Press "Enter" to skip to content

Warning Signs When Buying Used GPUs: How to Detect Defective Video Cards

We’re going over the most common defects with used GPUs, hopefully providing a roadmap for how to look for warning signs when buying a used card locally or online. Comment w/ your own!
Sponsor: Get 10% off Squarespace purchases (

This video is following-up our guide on preventative maintenance, dusting, cleaning, & re-pasting video cards:

We know a lot of people are eying both the second-hand and new markets right now, hoping to land whatever is available and sensible for the rest of the build. Because of this, we’ve had an influx of viewer emails about eBay scams and broken GPUs sold “used” to unsuspecting buyers. You should always pre-test a card before paying if buying physically in the same area as the seller, or if you’re buyer protected, test it immediately on receipt from an online seller. In that process, you can use this video to help identify some of the most common used GPU failures. Those often include clock locks, overheating / dust build-up, dead fans, broken fans, physical card damage (like missing capacitors from a bad disassembly), bad GPU sag, and the like. Many of these are resolvable or, worst case, identifiable so that you can return the card or pass on the purchase. There are many more — please sound-off with your experiences in the comments!

The best way to support our work is through our store:

Like our content? Please consider becoming our Patron to support us:


00:00 – Getting Ripped Off
01:25 – Things to Look For in a Used GPU (Quick List)
03:09 – Human Factors & Judging Character
04:42 – Our Defect Pile
06:00 – Frequency Stuck Way Below Boost
07:00 – How to Validate Basics with Software & GPU-Z
11:10 – How GPU Artifacting & Bad Memory Can Look
13:23 – Identifying GPU Sag & Fixing GPU Sag
14:21 – Broken Fans, Capacitors, Warped PCBs, & Physical Problems
18:28 – Additional Thoughts & Warnings

** Please like, comment, and subscribe for more! **

Links to Amazon and Newegg are typically monetized on our channel (affiliate links) and may return a commission of sales to us from the retailer. This is unrelated to the product manufacturer. Any advertisements or sponsorships are disclosed within the video (“this video is brought to you by”) and above the fold in the description. We do not ever produce paid content or “sponsored content” (meaning that the content is our idea and is not funded externally aside from whatever ad placement is in the beginning) and we do not ever charge manufacturers for coverage.

Follow us in these locations for more gaming and hardware updates:


Host, Writing: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman, Keegan Gallick