Bought a used R9 290x from a mining operation.

Discussion in 'AMD Graphics Cards' started by Vikingod, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    I've purchased a used Sapphire R9 290x from a professional coin mining operation to replace my four year-old 6950. There seems to be wide differences in opinion regarding the quality of these mining op cards, whether they're more prone to failure than others. Thought I would post a few thoughts here about my experience as there isn't much first-hand information available out there , just lots of conjecture and anecdotal information.

    The card was reportedly used for 4 or 5 months in a professional mining data center, according to the seller. Tough to verify for sure, but they provided pictures of the data center and had good ratings on ebay. The guy selling it had more than 10 cards to sell, all the same make and model, so I felt pretty good about it. It was reportedly not overclocked, which is impossible to verify of course. Cost me $240 shipped. It was delivered as described: very clean. No noticeable damage or even dust.

    I've had the card since Friday, and have logged about 10 hours of gaming in the evenings and ran a few stress tests on it. Operationally, it seems good so far. No obvious memory problems or artifacting. It runs hot, much hotter than I'm used to. I've gathered this is pretty standard for stock 290x cards without any after-market cooling. It idles at around 46c on my rig, but can reach into the 90s during extended use. I've bumped up the fan speeds to 60%, just to be on the safe side. That seems to keep it under 90c, but it isn't quiet. I may pick up something in the line of aftermarket cooling, if I can find something cheap.

    If anyone else has one of these cards, or other used cards, please post observations from your experience. It may help others looking to buy such cards.
     
  2. IvanV

    IvanV HH Assassin Guild Member

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    I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute, but I'm really curious how this will turn out.

    A piece of silicon has a fairly long life span, but running it really hot might shorten that lifespan significantly. Still, since it passes all the stress tests, I would guess that it has as much time left under normal use as any other identical chip.

    Coolers are, on the other hand, mechanical and often the first thing to fail anyway, so with this one having seen a fair bit of abuse already, I'd say you're right to be contemplating a replacement at some point.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  3. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    That's what I figured when I bought it. If the mining did anything to it, it would likely be related to the fan. That's a pretty easy fix.
     
  4. Dyre Straits

    Dyre Straits 10 Grandkids -2 Great-grandsons

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    Well, from all the sources that I've read, running it at or near 90C, or even a bit above, isn't really troubling. That said, I attempt to keep my own cards under 85C during heavy gaming and such. I also run my fan at 65% constant anyway. That 'might' change now with the activation of my Cochlear Implant if I start hearing too much fan noise coming from the system. So far, no problem. But, even so, if the fan is running constant instead of constantly increasing/decreasing I would find that less annoying than hearing it accelerate/decelerate constantly.

    I would, for my own interest, like to know what kind of performance difference there may be between that card and my own HD 7970?
     
  5. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    I hear a lot of conjecture and anecdotes of these kind of cards as well... But isn't it fabricated to withstand that kind of 'abuse' anyway?
    Them usually only being 5-6 months old when they sell ex-mining cards, does it still have its original warranty?
     
  6. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    The card I purchased doesn't, sapphire doesn't transfer warranties. I agree on the abuse comments. I'm not sure it makes sense for a company to buy thousands of dollars and equipment only destroy it with overclocking and overvolting.
     
  7. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    people that mine bitcoins,usually know what they're doing which means they also know these cards only work if you adequatly cool them... I don't see how they could be any worse than a card that has been used for gaming.
     
  8. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    imo considering any serious bitcoin miner, they usually give a gpu about the best possible life most any video card can have, keep the rigs cool and clean, and using those pci-ex extension really lays them out in a manner that ensure that they don't bake in any situation. I'd buy a 2nd hand bitcoin mining card from a batch of cards used, no problem.
     
  9. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    Anyone have suggestions for a decent, but not terribly expensive, aftermarket cooling solution? (air)
     
  10. Neshi

    Neshi HH's cuddly Blue Bear

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    I've read the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme IV is pretty good and iirc not too expensive
     
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  11. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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  12. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    I was looking into the Accelero. Seems like one of the few available options that fits stick 290x cards.
     

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