Have you ever heard of the name Satoshi Nakamoto? And did you know that the digital wallet he owns makes him one of the 20 richest people in the world? But no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is and no one has accessed his digital wallet since late 2010. Even if you have never heard of Satoshi Nakamoto’s name or the stories behind him, we are sure you have heard of Bitcoin, the world’s most famous and valuable cryptocurrency that was created by someone under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
When the Bitcoin white paper was released in the fall of 2008, only a handful of people even had a faint idea of what it could be. You are certainly not among them then, just as we were not. And Bitcoin had almost no value back then. There is a famous story that two pizzas were paid for 10 thousand Bitcoins, which is completely unbelievable from today’s perspective. But as the price of Bitcoin rose first to $ 10 and then to $ 100, until it crossed $ 1,000 for the first time in 2013, more and more people became interested in the phenomenon. And then the number of miners increased many times, which led to a shortage of various computer components. This means that it may happen that you buy a GPU that was modded for Bitcoin mining. How to know if that is the case, as well as the basics of mining and many other interesting things related to cryptocurrencies you can find out in the rest of the article.
What is crypto mining?
Although there is probably no person today who has not heard of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, many still do not know what mining is. If you are among them and all you want is to buy a graphics processing unit, then you will want to heat the basics of mining, since more advanced explanation of mining demands hours or tens of thousands of words. Clearly, mining is not going to mine but it is a computer way of generating new Bitcoins.
There are three ways to get hold of Bitcoin. One is to buy it at an exchange, the other is to exchange it for goods or services, and the third is to mine it. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies can be a great passive income, much like trading bonds and stocks on the stock market, and we definitely advise you to read more on the subject. But mining is also very tempting, and without miners Bitcoin would not exist, so their role is of immense importance. Mining is actually a huge number of cryptography operations that your computer processes and thus adds a transaction record to the blockchain. Without miners, there would be no generation of new Bitcoins or validation of transactions. Miners also guarantee independence because there is no centralized body or single point of failure. This is the case when the proof of work method is applied, while proof of stake is becoming increasingly popular but proof of stake is not of interest to our topic.
How Bitcoin mining led to GPU shortage?
If you ask gamers what the situation is in the market of GPUs and other computer components, they will tell you that it is catastrophic and that crypto miners are once to blame. When Bitcoin was in its infancy, you could mine large quantities on a regular laptop, in the background while watching your favorite movie. And now you need to have a very advanced computer that works 24/7. GPUs and processors are the most important for mining, although some other cryptocurrencies are mined on special machines that are designed just for that purpose and Bitcoin cannot be mined on them. The reason is that Bitcoin miners could quickly and easily overwhelm other cryptocurrencies, completely lowering their value.
So GPUs are still the most popular for mining, but that’s why the price skyrocketed. Also reductions in production due to the pandemic and floods in Taiwan have led to even greater shortage.
How to check if your GPU vas modded for Bitcoin minning?
CPU and GPU have limited service life, like everything else. Although their service life is not short, when GPU and CPU are constantly used and thus becomes hot, silicone is permanently damaged. Cooling has been improved, but wear and tear as consequence of mining cannot be avoided. That’s why you don’t want to buy a GPU that was previously used for mining, because its performance will not be as you expected, and it is also very questionable how long it will last. These are ways to make sure the GPU was not used for mining.
1. Hardware inspection
A physical inspection of GPU can give you a lot of answers. If the GPU has often operated at very high temperatures, wear and tear signs will be present. And you will also notice residues from melting silicone. Another thing to pay attention to is whether the GPU has ports. If there are no ports, then it is clear that the GPU is not for gaming but for mining.
2. Benchmark tests
No one plays video games 24/7, but every GPU for mining works 24/7. And that will inevitably lead to a decline in performance. So you need to run benchmark tests to see performances. Then compare that performance to the performance that that GPU should provide when it’s new. Of course, there may be a small difference because gaming also damages the GPU to some extent, but if the difference in performance is huge, then it is very certain that it worked non-stop mining Bitcoin.
3. Check the BIOS
The Basic Input Output System (BIOS) can give you additional answers. Miners usually use a special BIOS to better optimize performance. That optimization is adapted to mining, but it is counterproductive for gaming. So if the BIOS is modded, chances are great that video games won’t work smoothly for you, and you may not even be able to run them at all.
We hope that we have managed to explain to you how Bitcoin mining works and how to avoid buying a GPU that is seriously damaged by mining. Still, keep in mind that doesn’t mean that every GPU used for mining is in a terrible condition. If the GPU has passed all the tests we mentioned to you, then it may be a good option to buy such a GPU and use it for gaming, especially if it is cheap.