Buying a second-hand GPU, even from mining, is it an option?
Eternal debate like few others, with people in favor and people against. Now, the famous Youtuber LinusTechTips has wanted to shed some more light on this matter by doing a real comparative test buying a series of second-hand graphics cards, trying to show that mining cards were not a bad option. Are these guesses really valid? can a Mining Second Hand GPU be a good purchase option? Let’s see it.
19 cards in total, a small sample for what the GPU market has been like in the last two years, without a doubt, but that can put the focus a little more focused for many users, at least, if you take into account all the parameters. What are the results?
One second hand GPU vs another, does it matter that you’ve been mining?
Based on the MSI Kombustor software and some games in different resolutions, what has been sought is that none of the graphics cards are below the 3% of official specifications from the same. Relying on the fact that if it is below that three percent, the GPU is not considered optimal to be purchased, in addition, average and maximum frequency values are taken.
What can be seen is that the Esports ExtrasBYTE RTX 3060 Eagle OC is the only card that really suffers, with an average speed of 1.278MHzproduct of throttling who suffers upon arrival more than 100ºC. In addition to the obviousness of the problem, Linus states that there are three factors that determine the test:
- The work that the card does.
- The quality of the ASIC.
- The sink that mounts.
But is this enough to determine that a mining GPU is as good a choice as one that has only been gaming?
Manufacturers are against these practices
There are manufacturers that have not accepted mining graphics cards for RMA, others have said publicly that a GPU mining 24/7 could see its performance reduced more or less 10% per year. So why are Linus’ conclusions contrary to this? The Youtuber claims that a mining card is as good an option as any, and injects data such as planned obsolescence, the use of rare earth minerals to create a new GPU if the old and second-hand one does not sell, and a long etc
Well, to this we must add several details that are very much in line with what the manufacturers said. Although the video ensures that thermal cycling is detrimental to graphics cards, This is not like thisnow here near.
In addition, it is argued that in gaming the frequencies are higher than mining, when the difference is a few MHz in favor of the one that has normal use, and as a general rule, the same case with temperature. Centering arguments, thermal cycles are the scenario contemplated by all manufacturers of graphics cards, even under momentary stress conditions with rises and falls of loads or frequencies.
The components are electronically optimized to withstand this, both very high, low or ambient temperatures, but what they do not support is a charge 24/7 at the maximum possible frequency for the resulting temperature.
What are the reasons why it is not advisable to buy a second hand mining GPU?
Even ASUS TUF range is not certified for such daily workloads, and the reasons are simple:
- GPU accelerated electromigration
- Assorted electronic damage to components from shortening their lifespan and making them work for months (if not years) non-stop.
- Mobile components suffer much more premature stress and wear than electronic components (fans).
- Thermal pastes and thermal pads degrade in performance in critical components that are not taken into account by the SKUs to lower the frequencies.
- PCB electronically pushed to the limit with no break, breaking jumpers and electrical links much sooner than expected by the manufacturer and more prone on lower end models.
That without counting the dirt that house the heatsinks themselves that, in case we have forgotten, dust is the worst enemy of any PC component as long as the power supply is correct. We ignore the issue of maintenance because data is not offered in this specific case, but of course, a mining GPU is not a wise purchase option, neither present nor future.