How to Spot a 'Bad' Used Gpu?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by SamirD, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. SamirD

    SamirD [H]ard|Gawd

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    Since the gpu price bubble is over and prices are coming down, a lot of people are looking at used--many for the first time.

    There's a bunch of telltale signs I look for in a used car that tell me 'stay away'. But I haven't seen enough gpus to know what to look for in a similar manner.

    So for those of us that can finally afford a gpu, what can you physcially check on the card itself? What are tell-tale signs in pictures? Of course the specs matter and all that, and the seller and trust are a part of the equation, but in the end it's you and a piece of hardware.

    I'm sure some advice from experienced sellers/buyers will help us all. (y) Much thanks in advance!
     
  2. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's hard. I had a buddy that had an old dusty video card that was in a cheap PC in a very slightly damp basement apartment and he showed me the before an after and it looked new from looking like a POS. You would be shocked what time + q-tips can do to fan blades, etc etc.

    The best course of action is use your god given common sense. Try and buy from Facebook marketplace ... look at the guys friends if you can, look for any mention at all of mining from him or his friends. Guys like to brag about this. Plus you can also use leading / baited / trick questions to try and trip the seller up and into revealing if he is a miner etc, not always an easy thing to do. You can do this indirectly even by just getting buddy buddy with him. Look over his Facebook profile and find some common ground if you can. Take that angle. This is all the shit I do personally to get to the bottom of a sale if need be.

    I've come straight out sometimes and told the guy, hey, I'm looking for a mining card(s), that I mine and looking for proven card(s) that's been broken in. I've had guys come straight out and say yeah, It's been mined with, then I ask them questions only a miner would know etc.

    So much BS with 'some' resellers I totally understand your concern and hesitation, anxiety.
     
  3. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    The same as you do an un-cracked egg, you smell it.
     
  4. Jalseng

    Jalseng Limp Gawd

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    Depends on where you are buying from, if locally just ask to see it in a running system with benchmarks or stress test. If your buying a gaming card I am pretty sure they know what a stress test is. As for online just buy from someone with good heatware and not from someone with only a few reviews. I'd personally stay away from ebay as of now because I'm sure the miners are flooding it there first.
    I'm not a miner, and if anyone ask me if I ever mine on it, I'd just tell them that I don't play minecraft...lmao
     
  5. thebufenator

    thebufenator Gawd

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    Just remember, regardless of your actual knowledge or experience with mining failure rates, hate miners and be irrational about it. Ignore statistics too.
     
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  6. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

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    Well if someone is selling 24 GPUs then i know to stay away...

    honestly , i`v never bought used hardware and i doubt i`ll ever will , i can`t trust other people to look after their gear like i would have liked.
     
  7. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    (Small time) ex miner here. There will be folks who just dismiss what I have to say out of hand, but...

    If the card works, the fans spin smoothly, and there's no signs of physical damage, regardless of what it was used for in the past, that's a good card. I'm not aware of enough available data to make any determination about whether mining is actually worse for longevity than the typical gaming use pattern, but my own anecdotal experience, based on owning 10X more 10 and RX cards than any generation previously, is that the difference isn't really that big, and failures are more likely due to manufacturing defects than any particular pattern of use. Out of a sample of about 20 cards and a year of use, I had one failure, and that card failed almost immediately after I took it out of the box.

    If it doesn't work, has scorch marks on the power connectors, the fans are gritty, wobbly, stuck etc. that's a bad card. I personally would rather have a clean card that was used for mining than one that was used in a personal PC in the home of a smoker, or someone who has 12 cats. Edit: And I say this as someone who has three cats himself.

    The PC enthusiast space seems to have a higher than normal percentage of super anal individuals that just can't stand the idea of owning a used graphics card that might have been <gasp!> mined with. If that's you, then I suggest buying new, so you don't have to worry about what was done with it previously. If not, ex mining cards are a pretty good deal in my opinion, especially given that we're now moving on to a new generation, so you'll likely not use the card for more than a year or two anyway before you need to upgrade again.
     
  8. T_A

    T_A Limp Gawd

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    Well in that case , i`ll tell you what - instead of the buyers taking all the risk, will you price these cards accordingly and below what non-miner card are priced? ye i thought so
     
  9. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    It's the market conditions that set actual selling prices, and in the last eight to twelve months or so, it's mostly been a seller's market. You're free to make an offer to buy that you think is reasonable, and the seller is free to choose whether to accept it or not. If he gets a better offer from someone less risk-averse than you, why should he accept yours? Because he feels sorry for you?

    This is the thread where I posted my last round of mining cards for sale. I felt I was reasonable, and I think I sold all but one of the cards at the price I asked for them. You're free to draw whatever conclusions you like from that.
    https://hardforum.com/threads/fs-5x-1070tis-2x-1080tis-misc.1960739/

    Regardless, if you're not willing to consider used hardware, what does it even matter what you think of the price that miners are selling it for? You, can apparently afford the luxury of just buying cards new, and wouldn't be a buyer on the used market at any price.
     
  10. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thank you miners for flooding the market with inexpensive GPUs that were, in most cases, only run long enough to realize an ROI. Without you I wouldn't have gotten my hands on a 1080ti on the back end of the mining craze for below MSRP while Newegg was still charging $1,500 for cheap blower-style 10-series cards.

    Four months on, my Asus Strix is underwater and purring along happily - no regrets!
     
  11. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    Heh, did I sell you one of mine? :D
     
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  12. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not unless you changed your screen name, I don't think.

    Honestly, I'd much rather buy a well-cared-for used mining card than a gaming-only card that's been treated like dirt. I think people wrongly associated their displeasure at slim supply with the trustworthiness of miners as a whole. Sure, there are miners that treat truckloads of cards like trash and then try to sell them - but there are gamers who treat their machines like trash and try to part them out too. I figure the responsibility has to fall on the buyer to an extent. If you buy anything else used it's up to you to ask questions and get some history before you purchase. If you can't do that, then you buy at your own risk.
     
  13. Justair

    Justair n00bie

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    There is really no reason not to buy a card that was used for mining provided the person who's selling it appears to have taken care of it. I mean really.. they undervolt and mildly overclock.. pay attention to heat issues and don't run the hardware into the ground. Most knowledgeable enthusiasts and overclockers know how to maintain their hardware regardless of what their hardware is used for. Forget about spotting a bad used gpu… learn to spot a good seller. They know the value of their hardware and will typically prices at 50/60% Offer information on what the card was used for and if asked will look for ways to show you what your buying is a reasonably good deal. That's really all there is to it.
     
  14. Stoly

    Stoly [H]ardness Supreme

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    Naaaah, you have to put it in water. If it floats its fresh (aka not used for mining), if it sinks then stay away from it. :D:D
     
  15. Dermen

    Dermen Limp Gawd

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    I bought a 7950 that was abused my a miner during the last craze. It was a Gigabyte 3 fan model, 1 fan was dead, the 2nd fan was barely spinning, and the 3rd was ok. I replaced all the fans and blew the dust out of the sink and it ran great. I sold it 15 months later when I upgraded to a GTX970. The seller was upfront about everything and was selling very cheap. I sold it for more than I bought it for after using it for over a year. It was a hot card too, I think it was one of the only 7950s to run 1.3v stock which they reduced in later revisions.

    During the recent craze a lot of people were more aware of efficiency. Cards are more efficient at mining when ran with less voltage which is really easy to do. If you research mining at all one of the first things suggested is to reduce your power limit to 60-65%. I would guess the majority of mining cards from this craze are far less abused than the one I purchased.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
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