Are used graphics cards worth the risk? | Ask an expert

Q: I do know that purchasing a used graphics card comes with danger. What makes the gamble acceptable?

A: The reply relies upon. Whereas this buying technique can save some huge cash, we usually advise in opposition to used desktop graphics playing cards. That’s particularly so throughout occasions like these, when the danger of getting a GPU battered by crypto-mining use is far increased. As my colleague Brad Chacos, our resident GPU guru, likes to level out, discrete graphics playing cards have a variety of transferring components, they usually’re straightforward to overclock. These two issues mixed make them a way more harmful wager to stake chilly onerous money on—put sufficient stress on a GPU, and it’ll have the next chance of succumbing to an earlier-than-expected demise. Add on the brutality of standard mining workloads, and that card may go toes-up even quicker. You don’t wish to be the one caught with it then.

That stated, some circumstances can rework a pre-owned graphics card right into a much less dangerous proposition. It’s potential to genuinely make out properly when shopping for from a trusted one that says the cardboard’s by no means been used for mining, or who has disclosed gentle mining use and is asking for a lot lower than the cardboard’s value based mostly on its age, kind of use, and frequency of use.

(By the by—in case you had been questioning, shopping for a used CPU is much less dangerous.)

As for a laptop computer with a discrete GPU, we advocate much more warning. Earlier than the newest mining increase, choosing a beforehand cherished gaming pocket book would have been a possible approach to circumnavigate excessive costs for desktop graphics playing cards. However as reported again in February by Tom’s Hardware, miners have been getting across the dearth of desktop graphics playing cards by shopping for scads of high-end laptops and placing them to work. You now not can belief that a comparatively new pre-owned laptop computer hasn’t been pushed to the restrict previous to it being put up on the market.

Even older notebooks aren’t proof against this sort of wear-and-tear danger. Normally, laptops have much more sophisticated designs than a desktop graphics card, and it’s onerous to understand how a lot they’ve been pushed and the way that’s affected the machine’s lifespan. About the one state of affairs that is sensible to roll the cube on is when your pal or cherished one actually solely used it for gaming, didn’t push it onerous, and are asking for a good market value.

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