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It is not a good idea to buy second-hand graphics

Image for article titled Why it's not a good idea to buy second-hand graphics cards right now

Photo: Joby Sessions / PC Gamer Magazine/ Future (Getty Images)

The unstoppable decline of cryptocurrency market is causing many crypto miners to abandon a activity that is no longer as profitable as the cryptobros promised. The indirect consequence is that the hardware they used to mine coins is hitting the second-hand market with a vengeance. It seems like good news, but it’s not.

As explained in PC Gamer, the second-hand market is experiencing a significant influx of GPU models at very attractive prices (half their original price in some cases). The problem is that mining fantasy coins is intense for the hardware involved, and the graphics used in mining have often been abused so viciously that they presThey have major flaws.

Since WCCftech explain that these cards have normally gone through several replacement cycles of the cooling patches that cool down the GDR6X memory. Norally, the buyer of a graph as one of the models used Nvidia RTX 30 series in mining you face worn thermal patches that will need to be replaced immediately to prevent overheating and damage to the device.

As if this wasn’t enough, there are second-hand cards that are sold with dead memory modules. A user of the NGA.CN forums explains the case of a GeForce RTX 3080 that he bought for 536 dollars (new costs right now around $1,100 even though its theoretical starting price was $699). After analyzing the graphics performance, this user discovered that the card only had 8GB of virtual memory when it should have 10. In fact, there is no version of the RTX3 3080 with 8GB of VRAM. The only existing models are 10 or 12GB. Two of the memory modules had failed after the exhaustive level of work they were subjected to.

Miners typically continue to use those cards after isolating dead memory modules in a process known as Memory Shielding. The graphic patched in this way continues to work, but it will never do so with the performance it had when it left the factory, which means that the initial discount on the purchase is not as profitable.

There is some discrepancy on the extent to which graphs are used in mining. In PC Worldfor example, ensure that the wear suffered by a card used in gaming can be even higher due to the tendency of many users to do overclock to their teams. the youtuber Linus Sebastian has tested several cards used in mining and ensures that are still usable. The problem is that not all of them are in such good condition, and it is very difficult to know to what extent a second-hand model has been treated correctly or abused to the point of exhaustion.

For now, and until the graphics market is fully normalized, probably the smartest option is to wait a little longer and, in any case, buy a new graphics card that has a guarantee and from which we can expect proper operation.

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