Credit: Galaxie Media / Yannick Guerrini
The soaring prices caused by the current shortage of components , in particular the latest generation processors and graphics cards, greatly frustrates players who cannot renew their hardware. The situation is not about to get better ; even worse, Price increases are expected for the most recent products . The second-hand market remains an alternative solution , but is it a good idea? Do you take risks in buying an NVIDIA GeForce or a Radeon from AMD that has already been used? Here are some pitfalls to avoid and points to check to minimize the risks associated with buying a used graphics card.
Used graphics cards: points to check
One of the first reflexes to have when you want to acquire a second-hand graphics card is to ask the seller for the purchase invoice . In addition to clarifying the origin of the equipment, it is essential to operate the warranty if necessary, subject of course that the legal period of commercial warranty (2 years) has not expired.
Note however that the periodsThe extended warranties offered by some graphics card manufacturers are not necessarily transferable. For example, the extended warranty offered by Zotac (3 years on registration) or EVGA (5 to 10 years, chargeable) cannot be transferred to a third party.
A" old GeForce GTX 1070
If you go through an online forum to acquire a used graphics card, check the seller's reputation can minimizethe risks. Do not hesitate to question the latter concerning the past of the used card , in particular as regards overclocking, especially if it is about a model of old generation (GeForce 10 Series or Radeon 500 Series for example). The more recent the model, the less players will "need" to overlock their hardware to achieve acceptable performance.
Conversely, also beware of the GeForce and Radeon models just launched on the market ( Radeon 6800XT or GeForce RTX 3080 for example) and which can be found on the second-hand market, sometimes at exorbitant prices : just ask the seller why he is separating from his almost new graphics card .
If possible, we advise you to carry out (or have carried out if it is a distance sale) a test of the used part in order to confirm its correct functioning . Many software such as Furmark allow you to check the stability of a graphics card and the absence of visual artefacts, while monitoring temperatures and fan speed. The slightest anomaly detected during a diagnostic test is crippling and should lead you to abandon the transaction. Keep in mind, however, that there is no such thing as a foolproof method to detect a used graphics card that has suffered in the past.
Pitfalls to avoid when buying a used graphics card
Avoid models known to have a good performance per watt ratio , typically mid-range models atAMD and NVIDIA: these are particularly used for cryptocurrency mining, an activity that stresses and prematurely wears out the various components of a graphics card (in particular the power supply stage and the ventilation part ). This advice is particularly valid for graphics cards incorporating the reference design, sold less expensive than the "custom" models of manufacturers: miners seeking to minimize the duration of return on investment, they will necessarily turn to base models rather than towards those personalized with a lot of RGB, sold more expensive…
A Radeon RX 580 from Gigabyte
Do not fall for "too good deals: if the sale price of the used graphics card is clearly below market, there is a good chance that this hides a bad surprise (defective component, overheating problem, ...).
Finally, consider asking if the seller still has the original bundle (cardboard and accessories): even if it is far from being imperative when buying a second-hand component, we can assume that the seller will have taken care of his equipment if he has kept all accessories (which must be requested during the sale) as well as the original box.