Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

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Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:27 pm

Hey there, I am looking at a couple MSI 6950 2gb's right now, and according to the seller they have been used "for about a month". I'll take this with a grain of salt, but what would you look for when buying used? I would pick them up in person.

Somewhat reassuring is the fact that MSI offers a 3-year warranty on these cards, but I still am a little wary.

Any tips/advice you can spare?

Thanks a lot! :)
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:39 pm

avoid the headache and buy them new. my 2 cents

experience: buying used graphics cards on ebay
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:44 pm

I would only buy one from XFX with a lifetime warranty that will transfer to you (meaning original owner is selling it). Also, I would expect it to die within 1-2 years rather than 3-4. Basically, there is going to have to be an awesome discount from a highly reputable person to really want to consider a used graphics card.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:48 pm

StuG wrote:I would only buy one from XFX with a lifetime warranty that will transfer to you (meaning original owner is selling it). Also, I would expect it to die within 1-2 years rather than 3-4. Basically, there is going to have to be an awesome discount from a highly reputable person to really want to consider a used graphics card.

They were supposedly used for bitcoin mining, and I'd definitely ask for a receipt just to confirm their approximate lifespan...

He's offering them at ~$220 before negotiation. What do you think?
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:53 pm

I've bought and sold used GPUs on ebay before.

If the warranty is transferable no problem. Buy it if the price is right and don't look back.

If the warranty is not transferable, the owner has to agree to help with any future warranty service needed for the next year. Meaning he needs to forward you his invoices and receipts immediately on purchase and needs to be willing to respond to emails in case he needs to do more if and when the card needs servicing. As long as he's willing to do that I wouldn't hesistate too much (and most people are totally reasonable about that. Normally all you need is an invoice but sometimes if the name is different or the address there may be questions). However the price has to be right. I'm not sure 220 is the right price when it can be had for as little as 250 on newegg... I can see why you're tempted, but in that light its only 10 percent off a new model.

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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:58 pm

If he was using them for bit coin mining that means those cards were on 24/7, possibly overclocked. Either way those cards were in a high stress/heat environment and that could significantly shorten the life span. I guess if you were saving more money than you are with this deal I may jump on it but it looks like your saving $30-$40 at most from what you can buy brand new with a warranty.

I have bought used graphics cards without a problem but if your not saving a ton of money, then it might not be worth it in my opinion.

Does this guy have references such as ebay and/or heatware? If its craigslist I would be very wary and I would want to see it work in person before I bought it.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:03 pm

Used for Bitcoin mining? Sounds dicey to me. As mmmmmdonuts21 notes, those cards have been run hard 24x7; if they were overclocked and/or used in a case with inadequate ventilation, they could have issues. I'd hold out for a bigger discount off list price, or pass.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:03 pm

I've generally found that graphics cards sell too close to their MSRP on eBay to justify buying used.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:24 pm

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:If he was using them for bit coin mining that means those cards were on 24/7, possibly overclocked. Either way those cards were in a high stress/heat environment and that could significantly shorten the life span. I guess if you were saving more money than you are with this deal I may jump on it but it looks like your saving $30-$40 at most from what you can buy brand new with a warranty.

I have bought used graphics cards without a problem but if your not saving a ton of money, then it might not be worth it in my opinion.

Does this guy have references such as ebay and/or heatware? If its craigslist I would be very wary and I would want to see it work in person before I bought it.

Yeah, it's through Craigslist.

I would definitely check them out in person beforehand, but I guess that doesn't guarantee any sort of reliability.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:Used for Bitcoin mining? Sounds dicey to me. As mmmmmdonuts21 notes, those cards have been run hard 24x7; if they were overclocked and/or used in a case with inadequate ventilation, they could have issues. I'd hold out for a bigger discount off list price, or pass.


A bit off-topic, but is Bitcoin mining worth the amount of power that it would take to run those cards?
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:51 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:A bit off-topic, but is Bitcoin mining worth the amount of power that it would take to run those cards?

It might have been a few months ago, before the value of Bitcoins tanked. I seriously doubt it is worth it any more (if it ever was).

Some historical Bitcoin price data: http://bitcoincharts.com/charts/mtgoxUS ... 1g10zm2g25
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:19 pm

A used Sapphire 6950 2GB reference card I purchased used last week to pair with my identical 6950 says "hi". For some strange reason it refused to unlock the extra shaders when I tried last week but it's working ok on stock BIOS so far. Does anybody know if any later reference cards are not unlockable anymore?

Usually if you have a problem later on and the previous owner didn't fill the warranty card out manufacturers will usually take your word for it that you're the first owner. Who saves receipts for these anyway?
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:54 pm

You never know what people do with used cards. I've made quite a few transactions on eBay directly dealing with technology and a rule of thumb I've stuck too is not to buy storage mediums. I don't buy used hard drives, used SSDs (these are like disposable napkins), or any other other sort of storage unless they're new or under warranty still.

Other hardware is a lot harder to burn out since it has no moving parts (relatively speaking). Warranties are nice, but I wouldn't worry about them. I would rely more on paypal and the seller offering returns on the items. If the seller sends you a box of rocks it's pretty easy to get your money back through eBay, just the same as if they send you something that isn't as advertised.

eBay is really about time/money ratios. How much is your time really worth? eBay transactions can go either really good or sometimes really bad, so it's a good idea to think of it like that. It's always a gamble.


Sync: 6950s are no longer unlockable. It was just the first run of them that were.
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Re: Purchasing Used Graphics Cards

Postposted on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:26 am

Bensam123 wrote:You never know what people do with used cards. I've made quite a few transactions on eBay directly dealing with technology and a rule of thumb I've stuck too is not to buy storage mediums. I don't buy used hard drives, used SSDs (these are like disposable napkins), or any other other sort of storage unless they're new or under warranty still.

Other hardware is a lot harder to burn out since it has no moving parts (relatively speaking). Warranties are nice, but I wouldn't worry about them. I would rely more on paypal and the seller offering returns on the items. If the seller sends you a box of rocks it's pretty easy to get your money back through eBay, just the same as if they send you something that isn't as advertised.

eBay is really about time/money ratios. How much is your time really worth? eBay transactions can go either really good or sometimes really bad, so it's a good idea to think of it like that. It's always a gamble.


I agree with that for the most part. I don't buy used parts for myself on eBay either unless it has either warranty or a strong stated return policy. I do buy stuff on Craigslist on occasion though. Mostly because it's possible to see what you're buying and who you're buying from beforehand. I bought my card from a guy who turned out to be an enthusiast as well and he seemed on the level. He had 2 of these but was selling both to get a 6990. Of course one still has to be very careful when buying used even on Cl.

Sync: 6950s are no longer unlockable. It was just the first run of them that were.

Even the reference 2gb design is not unlockable anymore? I thought all reference cards were.
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