AMD RX 6800 and 6900 graphics cards have been in the spotlight lately, as some of them were broken due to actual physical cracking of the GPU, and we now have an apparent answer to why this is happening.
This comes from KrisFix on YouTube (who runs a German repair shop that fixes hardware) who noticed that many of these AMD GPUs that turned up at his door were broken due to cracking.
At the time, speculation was rife that AMD’s drivers might be a cause — as all owners of these graphics cards were running the latest versions — but as explained in a post by KrisFix new youtube video (opens in a new tab) (highlight Tom’s Hardware (opens in a new tab)), But in fact, it’s not.
In fact, KrisFix has come up with a theory that the problem is caused by a combination of two factors: GPUs being pre-crypto mining models, and the way they were stored before they were sold.
KrisFix notes that the problem cards were all sold in late November or early December 2022, and likely came from the same second-hand source — namely, a crypto mining farm that sells a lot of these AMD Radeon models.
So our thinking is that these graphics cards are ultra hard driven 24/7 in their mining missions and then maybe stored in a harsh environment, maybe a warehouse with high humidity.
This means that when the buyer passes the GPU, they start out working fine, but when the game (or other high intensity workload) causes the chip temperature to rise due to excessive humidity (plus all the mileage before it) the clock from mining ), the GPU simply cracks. The owner may have used them up for a day or two—possibly even three—before they popped.
All of the damaged graphics cards showed the same damage and were generally in a similar condition – the coolers were also cleaned. (Normally, second-hand graphics cards have some dust, but this time, all the cards were clean, suggesting that the mine owner had cleaned them all before selling them).
Analysis: The dangers of the used GPU market
This is really not surprising since when we originally reported the issue we noticed that the affected models were probably pre-mining GPUs. What KrisFix said here makes sense to us and explains why we don’t see this problem elsewhere – a local mining operation shut down and sold all of its graphics cards (stored in the same way) to Buyers in the area, one when GPUs fail, many turn to this repair shop to fix their problems.
The good news is that this won’t be a widespread issue with the RX 6900 and RX 6800 models, and there’s nothing wrong with AMD’s graphics drivers (KrisFix highlights this in his latest video).
Instead, the episode was a very clear warning of the dangers of buying GPUs that have previously performed poorly in large mining farms, not just for the workload they were subjected to, but also for the destruction of the miners. environment (farming life even after storage, before the cards are actually sold).
In short, there is a risk involved in buying a pre-mining graphics card as there are clear and definite risks with these GPUs. The problem is that sellers usually don’t reveal that used cards are ex-mining stock because they know that will turn off many people. Therefore, you have to trust the reputation of the seller, and their integrity with regard to the true past of the graphics card.
All of these dangers are greatly magnified when cryptocurrencies fall off a cliff, as happened last year, and mining operations give up, apparently hoping to sell their shares as a last-ditch cash grab. During times like these, the used GPU market can become a minefield, so be careful when buying used.