does mining really lower the lifespan of GPU cards?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by _l_, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. _l_

    _l_ I Am A Cock

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    based on many comments I've read here at [H] I found it interesting that 100% of the comments I read have been focused on the GPU. Gamers say they won't buy used mining cards on eBay, miners say the GPU's are under-volted and therefore actually used less than if it was used for gaming.

    What about the memory chips?

    - Do memory chips (GDDR5, etc) have a limited read/write spec ?
    - mining is number crunching. Is that hardest on the memory chips?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  2. Factum

    Factum [H]ard|Gawd

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    Mining is no different than running eg. HPC loads or gaming.
    It's computational power being used...the SKU doesn't care.

    Most people posting what you describe will always happen...people will whine, often with no facts...and less less they know...the higher they will whine
     
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  3. tazeat

    tazeat [H]ard|Gawd

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    As a miner........

    Not all of them are very well cooled, likely spending 24/7 over 70C if not 80C, this may or may not concern you.

    Not all miners lower voltage, and depending what you're mining, many actually raise power % for hashes like equihash where the additional hashing power vastly outweighs the slight power increase.

    Many mining rigs are open air and often run in non climate controlled rooms with large fans blowing over them, some even run outside and without proper filtration you're going to load cards up with dust, pollen, and whatever else over time.

    Many mining rigs have fans set to 100% constantly thus wearing fan bearings.

    You'll have to make your own opinions on specific cards and what it was used for. But I'd hazard to guess a mining card pulled out of an average mining rig that's been ran for 24+ mo is nearing EOL.
     
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  4. pgaster

    pgaster [H]ard|Gawd

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    What most people do with the AMD cards does worry me. What am I talking about? The typical AMD card bios mods are what I mean. The bios has a table for timings for various RAM speeds. The bios mods people are doing takes the tight timings from low speeds and applies those tight timings to higher speeds. The RAM is being run beyond spec to get better hashrates. It works, but for how long, and will it shorten RAM life? RAM on video cards can go bad over time on it's own. Like I said, it worries me a bit because we haven't really seen how it will or will not affect lifespan.
    I don't see this being done on the Nvidia side of things so I see those cards as being more of a safe bet, but as others said, fan bearings can be an issue. Asus Strix fans seem to go bad a lot if you read the reviews, and that's just the gaming side of things. Mining will most likely shorten that lifespan. Then how to you get replacements and how expensive are they? It's probably better just to have bought the new card to start with.
     
  5. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    a normal gaming load isn't 24 hours a day for months on end.

    most gamers cards sit idle. so i would agree that it lowers the life span of the card.
     
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  6. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Fans would be the biggest concern. If they are sleeve fans then they'll likely fail after a couple years. If they are dual ball bearing they might last 10 years.

    Many of the nicer cards use 10 year caps too - those that do typically place that info on the box for marketing purposes. If you have 10 year caps and dual ball bearing fans, and you keep the cards reasonably cool they should last a really long time. My 1070 cards run at 52 or 53* C at 75% power target and 42% fan use. I have a box fan blowing over the rack. I expect they'll be fine for mining as long as they are profitable - and then can be repurposed to a gaming card until they are finally put out to stable due to being too outdated.

    In fact, mining cards are only useful (profitable/efficient) basically for two generations - as a general rule of thumb. Gamers can get more than 2 generations out of a card, but even there - most gamers won't hold onto a card much longer than that --- at least for mainstream games. 2 generations ago for desktop side was GTX 780 (980, 1080). A GTX 780 isn't profitable for mining, but would be okay for gaming. I read a thread that said back in January/December timeframe (highest mining profitability in the last year) that a GTX 780 was barely making enough to cover electricity cost with mining.

    It'll be sort like any old piece of computer or server hardware. I know people with lots of old PSUs or computers, even OEM units from Dell or HP with old P4s or Dual Core Pentiums that still run. My dad is on an old AMD X2 3600 motherboard that works just fine for him all these years later. I upgraded him to a AMD tri core more recently. Then there are some PCs that don't last 10 years because something fails.
     
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  7. ryan_975

    ryan_975 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Tighter timings aren't that big of a deal since you're not changing anything in the memory chips. You're just telling the memory controller how long to wait before trying to put or get data on the memory bus or issuing a new command. If it's too tight, the worse that'll happen is that junk data gets sent to the GPU.
     
  8. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    When I see some of the bigger miners dumping off a bunch of broken cards it makes me think it's true. But they could have been run at crazy temps who knows.
     
  9. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes, I would think so. If a card is spending 24 hours a day running at full load, then I'm sure there is some degree of degradation.
     
  10. m_isom

    m_isom Limp Gawd

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    Seriously miners, is 24/7 stock or under volted core over volted memory month after month truly less taxing than gaming loads? Who games 24/7 all year long? I've been on 72 hour weekend LAN sessions.... but every single day? Don't sell used cards as new or like new or used gently. You know they are worked like a borrowed mule. Be happy with your gross profits, and sell the (ab)used cards at the AS-IS bargain lot used car prices. You might get a $1200 high mileage car that lasts 18 months and you got your money's worth or you might get one that dies off the lot and are SOL and walking. Trying to get the sticker price out of the car after all that wear just doesn't happen.
     
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  11. Archaea

    Archaea [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Except they don't sell rental cars or business lease cars at amazing discounts. They sell them at market value. And frankly a car is a bad analogy because there are a crap ton more moving parts.

    A used CPU is a poor parallel too because there are no moving parts, but nobody worries if a CPU came from a data center or from your grandma's desktop. Really, I think the chief concern is the life of the fans. If you can replace that I'd have no more concern for a modern video card than from buying a used server CPU or racked networking gear.
     
  12. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    How much time with no real data indicating mining shortens gpu life has to go by for critics to agree mining isn't harmful? Mining has been around for years. The GPUs that were current when gpu mining began are all but obsolete for gaming. Does mining shorten gpu life? Maybe. Does it shorten usable gpu life? Probably not.
     
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  13. oblox

    oblox Gawd

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    Mining is just a glorified DC project that pays you.
     
  14. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Some/most do not run them at full. I run mine between 50-60%. They have not gone above 50C and are inside where the ambient temp is around 78-80F.

    There are some that probably run them 100% and max out at 80C or so if its in a garage or a non cooled room. They hopefully specify if they sell them.
     
  15. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I really don't put that much faith in people to be honest these days. Especially people who are trying to sell their junk on sites like Ebay with a no return policy.
     
  16. cjcox

    cjcox [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think the truth is "usage" lowers the lifespan of GPU cards. :)

    If you want it to last longer, unplug it (it will still age though).
     
  17. Hakaba

    Hakaba Gawd

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    Looks at forum, see GPUs DOA, 1080ti, Vega etc... that just upped and died when only used for gaming, and cards dying from 7 years ago...

    Looks like things are just going to break.

    Now do I think miners who overvolt, over clock, 100% fans and leave their rigs outside in 90f weather with crap cooling kills cards? Yeah.

    But I will say then same to the gamer who tosses a 1080ti KingPin overvolted, overclocked, in a Ncase M1 with shit cooling into a corner in his room.

    Have a Backblaze GPU “edition” style tracking and we will see what causes the most issues.
     
  18. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    90F is a pretty nice temperature for a GPU.
     
  19. Hakaba

    Hakaba Gawd

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    I should have specified 90f would be the garage/she’s ambient temperature.
     
  20. oblox

    oblox Gawd

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    What matters is the card temp itself... a gpu can do 122-160 degrees F without issue. I cringe when I think about the working temp of the old AMD 290s around 90-95C
     
  21. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    i mean i had my 8800GT's running full load 24/7 running F@H using the 1.1v mod bios @ 830/1836/1000 with aftermarket cooling for 7 years.. they still work perfectly fine to this day(other than having zero driver support now). if you take care of your shit properly then running full load isn't that big of a deal. but the rate a lot of us change our cards even if they survived a year or two that's more than enough time.
     
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  22. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So let me get this straight.
    The question is whether running hardware at peak capacity under high temperature conditions 24/7 lowers their life span? Go figure it out einstein.
     
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  23. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    The "at peak capacity" part is the trick, as many miners (at least on this board) say they undervolt. The question then becomes: "How does the wear from running a card undervolted 24/7 compare to running it normally for gaming loads?"

    I bit and bought a used mining card from a forum member here a little while back. It seems to be just fine to me, but they said it had been undervolted and only used since December or so, so it's hardly a worst case scenario. Meanwhile, in this market, I got a 1080ti for less than MSRP... so I'm happy.
     
  24. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's not the voltage that ages the components it's the heat. So undervolting can reduce the heat somewhat, but it's still a card that was used under full load 24/7. Compared to a card that idles most of it's life and is turned off for at least 12 hours a day it will still age much faster.
    If it was run in a climate controlled environment it could be fine even after years of running. But the original question is a no brainer.
     
  25. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Uh... yeah. And what makes heat? Current. And what drives current? Voltage. An undervolted card will run cooler, all other things being equal.
     
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  26. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So eighty percent of full throttle for months vs 100 percent for 3 hours everyday.

    That's what you are saying.
     
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  27. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    And they still run under load 24/7.

    I for one would not buy a used mining card, to many variables, did they undervolt or overvolt, how close was it to the other mining cards, was there any power interruptions during it's 24/7 period?

    Better to play it safe and buy something else imho. Gaming is not the same as mining, unless you game a hell of a lot. I get an hour or two a day ATM, so my cards last forever. Still have an old 680 I use.
     
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  28. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Electrmigratoion is caused purely by electrons moving through a semiconductor. The only thing that matters is current density over time.

    Your undervolted card has lower current density, but you're running it for 10x longer than even a heavy gamer. Even if you're using half the power of the gamer, you're still putting 5x the current on the card EVERY DAY.

    I don't understand why we're still having this discussion.

    Overvolted chips break for other reasons, like you broke the mosfet oxides. But Electromigration is just normal wear-and-tear on the tiny conductors. You can't magically wish it away if you undervolt a chip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  29. oblox

    oblox Gawd

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    So basically you aren't going to ever buy a used card again, correct? Only new from here on out.
     
  30. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Sure put words in my mouth if it makes you feel better.

    I know miners are just protecting your resale value, but the narrative around the quality of a used mining card is bullshit. I listed three simple reasons for not buying one, but the list of unknowns is much larger.

    Yes shit can happen to a used gaming card, it's like buying anything used (car) if your smart you will realize the product is used and thus has no guarantees but you can minimize your risk by doing some research and avoiding the car with high mileage. It might have been driven gently, but it's still been drive alot.
     
  31. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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    This.
     
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  32. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    No, usually miners are around 60. There's a point where it's not efficient at higher levels.
     
  33. Digital Viper-X-

    Digital Viper-X- [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is a non issue :p since most current Chips are designed to mitigate electro migration

    I wonder if people were always this anal about video cards, like one person mentioned already. It’s No different from a DC project
     
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  34. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You deniers can argue over numbers all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that you're runnign the card 24/7.

    The chips have finite lifetime. You're cutting current in half, but runningit 10x more duty cycle than a gamer.
     
  35. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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  36. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I forgot, people who deny the laws of physics is why we are still having this fucking discussion :rolleyes:

    Electromigration kills chips.
    Your silicon chips are built to withstand Electromigration, or they would fail on you days after going into service. But you can't make them last infinite time, unless you make the conductors way larger than what can fit on a silicon die. Even a video card runnign at idle will eventually fail from Electromigraton, just not usually before capacitors give out.

    Read, then tell me with a straight face that Electromigration is a hoax dreamed up by Leftist Media.

    https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1275855
     
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  37. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Not denying, just trying to fix your mistakes on mining.
    I look forward to your analysis and tests on how much it affects the cards life.
     
  38. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Aka: a denial of established science. Just because you sell off your cards before they die does not mean you have not impacted their total lifetime.

    Most properly constructed cards can last ten years or more, making it easier for heavy users to be in denial about impact. But if you mine on the card, then the next owner mines on the card, you can easily put ten years of "normal use" on it in just two years.

    There are no mistakes in my points, you're just reading around my points.
     
  39. biggles

    biggles [H]ard|Gawd

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    One issue is not knowing the truth about how a card has been used. If buying from a friend or family member (someone trusted) you could find out if mining was done with minimal wear and tear (e.g., undervolting). I suspect most buy used video cards on places like ebay from total strangers. Sellers will say "lightly used" to get a better price, and buyers have no way of knowing the actual usage (e.g., 24/7 for a year, 100% mining). Still, I would be willing to take the risk on a used card if the price was low enough. But that has not happened yet, prices remain high. Used 1070s for instance still selling in the high $300s.
     
  40. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You have not cited any information. You are guessing, giving an opinion, basically have no clue. Any facts? I do not know if it does or does not.