Identify a used GPU card that was used in mining?

x509

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Let's say you want to buy a used GPU card. Any generation. Ebay or maybe Craigslist or maybe the FS/FT forum on this website. If the seller doesn't say that this card was used in mining, on (on Ebay or Craigslist) claims it was not, is there any reliable way for a buyer to detect mining usage?

I'm guessing that the presence of a "spicial" BIOS that falsely reports the product ID is a dead giveaway of a fraudulent seller.
 

cdabc123

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Cards that are mined on will work just the same and for just as long as card that wernt. Almost all modern cards benifit from lowering the voltage. No way to determine, however some gpus (polaris) may have been flashed to run different memory timings. Most sellers would flash the GPU back to original before selling.

Yes you can find scams on eBay and such where they take a cheap card throw a vbios on it to make it look like a different GPU in windows.

Also if ya want a general rule at this point. If its a 8gb polaris card or even 4gb ones it was most likely mined on. There is a decent chance Hawaii cards were mined on if you pic one up. Any used 3xxx series cards have a decent chance of being mined on
 

x509

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Cards that are mined on will work just the same and for just as long as card that wernt. [ ... ]
OK. I'm no expert, but I have read in various places that cards which were mined on have lower performance or life expectancy than cards that were not. But again, I'm no expert here.
 

cdabc123

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OK. I'm no expert, but I have read in various places that cards which were mined on have lower performance or life expectancy than cards that were not. But again, I'm no expert here.
Performance of the GPU die does not degrade under normal conditions (everything except prolonged exposure to excessive voltage or heat)

It may be worth while to exercise caution with nvidia 3xxx series cards as some had issues properly cooling the vram (which is stressed mining)

Buying used cards is just fine if it works when you get it its likely to work for years to come
 
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Performance of the GPU die does not degrade under normal conditions (everything except prolonged exposure to excessive voltage or heat)

It may be worth while to exercise caution with nvidia 3xxx series cards as some had issues properly cooling the vram (which is stressed mining)

Buying used cards is just fine if it works when you get it its likely to work for years to come
Yup. Most miners try to take care of their cards so they last.
 

WilyKit

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Cards that are mined on will work just the same and for just as long as card that wernt. Almost all modern cards benifit from lowering the voltage. No way to determine, however some gpus (polaris) may have been flashed to run different memory timings. Most sellers would flash the GPU back to original before selling.

Yes you can find scams on eBay and such where they take a cheap card throw a vbios on it to make it look like a different GPU in windows.

Also if ya want a general rule at this point. If its a 8gb polaris card or even 4gb ones it was most likely mined on. There is a decent chance Hawaii cards were mined on if you pic one up. Any used 3xxx series cards have a decent chance of being mined on

This is hardly the case across all cards. Cards that have been mined on may have had their core voltage or TDP lowered which is great for the GPU but they also have their vram clocked to levels that would lock up your PC as soon as you launch a game. That can’t be good for the memory modules long term. While most people who purchased mining cards after the last crash fared just fine, there were plenty who received cards with serious artifacting issues in games due to degraded vram.
 

cdabc123

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This is hardly the case across all cards. Cards that have been mined on may have had their core voltage or TDP lowered which is great for the GPU but they also have their vram clocked to levels that would lock up your PC as soon as you launch a game. That can’t be good for the memory modules long term. While most people who purchased mining cards after the last crash fared just fine, there were plenty who received cards with serious artifacting issues in games due to degraded vram.

Strictly clocks won't degrade chips. Especially if those chips are running at a safe voltage and temp (hence my note about possible 3xxx series issues)

I cannot give confirmation that mem timings would alter life of vram chips.
 
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talon95

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Strictly clocks won't degrade chips. Especially if those chips are running at a safe voltage and temp (hence my note about possible 3xxx series issues)

I cannot give confirmation that mem timings would alter life of vram chips.
Also, you'll see people mining at what seems like crazy high mem speeds, but nvidia cards switch to P2 state while mining (from P0 while gaming). So you actually can go higher with the mem oc without stability issue but performance is essentially the same.

And what can happen is the card will crash at the mining oc when you stop mining and it switches back to P0.
 

griff30

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Yup. Most miners try to take care of their cards so they last.
The idea is never buy from miners. It gives them monetary gain and a form appreciation for putting us in this situation in the first place.

When you buy from a miner It's like "Good fellow, I would love reimburse the money you spent on a (slave) card, to make money sitting on your ass. God forbid you break even running a (slave) card 24/7 until its an inch from it's life and not get back at least some of the money. "
Buying from miners at this time only supports them financially and makes you part of the problem .
Make them eat the cost.
 
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The idea is never buy from miners. It gives them monetary gain and a form appreciation for putting us in this situation in the first place.

When you buy from a miner It's like "Good fellow, I would love reimburse the money you spent on a (slave) card, to make money sitting on your ass. God forbid you break even running a (slave) card 24/7 until its an inch from it's life and not get back at least some of the money. "
Buying from miners at this time only supports them financially and makes you part of the problem .
Make them eat the cost.
How do you know the card was mined on though? Unless it's a big time miner with tons of listings at around the same time it's almost impossible to tell.
 

michalrz

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Only thing that comes to mind would be discoloration on the PCB around the chip and big mosfets.
 

Nebulous

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Unless it's a reputable seller from here ( or other sites), I would not buy a used card from "out of the wind". I'm sure the sellers on flebay/CL are not 100% honest 100% of the time. Noway to know with 100% accuracy if the card has been mined on or not, unless in brand spankin' new.
 

x509

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Unless it's a reputable seller from here ( or other sites), I would not buy a used card from "out of the wind". I'm sure the sellers on flebay/CL are not 100% honest 100% of the time. Noway to know with 100% accuracy if the card has been mined on or not, unless in brand spankin' new.
As the OP, that post captures why I started this thread.
 

cdabc123

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The idea is never buy from miners. It gives them monetary gain and a form appreciation for putting us in this situation in the first place.

When you buy from a miner It's like "Good fellow, I would love reimburse the money you spent on a (slave) card, to make money sitting on your ass. God forbid you break even running a (slave) card 24/7 until its an inch from it's life and not get back at least some of the money. "
Buying from miners at this time only supports them financially and makes you part of the problem .
Make them eat the cost.
ehhh I think it depends on the price. I would be more opposed to buying a used mined on card near or above msrp.

If there dirt cheap and all the miners are liquidating cards, sure, get me in for a few. Last time around I was more then happy taking a r9 290 or 480 off someones hands for $75 to 100.
 

kirbyrj

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Strictly clocks won't degrade chips. Especially if those chips are running at a safe voltage and temp (hence my note about possible 3xxx series issues)

I cannot give confirmation that mem timings would alter life of vram chips.

I repadded my card so I get better VRAM temps. My card is better than a new one because I fixed the FE's biggest flaw.
 

x509

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ehhh I think it depends on the price. I would be more opposed to buying a used mined on card near or above msrp.

If there dirt cheap and all the miners are liquidating cards, sure, get me in for a few. Last time around I was more then happy taking a r9 290 or 480 off someones hands for $75 to 100.
IF used 3000 cards got dirt, dirt cheap, I would buy 2 3090s at say $50-$75. Keep one for use, and then sell the other one once used priced got back to some normal levels. Either that or upgrade my backup desktop system to an absolute kickass level.

Or course, pigs will fly first, all the way to Earth orbit.
 

kirbyrj

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IF used 3000 cards got dirt, dirt cheap, I would buy 2 3090s at say $50-$75. Keep one for use, and then sell the other one once used priced got back to some normal levels. Either that or upgrade my backup desktop system to an absolute kickass level.

Or course, pigs will fly first, all the way to Earth orbit.

You realize that most polaris cards weren't even $200 new right? $75 used is a legitimate price for a several year old mining card. $75 for a 3090 isn't in the ballpark of ever happening. After the prices crash (assuming its before next gen releases) a mined 3090 will still be fetching $1200 or so I'd think.
 
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cdabc123

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Unforcuantly this time around there is MUCH more demand for gpus then last. I would be disappointed if used cards still sold above msrp but there wont be any substantial discounts. I think a $400 2080 would be the best to hope for. And Polaris should crash nicely again if anyone needs a lower end card. (Still probrably 100+)
 

x509

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In all honestly I'd rather buy a card from a miner who more than likely knows how to treat a GPU properly than a negligent gamer who essentially ran his card as hot if not hotter playing games
Hadn't considered this point, but it's a very good one.
 

x509

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Unforcuantly this time around there is MUCH more demand for gpus then last. I would be disappointed if used cards still sold above msrp but there wont be any substantial discounts. I think a $400 2080 would be the best to hope for. And Polaris should crash nicely again if anyone needs a lower end card. (Still probrably 100+)
I'm certainly not going to go out onto a long, shaky limb by predicting a complete collapse in used GPU prices. And I a completely agree about the amount of demand for the current gen GPU cards.

The only rationale for a collapse in used GPU prices is that most current gen card have gone to miners, not gamers. If mining is no longer profitable (because the asset bubble finally collapsed, etc), then all miners will be impacted the same way, plus-minus power cost differences. So then most miners will have lots of cash tied up in unproductive assets, cards that can't mine profitably. And if all miners start selling at the same time, there could be a glut in the market.

All speculation, of course.
 

x509

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What if Ferrari sells their best super car for $1000? It’s not gonna happen.
I bought my Porsche for just under half of list price. Of course, it was four years old, but the mileage indicated it was someone's daily driver.
 

JSHamlet234

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I wouldn't care what the card was used for as long as the card works the way the manufacturer intended. It should run at stock clocks (no modded BIOS) when I get it, and it should do so without crashing or artifacting. If not, it's a case of "ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED." I always buy computer hardware on ebay from sellers with overwhelmingly positive feedback and a lot of it. Those sellers will usually bend over backwards to maintain their rating. I wouldn't buy any expensive component "as is" or "not tested" unless it was for local pickup, and I could test it myself.
 

x509

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I wouldn't care what the card was used for as long as the card works the way the manufacturer intended. It should run at stock clocks (no modded BIOS) when I get it, and it should do so without crashing or artifacting. If not, it's a case of "ITEM NOT AS DESCRIBED." I always buy computer hardware on ebay from sellers with overwhelmingly positive feedback and a lot of it. Those sellers will usually bend over backwards to maintain their rating. I wouldn't buy any expensive component "as is" or "not tested" unless it was for local pickup, and I could test it myself.
JSHamlet234 Would you buy something besides a GPU card from a seller with lots of positive feedback, but was also scalping GPUs?
 

JSHamlet234

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@JSHamlet234 Would you buy something besides a GPU card from a seller with lots of positive feedback, but was also scalping GPUs?

Me personally? I would not disqualify the seller on another item if they were also scalping GPUs. I also wouldn't pay $2400 for an RTX 3080. If that's what it's worth to someone else, that's none of my business. What's happening in the GPU market really sucks for someone like me who just wants to play games after hours on one. I don't get mad at the miners, the scalpers, the people who created ETH, the person who invented blockchain, the geopolitical climate that has created a market for cryptocurrency, the pandemic and whoever anyone wants to blame it on, or the global economic climate that has led to tariffs, trade wars and all the rest of it. It's a big mess, and I really can't blame the people who are trying to get in the mix and profit from it. Better them than me, because they're taking a risk with every move they make, and any one of these players could end up losing huge in the long run. I'll stand off to the side and just wait for the dust to settle.
 

WilyKit

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I bought my Porsche for just under half of list price. Of course, it was four years old, but the mileage indicated it was someone's daily driver.

Half of list is a lot more than the pie in the sky that is a 3090 for $100 which is less than 7% of MSRP for a flagship card.
 
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funkydmunky

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Every used card is a crap shoot. It is just as likely that a miner had well ventilated continuously cleaned cards that work perfectly as it is buying one from gamer-kid who had his card stuffed in a cheap bling-bling LED case with poor airflow and EXTREME OC!
And it is equally possible that a miner or a gamer may trying to pass off a glitchy card that they have had enough with and are going to be deceptive.

OP- Make sure you aren't buying just the box and make sure it has video outs :D :ROFLMAO:
 

NattyKathy

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I agree with assuming that any used card could have been mined on at this point. The Vega I just sold was "mined on" in the sense that I mined on and off for a couple weeks earlier this year but I didn't specify "mining card" in the listing because I used it for gaming 99%- if I had mined on it for like a month or more straight then yeah, it's a mining card at that point but debatable whether that makes a difference unless the VRAM was recklessly overclocked (which could happen with a gaming card too). If I'm selling a card that actually never been mined on at all I will usually say that but only because buyers like to hear it, not because I think it actually makes a big difference as a sole factor.
 

Andrew_Carr

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Clear signs:
1.) It has been repasted / cleaned within the last year
2.) It may/may not have modified BIOS installed

#1 you can find out by opening up the card. #2 is an easy fix, go to techpowerup.com and download OEM BIOS or run something like amd pixel patcher to allow the unsigned BIOS to run in Windows. Cards throttle themselves nowadays so I don't see the fear in buying something that's been used for mining. If it's running hot, it'll throttle and then the miner is losing money, so they have an interest in keeping the memory temps under control.

Just about every used gaming GPU I've bought though has been neglected and required a repaste and cleaning, which magically drops the temps 10-20C.

[Edit:] The things I worry about when buying used GPUs would be if it has been overvolted and if anything has been physically damaged by that.
 

x509

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[ ... ]

OP- Make sure you aren't buying just the box and make sure it has video outs :D :ROFLMAO:
I had this problem years ago in the old Fry's Electronics near where I live.

I had bought a high-end sound card for my kids' PC. Only when I got home, it was this cheap ass no-name Ethernet card. Fry's was notorious for taking customer returns and re-shrink wrapping them without any disclosure. About a week later, I went back to the store, and they treated ME like a criminal before they finally, finally gave me a refund. This was right after my wife passed away from cancer and I was super-stressed. Both my kids were gamers (for kids' games) and I wanted this new sound card to be something positive for them.

I had been a regular Fry's customer. Then i never went back.
 

WilyKit

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I had this problem years ago in the old Fry's Electronics near where I live.

I had bought a high-end sound card for my kids' PC. Only when I got home, it was this cheap ass no-name Ethernet card. Fry's was notorious for taking customer returns and re-shrink wrapping them without any disclosure. About a week later, I went back to the store, and they treated ME like a criminal before they finally, finally gave me a refund. This was right after my wife passed away from cancer and I was super-stressed. Both my kids were gamers (for kids' games) and I wanted this new sound card to be something positive for them.

I had been a regular Fry's customer. Then i never went back.

I used to work at Frys. It wasn’t just the customers scamming. It was the employees more often then not. I knew folks who would take a standard CD ROM and swap it with a burner (burners were still expensive) buy the CD rom with the burner inside and out the burner with the CD rom in the box and back on the shelve. One guy would grab a multi disk PlayStation game that was on clearance, pull the disks and put the disks of games he actually wanted in the case. Paid for the one game on clearance and walked out with 3 or 4 full price games.
 

TheSlySyl

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I've purposefully bought cards from miners who admitted they were used as mining gpus. They were cheaper and well taken care of, haven't had a single issue with them.
 
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man114

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The wear point will really be the fans. Heat is the real enemy. I mine on the side on cards when I’m not using them, I keep the temps low. Performance degradation is most likely thermally related, repaste and repad the cards when you get them and they’re likely to be fine.
 

Zeoclang

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To answer the original question, no there isn't a way to tell if a card has been mined on. Just as there is no way to tell if it has been gamed on.
 
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