More than six months after the launch of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 and the card is still fiendishly hard to find in stock. Although that soon could change, just not in a good way.
That’s because HKEPC Hardware (opens in new tab) reported that large quantities of GeForce RTX 30-series and AMD Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards could soon go on sale. The Hong Kong-based news publication found conversations between cryptocurrency mining groups on the Taiwanese bulletin board PTT that show large quantities of graphics cards being prepped for resale.
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As such, the likes of eBay and other reseller sites could soon get a rush of desirable graphics cards posted on them. A catalyst for this situation, as reported by our sibling site TechRadar (opens in new tab), is down to China's aggressive crackdown on crypto mining that has seen the global value of cryptocurrencies nosedive.
So, cryptominers who bought loads of powerful new graphics cards to crunch the calculations needed to "mine" cryptocurrencies are now apparently looking to offload said cards at near market value.
Given how scalpers have seen the price of new graphics cards, and indeed some older GPUs, skyrocket, this would sound like good news. Only it’s not.
As tempting as it might sound to finally snap up a graphics card, these may not be the ones you want, according to PC Gamer (opens in new tab).
There's a good chance that these cards will have been packed into cryptomining farms and left to run 24/7 and potentially at full pelt, meaning they are far from new, even if they look presentable on the likes of eBay.
Much like you’d not want to buy a second-hand car that’s been driven aggressively for all its life, we’d advise you to avoid getting one of these cards if and when start trickling out into the open market. Actually, some manufacturers (opens in new tab) in certain territories have stated that cryptomining will void a card's warranty.
Some cryptominers have told us that they will undervolt graphics cards and optimize them to be efficient rather than simply max them out. As such, a graphics card used for high-end gaming hours on end could be in a worse state. But we'd not advise you buy one of those either.
And while individual miners may optimize their GPU for efficient mining, there's no guarantee big crypto farm will have done the same. In short, proceed with caution here.
Instead, we suggest you to bide your time and keep an eye on our where to buy Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 page, as well as other buying guides we have on Tom’s Guide. And if you want the latest RTX graphics power, why not check out our selection of the best gaming PCs or best gaming laptops.