Finger of blame for cracked AMD GPUs points at crypto-miners, not graphics driver

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AMD RX 6800 and 6900 graphics cards just lately got here below the highlight after a bunch of them broke due to the GPU actually physically cracking, and we now have an obvious reply as to why this occurred.

This comes from KrisFix on YouTube (who runs a German restore store that fixes {hardware}), who observed the various such AMD GPUs that had been turning up on his doorstep that had died resulting from cracking.

On the time, hypothesis was rife about AMD’s driver being a attainable trigger – as all of the house owners of those graphics playing cards had been operating the newest model – however as KrisFix explains in a new YouTube video (opens in new tab) (highlighted by Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)), that wasn’t the case.

In precise reality, KrisFix proposes a principle that the difficulty was brought on by a mixture of two elements: the GPUs being ex-crypto-mining fashions, and the best way they had been saved earlier than sale.

KrisFix notes that the issue playing cards had been all offered in direction of the top of November, or begin of December 2022, and certain got here from the identical second-hand supply – specifically a crypto-mining farm promoting off a load of those AMD Radeon fashions.

So, the concept is that these graphics playing cards had been pushed super-hard 24/7 of their mining duties, after which possible saved in a poor atmosphere, perhaps a warehouse with excessive humidity ranges.

That means that when the patrons received their GPUs by way of, they labored okay to start with, however then when gaming (or different intense workloads) pushed the chip temperatures up excessive, because of the injury from the extreme humidity (mixed with all these earlier miles on the clock from mining), the GPU merely cracked. Homeowners may need received a day or two out of the playing cards – perhaps even three – earlier than they went pop.

All the damaged graphics playing cards exhibited the identical sort of injury, and had been in the same state general – with the coolers having been cleaned, too. (Usually, a second-hand graphics card would have some mud in there, however on this case, all playing cards had been clear, which suggests the mining farm proprietor had all of them spruced up earlier than placing them on sale).

Evaluation: The risks of the second-hand GPU market

That is no shock actually, as once we initially reported on this drawback, we famous that the affected fashions might be ex-mining GPUs. What KrisFix says right here is smart to us, and likewise explains why we aren’t seeing this difficulty elsewhere – a neighborhood mining operation shut down, and offered off all its graphics playing cards (saved in the identical method) to patrons within the space, an excellent lots of whom turned to this restore store to handle their woes when the GPU went pop.

The excellent news, then, is that this gained’t be a widespread difficulty for RX 6900 and RX 6800 fashions, and that AMD’s graphics driver isn’t at fault (which KrisFix underlines on this newest video).

As a substitute, then, this episode serves as a fairly clear warning on the risks of shopping for GPUs which have beforehand been run ragged in a giant mining farm, and that it’s not simply the workloads they’ve been subjected to, but in addition the ravages of the atmosphere (and even storage post-farming life, earlier than the playing cards are literally offered off).

Briefly, purchase an ex-mining graphics card at your peril, as a result of there are particular and clear dangers related to these GPUs. The difficulty is that sellers usually don’t reveal {that a} second-hand card is ex-mining inventory, as a result of they know that’s off-putting to many people. So that you’re left in a state of affairs the place you need to belief the popularity of the vendor, and their integrity in being truthful in regards to the previous lifetime of the graphics card.

All these risks are very a lot amplified in a time the place crypto falls off a cliff, as occurred final 12 months, and mining operations quit, and clearly look to unload their inventory as a remaining money seize. In occasions like these, the used GPU market can turn out to be a little bit of a minefield, so tread particularly carefully when buying second-hand.


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