It is no secret that miners frequently sell graphics cards they no longer require, claiming they are either virtually new or have not been used for mining. We’ve heard stories in the past about miners power-washing lots of GPUs. However, it appears that these vendors have found a fresh way to con gamers looking for a good deal on a graphics card by painting the memory on add-in boards to hide signs of overheating. According to Iskandar Souza and TecLab, this is the case.
There are numerous indicators that a graphics card is not brand new. Dust accumulation, worn warranty labels, scratches, corroded contacts, and a little change in PCB color are all normal for cards that have been in use for months or years. A slightly darker GPU substrate and yellowish markings on memory chips further suggest that the card has been used extensively. Some miners are now attempting to conceal the latter.
Missing screws and missing warranty stickers are also telltale signs of GPU tampering. While this may be due to utilizing a third-party cooling system and then switching back to a stock one in some situations, it is more likely that the board was used for mining and then opened up to clean up, change thermal pads/paste, and so on.
There appear to be more reasons to remove and then reinstall a cooling system: resoldering a failing GPU or memory chip, as well as painting memory chips to make them appear fresher than they are.
Due to high temperatures, a graphics processor that has been used for a while tends to change color (or its epoxy does). If the GPU was used for mining and was subjected to high temperatures for extended periods, that color tends to become substantially darker.
Painting a GPU substrate is a difficult operation, thus no one appears to be doing it yet. However, memory chip markings tend to turn yellowish after lengthy usage due to overheating and/or being soldered down at a repair shop. On conceal this, some miners are reportedly putting an unique tint to DRAM ICs, albeit this tint, according to reports, can be easily removed to disclose the true color of the chips.
Resoldering pricey components is a practice that even official repair services engage in. If you buy a refurbished graphics card, for example, it may come with a resoldered GPU or a GDDR SGRAM chip. However, graphic card manufacturers and repair shops do not routinely repaint memory ICs to conceal the fact that they are not new.
In any case, while purchasing one of the greatest used graphics cards may appear to be an appealing deal, doing so has always been a risky venture. However, it appears that miners are utilizing innovative techniques to make their extensively used commodities appear lightly used or as good as new. So, when buying a secondhand graphics card these days, be especially cautious because years of wear and tear could be hidden just beneath a surface of paint that’s the only thing on the card that’s new. These are all factors to consider when purchasing a used graphics card.
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