A mined GPU will lose about 10% of its original performance each year. This is the word of the graphics card manufacturer, Palit Microsystems. Company representatives have spoken Benchmark.pl, and are willing to warn gamers against the attraction of cheap second-hand GPUs that were previously used for cryptocurrency mining.
There is a current influx of more affordable modern graphics cards, mainly in Asia, as a recent crackdown in China has shut down many facilities in different parts of the country. This has pushed some mining operations abroad, with the The United States now accounts for more than a third of the world's Ethereum nodes, and China is now below Germany in the table with a share of less than 10%.
Recent closing operations are trying to recoup some of their losses by capitalizing on the still-intense demand for graphics cards from regular PC gamers. These used, and often mistreated, cards are launched on the second-hand market, at a tempting price, and every attempt is made to hide their mining origins.
But you should in reality be tempted? If there is a second cryptographic lock around the world and it is useless to exploit Ethereum, we will see the worldwide second-hand GPU market flooded with all the cards we have been desperate to get our hands on for the last time. year more or less. Then it ceases to be a theoretical question and something that many of us will have to think a lot about.
With the possibility that these GPUs have come out of the cryptocurrency mines, the second-hand graphics card is becoming more of a lottery than usual. It is incredibly difficult to know from a simple list whether the GPU in question has been used for mining.
Unless there is a non-standard form of refrigerator, that is.
This should be an important red flag. If a card has had its stock cooler replaced, it is more likely than normal because the GPU has had a problem in the past and may also indicate that other modifications may have been made to the board. Any change to the graphics card itself will result in the immediate void of the potential warranty.
However, some modified cards may have the original coolers rolled up, and may even have some seemingly original packaging, and from a simple second-hand listing you might find it difficult to differentiate.
On the other hand, there are some careful miners who will study by undervolving their GPUs, which can improve clock speed, efficiency and therefore provide better hash rates. These second-hand cards can come out of the mines relatively intact, although there is no way to know if this is the situation in which a particular GPU has been found.
Palit representatives point to independent testing performed on mining cards, which suggests that you can expect a 10% degradation in GPU performance for each year of service in a 24/7 cryptocurrency operation. Which seems like a pretty good benchmark for considering your options in the second hand market; even if a card actually works when you get it, there’s a good chance it won’t work to the fullest.
Inevitably, Palit, a graphics card maker that earns nothing by selling second-hand GPUs, has a special interest in making sure you buy your new graphics cards. But these are still important things to remember when suddenly that captivating Ebay list for an "almost new RTX 3070" appears without a ridiculous brand.
Of course, you might be lucky, and your used GPU will be a lovingly cared-for miner, giving you many years of gaming service, happy not to be just a crunchy number every day.
Or you could end up with a broken brick after a few days playing CS: GO. Yes, as I said, a lottery. And potentially expensive if you’re unlucky.