Up For Debate - Should you buy a second-hand GPU after the recent crypto crash?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Jun 25, 2022 4:00 PM

Since the pandemic started in 2020, the graphics card market has not had the best of time: with component shortages already straining availability of GPUs soon after launching, to top it all off they were all getting bought by scalpers and crypto miners. But after a recent crypto crash has flooded the market with second-hand cards suddenly, is now a good time to get one?

Setting aside the fact that next-gen graphics cards like the RTX 40 series and RX 7000 series are due out later this year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that now is the best time to buy an RTX 30 series or RX 6000 series GPU. Not only have graphics card prices reduced close to MSRP in Europe now, but the recent crypto crash has caused lots of miners to frantically sell all their stock to recoup costs.

But that comes with a problem: a lot of second-hand cards have been used for mining, which still function normally but with reduced performance and even some dead memory chips (and hard to tell apart from regular GPUs sometimes). If now really is a good time to buy that card you’ve been eyeing for the past 2 years, then you’d hope it is at least offered for a really cheap deal.

But there’s also another reason you might not want to buy a second-hand graphics card from a crypto miner: because you are letting them recoup their costs, and since they were one of the major reasons for the GPU shortage over the past 2 years anyway, would you really want to help them out even more?

So what do you think? Should you buy a second-hand GPU after the recent crypto crash? Why or why not? How much would you be willing to pay for one that has reduced performance? And is it still better to just wait until the next-gen GPUs come out later this year? Let’s debate!

Is it a good time to buy a second-hand GPU now or is it not worth the risk?

How much would you be willing to pay for a used mining GPU with reduced performance? - In percent

Have you ever bought a second-hand graphics card?

Do you think the recent crypto crash will allow better supply for RTX 40 and RX 7000 series?

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18:31 Aug-09-2022

But there’s also another reason you might not want to buy a second-hand graphics card from a crypto miner: because you are letting them recoup their costs, and since they were one of the major reasons for the GPU shortage over the past 2 years anyway, would you really want to help them out even more?



So much saltiness LMAO!

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junior admin badge
15:36 Jul-01-2022

A lot of comments on this one. Have to say that I'm not surprised because this is considered a contentious topic. While I haven't bought a used GPU I did buy used RAM and it has been working nicely.

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23:46 Jun-29-2022

So I just read an article about not buying used GPUs. Its grounded on the same stuff we all know, but also at the end, the author asked us gamers to relish our current situation where we basically have these miners by the nuts.


I’m a guy who would always encourage making sound financial decision regardless of how you feel on the matter.. but man I liked how that article drove that last point home.

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16:00 Jul-01-2022

Well said.

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21:31 Jun-28-2022

Just gonna say this, I never buy any PC hardware 2nd hand.

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00:40 Jun-28-2022

I bought a mining msi blower1070 ti for 300$ canadian in 2017


still runs flawlessly.


i only did a repaste and a little laping for gpu cooler. Got 3 or 4 degres cooler than when i got it.


pretty satisfied with the deal i got

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17:35 Jun-26-2022

LTT ran tests on cards that have been used in crypto since they were sold, they found no discernible difference between a brand new outta the box card and one that had been in constant use for years. The silicone was still plenty usable and the cards ran just like always. Not to say you won't get a bunk card from a miner who just wants to make money, but you can rest assured most of these cards will be working just fine for the lifetime you plan on using em for :D

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21:13 Jun-26-2022

It's like buying a high mileage car. Doesn't mean it's in a bad shape.

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00:41 Jun-27-2022

Yes they’ve tested out old GPUs before. Essentially, GPUs have almost exactly the same performance from production until the day they die. Of course, the concern with crypto mining is that last bit. Its not the reduced performance, its the remaining life.

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15:56 Jun-27-2022

You can say that about anything though, computer parts will just stop working and that's the end of it's life. Which your only saving grace would be the warranty if it still applies. Most gpu warranties only last 3 years anyway, so once you hit that window you're gambling daily. My 1080 ti was used for daily mining in an old rig, ran it for 4 years and then sold it, my friend still has it and runs games. In fact we're playing through Tiny Tina's now :D Just because you CAN get a dud, does not mean all of them are duds either.

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22:43 Jun-29-2022

I think we can all just agree that there’s always a risk to buying second hand and that there’s a discount vs buying new that will make it an acceptable purchase. And that given the current situation, all we can say for sure is that that discount should be larger than normal, otherwise you’re overpaying. You might get lucky, but you still overpaid.

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16:46 Jun-26-2022

Definitely would buy a used GPU (used by a miner or not) for a good enough discount. Most people who are building or have budget PC's will do the same, especially if crypto goes back up and price start soaring again.

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15:12 Jun-26-2022

I will never buy second hand hardware. Doubly so from a crypto farmer. I want them to lose as much money as possible on their disgustingly selfish investment. I want them to sit there with a stack of GPUs, unable to sell them. The same thing I wish upon scalpers.


They do not deserve to sell their stock when they've stopped actual gamers from getting the hardware they need at a reasonable price to just enjoy their games the way they want to.

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16:43 Jun-26-2022

It's an open market. Crypto miners and gamers compete for the same thing and the miners win out because they either have bots or are quicker. Don't get mad, get even.

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08:32 Jun-26-2022

This is like buying a used PSU, would never do it because most people don't know about capacitor aging depending on how much it's used, how hot and how long. I personally wouldn't buy a used GPU unless i knew exactly where it came from and it's hours.

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05:21 Jun-26-2022

What I hate about Second Hand GPU's is getting a Faulty Hardware, Where the GPU is not even running after being tested on their RIG. Then when you want to go back to the vendor. He/She is nowhere to be found!

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12:13 Jun-26-2022

And that is why you never buy anything expensive second hand in a public place.

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03:35 Jun-27-2022

It wasn't even that expensive. GTX 1080 TI at $95. It was pretty cheap.

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21:50 Jun-27-2022

Um ok ... so $95 1080 Ti should of been your first clue to expect problems. I suppose if you're content going in knowing you can probably get your money back selling it on since that's what non-working ones roughly go for, take a punt i say. There's only so many warning signs you can ignore though before your chances of a good outcome drop to zero.

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11:42 Jul-12-2022

LMAO - and the price wasn't an obvious red flag to you?

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14:34 Jul-16-2022

@xquatrox Well it's my first time getting a used GPU. It was being sold as a "SLIGHTLY USED" gpu. The seller even provided some details and videos that the gpu is working just fine. After getting it. And started playing dota. The Display went KAPUT. Since then. I don't even buy used GPU anymore.

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03:25 Jun-26-2022

Personally I would buy used card, if price is right and it is via platform that has good buyer protection in place. I see no reason why not to. Even if it is mining card, as long as seller can provide pictures of mining rig that aren't off quick Google search and I am fine with what I see, I would have no issue. Sure it might not last as long as new, but that mostly shows well after I would replace it naturally in about 3 years. And from what I know, most people who I know locally who are buying ex mining cards actually had more failure rates from gamer owned cards than miner owned. Just saying.


Also I am not one to selfishly tell people to go for revenge and boycott otherwise great deal. Be careful for sure, but if you can get good deal, go for it. Most mining cards will likely be extremely low end before mining work will have major effect on them, provided they were at one of miners who treated it as asset they wanted to take care of. But of course, don't go for cheap Chinese stuff from sites with no buyer protection, those are there and that cheap for a reason.


As for next gen, crypto crash definitely will help with stock. I still expect usual early shortage with amount of people delaying their purchase to get next gen. But it won't be as bad as Ampere, though we might see 1-3 months of low to lower supply and bit spiked prices, due to it, till dust settles for that. It is hard to say how much time exactly it will take. But a lot of people who didn't get to upgrade with current gen are holding back till next gen. Hence why I won't, plus since I am not buying high end, 4060 or 4070 will likely come with delay too, probably not this year. Plus rumors have it that nVidia also wants to delay release as much as possible, to sell as much of current gen as possible, due to current stock.

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23:38 Jun-25-2022

Why would anyone want to risk it by buying a second hand GPU, especially after the crypto crash?


Saving money just means you're in for a disaster because that GPU could very well be defective now.

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04:02 Jun-26-2022

As far as I am aware, mining GPUs are typically fine. It isn't efficient to mine with them at full tilt, They were likely undervolted. If the miner was an idiot and disorganized, sure, be weary....but otherwise...if you can get a really low price, it is probably a better option than a 2nd hard card that was overclocked.

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08:34 Jun-26-2022

That's true, but considering they probably ran for 24hrs per day, it's highly likely they have some wear, either the actual chip itself or the VRMs and/or capacitors.

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11:58 Jun-26-2022

So its sus either way

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12:10 Jun-26-2022

It's close to impossible to really tell. GPUs as most electronics are designed to run 24/7 for years, miners probably underclock them and stick fans on them (the GPUs are an investment and most take care of their investments). I have seen arguments of it's better for electronics to run without shutting them off thermal expansion and such (constant heating and cooling of components damaging solder points and component connections). On the other hand, heat is the bane of all electronics. I am by no means an expert on the matter and would love to get a weigh in from an expert.

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17:17 Jun-26-2022

zen that's very true, That's why i wait to shut my pc off after i've had a long gaming session, not only for the water to go back to ambient temp but also because it's never a good idea to shut a pc off that's been heating up and has no airflow to relieve the heat built up in the case. I've done this for the past 5-6 years I've had my loop.

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21:48 Jun-25-2022

I suspect the vast majority of mining gpus will still have a lot of years of life left in them and work perfectly fine, provided they were run undervolted and properly ventilated, so it can depend on who you buy from and what they actually know about the history of said cards. As someone who's system is made up of mostly used/open box bits i'm a bit more comfortable with what to look out for and have had only one used part fail on me in 20+ years (msi x77 motherboard). If you've never bought used its a bit of an uphill curve, but research is key. Same goes for buying anything used really, have a checklist of things to look out for. The safer buys for gpu's are ones you can view in person running and the seller is happy to let you run your own stress tests with monitoring. That way you know the seller likely has nothing to hide.

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19:47 Jun-25-2022

wouldn't touch any GPU now. make them all suffer from having to stay with their purchase and then watch as more people sell their GPUs later this year when they upgrade.

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19:44 Jun-25-2022

I would say it is safe to buy from 2nd hand market as long as you know how they're used. Like for GPU is it used for mining or how old is it? The year of the GPU and how its used strongly depends on how will turn out whether will burn the card or not. As for CPU mine is from 2013 or so and it still works like a charm. So as long as its not used for overclocking and damaged i would say they're safe to buy as well.


As for GPU's i looked for rtx 2060's cards and they're in a reasonable prices between 150-300$ which would be great entry level gpu if you're not looking for a better PC. As for a price if you're not making money from your PC it is not worth wasting money on high-end parts which in 5-10 years they'll be trash.

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18:42 Jun-25-2022

Please don't buy second hand (at least new gen) GPUs, it's as if we're ok with what they did to disrupt the market (at least this is what I think). I hope everyone could lay their hand on brand new GPUs with MSRP, cheers!

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18:35 Jun-25-2022

Iv never bought any 2nd hand pc parts and dont plan to ever start, i simply dont trust others claiming its like new, or slightly used

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23:21 Jun-25-2022

"like new" only there's no box, has a weird smell, its choking in dust but hey come on relax, its only been dropped once

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18:23 Jun-25-2022

Free is harsh. I am ready to pay up to a $150 for 3080 and above. Those crypto jerks can sit like Smaug on their GPU debris pile for all I care.

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18:10 Jun-25-2022

If you can fully test it by yourself then go for it.. other than that nope.

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17:31 Jun-25-2022

I got a second hand gtx 1060 for 60 euro and rx 570 for 50 euro, but that was in 2020.


One was from a friend who was lied to that his GPU was dead and I knew it wasn't, but I went online and paid him as much as the gtx 1060 6GB were going for second hand and the other was from a dude that had just one RX 570 so that means that he didn't mine with it almost all of the times.

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