As anybody may have predicted, cryptocurrency miners need to unload their used GPUs now that it might now not be worthwhile to mine Ethereum and different blockchain belongings. Before you purchase a card at a probably steep low cost, although, remember that you simply may not find yourself getting what you thought you have been buying.
That’s true in any scenario by which you have determined to purchase a used GPU (or something preowned), however you need to be particularly cautious now that the cryptocurrency market is tumbling. While giant scale mining operations can afford to trip out the downturn in hopes of a restoration, informal miners and medium sized mining outfits are flooding the market with used GPUs. Plus there’s the looming swap to Ethereum 2.0, which may drastically drop the demand for GPUs amongst miners.
It’s no coincidence that GPU costs proceed to fall generally—as we wrote about earlier this week, Radeon graphics playing cards have plunged beneath MSRP in some markets, and GeForce playing cards aren’t far behind. This isn’t solely due to crypto, however the correlation over time (and significantly extra not too long ago) is actually arduous to disregard.
Here’s where issues get tough, although. You by no means know precisely what you are getting whenever you buy a used graphics card, and there are reviews that miners are scamming folks by in some way masking faulty reminiscence on their GPUs.
These reviews all appear to hint again to an Chinese discussion board publish, by which within the OP warns, “Don’t buy a mining card,” based on a Google translation. The poster claims they purchased a used MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X for round half the retail worth, after which found that 2GB of GDDR6 reminiscence was faulty.
In regular conditions, faulty VRAM would stop a graphics card from operating. But based on the poster, the cardboard was modified to basically masks the faulty reminiscence and proceed to perform with 8GB of GDDR6 as an alternative of 10GB.
There’s a Chinese-language video at Bilibili that purportedly reveals this mod, and from what we are able to collect, it is a matter of pulling the cardboard’s BIOS and tweaking it to disregard the reminiscence addresses for the lifeless RAM. Note that we’re not one hundred pc that that is what is going on on, that is simply what it seems to be like from what we are able to glean from the video.
Another rationalization posed within the thread is that it is a faux card and/or a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti modded to be acknowledged as a GeForce RTX 3080. However, the OP claims to have confirmed that it’s really a GeForce RTX 3080 with 2GB of faulty reminiscence.
Buying a beforehand owned card that was used to mine crypto does not essentially imply you are getting a faulty unit or one that may’t carry out in addition to new. In many circumstances, the GPU is definitely operating below spec, as a result of that is not the part that does the heavy lifting. It’s largely concerning the reminiscence.
At this level, it is in all probability higher to attend for the next-gen fashions anyway, if for no different motive than to see what influence they’ve on costs for current-gen playing cards. If you do purchase a used card, although, you would possibly need to give it cleansing (mud off these fan blades and vents) and reapply the thermal paste, in case you’re comfy doing that.