If you’re a hardcore gamer, you may need to change your graphics card every once in a while to keep up with the requirements of the latest games.
In addition, the graphics card technology is improving quickly, rendering old graphics cards unsuitable for modern GPU-intensive tasks.
However, after changing a computer’s graphics card, you may wonder what you can do with it, especially if it’s in good condition.
Let’s take a look at the possible things you can do with your old graphics card instead of dumping it into the trash.
What To Do With Old Graphics Card (8 Things To Do)
1. Sell It
If your graphics card is in good condition, you can sell it via different platforms.
Since the technology of graphics cards is progressing quickly, you may not be able to sell for a fair amount of money.
However, if you want to get rid of the card at any cost, you can find many prospective customers who’ll be more than happy to find a graphics card that you deem unusable for your gaming purposes or graphics work.
If your graphics card can’t satisfy your gaming needs, it doesn’t mean somebody else can’t use it for normal computing operations.
You can always find a gamer who has just started to set up an entry-level gaming rig, and your graphics card would be more than enough for them.
Even if it’s faulty, you can list your graphics card as a defective item on dedicated marketplaces and hope to find someone interested in the other components of the card or who is skillful enough to repair it.
If you decide to sell your GPU, do it right away because these components depreciate very quickly.
You may need to sell it at a lower price if you don’t act quickly.
2. Give It Away
Of course, there’s always the possibility of giving your graphics card away to a friend who needs it.
If you know someone who can’t afford a new, high-end graphics card, why not give it away for charitable purposes?
You could even use your GPU for good causes and donate it to projects like Folding@home.
It’s a distributed computing project that helps scientists find cures for many diseases by simulating protein dynamics.
You could also use this old GPU in another PC and donate its computing power for this cause.
3. Swap It For Other Hardware
Here’s an alternative to selling your graphics card: if you need a specific piece of hardware, you could swap your graphics card for it.
Since graphics cards and other silicon-made hardware are in short supply, you may find a person willing to let go of their hardware in exchange for your GPU.
You can find people willing to trade in online communities like dedicated Facebook and Reddit groups.
You may need a bit of luck here because you should find a person who has your intended component and wants your GPU, but you can give it a try if selling is not an option for you.
4. Use It in A New Device
A graphics card can be used in a wide range of other devices as you don’t need to use it exclusively on a PC.
However, before using it on these devices, you should look at the specs and make sure it’s compatible with the device, and it can be an upgrade.
In addition, the specs can determine if you should sell the graphics card, give it away, or use it on another device.
Below are some of the primary devices in which you can use a graphics card:
A Second Computer Or TV
If you have another computer with lower specs, you can use your old graphics card to upgrade it.
It may not be your primary computer that you perform everyday computing tasks on.
You could use this secondary computer to play movies and connect it to your TV via HDMI, Bluetooth, or screen mirroring.
If you have an older TV that doesn’t support streaming services, you can project the shows from streaming services on the TV and upgrade it for free.
You could also attach it to another computer to play games with other friends in a LAN setting.
If you have kids at home or visiting, you can give it to them to play games on.
If you’re an avid gamer, you can set up a separate gaming rig only for old-school games and store thousands of them on your old PC.
You may want to play old-school games once in a while but don’t want to play them on your higher-end gaming rig to save it for more advanced titles.
Here’s what your old graphics card comes in handy if you have an older PC, too.
You can install a console emulator on the PC and attach the old graphics card to play old-school games.
This way, you can put your old computer to better use because the older games don’t need high specs, and you can play them at a budget price.
After downloading the emulator, you can connect the PC to your TV if your computer display is old and low-end.
If you have just bought a home theater PC, the chances are high that it comes with a high-end integrated video card.
However, if you have an older Home Theater PC that has a video card with lower specs, you can use your graphics card.
This way, you can enjoy 4k resolution and other specs and get more out of your HTPC setup.
The only thing you should keep in mind is that the graphics card should be able to output a 4K video.
If your graphics card isn’t too old, you can enjoy many different 4K or high-resolution activities on your HTPC.
However, since most home theater PCs have a minimalistic design intended to be placed in small spaces, a big GPU may not fit into it.
Check the form factor and the GPU’s heat production levels before attaching it to the HTPC.
If the GPU generates too much heat, placing it inside a cramped space may cause cooling issues.
A home server or NAS is a computer with an internal network used for storing and backing up files and data.
You can connect to any device, including a phone, tablet, or another computer, and access your data anytime.
Although a graphics card isn’t necessary for a home server, it will allow you to perform other tasks.
For example, you can use it to play games, perform GPU-intensive tasks, or access images.
Even if your server has a dedicated GPU, you can replace it with your old graphics card if it has higher specs.
5. Keep It As A Spare Component
If you don’t upgrade your graphics cards too often, you may not even need to sell or repurpose your old graphics card.
You could simply keep it as a spare for future emergencies.
Suppose you run into some display issues and you don’t know if your graphics card is faulty or not.
In that case, you could simply replace it with the spare graphics card and see if it works.
Alternatively, you could use it as a tester to see if a computer can play a specific game.
For example, suppose your gaming partner has an older PC with the same specs as your older GPU that may not be able to handle a specific game.
In that case, you can use your old GPU to run benchmark tests and see whether you can play that specific game.
If you want to keep your old GPU for later use, store it in a safe place with good physical conditions to prevent possible damage.
In addition, you should note that the longer you keep your GPU, the more it will depreciate.
If you plan on selling it, you may want to do it as soon as possible and don’t keep it for too long.
6. Modify The Graphics Card
Modding can be a great hobby if you’re interested in fiddling around with computer hardware to gain experience and learn about computer hardware.
You could take the graphics card apart and replace its components with newer and higher-spec ones.
However, you should note that modding your old GPU can void your warranty.
If you’re sure that your old GPU is of no use, it’s safe to get creative with it.
You could change the heatsink, fans, the backplate, or even the heatsink shroud.
7. Other Uses
If you don’t want to use your old GPU for any of the above purposes, or it simply doesn’t fit those purposes, you can try other things.
One of them is to use it in an arcade cabinet.
You could find kits that help you set up the machine by connecting the buttons and joysticks to your PC.
Alternatively, you could use it for mining crypto, which is not recommended for legal reasons and high electricity prices.
However, if you’re sure you can use it for this purpose in your area, it’s a good way to make some side money.
Finally, if you can’t use the GPU because it’s too old or not functional, you could get creative and turn it into an art project.
It’s a good way to show off your love of hardware and art skills.
For example, you could make a hole the size of the GPU in the center of your desk, put it there, and fill it with epoxy resin.
You could even use it as a coaster or simply display it on a shelf or mount it on the wall.
If you replace many computer components, you can gradually build a precious collection that can show off your computing or gaming skills and interests.
Finally, if you decide that your old graphics card isn’t worth keeping, you may decide to throw it away.
However, dumping it in the trash isn’t the optimal way to get rid of your old graphics card, just like any other PC component.
It may even be illegal based on your local rules because computer components don’t break down and shouldn’t go into landfills as they contain harmful chemicals.
Research for companies that can recycle these components to extract their precious metals and dispose of the remaining parts in an eco-friendly way.
If you have an Nvidia card, you can send it to their certified E-waste vendors to take care of the recycling.
Some physical stores, such as Best Buy, also have electronic recycling departments.
Where Can You Sell An Old Graphics Card?
Reselling used graphics cards has become a profitable venture due to the supply shortage caused by the cryptocurrency market.
It’s so profitable that some people buy used graphics cards and resell them at higher prices.
Here’s where you can sell your used graphics card:
1. Word Of Mouth
The offline method of selling can be fast, safe, and convenient.
If you have an extended network of like-minded friends who are into gaming or other graphics work, you can sell your graphics card to them.
You could also ask your friends and relatives to find someone who’d be interested in buying a used graphics card.
If you can’t find anyone around you, you can try the online methods, which are hassle-free and quick.
You could also try other physical methods, such as garage sales or any other event in your neighborhood.
2. Online Places
A wide range of online venues and websites help you list your used items and sell them at the best price.
The most significant advantage of these websites is that they have a massive customer base that can help you increase the visibility of your product.
This will give you a higher chance of selling anything, including your old graphics card.
The most popular eCommerce websites are Amazon and e-Bay, which allow you to open a seller’s account and sell both new and used items.
All you need to do is to set up the account, list your graphics card as a used item, and wait for a customer.
You may also find a website that’s popular in your city or area to help you make a more convenient sale.
Another type of selling website you can try is the classified websites or apps that are free and peer-to-peer, specifically designed to sell used goods.
Craigslist is the most popular one, while you could also go for Oodle, OLX, Locanto, and many others.
Reddit Hardwareswap, Facebook Marketplace and groups, Offerup, Letgo, and Anandtech, are other online places that help you sell your graphics card without requiring you to pay commission (unlike Amazon and e-Bay).
Tips For Selling Your Old Graphics Card
If you decide to sell your used graphics card, the first step is to make sure it’s worth selling.
If you can’t sell it at a good price, you may be better off keeping it for emergencies.
Do a quick online search on Amazon or eBay to see its average price.
It’s better to determine a price range that’s an average of all the prices you find in different marketplaces.
You want to offer a price that’s not so high that nobody wants it and not so low that it’s not worth it.
If you need to pay commissions or sign-up fees, you may also need to include those costs in the price.
You could also get a rough estimate of the selling price by looking up the price for a new graphics card and dividing it by the number of years you’ve used it.
Now, divide this number in half and add to the original number you got by dividing the price by the number of years.
This can be a reasonable price for a used graphics card.
You may also want to put a higher price to leave room for a bargain.
After setting the price, it’s time to list the item in an appealing way to attract customers.
Provide high-quality pictures, clearly state its condition, and all the necessary specs that help customers decide.
The images should be clear and from different angles to show the physical conditions of the card and its accessories.
Also, list the card’s gaming capability by providing a rough estimate of the settings required to play specific games.
Finally, after you sell the GPU, make sure to pack it securely so that the customer receives it intact and in good condition.
If it gets damaged, you may need to get it back and refund the money, which means you’ll end up with a non-functional GPU.