Wednesday, August 17

Cryptocurrency Miners Are Selling Off GPUs For Cheaper

A photo of a graphics card.

Photo: Joby Sessions / PC Gamer Magazine/ Future (Getty Images)

The crypto market is continuing to fall, which has led a ton of miners to exit the market or to downscale their operations, thus finding themselves in possession of valuable computer components that they now no longer need. Some such miners, many from China and South Asia (where electricity is cheaper), are now taking that hardware and dumping it on e-commerce websites. As a result, GPUs that usually go for $500 to $600 are selling for around half that price on the secondhand market.

As noted by PC Gamer, GPUs are suddenly flooding the market, a trend likely driven by several factors. The major one is how cryptocurrency prices have been plummeting since this winter. Now that it seems like the market won’t make a turnaround anytime soon, miners are jumping ship. And these aren’t pristine, out-of-the-box GeForce RTX 3060s that they’re selling. These graphics cards have been used to mine crypto, which uses tons of electricity. Buyers have found that these RTX 3060s were cheap for a reason—many of them are defective after prolonged use. So the common wisdom seems to be that you shouldn’t be too eager to score some used GPUs from an unknown buyer.

However, there’s been some contention in the tech community about how degraded these graphics cards really are. PC World claims that buying a used graphics card from an experienced miner beats buying one from a gamer (who tends to “overclock” their GPUs). Tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian tested some mining GPUs on camera and found that the used graphics cards can still perform well—if they were carefully maintained by their previous owner. So if you must buy a GPU from a miner who wasted a ton of electricity on speculative currency, then you should at least find a reputable seller. Good luck with that, by the way.

If you ask me, I think it’s funnier to let miners languish with a bunch of expensive graphics cards that they can’t even get rid of. It is annoying, though, that Nvidia benefited hugely from the crypto boom, so much so, in fact, that the company got hit by a federal fine for trying to hide how crypto boosted its profits. Hey, at least this crypto nightmare is finally over *knocks on wood* and we’ll all no doubt be seeing far more reasonable graphics card prices very, very soon.



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