Does mining really “ruin” graphics cards? Tested an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Does mining really “ruin” graphics cards? Tested an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

For a long time there has been debate on the alleged decline in gaming performance that should afflict video cards used for mining and, recently, the YouTube channel “Testing Games” has published a new video to check if this is true. During the tests, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti used extensively for mining for a year and a half and a new specimen of the same product were compared. When cards are subjected to long periods of mining there could be accelerated wear of components and cooling system, which could cause long-term performance deterioration.

In the movie, Testing Games performed several benchmarks and video games, including Cyberpunk 2077, Battlefield V, and Forza Horizon 4. On average, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti used for mining was around 10% slower than its new counterpart, while an outlier was found in Forza Horizon 4, where the gap was as high as 20%. The main culprits for the reduced performance are GPU clock speeds and temperatures. On average, the RTX 2080 Ti used for mining was 16 ° C warmer than the other and this caused a drop of over 100MHz in the boost frequency, generating a notable loss of performance. This is completely normal as NVIDIA's GPU Boost 4.0 algorithm (found on cards based on the Turing and Ampere architectures) is optimized to be very sensitive to GPU temperature. Unfortunately, Testing Games did not change thermal pads and thermal paste on the "old" GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, as well as having performed a good cleaning of the fans and heatsink, operations that could have significantly changed the final results.

Even if you are not a miner, this test shows why it would be a good idea to thoroughly clean your computer every now and then, as well as apply a new thermal paste to the CPU and GPU after several years. It is known that the latter tends to dry out (especially on notebooks) after years of use, which will inevitably lead to a drop in performance. This also applies to players who purchase previously used cards for mining on eBay or other retailers. If you feel that your device is performing below expectations, all it might need is a little maintenance to get it back to peak performance.

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