Graphics card buyers have been warned about the influx of used GPUs from cryptocurrency miners, which are considered risky purchases.
The warning comes from graphics card maker Palit, who is an add-in board (AIB) partner for NVIDIA. In a report by TechRadar, Palit reportedly talked to the Polish site Benchmark.pl about the supposed dangers of buying a second-hand graphics card previously used for cryptocurrency mining.
Palit said in the interview that every graphics card used for mining will experience an average performance drop of 10% every year. Considering that cryptocurrency mining operations are done 24/7, that equates to an insane 9,000 hours of usage with no breaks in-between.
This comes after China, which previously harbored a massive chunk of the world's crypto mining operations, started cracking down on miners. One of the main reasons was the insane amounts of electricity that a single mining rig consumes. Multiply that by hundreds or even thousands (with some miners even consuming power illegally), and you'll see the issue.
A lot of used AMD and NVIDIA GPUs have been flooding the market recently, mostly as a result of China's crackdown. Miners have been forced to sell their cards because they were trying to recoup their losses, writes PCGamer. While the prices are still quite high, they're more affordable than ever because there's still a high level of demand for any modern card.
With graphics card prices going down (though the decline has slowed), used GPUs from miners could spell a reprieve from tech-starved PC gamers all over the world.
Graphics Card Mining's Insane Usage Metrics
If there's one thing you should know about buying a graphics card that was used for mining, it's this: that card almost never took a break.
Any cryptocurrency miner will always want to maximize their profit margins. A mining rig that's turned off won't make them any money, after all. Hence, the 24/7 run cycle. But of course, a careful crypto miner will want to take care of the hardware to make sure they run for longer, thereby making them more money in the process. And the longer they use a mining rig with multiple high-end GPUs, the more electricity they consume.
A mining rig with multiple GPUs say, 10 of them, already consumes so much power. But mining operations don't run just one rig. As a result, a single large-scale mining operation can consume enough power to heat an entire lake, like one operation in upstate New York that made headlines this year.
It's All About Wear-And-Tear
Even if a miner did everything they can to preserve the life of a graphics card, 9,000 hours of continuous usage at 100% power will always degrade the GPU die. That's called wear and tear.
Palit's warnings are understandable and rooted in fact. But if you're a very smart buyer, you can net a good deal on any former mining GPU. If you have absolutely no idea how to buy second-hand computer hardware, however, steer clear.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce