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6 things to consider before buying a used graphics card

Who doesn’t appreciate a superior deal? Specially if it’s on one thing which is mainly new or frivolously made use of. We’ve been devoid of any this kind of specials on graphics cards for the final handful of many years, many thanks to a mix of supply shortages, logistics woes, and booming cryptocurrency needs, but there is eventually great news! The GPU industry has taken a nosedive, that means that manufacturer new retail Nvidia and AMD graphics playing cards are less expensive than at any time. They’re nonetheless expensive, however, and GPU miners hurting from crypto’s crash are trying to sell off their hardware at significant reductions. So we now turn our consideration to the applied graphics card current market.

There are deals to be found with utilised GPUs, but there are challenges concerned as well. And is it even a excellent time to be procuring? We’re likely to deal with the prime matters that you need to know before getting a employed GPU, ranging from the current sector problems to what you should look for with the graphics card itself. If you’d fairly stay away from all the possible complications related with getting a utilized graphics playing cards, our roundup of the best GPUs for Computer gaming can enable you find the most effective new playing cards to accommodate your requirements as effectively.

one) Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4000 and AMD’s Radeon RDNA 3 – coming shortly?

1 of the reasons that recent-gen GPU charges are dropping so rapidly is the imminent arrival of Nvidia and AMD’s next era GPUs. No formal launch dates have been unveiled to day, so it is tricky to pin down particularly when we are observing anything new, however AMD says its new RDNA three-powered Radeon GPUs will debut sometime in Q4 (Oct as a result of December). Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4000-series is also heavily rumored to start someday this calendar year.

Regardless of no matter if Nvidia or AMD strikes first, anticipate the major, baddest upcoming-gen GPUs to start initial, such as the GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080. We’d be more probable to see a lot more cost-effective graphics cards, like the RTX 4070 and underneath, up coming calendar year.

the ideal 4k graphics card for substantial-conclude gaming

GeForce RTX 3080

GeForce RTX 3080

MSRP:


$699

What does that indicate if you’re on the lookout at selecting up a made use of GPU? Next hand costs will proceed to tumble, and could minimize even much more sharply when the up coming generations of graphics cards are introduced. Even if you really don’t have programs to acquire an RTX 4090, its mere existence suggests you can likely get much more affordable pricing for a applied GeForce RTX thirty- or Radeon 6000-series GPU.

two) Mining GPUs hitting the market

Quite a few of the utilised graphics playing cards currently hitting the utilized industry were applied for crypto mining. With the modern downturn in cryptocurrency profitability, there has been a significant improve in these getting to be obtainable for sale. Some will be disclosed by the seller, but numerous will not.

Really should you be apprehensive? We deal with the information extra thoroughly in our guide to whether you ought to purchase a used mining GPU. But (spoiler warn) you are going to possibly be wonderful, and here’s why:

  1. Some may possibly be GPUs acquired during the very last several months prior to the “crash,” so could nonetheless be shut to new.
  2. Most hardcore cryptocurrency miners will underclock and power limit their graphics cards, and superior entrepreneurs will also keep an eye on temperatures.
  3. GPUs historically have not revealed any considerable degradation or extended-expression troubles from getting mined on. You are probable far more easily to problems it by overclocking for gaming in some instances.

Obtaining mentioned that, the most significant detail is to ask the vendor some pointed questions. If they say a utilized GPU was utilized for mining, question them in what type of ecosystem was the technique in. Was it scorching all of the time? Did it have superior ventilation, airflow, and dust regulate? Was it managed thoroughly? What voltage and clock pace tweaks did they make? The answers will give you great advice. If you are not comfortable buying a made use of mining GPU, which is Alright way too. Just move on. The sector is flush with selections proper now, such as bargains on new graphics playing cards.

3) Beware GPUs with GDDR6X memory

We included higher than how you are generally wonderful obtaining a utilised mining GPU, but there are some extremely significant technological particulars you should really give some added focus. Some significant-finish Nvidia RTX thirty-collection graphics playing cards use incredibly hot and powerful GDDR6X VRAM. It is significantly taxed by mining, presented how memory-intense mining is, and some products have experienced from heat concerns if they came with bad thermal pads from the factory. It’s a more pronounced issue for Nvidia’s own Founders Version cards.

Disassembled RTX 3090 exhibiting GDDR6 memory

This disassembled RTX 3090 Founders Version reveals the card’s GDDR6X memory chips.

Thiago Trevisan/IDG

GPUs making use of GDDR6X includes the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 3080, 3080 Ti, and 3090. The monstrous RTX 3090 Ti characteristics an enhanced VRAM style and design and is fewer likely to go through from these troubles. AMD’s rival Radeon choices, on the other hand, use normal GDDR6 (no X) memory so you don’t have to have to worry about those people.

The most crucial 1 (by far) to be mindful with is the large guy below, the GeForce RTX 3090. An inexperienced crypto miner who is unaware of the VRAM troubles might have operate their RTX 3090 nonstop, with the memory constantly being thermally throttled to its 110C cutoff temperature. The GDDR6X memory temperatures on healthful GPUs must ideally operate effectively under 100C. (In fact, 94C or below in a good airflow surroundings is even greater)

Some personalized RTX 3090s experienced first rate out of the box thermal pads, but some did not—even among graphics playing cards with the very same model, from the exact same brand name. I’ve examined decrease-conclusion 3090s that had superb temperatures—and some better-conclude styles that had been abysmal due to undesirable stock thermal pads, and vice versa. Check with the seller about this. Some gamers could be unaware of VRAM troubles if they didn’t mine with their graphics card, and which is probable Okay, but concerns are usually great just before acquiring.

four) Stress check the GPU

If you have a pleasant seller, you could inquire them for 3DMark scores to verify effectiveness, or even ask them to run the GPU for a while in Heaven Benchmark. That will explain to you if the GPU is stable and at the very least accomplishing to spec.

the very best graphics card for 1080p gaming

Radeon RX 6600 Swft 210

Radeon RX 6600 Swft 210

MSRP:


$329.ninety nine

If you acquire the GPU from a used sector place that has a superior return plan, these kinds of as a retail store open up box or eBay, exam it oneself. Our tutorial to benchmarking your graphics card can aid. Make absolutely sure there are no visible artifacts or other aberrant habits that would crash it working with the higher than referenced benchmarking software program, and consider actively playing a combination of speedy-paced and visually intensive game titles. If a used graphics card does have problems, you’d have a return plan to slide back again on with these destinations.

If you invest in a utilised graphics card directly from the past operator, off internet sites like Craigslist or Fb Market, getting a return may perhaps be tougher. It is very best to question them to provide benchmark success just before the sale if possible, and let you know of any possible troubles.

5) Actual physical situations matter

The eyeball examination is your very best mate. Does anything search off or broken in the picture of that made use of graphics card? It can have genuine lifestyle repercussions. That GPU enthusiast blade with the lacking idea could possibly appear to be harmless plenty of, but when it’s spinning, the oscillation is probable to develop tons of vibration and cooling difficulties.

Various graphics playing cards

Thiago Trevisan/IDG

Has the seller opened the GPU or applied new thermal pads? Whilst new pads can theoretically make improvements to temperatures, inexperienced people who try and alter them out can also possibly hurt the GPU alone if they are not thorough.

If the GPU seems to be cleanse, without having hurt, and the vendor has the initial box in great condition, people can all be terrific indicators.

Really do not forget some precise situations where you can help you save hundreds of income, however. From time to time a GPU might just be cosmetically damaged with out functionality complications, and you can save lot of cash simply because of that if you never intellect a couple scratches on the shroud. You can also preserve far more hard cash if you buy one thing you know you can fix (these types of as the admirer blades if you are handy and know what you are performing). All round, having said that, a cleanse, properly held GPU is generally great.

6) Choose your supply properly

Not all used GPUs are sold the exact same way. There can be large financial differences and safety web protections dependent on where by you go.

First, 1 of the safer methods to get a less expensive “used” graphics is to search for open box offerings from bodily vendors. If you are lucky to live near a Micro Heart, you can even bodily examine the GPU, set a guarantee on it, and return it if it is not doing the job ideal. You’ll help save when compared to a new GPU, but it may possibly nonetheless expense somewhat much more than elsewhere. You can usually obtain similar open up box items on Amazon, Newegg, and comparable retailers. Make guaranteed you’re lined by a solid return coverage If you can not examine it beforehand.

Up coming, there are a variety of on the web current market sites such as eBay. These can usually have excellent return guidelines, solution images, and seller comments so you have a larger possibility of getting a little something excellent. You may possibly pay back much more owing to the rate buildings, but you are going to nevertheless save about new.

the ideal new graphics card below $two hundred

Radeon RX 6500 XT

Radeon RX 6500 XT

MSRP:


$199

Ideal Rates Currently:


$179.99 at Amazon |
$two hundred at Newegg

The least expensive route is very likely a direct person to human being sale, generally uncovered on places like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Though you can typically rating the least expensive pricing on applied GPUs this way, there are a whole lot of safety measures that want to be taken for your individual protection, these kinds of as conference in a general public area. The great news is that you can normally bodily inspect the graphics card, but it may well be harder to get your money back again if a little something goes incorrect later. Superior pricing, but buyer should use extra warning.

Particular GPU brands may well also have warranties that implement to a 2nd owner with some limitations, these types of as EVGA. Your mileage will fluctuate right here, so be sure to analysis the precise brand name you are purchasing as they all differ.  

Acquiring a used GPU: It is not so undesirable!

GPUs can last for yrs if taken care of, and the last few a long time have inflated GPU pricing to astronomical ranges. But at extensive final, the tide is turning. At the close of the day, there can be great selling price savings if you are savvy when acquiring a used graphics card. If you just take safety measures, you can typically rating a wonderful deal—especially in a abruptly soft industry where by sellers are eager to get rid of their models. Be absolutely sure to test out our roundup of the best graphics playing cards for Computer gaming so you’re armed with the awareness you need to have no matter if you are obtaining new or applied.

Gaming, GPUs