GPUs are now more expensive than ever, and between that and the shortage of stock, people are increasingly turning to the second-hand hardware market. With used GPUs you can get a good price, but there is a great risk of ending up with a badly worn graphics because it has been used to mine cryptocurrencies, so let’s see what you can do about it.
Why should you care if the GPU was used for mining?
GPU cryptocurrency mining basically involves using the graphics card to perform a series of calculations that make the GPU constantly run at full capacity. And why should you worry about it? Because the way miners use these graphics cards is quite a concern for their lifespan.
GPUs continue to operate under intense loads for months or even years, and as you know, a graphics card tends to heat up quickly when in use and under load, exceeding temperatures of 90 ° C which can cause damage. GPU circuits or permanently damage them., Weakening its effective potential.
With any personal use GPU, it is essential to ensure that the PC has adequate and complete cooling to avoid component damage. In general, cryptocurrency miners do not pay enough attention to these security measures and the workloads are much more intensive than normal users, so wear and tear on a GPU used for mining mining is many integers greater than one.
The reason you should be interested in this when buying a used graphics card is that while the GPU may perform well, the graphics most likely have some wear and tear that causes it to operate at a higher temperature, which which makes its lifespan shortened. , it makes more noise and its performance is degraded due to thermal throttling, as these graphics have been shown to not achieve adequate boost speeds due to temperature. In addition, with the use they have had of it, they will be more prone to short-term problems.
Is it possible to recognize a graph used for mining?
Really, without installing the chart and subjecting it to some testing is complicated, but there are a few recommendations you can make as to whether the GPU was used to mine cryptocurrency or not before the sale. First of all, you have to put aside the idea that only the most powerful GPUs are used for mining, because although it is usually the case, it is not a hard rule and you should not assume that a miner did not use a less powerful GPU. at mine. You’d be surprised how miners set up their gear and the variety of GPUs they build into their farms for it, so it’s best to treat all used GPUs the same and consider them carefully before purchasing.
There are two common price brackets when it comes to graphics cards that are sold in the second-hand market and used for mining: sellers keep the price much higher than average, or they sell it at a much higher price. lower.
In the first case, they claim that the GPU they are going to sell you was for personal use and that it was hardly used, obviously a lie. This is a dishonest tactic and you have to be very careful what sellers tell you this – just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s in better condition.
In the second case, the sellers will tell you explicitly that the GPU was used for mining and is priced lower for it, although some give no explanation for this. If the price of a GPU is significantly lower than average, you should be wary. The key in all cases is to look at the average used market price of the model you intend to buy.
Hardware: take a look at the health of the GPU
Right off the bat, the most obvious thing to notice is the discoloration on the PCB. If you find any visible faults, it is likely that the unit has suffered heat damage due to heavy loads for a long time, and this problem is quite common in graphics that were used for mining. .
The next thing to look for are the video connection ports. GPUs specially designed or tuned for mining do not have as many DVI or DP ports as the average. Another thing to keep in mind is overclocking: while many miners don’t overclock their GPUs on mine, many others do, so you should look to see if the DRAM chips are visible and if they have discoloration on the PCB around them or have an oily-like tinge, a sign that something is wrong.
The last thing you might look at externally is trickier because it requires you to remove the heatsink, since it is the thermal paste of the GPU. If it is dry and solidified, it probably had to endure more heat than necessary, giving the same problems as the previous ones.
BIOS and tests
GPUs used in mining often have different BIOS settings than at the factory, so you can ask the vendor for a screenshot of the GPU-Z and compare it to the original graphics that you can probably easily find online. . If the values are changed, it is likely that this graphics card has been overclocked and has been used for mining.
Finally, another thing you can do is have the seller take the graph to a Furmark test and send you a snapshot of the operating temperatures. This will help you determine if the graph is working properly or if it is getting too hot.