Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper – it is possible. i say how

Buy a cheap graphics card from a miner?  It's nothing terrible!
Is it worth buying a cheap graphics card from Allegro or OLX? How is a Miner’s Card different from a Player’s Card? What is worth knowing? Today we’re going to take a look at this topic and dispel some urban legends.

The past two years – 2020 and 2021 – have definitely not been a good time to create a new one or upgrade an old computer. Mainly due to the low availability and incredibly high prices of graphics cards. This applied to both the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 and AMD Radeon RX 6000 and older generations. High, medium and low performance segment. National and foreign market (not only European!). Boutiques, but also all kinds of auction sites and private announcements.

Cryptocurrencies and COVID-19 were the reasons for expensive graphics cards

As a result, there were only a few items available in store or their prices were much higher than those suggested by the manufacturer. We are not talking about a difference of several tens of zlotys, but of several hundred or even several thousand. Sometimes it was 318% MSRP! There were such pathologies on the Polish market that people who bought a graphics card just a minute after the official premiere in a large store waited for several months for delivery.

The two main reasons are, of course, the COVID-19 pandemicwhich influenced both production worldwide – including in China – and shipping, but also the digital gold rushCryptocurrency mining madness. However, before going any further, a few key terms should be briefly and simplified explained:

  • Graphic card – expansion card for a computer equipped with a core (GPU) with specialized calculation units and memory (VRAM). It is responsible for rendering graphics in games and programs and converting them into a signal which is then displayed on the screen.
  • Cryptocurrency – a digital currency designed as a medium of exchange via a computer network. It theoretically does not depend on the central authority (eg bank, government). It is based on distributed systems using advanced cryptography. The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but there are many thousands of other smaller and larger currencies of this type on the market.
  • Miner (cryptocurrency) – a person involved in the hobby or profession of acquiring cryptocurrencies using “miners”.
  • Shovel (cryptocurrency) – an extended computer set consisting of one or more graphics cards whose main purpose is to acquire crypto-currencies.
  • Digging / mining (cryptocurrencies) – a process by which transactions are digitally validated on the network of a given cryptocurrency and added to the blockchain. This is done by solving complex cryptographic puzzles to verify blocks of transactions that are updated in a decentralized blockchain. In return, “miners” can receive a given cryptocurrency.
  • MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) – an abbreviation derived from the English language, which means nothing other than “list price”. In other words, it is the manufacturer’s suggested price at which the manufacturer theoretically recommends the retailer to sell the product.

Of course, I could continue the glossary of terms with concepts such as “blockchain”, “hashrate” and many more, describe specific cryptocurrencies or expand on more definitions. However, today we are not here to teach anyone how to dig, but to find out if it is worth buying cheap graphics cards from diggers.

AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards returned to suggested prices

From the beginning of the year, people who followed the market for computer components could notice cheap graphics cards. Prices have been falling month by month, finally almost reaching MSRP values. The differences are purely cosmetic and negligible considering what we’ve covered so far. In late May, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 chips averaged 106%, while the AMD Radeon RX 6000 was priced at 102% MSRP. And the secondary market is flooded with more used models. Also older generations – GeForce GTX 1000, RTX 2000, Radeon RX 5000 and others.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

Where does this change come from? The most important reason is the cryptocurrency crash. The price of the biggest of them in the form of Bitcoin, compared to the end of last year, fell from $66,500 to “just” $29,800 at the end of May 2022. This involved other digital currencies, including very willingly mined. Ethereum. We are talking about a decline in value over the same period with around $4,700 for 1 ETH at $1,800. Add to that the more expensive electricity and profitability has simply dropped so much for many people that they have decided to quit the business or at least stop buying graphics cards. This is particularly visible in highly developed countries such as Western Europe, and less so in Asia.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

We already know why it was expensive and why it’s cheap now. But what about the most important question – Is it worth buying a graphics card from a miner? Yes and no. Basically, however, there is nothing to worry about. Contrary to appearances, miners often take better care of graphics cards than gamers. Impossible? And even! And this applies not only to professional mines, but also to local miners.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

When we say that the graphics card “kicks”, of course it doesn’t take a pickaxe and it doesn’t go underground. It simply solves mathematical equations, it is not much different from the tasks performed in computer games. Well, depending on the cryptocurrency and the algorithm used, sometimes the focus is more on the GPU, other times on the VRAM. So why my statement that the miner cares better about the player’s card? Because it is a tool, a “money printer”. Often bought and saved for a business, not just a source of entertainment that can easily be replaced with something else.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

Buy a cheap graphics card from a miner?  It's nothing terrible!
Cryptocurrency miners usually use a special BIOS or change graphics card settings in programs like MSI After Burner. Core and memory timings, power limits, and fan speed curves are changed. It is a question of finding the “golden mean”, that is to say the best performance/power consumption ratio. As a result, often resulting in lower temperatures. Also, graphics cards are not closed in small, and let’s be honest – computer cases are rarely cleaned. Instead of that they work on ventilated frames, often with strong additional airflow and in rooms with little dust or pet hair.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

But such a graphics card works non-stop! It must be wrong. Again – yes and no. Of course, there are drawbacks to such a state of affairs, such as higher utilization of bearings in fans or faster drying of thermally conductive pastes and thermopads. All of them, however, can be easily and inexpensively replaced at home (an expenditure of a few to several tens of zlotys and 20-60 minutes of work), which, apart from the fans, should be done during the buying an older graphics card. . There is also a certain plus point to this – the graphics card runs at more or less the same temperature all the time. There are no sudden cold-heat jumps, as in the case of a drive, which the electronics do not like very much.

See: GeForce RTX 3090Ti review. A monster in every sense of the word

What else could be the danger in the cryptocurrency miner’s graphics card? Exactly the same as in the case of a card from a “normal” user. We are therefore talking about a failure of the heart or memory, which is very difficult to repair at home. Usually caused by faulty silicon manufacturing, problem with lead-free solders after a long time, or running for too long at too high a temperature. However, there are concerns about pre-made video connectors, PCIe bus or power connectors – miners are less likely to tinker here than gamers and enthusiasts.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

Buy a cheap graphics card from a miner?  It's nothing terrible!
It’s also worth remembering that a clever miner will sell you a graphics card in such a way that you won’t even realize it’s not from the drive. He won’t show it at a ridiculous price, in a quantity of 30 pieces or with a photo with an excavator in the background. Nice description and several separate auctions are no problem. Especially for someone who until now had to use their head and at least know where to buy cards profitably and when it was worth selling the excavated cryptocurrencies.

Is it ultimately to buy or not to buy a graphics card from a miner?

Finally, is it worth buying a graphics card from a cryptocurrency miner? It depends. Basically, it’s not much different from buying any type of graphics card used. It is therefore always worth exercising caution, avoid suspicious offers at low prices and arrange with the seller, for example, a start-up guarantee or a personal appointment to obtain the equipment. After purchase, if it’s an older board (more than six months old), it’s worth replacing the thermal paste and thermocouples. Whether alone or on site. It does not matter whether it is the equipment of an excavator or the player’s computer.

Graphics card a few hundred zlotys cheaper - it is possible.  i say how

If you are a computer layman and/or you are not experienced in buying a line of aftermarket and DIY parts then it will be safer to just go to the store. And this does not even apply to graphics cards of a miner, but to generally used equipment. A little more expensive (convenience costs money), but you will receive new equipment. More importantly, both with the manufacturer’s warranty and the warranty seller, and often even the possibility of return (withdrawal of the purchase contract) within 14 days without giving any reason. And the secondary market always carries some risk.

Image source: Telepolis, Shutterstock, 3DCenter, CoinDesk

Source of the text: comp. own

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