Beware! Several Used NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Graphics Cards With Defective Memory Modules Being Sold After Being Abused In Crypto Mining

Beware! Several Used NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Graphics Cards With Defective Memory Modules Being Sold After Being Abused In Crypto Mining

The collapse of cryptocurrencies has caused several mining operations to offload their graphics cards on the reseller market, but while these GPUs will be available at very cheap prices now, some users are already encountering various issues, such as faulty memory modules. .

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards with faulty memory modules enter reseller market and are sold after being abused in crypto mining

Well this was to be expected, the GPU mining rush is here and there are several resale sites that have currently listed the entire range of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards well below their MSRPs.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 4080, RTX 4070 Specifications updated again: AD102 GPU with 16384 cores, AD103 with 10240 cores and AD104 with 7168 cores

The Chinese and Asian markets are currently being flooded with these types of graphics cards, but early adopters who purchase these used cards encounter various problems. A user on the NGA.CN forums recently paid 3600 RMB or $536 USD for a used MSI GeForce RTX 3080 SUPRIM X graphics card. This graphics card is currently listed on Newegg for over $1,100 USD and is a premium model. So paying half the price for a used variant doesn’t seem like a bad deal. Even compared to the MSRP ($699 US), it seems like a solid deal.

However, the user quickly discovered the reason for the low price of the graphics card. The user noted that all the screw labels had been removed, meaning it was disassembled at some point. This was to be expected, as NVIDIA’s initial RTX 30-series graphics card had significant heating issues and users had to manually replace thermal pads to achieve better memory temperatures on the GDDR6X modules. Since these cards have been used in crypto mining operations, they could have undergone multiple pad replacements during their mining lifespan.

But that is not the main problem, the user also found that in GPU-z, the GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card which is supposed to have 10 GB of memory, was only listed with 8 GB of VRAM. The RTX 3080 was released in two flavors, a 10GB model with a 320-bit bus and a 12GB model with a 384-bit bus. There was no variant in production that featured 8 GB of VRAM on a 256-bit bus and the reason this card featured less memory was found to be faulty memory modules.

Considering how badly these graphics cards have been abused in mining operations, it seems that at some point, two of the 10 GDDR6X memory modules were delivered and ended up working. This resulted in the card not being published. But there is already a bypass that allows users to continue using their graphics cards even if some memory modules have died. This is achieved through the memory protection method, which is very popular in crypto mining, and miners can continue to use the cards even though some modules have run out. A video about this Bilibili method can be seen below:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti on sale for $1539 US, AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT for $720 US at Newegg’s Bonanza Sale 2022

The same process doesn’t just work for the GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, but pretty much any other graphics card and considering the RTX 3080 isn’t even the most popular card for mining, there could be several used cards on the reseller market right now. which might have similar and masked modules to display the full VRAM configuration on GPUz (another popular method of tricking users). As such, it is recommended to stay away from all used graphics cards for now, regardless of how attractive these offers seem and as the user himself puts it:

Finally, don’t buy a mining card, never buy one and don’t buy even if you just need it.

There are now several ways to get the rest of the memory working again by replacing the modules entirely. This has already been done by professionals, but that would mean you would have to end up paying for another graphics card with the same memory modules, which defeats the point of paying cheap in the first place. So instead of getting into trouble with a used graphics card, avoid it at all costs.

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