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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 could soon be easier to buy — but beware!

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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 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. 

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, 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

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 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

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face. 

  • Nebel
    That's one of the more inaccurate articles I've read in a while.
    This is straight up anti-mining propaganda with false information.

    First of all, mining GPUs are not ran aggressively. They are just ran 24/7. Every miner knows that you need to lower voltage on your GPU to make it draw as little power as possible because electricity isn't cheap, especially for huge farms.

    Second, with lower power comes lower heat. So the mining GPUs are much lower temperature than gaming, which is actually how you run a GPU aggressively - by overclocking everything and dragging that power slider to the max so you can squeeze every possible fps out of it.

    False:
    Mining cards are not ran aggressively.
    Mining cards do not run at high voltage (they are lower than stock).
    Mining cards are not ran hot.

    How this article got featured on the page and into my Google news is beyond me, but I had to reset my Tom's forum password just to comment on this ridiculous article.
    Reply
  • CompulsoryRegIsObnoxious
    That's one of the more inaccurate articles I've read in a while.
    This is straight up anti-mining propaganda with false information.

    Created an account just to say this.

    Tom's has really taken a dive since the sale years back. No attempt for any legit journalism lately -- just "buy MSRP buy MSRP consume consume consume" these days.

    I'm not sure this was necessarily anti-miner propaganda so much as it was anti-gamer, pro-industry/scalper propaganda.

    Either way the absolute best case scenario is that this was a poorly researched article, written by someone with little or no understanding of how modern mining works/worked. Really expected better from my Google news feed.
    Reply
  • sandvik.fredrik
    LOL.
    I had to reset my password to. This is BS and straight up encouraging to increased e-waste.

    If you can show me test results that shows that mining gpus are worn out and not worth a $$ compared to brand new i might believe this.
    And i mean proper test results, not from a gamer that try to flame mining because he is angry cause he's not getting a gpu.
    Reply
  • Roland Moore-Colyer
    Please note the use of "could" and the following:

    "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 farms will have done the same. In short, proceed with caution here. "

    Also, these cards MAY not have been tuned as the mining farms look to make a quick crypto buck so may be more inclined to deadline cards to get a faster ROI. We're talking about bulk users, not individuals who will have more likely tuned the GPU.

    Either way, buying these cards at full or more than retail price when they aren't new isn't ideal for the average consumer.
    Reply
  • Roland Moore-Colyer
    sandvik.fredrik said:
    LOL.
    I had to reset my password to. This is BS and straight up encouraging to increased e-waste.

    If you can show me test results that shows that mining gpus are worn out and not worth a $$ compared to brand new i might believe this.
    And i mean proper test results, not from a gamer that try to flame mining because he is angry cause he's not getting a gpu.

    I'm fine without a GPU. I'd happily test, but I'm not set up for it. But please note the source of this article: these are not Tom's Guide claims, but reporting based on other sources.
    Reply
  • Roland Moore-Colyer
    CompulsoryRegIsObnoxious said:
    Created an account just to say this.

    Tom's has really taken a dive since the sale years back. No attempt for any legit journalism lately -- just "buy MSRP buy MSRP consume consume consume" these days.

    I'm not sure this was necessarily anti-miner propaganda so much as it was anti-gamer, pro-industry/scalper propaganda.

    Either way the absolute best case scenario is that this was a poorly researched article, written by someone with little or no understanding of how modern mining works/worked. Really expected better from my Google news feed.

    We are very much pro-consumer and anti-scalper. Other articles on the site will demonstrate that. We're held by journalistic standards, as you'll see in that article we are referencing the report of another publication: we're not making these claims ourselves.
    Reply