Buying a used GPU in Pakistan | What to Watch For

Here’s what you need to look before you a buy a used GPU,

In 2018, cryptocurrency market hit unprecedented levels, leading to a boom in cryptocurrency mining, both legal and illicit and many miners in our country imported thousands of graphics-card and after two years, the condition is still not very different.  Miners have again introduced these cards in the market again, and as they have now golden opportunity to earn the extra money. In these pandemic days people find themselves having a lot of time and nothing special to do all the day except for the PC gamer, especially in our country folks out there looking for the decent budget-used builds and the decent-looking and performer cards like RX series, they’re almost vanished in the country now they’re being forced to choose the mined-cards in their budget builds. In this guide we’ll share with you what to do and how you can actually recognize that these cards were mined.

New graphics-card are selling for outrageous prices, People simply cannot afford a newer card and people are looking everywhere they can to find a graphics card that doesn’t break the bank and then there comes the most popular cards RX RADEON but you need to take caution when considering this option.

 

Physical Condition:

Examine the PCB close and the heat-pipes of the graphics-card if you see any discoloration on the PCB anywhere on the card, this is a clear sign that probably the card has been damaged by heat since these cards are being kept at open environment in mining there are more chances the copper goes green and discoloured in no time. If the seller says the card is only months used and specifically used for gaming and you notice discoloration on the GPU it is generally certain that it is a mined card.

 

GPU BIOS

Some fraudulent businesses will refresh BIOS and then sell it to you first think you need to check when you install any GPU, make sure you carefully look at the numbers in the core-clock and the memory clock. To obtain higher calculated performance, Bitcoin or other virtual currencies miners often overclock these graphics cards and use the BIOS which are optimized for mining. Make sure the official specification of your XYZ model matches the GPU core clocks and memory clocks in the software. Miners usually down-clock the core-clock and overclock the memory clock because bitcoin loves more memory speed.  If you see your BIOS behavior is different then it’s 100% mined.

Memory Errors

GPU memory errors can be caused by if the memory is overclocked as when they get heat-up, miners usually tickle with the memory-speed of the GPU to gain the maximum performance. You can check the memory errors from the HWINFO while stress-testing the GPU make sure the memory is error-free. If it shows any error re-check if the BIOS are correct.

 

Cooler

The fans on mining rigs are on at a constant rate more or less all of the time, it’s possible that the electrical motors or bearings in those fans might be considerable weaker. If you notice any unusual behavior in the cooling fans or the fans are replace it is generally certain that it is a mined card.

Dried Thermal paste

The general video card silicone grease can guarantee the normal use for at least 2 years. If you have just received your card, and notice any strange temperature spikes than usual there is another possibility the thermal compound on the GPU die has been dried out but some of them miners would re-paste the card again or some won’t. Make sure you at-least test 3 cycles of super-position benchmark at extreme FHD settings. I recommend you to use this tool, it doesn’t put unrealistic load on the card.

Is it safe to buy ‘Mined Cards in Pakistan?

GPUs are engineered to run hot. An average GPU will reach temperatures between 70c and 80C while it’s under heavy load in Pakistan (Keeping High Ambient in mind), and it can keep this up for hours or days without issues and majority of the miners would like to under-volt their GPU while keeping the efficiency in mind to earn the more profit out of it. There is no harm in buying the used mined GPU but you might have to replace fans because that’s the only moving part in the card and need to make sure the physical condition as explained above is not terrible. Buying used cards always have risks and you need to be careful. The shop-keepers now a days are greedy in my country and now selling these used mined cards for price of an arm n leg. I would highly recommend take these precautions before buying these cards. If  possible do not switch or an upgrade, keep your current hardware and wait for the next-series.

 

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Usman Sheikh
Hardware Enthusiast; Editor & Content Writer. An Overclocker and also PC Gamer!

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