[SOLVED] GPU Flogged to Death? How to Tell?

Jul 12, 2021

I put an ad up looking for an affordably priced GPU as I'm not rich and these are crazy days - and I got a response that made me think?
He used it for work, with CAD etc lots of heavy rendering 9-5 all week etc.

So I'm wondering should I avoid this like the plague?
Is it just like the old wisdom that you never ever buy a used taxi cause they've been completely flogged to death 24/7 - pushed hard?

And on a related note, before this happened I was already wondering how can you buy a secondhand GPU and have some sense of if its in ok condition, not been flogged or damaged or modified, or Overclocked and run super hard etc?

My understanding is that the more you tweak/OC a card - the shorter its lifespan right? Would it run hotter than usual if its been pushed hard over a long time? Or not have as much grunt as it should normally?

Are there certain tests etc I can run doing a demo to test a card and see if its healthy enough to buy?

And the guy offering me this gpu - is in another state... I told him the only way I'd consider buying sight unseen is if he'd list it on Ebay for me to buy it that way so I have some buyer protection.... would that really help me or are there better ways to do that?

The other thing about this guy was that he 'said' it was only 9 months old, had receipt and all... and I thought it was odd he was selling it so soon - he 'said' he quit his job and wants a PS5?

Could be legit - but I'm wondering if it's a scam. I baulked at the price and politely said thanks but unlikely thats for me too much... then straight away he dropped it by $200 when it was already a very good price - again - something felt off?

Have a lot of people been scammed in this way lately - buying sight unseen?

BTW - same question about - 'how can you tell if it's ok or been flogged to death' in relation to other PC Parts - like RAM, Monitor etc?

I'm making a new build, got a cpu, but need everything else... tempted to save some cash by buying 2nd hand ram but worried i'll get burned. Again could have been OC'd hard permanently or just had bad wiring/power supply to their home (like ours sometimes)?

Same thing for CPU Cooler/fan and Case Fans and what else should I consider buying secondhand? it's an 12700K cpu. Would it be ok to mix 2 x 2 different pairs of ram same size but maybe different brand and speeds etc? Eg 2x8 brand x 3200 , 2x8 brand Y 3600 ?

How do i tell? What tests etc? Software, electronics readings from devices?

Any advice would be appreciated

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A lot here.

Someone selling a GPU after 9 months, using it for CAD and heavy rendering, is going to replace that with a Playstation. Those don't add up.

You've already found a used 12700k? That launched a few weeks ago. I can't think of many legitimate reasons that they couldn't just return that from where they bought it, even if they couldn't, why sell it under market price?

If you have access to these things, you can certainly run tests. CPU benchmarks, GPU benchmarks, and compare to known good results. Cinebench, Aida64, IntelBurnIn. 3DMark, Unigine Heaven or Valley, Furmark if you want a torture test. Same with memory, memtest x86.

PC components typically just break. They don't fade in performance. A used GPU should be just as fast as a new one. Wear and tear just means it will fail sooner.

CPUs and GPUs can degrade a little bit, no longer able to reach high overclocks, but these days the CPUs and GPUs overclock themselves (called boost)

GPU fans and coolers can be replaced if needed, and a thermal paste reapplication can often bring some life back into an older card. Basically just a cleaning and re-application and you can claw back a few degrees, and a few boost bins.

Bad power to the home wouldn't really do anything particularly bad to the memory. It is powered by the CPU, which is powered by the motherboard, which is powered by the PSU, which gets plugged into the wall. Quite a few layers of filtering to get through. That may have made their system work a little harder and worn out components faster with more duty cycles, but the memory itself would still have been cycling at its frequency.

You should not mix memory. It might work, it might not.

I've bought a few used components, haven't gotten burned yet. I generally look for original packaging and reasonable reasons for selling.

Someone might sell a GTX 1660 Super because they just got an RTX3060. But I wouldn't trust someone saying they used the card for non-gaming, saying they want money for a gaming console.

All that said, buying used comes with risks. Be prepared.