Cryptocurrency mining has become a popular investment for many South Africans.
It is also the main reason for the global shortage of high-end graphics cards, as these are the most popular GPUs among cryptocurrency miners.
Miners tend to buy multiple graphics cards at a time, which populate mining rigs that are constantly running at high loads.
While this may seem like a great option for gamers with GPUs sitting idle for most of the day, using a graphics card for cryptocurrency mining in South Africa may void the warranty of the GPU.
To find out more, MyBroadband spoke to Raru’s Colin van Zyl about the warranty process for graphics cards used for cryptocurrency mining.
South African suppliers
It is important to note that warranties are handled by suppliers and/or manufacturers, with local retailers functioning as a consumer-facing channel.
Van Zyl said many local graphics card suppliers have started testing graphics cards more rigorously, and if a gaming card is found to have been altered or used for mining, the card’s warranty will be rendered void.
While suppliers would have previously sent failed cards to manufacturers for replacement, manufacturers are now voiding the warranty of cards used in cryptocurrency mining, said van Zyl.
Manufacturers have comprehensive testing tools and check each component before physically rebuilding each graphics card, he added.
“A card that had its BIOS altered or been used outside of its specification or intended use will have the warranty voided.”
If you want to avoid your graphics card warranty being voided, do not use a gaming card for cryptocurrency mining.
Users must also be careful when altering the BIOS or making other modifications to the product.
Cryptocurrency mining can dramatically shorten the lifespan of a GPU, due to the constant high workload placed on the chip, and additional cooling systems are often required for mining rigs.
Specialised cryptocurrency mining cards are also available from Nvidia and AMD, but these carry a shorter warranty period – due to their intended usage.
These cards would be ideal for miners, but global stock shortages mean they are snapping up any GPUs they can get their hands on – gaming or otherwise.