4 Ways to Check If Your GPU Was Modded for Crypto Mining

Finding a GPU that’s sufficiently highly effective at this time and is prepared for the long run can value rather a lot.

And the pricing scenario for new GPUs solely worsens while you consider crypto miners and their starvation for each new piece of {hardware}.

So, used GPUs may be fairly engaging, as they value considerably lower than new ones. But should you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may be left with a used cryptocurrency mining card.

Let’s see why you don’t desire a used mining card and the way to verify if a GPU has been modified for mining.

Should You Buy a Used Crypto Mining GPU?

Every piece of silicone, whether or not it’s a CPU or a GPU, has a restricted lifespan. You can’t use a GPU endlessly—a part of the explanation why is that thermal harm to the GPU accumulates over time.

GPUs get sizzling when pushed exhausting. If the warmth isn’t dissipated rapidly, it may completely harm the silicone. Therefore, producers equip GPUs with cooling options.

But managing warmth can solely accomplish that a lot.

Every GPU accumulates harm as time goes on, and the speed of GPU harm accelerates considerably should you use it 24/7 for anxious duties—like crypto mining.

In different phrases, you don’t desire a used crypto mining GPU since you may not get the efficiency that you’re paying for. In critical instances, you possibly can find yourself with a defective piece or one thing on the verge of full failure. Furthermore, miners typically mod their GPUs for mining. For occasion, they could have overclocked the cardboard or flashed a brand new BIOS.

So, you want to guarantee that in case you are shopping for a used GPU, you aren’t shopping for a used mining one which has been modded.

1. Check the Hardware

GPU In Hand

The very first thing to verify is the {hardware}. GPUs produced particularly for mining have variations of their {hardware} profile. For occasion, a mining GPU might not have any ports to output to a show. This is a transparent signal that the GPU shouldn’t be for gaming.

Next, verify to see any oddities within the printed circuit board (PCB). Is there any discoloration? If a GPU experiences excessive temperatures for extended intervals, the PCB can present discoloration.

Similarly, verify to see if there may be any residue on the board. Residue can point out that the GPU has skilled numerous stress below excessive temperatures.

Next, do you see any oil across the chips? Oil or residue across the GPU may point out that thermal compounds are leaking onto the board. Once once more, that is due to the circumstances that mining GPUs expertise.

Finally, take the GPU cooling answer aside and guarantee that there’s sufficient thermal compound on the chips. Lack of any thermal compound can imply that the GPU has been working for a very long time with insufficient cooling.

So, be certain that to verify all of those points earlier than committing to a GPU. If you notice any oddities and suspect that the {hardware} is pointing to a mining GPU, you’re higher off discovering one other one.

2. Check the GPU BIOS

Miners typically flash their GPUs with a brand new BIOS to optimize the mining efficiency of the cardboard. These optimizations can embody lowering reminiscence timings, growing reminiscence clock speeds, undervolting the cardboard to get higher thermals, and making the general processing sooner.

The drawback with a crypto mining BIOS is that it doesn’t work properly for gaming. For occasion, you may get lowered efficiency. In some instances, video games might even fail to begin. So, you want to verify in case your card has a modified BIOS. But that is simpler mentioned than executed.

GPUs don’t have any built-in mechanism to monitor completely different BIOS variations that somebody has flashed on their card. Instead, you possibly can solely see the present BIOS model of the cardboard and see if it matches any identified variations.

GPU specifications from GPU-Z

To verify your GPU BIOS model:

  1. Download and install GPU-Z in your pc. Run it and get the BIOS model of your GPU.
  2. Next, examine the BIOS model to those within the Techpowerup VGA BIOS Database.
  3. If you discover the BIOS model listed there, then you have got a gaming BIOS. Otherwise, likelihood is fairly excessive you’re operating a modified BIOS.

That mentioned, this methodology of BIOS verification shouldn’t be with out its faults. It is feasible that your GPU mannequin isn’t listed within the database.

Do your due diligence right here. Examine the {hardware} first after which concentrate on the software program to see the total image.

3. Run GPU Benchmarks

GPUs used for mining can have decrease efficiency than non-mining playing cards. As cryptocurrency mining GPUs typically run 24/7, they will have everlasting harm, lowering their efficiency, typically past restore.

Run a benchmark take a look at in your GPU, like Furmark, and examine the rating to model new ones on the web.

If you see a giant efficiency differential, your card is likely to be broken. This could be a signal that the earlier proprietor might need used the cardboard for mining.

That mentioned, there might or is probably not any important efficiency distinction, even in case you are operating a mining card. Mining playing cards don’t all the time have degraded efficiency, particularly if there have been used for a brief interval. Performance deficits grow to be tougher to detect if the GPU was used with sufficient cooling however might also point out that the secondhand GPU is sweet to go.

4. Check for Overclocking

Aside from {hardware} and software program modifications, mining GPUs typically have overclocked reminiscence speeds. Overlocking the VRAM velocity and GPU frequency can considerably enhance the hash price, that means virtually all miners overclock their GPUs.

Checking for overclocking is sort of straightforward. First, obtain and set up GPU-Z should you haven’t already. Run this system and notice the clock speeds. Then, examine the clock speeds of your card with others on the web.


GPU and Memory clock speeds from GPU-Z

Make positive you examine the speeds to the precise fashions, as GPU clock speeds can range between completely different producers.

Not All Cryptocurrency Mining Cards are Bad

If a mining card is modified and may’t be used for gaming, you haven’t any possibility however to look elsewhere.

But if a mining card has a show output, no {hardware} harm, and a traditional BIOS, you possibly can seemingly use it for gaming with none points.

So, should you can solely get a used GPU that was beforehand used for crypto mining, go for it, however train warning and run by our GPU guidelines first.

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