Skip to main content

Used GPU Prices Fall by up to 50% in Recent Months as Mining Stops

GPU mining rig, not looking so promising now
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

According to a report by Bloomberg this morning, the cryptocurrency mining industry is dying at a rapid pace. With many of the world's major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, crashing, mining is no longer a sustainable form of income for many people. As a result, miners are selling off the best GPUs in droves, causing GPU prices on the second-hand market to plummet as much as 50% in recent months. (Bloomberg's data starts at the end of May) .

This is great news for PC gamers and means the used GPU market is now a viable solution for buying graphics cards on a budget. Before the crypto crash, used GPU prices were so expensive that buying a brand new card was often a better decision. If you want to see just how absurd eBay prices were just a few months ago, check out our GPU Pricing Index here.

One estimate cited by Bloomberg suggests more than a third of the consumer graphics card market could vanish with the loss of the crypto mining user base, with an estimated 35% of consumer GPUs being bought up by miners before the run-up. For some perspective, used GPUs are selling for 50% less value right now compared to just a few months ago, and with the loss of a third of the GPU market, we can expect prices to drop even further. 

Thankfully, the crypto mining market is not expected to rebound anytime soon. Ethereum is planning on shifting to a new "proof of stake" method which will nullify GPU mining entirely on the currency (though it has been delayed multiple times), and with the combination of the cryptocurrency crash, now is the worst time in the history of crypto to enter the GPU mining game.

With the second-hand market now becoming a viable solution, should you buy a used graphics card right now? The market is going to be absolutely flooded with mining GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia spanning multiple generations, which could pose a problem for gamers. Despite prices decreasing, used mining GPUs are a risky gamble if you don't know what to look for. 

In most circumstances, these GPUs have been mining for years without a break which can put some serious wear and tear on the GPU's memory and power delivery systems. Be sure to check out the link above to see what to look for so you don't get burned.

Aaron Klotz
Aaron Klotz

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • aac11005
    Friends don't let friends buy used mining GPUs.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    aac11005 said:
    Friends don't let friends buy used mining GPUs.
    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0160/2840/1712/products/bonk-cheems-min-ncdc.png?v=1635960897

    I used to buy used gpu's, that were heavily used for F@H. Got a fair amount of use of them, before they died. A mining GPU was most likely better taken care of, than those cards, I bought in the past.
    Reply
  • aac11005
    logainofhades said:
    I used to buy used gpu's, that were heavily used for F@H. Got a fair amount of use of them, before they died. A mining GPU was most likely better taken care of, than those cards, I bought in the past.

    I get what you're saying. One analogy I've heard miners use is "Would you prefer to buy a newer car with a lot of highway miles, or a lot of city driving miles". It is a lot of miles nonetheless, on a newer product, 24/7. The prices for new GPUs are coming down to the point that, for example, if you were saving those $500 for a 3060ti two years ago, now you can get a new, warranty compliant, higher model like a 3070ti that could last a lot longer than a used 3080 that if something were to happen to it, it could probably not be covered under warranty.

    I'm probably biased, but after months, and months, and a few more after that of fighting bots, and reading TH write about "Best cards to use for mining", the idea of helping them make another profit is absolutely beyond me.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    They aren't making a profit. Most miners have taken a big loss.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    I'm surprised the crypto-bros aren't here to tell you how much money they already made, so no big deal if they aren't making anything now.
    Reply
  • DRagor
    2Be_or_Not2Be said:
    I'm surprised the crypto-bros aren't here to tell you how much money they already made, so no big deal if they aren't making anything now.
    I guess all crypto-bros have been banned already ...
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    logainofhades said:
    I used to buy used gpu's, that were heavily used for F@H. Got a fair amount of use of them, before they died. A mining GPU was most likely better taken care of, than those cards, I bought in the past.

    You do have to admit, after the last crypto crash, most of the support forums in video cards here were of "used video card" status. There's an increased risk. VRM's and memory burn out. Paste caps dry out. They do have finite life span. And Memory is used especially heavy with Etherium. It's a different situation than when it was bitcoin being mined.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    Used mining cards would have to be ridiculously cheap before I would consider one, as it has to be looked at as a losing bet, meaning don't spend money unless you are already writing it off as a total loss.
    How much would you be willing to lose buying a 3080 that might die in a couple months with no chance of recouping any money?
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    Great news. I hope people avoid those used cards like the plague. It's time for most people to buy reasonably priced new GPUs or wait for the next gen cards to come out later this year. Just remember the AIBs that sold pallet loads of GPUs to miner directly and ignored gamers during the pandemic when there was serious need for GPUs by gamers.
    Reply
  • Zescion
    logainofhades said:
    I used to buy used gpu's, that were heavily used for F@H. Got a fair amount of use of them, before they died. A mining GPU was most likely better taken care of, than those cards, I bought in the past.

    I had a single opposite experience. In times when I naively ignored cryptomining even existed, I bought a used R9 280x "previously used in a server". It suffered flickers from day one and I had to significantly down clock the memory to make it usable. Inevitably the issue got worse and I finally replaced it with a new card.

    It could be a single bad experience, but now I highly value a new product with OEM warranty, not to mention that many credit cards automatically extend your warranty for new products only.

    Plus, look at those eBay listings: 50% less than few months ago, but asking around MSRP for a used card. where's the deal?
    Reply