Has anyone ever *tested* used mining cards versus new cards for performance and reliability?

1 : Anonymous2021/05/25 20:59 ID: nkzvdd

I've often heard comments that amount to "Be careful buying used, it could have been used for mining," usually with the un/spoken implication that a mining card could provide subpar performance or reduced lifespan... But I'm not sure I've ever seen that tested.

Of course not having seen those tests doesn't mean that those tests don't exist, so I figured I'd just ask.

Do we have any empirical evidence of the problems, or is it mostly anecdotal?

2 : Anonymous2021/05/25 21:03 ID: gzfr1gf

I think LTT made a video on this a few years ago, performance was the exact same on a heavily used card as a brand new one.

Found the video:

ID: gzfwyu9

Huh, neat! I'll have to give the video a watch when I get back to my PC, thanks for the find!

3 : Anonymous2021/05/25 22:36 ID: gzg2r41

I have had 2 mined on rx570s one 8gb and one 4gb. The 8gb served me well for a year after reflashing bios. Then went back to mining this year.

I got the 4gb 570 from someone who purely used it for mining. After a few attempts finally found a bios that worked on it. Not the one it should be. It's a gaming a and I'm running armor oc bios. It works better than he 8gb did. Overclocks to 1440/2000. Stock 1250/1650

Never worry about a mined on gpu

4 : Anonymous2021/05/25 22:37 ID: gzg2xve

While it is easy to reduce GPU wear / degradation by undervolting the core, it is much harder to prevent degradation of VRAM, especially since VRAM is usually not aggressively cooled, its temperature is hard to measure, reducing its voltage reduces clocks (and therefore hashrate), and stability is hard to measure. The moment any VRAM issues start to happen is when a unscrupulous miner would sell the card.

Source: mined in the past, and GPU now can no longer run memory stably at any clock.

If you are buying a mined GPU you should definitely run a memory test.

5 : Anonymous2021/05/25 22:14 ID: gzg00km

oot but is there a way to detect if the gpu has be used for mining? some 2nd hand gpu reseller I found on fb marketplace says that they would not accept a return if the gpu are used for mining.

ID: gzg3dcl

only way would really be VRAM degradation and unstable memory clock speeds

6 : Anonymous2021/05/25 22:58 ID: gzg5g3u

I've never seen any over time degradation with any GPUs or CPUs in the process of mining.

I sold a dozen GPUs post mining for low prices. No complaints and no returns. Lots of happy comments about the deal they were getting.

I had a 1080ti where the fans died. I don't want to deal with that, but someone was happy to just replace the fans.

What I have seen is that some GPUs are more stable than others. It would annoy me when I can get 5 cards stable at some setting, and then 1 crashes every once in a while. I can imagine miners buying in bulk, and then reselling the crap card, though it should still be under warranty at that point.

ID: gzg8k6k

I sold a dozen GPUs post mining for low prices. No complaints and no returns. Lots of happy comments about the deal they were getting.

Do you have any suggestions for someone who might be a potential buyer? "If it costs 50% or more of MSRP it's probably good, if it costs 35% or less of MSRP it's probably trash," sort of thing?

I guess with so many cards and so many sellers there's probably not a lot of very useful patterns, are there?

ID: gzg96ak

If someone was a successful miner they are rich as fuck. If I personally sold a card and I trusted that it didn't work I'd just refund the money and let them keep the card. Who has time for that? Getting a busted card back is not useful.

In other words, if they mined successfully and are selling a card, then they've been mining for years.

I only know myself though... I don't know at once point other miners decide to sell.

7 : Anonymous2021/05/25 23:06 ID: gzg6dpd

Mined dogecoin on (3) Gigabyte Windforce R9 280x in a non heated garage in the PNW winter many years ago for a few months nonstop unless it crashed every now and then, 2014? I did not know shit about tuning them, but the garage was cold enough that it didn't matter tempwise. Resold them later on.

I know for a fact 2 of them worked at least into 2020, dunno about the 3rd.

ID: gzg88jc

That's the kind of useful data I was looking for, thank you!

8 : Anonymous2021/05/25 23:16 ID: gzg7mft

I don't believe that the performance of the said card decreases unless the VRAM is reaching near the end of its lifetime, in other words severe degradation due to the continuous write-read cycle at high temperatures.

The modern GPU is surprisingly resilient to thermal cycles, overvoltage, overcurrent etc and miners tend to actually undervolt it instead to run more efficiently but not the memory chips. They are pushed to the max, outside of spec thus the faster this degradation will occur, especially on the high end models that is typically difficult to cool them like the GDDR6x

9 : Anonymous2021/05/25 23:52 ID: gzgbw5h

Mining GPUs are run at a moderate power steady state. Gaming GPUs are constantly shifted between being off, low power and high power. If anything I would expect greater degradation on the gaming GPUs.

ID: gzgchxd

Like heating and cooling cycles on a car engine, yeah, that makes a lot of sense, too.

This whole thread is making me less and less worried about the idea of (possibly) getting a used mining card! Just goes to show, I guess, sometimes asking questions provides better answers than just trusting conventional wisdom.

10 : Anonymous2021/05/25 21:16 ID: gzfslwx

It can vary widely. If it was just some guy mining on his GPU when they weren't gaming on it, it would very likely be fine. If it was in some mining rig with 10-20 other GPUs crammed together being used 24/7 and kept in a hot, poorly ventilated room or garage, it could be in bad shape.

I'm already pretty wary about buying used electronics in general. In this current climate with excessive mining and GPU scarcity, I'd be really hard pressed to buy something used, unless you absolutely can't wait.

ID: gzfx6zp

I appreciate that insight, and what you're saying makes a lot of sense, I'm just looking for data that supports our refutes those conclusions.

ID: gzfz8i5

I feel ya. I've seen videos going both ways on the topic. The problem is that you don't know where the cards are from or how they were treated in each instance. In some videos, the card that was heavily used for mining would be 10-15% below a card not used for mining. In others, they would be identical. There just isn't any way to tell what you're getting when buying used or how it was maintained.

A GPU could get damaged while mining if it was running above 80°C or even 90°C for a longer period of time. This will indeed shorten the GPU lifetime. But there is a simple and effective way to lower the GPU thermals without affecting the performance.

11 : Anonymous2021/05/25 21:34 ID: gzfuxfp

How could you possibly reliably test something that has a variable where you have no reliable information on if and how much it was abused?

ID: gzfwrzo

I don't think one could, but I'm not looking for perfect tests, just data.

In theory one could get a sampling of mining cards and look at averages and outliers, but that would be a shit ton of work, and probably not worth it.

ID: gzg4z3f

I think you missed OPs point. The question is whether abuse can truly compromise performance because things like VRAM actually die. Do processors die over time? Consensus says no.

Miners are incentivized for stable operation, since they are focused on ROI and limiting maintenance time. If they can mine stable for years, that's probably an amazing card.

ID: gzg8tl0

Miners are incentivized for stable operation, since they are focused on ROI and limiting maintenance time. If they can mine stable for years, that's probably an amazing card.

That's a really clever way to look at it, now that I think about it.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x