One of the first things people ask when buying a used graphics card is “Was it used to mine?” They fear that the constant work load on the graphics card will ruin its lifespan or somehow damage the card.
The truth is that using a graphics card for high end gaming is just as, if not more, destructive for graphics cards. Allow me to explain.
When someone uses a graphics card for mining, in most cases the card is under clocked. Why under clock a card used for nothing more than doing math problems, isn’t the whole point to mine as fast as possible? Well, yes but overclocking a card is usually very inefficient so miners lower the clock rate to improve efficiency. This reduces wear on the card.
But isn’t the card being used 24/7? Being under all that stress with all of that heat cannot be okay for the card, right? Of course using the card is going to reduce its lifespan, but not as much as someone who is gaming. The card under a constant workload, when vented properly, is likely operating a safe temperature, after all, miners want the card to mine as long as possible. The card in a gaming computer however is constantly cooled, then warmed up, then cooled then warmed up over and over. This process is much more damaging to a card than being under a constant workload.
So the next time you see a good deal on a graphics card used for mining, give it some thought.