September 22, 2023
GPU miners trickery: Watch out for painted memory on used graphics cards

PSA: Colorless reminiscence chips are a typical signal of closely used graphics playing cards, probably older mining playing cards. Current proof means that some sellers are attempting to deceive prospects by portray the reminiscence. The paint comes off comparatively simply for individuals who examine used GPUs.

Two Brazilian YouTube channels have revealed indicators that crypto miners are attempting to promote used graphics playing cards by making them look much less used than they’re. A shocking new tactic is to cover indicators of wear and tear in GDDR reminiscence.

When a GPU is underneath heavy load for prolonged intervals of time, resembling when mining cryptocurrencies, warmth may give reminiscence chips a yellow tint. Iskandar Souza (beneath) and not too long ago TecLab sent movies that analyze playing cards that seem to have dye on the chips. Stripping the paint revealed the discoloration. Souza’s report compares a brand new GPU to 1 with hidden put on and tear.

The previous couple of years have paved the best way for such schemes within the graphics card market. Miners are attempting to dump GPUs from their towers that misplaced profitability after the crypto winter and Ethereum Convergence final 12 months. Whereas the mining decline has improved costs in current months, many playing cards are nonetheless Struggle to reach their MSRP.

On this surroundings, offers on used GPUs are in all probability nonetheless engaging to many potential prospects. These patrons in all probability need to keep away from playing cards from crypto mines which can be extra worn than most.

Heavy utilization and restore efforts additionally depart marks on different components of GPUs, as Souza’s video exhibits. For instance, discoloration and scratches across the card’s central processor could point out that the vendor is making an attempt to decode the cardboard. Lacking screws may recommend that somebody opened a graphics card to cowl up traces of mining utilization.

Final 12 months we reported on a video showing a miner making an attempt to prime GPUs for resale by blasting a rack with a stress washer — a extremely inadvisable technique. Untreated water cannot solely harm graphics card parts, however the power of the stress washer also can harm it.

That stated, not all refurbished GPUs are dangerous. Consumers must be cautious when shopping for from third-party sellers on main websites like Newegg and Amazon. The most secure approach to get a alternative might be to purchase immediately from board companion shops like PNY and EVGA (pic above).

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