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My friend recently upgraded his GPU, and I am considering buying his old one. It is an ASUS GTX 650 Ti. He has used it for about one year, placing moderate loads on it. When running, it stays within a good temperature range (not more than 50 degrees C while playing games). He has all of the original packaging, including the anti-static bag. He wants 90 USD for it, which is significantly cheaper than a new card, or a used one online. Are there any significant risks involved in purchasing a used GPU? Thanks.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Dave, Moses, Tog, Synetech Jan 2 at 1:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Ask him to give you a 30-day money-back guarantee, and then decide. That's a large part of what you're paying for with new solid-state electronics, and it'll probably ease your mind. –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 1 at 19:36
    
Are there any risks purchasing a used graphics card? The only risk you have is what happens if it breaks 2 days after you buy it! This is totally off topic! How are we supposed to know the state of the card? Yes, you state "moderate load" but this is ambiguous. Buy it, don't buy it, either way this question does not belong here I'm afraid. –  Dave Jan 1 at 19:45
    
The biggest risks are 1) he's lying, and the card has already malfunctioned, and 2) he'll damage it while removing it. Otherwise, check it for obvious signs of overheating, but absent that it should be OK. –  Daniel R Hicks Jan 1 at 20:19
    
What are the risks associated with buying a used GPU? The same as buying anything used: it doesn’t work. For computing equipment you also run the risk of it being incompatible, but that’s true of new parts as well. –  Synetech Jan 2 at 1:05

3 Answers 3

As soon as it works and he hasn't extensively overclocked it, you have nothing to worry about. Bear in mind that you have his original warranty, if any. If it has expired, then you take it, use it and hope it won't fail soon. It's like being your own old GPU. Since we are talking about a new generation card (GTX 650 Ti) you should be able to find drivers for all current Operating Systems, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 both 32-bit and 64-bit. Also for Linux and Mac OS (if you plan to create a Hackintosh, there are third party drivers to use). So compatibility is not an issue either. Go ahead, I would do it. Of course I would see it in action first to make sure it is in good condition before I buy. Ideally I would ask my friend to play a game or two and see how is going after some time of regular use. I wouldn't like my friend giving me his overheated damaged GPU...

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I have seen him play hours of relatively demanding games (ie. planetside 2), without any indication of overheating. He has a pretty good cooling system on it as well. –  Evan Pak Jan 1 at 19:08
    
Besides, he's one of my best friends, so I can trust that there are at least no issues that he knows about. –  Evan Pak Jan 1 at 19:09

The risks are the same with any used equipment: That the previous owner has misused it, or that the use it has been put through means that it will reach the end of its life within your usage of it.

Since you know the person selling it, you can ask him about his use and care of it. You might also be able to request a day or two to test run it after paying a deposit on it. If he agrees, give it a benchmarking (not a burn in), examine it and try using it as much as you would ordinarily (provided that doesn't mean overclocking or doing anything that might damage it). If you are satisfied, buy it. It might be a bad one, but if you have done this, you have significantly reduced the chance of buying a lemon.

Revision to answer question: Has it ever failed on him or behaved in an improper manner? Did it ever (to his knowledge) overheat? Has he ever tried to use it in a way that it is specifically not designed to be used? Has he done anything that would void the warranty, such as disassembly or hardware modification?

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What would you specifically recommend to ask about usage? –  Evan Pak Jan 1 at 18:28
  1. The biggest risk is it fails shortly after you buy it.
  2. You could break it,installing it.

    Knowing nothing about your system:

  3. It might not fit in your case.
  4. Your power supply might be to weak.
  5. You might not even have a pcie x16 slot as far as we know.
  6. You could have a hd7970 for all we know and this could be a downgrade.
  7. Your CPU could be to low and you might not get the max benefit from it.

etc.........

As a general rule as long as they have not done any crazy mods like changing to a water cooling block, or overclocked it like crazy it should be fine. Remember, this is just a general guide.

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