Gamers beware: miners are now painting GPU memory to make them look as new

Published: Jan 25th 2023, 11:37 GMT   Comments

Crypto miners are painting graphics card memory to sell them as new

An investigation from YouTuber Iskandar Souza and computer technician Paulo Gomes has shown that graphics card sellers on Chinese retail platforms are not truthful about selling ‘new’ graphics cards. 

Yellow tint on GPU memory, Source: Iskandar Souza/Paulo Gomes

Post-mining graphics cards sold as brand-new products is not a new topic at all. However, as stories like this are made, miners seek new ideas on how to sell the cards they no longer need.

Paulo shares his first-hand experience of how to spot a used graphics card. Missing stickers and screws that have been touched by a screwdriver are good starting points. However, even though some cards may appear new (they have warranty stickers, no dust or scratches), they might have only been made to look this way.

By far the easiest thing to notice is the yellow tint on the memory and the GPU. Apparently, a new method to trick customers was created to paint the memory chips to make them look newer than they should be.

Paint scratching from GPU memory, Source: Iskandar Souza/Paulo Gomes

The yellow tint on the memory and GPU may result from miners resoldering the components to newer boards, or simply excess heat during prolonged use. Whichever reason it is, the yellow tint is a dead giveaway that the card is not new. Paulo has shown many examples how what a post-mining GPU looks like. The memory can show various stages of degradation:

Example of yellow tint on memory, Source: Iskandar Souza/Paulo Gomes

A similar investigation from TecLab covered the topic of used mining cards sold by one of the companies in Brazil. The GPUs that were sold had a different epoxy color than brand-new cards sold by other vendors. These cards were opened during a livestream as they arrived at their office to confirm that there were no wrongdoing or tricks involved. With their extensive knowledge on the matter, they were quick to confirm that the company sold post-mining cards to unaware customers.

Example of yellow tint on GPU, Source: Iskandar Souza/Paulo Gomes/TecLab

One probably shouldn’t jump to conclusions after seeing yellow tint on graphics card components right away, however, it is generally not a good idea to purchase graphics cards from such retail platforms in the first place.

Furthermore, GPU resoldering is a common practice among board partners in an effort to save the most expensive component. This is especially true for high-end GPUs as shown in a video from EVGA GPU repair center recently.


[Iskandar Souza] 99% NOVO! Placas de MINERAÇÃO que ENGANAM até ESPECIALISTAS! FAQ RTX 3060TI Galax SJF (37,665 views)

Many thanks to gabigol for the tip!

Comment Policy
  1. Comments must be written in English and should not exceed 1000 characters.
  2. Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the post topic. Discussions about politics are not allowed on this website.
  3. Comments and usernames containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted.
  4. Comments complaining about the post subject or its source will be removed.
  5. A failure to comply with these rules will result in a warning and, in extreme cases, a ban. In addition, please note that comments that attack or harass an individual directly will result in a ban without warning.
  6. VideoCardz has never been sponsored by AMD, Intel, or NVIDIA. Users claiming otherwise will be banned.
  7. VideoCardz Moderating Team reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to the site without notice.
  8. If you have any questions about the commenting policy, please let us know through the Contact Page.
Hide Comment Policy