Mining Graphics Cards Are (Mostly) As Good As Used Gaming GPUs, But Buyers Should Still Be Cautious, LTT Shows


Linus Tech Tips (LTT) has made an effort to dispel the myth that used crypto-mining graphics cards are not equivalent to used GPUs in quality.

It has been widely documented over the past several years that graphics cards used to mine cryptocurrency were overworked and had shorter lifespans. It was repeatedly advised to stay away from any GPUs used by miners. By testing about 25 mining cards against the team’s reference cards that were regularly utilised, LTT attempted to refute this idea.

Over the past year, Linus Tech Tips made anonymous purchases of some of the most heavily utilised GPUs for mining. For the test, AMD and NVIDIA partners’ Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics cards and RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 GPUs were both used.

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Out of the 19 cards that were bought, two were very immediately removed from testing. The Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT GPU and the Gigabyte Eagle RTX 3060 OC graphics card were the two that were taken out. Extremely slow clock rates, which in turn led to both cards heating up, caused these two cards to be rejected. The two graphics cards’ temps were higher than 100°C. Linus did additional testing on the cards, however the Gigabyte Eagle RTX 3060 OC GPU’s VRAM performance was subpar. Although the Sapphire RX 5700 XT failed the Kombustor test, it outperformed all other GPUs in gaming benchmarks.

All cards outperformed the LTT’s own cards, demonstrating that buying second hand crypto-mining cards is not a bad idea. The video not only demonstrated that the graphics cards were identical to the GPUs used by gamers, but it also served as a tutorial on what to look for, how to handle it, and why buying a used graphics card is preferable to paying huge sums of money to corporations for graphics cards that would eventually end up in a landfill.

Linus offered several suggestions, including checking the return policy details if making an in-person purchase, shaking the cards to check for loose components, inspecting the graphics cards for damage, and even physically testing the cards if making an in-person purchase from a seller on a local online marketplace like Facebook Marketplace. The impact of buying used as opposed to new is then covered, which can be done in a variety of ways. Environmental concerns include the perils of tossing away things, not reusing technology to keep our planet clean, and withholding more of our money from large firms.

The silicon chip of an AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPU that was overworked for mining eventually cracked. (Kris-Fix credit for image)

Despite this, there are cryptocurrency miners that sell used merchandise as brand-new by employing cunning deceptive strategies like painting memory dies to make them appear brand-new or flashing the BIOS of whole other GPUs on subpar products. It was recently discovered that numerous AMD graphics cards were exhibiting cracked GPU silicon, although this only proved out to be the result of mining because the affected cards had been maintained in an extremely humid environment. It is therefore completely feasible that a particular mining card won’t last long, even if it functions properly for a few days.

Regardless of your position, if you’re thinking about buying a used graphics card in the future, watch the video and heed some of Linus Tech Tips’ advice, since the advice is really sound. Being a more informed and knowledgeable consumer will help you avoid losing hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Source: Linus Tech Tips


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