[BATTLESTATION BUILD!] Second hand GPUs; things to watch out for~~~ | Razer Insider

[BATTLESTATION BUILD!] Second hand GPUs; things to watch out for~~~

  • 10 April 2021
  • 1 reply

Userlevel 7
When buying a second hand GPU, be sure to test it using benchmark software and observe the GPU internal attributes using MSI Afterburner

Certain things to watch out for during heavy load~~~

  • Temperature of GPU
  • Stable or fluctuating core clock
  • Release date of the GPU

To maintain the GPU architecture from burning up, a thermal paste and heat sink is used. The thermal paste and its chemical compound expires after 2 - 3 years (depends on what the GPU was used for), so be sure to check the status of the thermal paste within the GPU.

Update with my new but second hand NVIDIA GTX 1080 TI FE 11 GB, I have noticed an unusual behavior of temperature spike and fluctuating core clock.

First I thought it was due to limited thermal throttling, it turns out the pre-applied thermal paste compound has become petrified, solid and expired.

After purchasing few new tools and GPU cleaning products, the GPU is running like new again and even better.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Screwdrivers
  • Thermal paste spreader (some people refer it, Thermal paste applicator)
  • Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste
  • Cleaning cloths, wipes, tissues

Use the resources in internet to study, how to open / breakdown your GPU and clean up outdated compounds and apply with new. It will be like you have just opened a GPU out of the box.

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Userlevel 7
Thermal pads~~~

The photos cannot tell, but the thermal pads do last longer compared to thermal paste.
But because pad and paste have different boiling point, spoke to a GPU specialist, who advised not to use thermal pads on GPU processor.

Thermal pad and paste make a contact in between the GPU board and heat sink. So its purpose is like a "one way heat bridge", to transfer the heat to the heat sink, and the GPU fan helps to cool down the heat sink.
Preventing the internal heat build up.

The GPU processor produce more heat then VRAMs; and due to the fact the thermal pads cannot withstand against higher heat, it is not recommended as a heat bridge for GPU processor.

Some say GTX 1000 series can work without the thermal pads, but I'm not going to risk it.

Thermal pad thickness comes in variety of sizes (there could be more)~~~

  • 0.5 mm
  • 1 mm
  • 2 mm
  • 3 mm

It is difficult to find in internet what size thermal pads the GPUs use. The best method, is to breakdown the GPU yourself and use a ruler or your eye estimate prediction to measure the thickness.

You have to buy the correct size; cause if you get the wrong size~~~

  • If you get a small size~

The bridge between the GPU VRAM and heat sink will not be complete. Preventing the heat transfer, which will cause internal heat overload and damage the GPU.

  • If you get a big size~

This can leave a gap between the GPU processor and heatsink, which will prevent cooling the GPU architect.

As you can see, the afterburner show a stable boost clock speed of 1582 MHz, and the board looks clean.

Looking forward to good 3 - 4 years with this card