Our GPU pricing index shows just how overpriced the latest graphics cards are, if you're even willing to bother with eBay. Trying to sift through eBay sold listings while eliminating fake "here's a picture of a card" red herrings takes some effort, but the clear trend is that every GPU that's even remotely useful for mining has shot up in price, dragging most recent GPUs along for the ride. But what's the best value if you simply have to buy a graphics card right now? Say hello to some old friends!
Based on the performance we measured in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, and combined with current (the past week) eBay prices, we generated an FPS-to-dollar metric to see which cards might be worth considering. The winner, as you've no doubt guessed from the headline, was Nvidia's relatively ancient GTX 970 card from late 2014.
The GTX 970 sports the Maxwell architecture, with 5.2 billion transistors fabricated on TSMC's 28nm high-performance node. Those were good times! The chip also measures nearly 400mm square, and by way of comparison, the latest Ampere GA104 chip used in the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti is only a touch smaller (393mm square compared to 398mm square) but has over triple the number of transistors. Not surprisingly, the 3060 Ti is over three times as fast as the GTX 970.
So how is the GTX 970 the "best value" on eBay? It comes down to the almighty dollar. You can find GTX 970 cards for just under $200. That's not a great deal by any stretch, but it does represent the best FPS/$ right now. And if you get lucky, you might even snag one for closer to $125. How long will a five or six-year-old graphics card last? That's certainly a big part of the risk, but in absolute performance even aging Maxwell still performs okay — it's actually slightly faster than Nvidia's GTX 1650, for example (not the 1650 Super or 1650 GDDR6, though).
We're not suggesting most people try to buy such a GPU, but if you simply have to have something and you don't want to spend a lot of money, it's one of the better options right now. It can also manage over 60 fps at 1080p medium settings in most modern games, though obviously there are exceptions. There are other "oldies but goodies" (sort of good, anyway) to consider, like the GTX 980 and R9 390, but prices on the latter are back above $300. AMD's RX 570 4GB ranks as the second-best GPU using the same metrics, with a median price of $225. And those cards are likely much newer — but possibly used for 24/7 mining, so don't count on getting a pristine GPU either way.
Here's the full list of graphics cards with their accompanying performance that we've sorted by FPS/$. You can see the relative performance rank in the far right column as well.
(Prices and performance testing current as of March 2, 2021.)
|GPU||FPS Score||eBay Price||FPS/$||Performance Rank|
|RX 570 4GB||38.52||$225||0.1712||39|
|R9 Fury X||49.97||$306||0.1633||30|
|GTX 1060 3GB||34.04||$224||0.152||41|
|GTX 980 Ti||50.28||$339||0.1483||28|
|GTX 1080 FE||69.08||$533||0.1296||21|
|RX 560 4GB||19.14||$148||0.1294||45|
|GTX 1070 Ti FE||63.89||$494||0.1293||24|
|GTX 1070 FE||56.11||$437||0.1284||27|
|GTX 1660 Ti||57.77||$479||0.1206||26|
|GTX 1080 Ti FE||88.2||$750||0.1176||13|
|GTX 1650 Super||43.47||$372||0.1168||34|
|RTX 2080 Super FE||102.07||$878||0.1163||9|
|GTX 1060 6GB FE||40.41||$350||0.1155||37|
|RTX 2060 FE||68.55||$595||0.1152||22|
|GTX 1650 GDDR6||36.4||$317||0.1148||40|
|GTX 1050 Ti||24.51||$214||0.1145||44|
|RTX 2080 FE||95.49||$836||0.1142||10|
|GTX 1660 Super||57.92||$516||0.1122||25|
|RX 5500 XT 4GB||43.32||$390||0.1111||35|
|RTX 2070 Super FE||91||$820||0.111||11|
|RTX 2070 FE||81.03||$740||0.1095||16|
|RX 5500 XT 8GB||48.6||$450||0.108||32|
|RX Vega 64||73.98||$693||0.1068||19|
|RTX 2060 Super FE||77.22||$730||0.1058||18|
|RX Vega 56||65.26||$639||0.1021||23|
|RX 5600 XT||71.11||$697||0.102||20|
|RTX 2080 Ti FE||118.16||$1177||0.1004||6|
|RX 6800 XT||142.31||$1461||0.0974||3|
|RTX 3070 FE||116.6||$1250||0.0933||7|
|RX 5700 XT||86.53||$945||0.0916||14|
|RTX 3060 Ti FE||106.31||$1222||0.087||8|
|RX 6900 XT||146.86||$1759||0.0835||2|
|RTX 3080 FE||142.14||$2084||0.0682||4|
|RTX 3090 FE||152.72||$2932||0.0521||1|
If you like charts (disclaimer: I like charts!), here's the eBay pricing data from the past two months — January and February, 2021 — showing the pricing trends. We've attempted to eliminate 'false' and 'fake' listings, so these are only the sold listings (which can still be incorrect in some cases), but the trends are easy enough to see. The good news is that at least some of the most desirable cards appear to have peaked and are now starting to decline in prices. Fingers crossed.
It's also interesting to see which cards are the most popular on eBay. Obviously the new Ampere GPUs are near the top of the list, but Pascal GPUs continue to sell a lot of units as well. For AMD, the RX 580 8GB and RX 5700 XT are far and away the two most popular eBay options — many other cards would likely rate higher, if there were more available.