.
A YouTuber takes the test
Does cryptomining damage the graphics card?
You have more rights than many private sellers would like you to believe, but this way you can maybe save yourself some trouble and going to the lawyer. Because even sellers on Ebay and Co. have to abide by the rules. If you do not receive a product as described, the seller has a duty to repair it or give you a refund. However, it is often word against word here and it can take a long time before you get your money back.
Well available: RTX cards at Amazon
A word about graphics cards
In general, graphics cards can be operated permanently without any problems. As long as everything is within the intended specifications, damage is rather rare. Wear and tear on electronic components is comparatively low. In addition, some of the individual components are designed by the manufacturers for years of continuous operation.
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However, what you should definitely do if you have purchased a used graphics card: apply fresh thermal paste to the GPU and, if necessary, also replace the thermal pads on the graphics memory modules.
What do you all mean? Would you buy a used mining graphics card? Write it to us in the comments!