With the collapse of digital coin mining due to the increased computation required has increased the number of ex mining cards for sale on eBay considerably.
The first card we bought was a HD 6970 which had a third party cooler replacing the OEM blower fan. The card was so low in cost it was eye opening, it closed at just over $50.
The Arctic Accelero Xtreme III cooler costs more than what I paid for the HD 6970. Replacement fans are inexpensive and the cooler runs dramatically cooler than the OEM blower could ever imagine. It does use 3 slots of space and it is 11½” long to make it that effective.
The HD 6970 is demanding and the vendor asked why I bought the card and I told him it was an upgrade. The HD 6970 is more powerful than the old GTX 260 which has become obsolete with the advent of DX11.
The Corsair TX850V2 has so much current that there is no video card that it cannot handle.
This card was purchased to modernize the studio and the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB sold for $137 Canadian which is 1/3 of what a new card costs.
The EVGA GTX 1060 3GB is the single fan version which makes it small and easier to install in a smaller µATX chassis. The GTX 1060 power consumption is about 120W so the single fan can handle the thermal load reasonably well.
The GTX 1060 is also a good DX12 class card which makes it desirable for use with Windows 10. While most games are still DX11 there are a few titles that support DX12 available.
We have seen many threads on Reddit and other forums about people who have purchased cards from smokers. We have been fortunate as neither card has any problems at all.
Cleaning a HSF assembly is difficult and it requires new thermal pads or material to reassemble the card after the cooler is cleaned. An ultrasonic cleaning machine can usually get most of the accumulated resins removed but it may take several sessions if the assembly is heavily contaminated.