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Used Crypto Mining GPUs Flood The Market, But Should You Buy One? (Opinion)

Gamers finally have something to smile about as the crypto bear market has resulted in a mining exodus and diminished demand for high-end graphics cards.

Crypto Twitter is awash with images of stacks of GPUs being sold on second-hand markets, and prices for new and used units are starting to come down out of the stratosphere.

Earlier this week, Hardware Times reported that Chinese reseller markets showed Nvidia RTX 3080s for as low as $523. Furthermore, PC gamers reported that RTX 3060 Ti’s were going for as low as $300 to $350 on some used marketplaces.

Are They Safe To Buy?

As with anything used, especially computer components, it is a big gamble. Components running under constant heavy loads, high voltages, and high temperatures will get stressed, which will wear them out quicker.

Several gamers on social media have issued warnings over these used graphics cards that have been “abused” by crypto mining. Additionally, there have been reports from buyers of used cards that they had components replaced or had heating issues.

Gamers are generally anti-crypto, and some reasons given for not buying a used GPU were so extreme as to prevent miners from recouping any money from the process.

As with all things, there are two sides to every story. One gamer pointed out that high voltage and thermal expansion are the things that kill a processor over time. “GPUs used for Ethereum mining were typically undervolted to use as little electricity as possible, so voltage hasn’t degraded them,” he added.

Furthermore, mining GPUs are left in a constant steady-state, and their temperatures fluctuate very little since they have constant cooling and minimal load spikes. He suggested buying from a marketplace with buyer protection before concluding:

“The main people who want you to believe used cards are bad are the people who make new graphics cards.”

Hold Your Horses

PC Gamer pointed out that prices finally returning to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price after two years is good news, but cautioned against buying now. Nvidia’s 4000-series is close to release, meaning prices for the current batch of cards flooding the market will fall even further, both new and used.

“It’s great that we’re finally seeing GPUs at their MSRPs, but it’s important not to be blinded by the fact they’re available at close to MSRP or even below. It’s taken so long to get here, that the next-gen is just around the corner.”

If you’re willing to take the risk and can get a decent graphics card that you have seen tested and running for a couple of hundred bucks with buyer protection, then it may be worth pulling the trigger. However, prices will continue to fall along with demand, so for those not in a rush to upgrade, biding your time could be a better bet. Used computer components are always a bit of a lottery, whether they have been used for crypto mining or not.




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