What to Do With an Old Graphics Card
Whether your old graphics card is 4 years old or 10 years old, there are a few things you can still use it for. Other than that, you can still sell it depending on the market but generally, it would be only worth it if it is still relevant and can still run the latest games.
This article will show you ways on what to do with an old graphics card. Some ways might let you spend some extra bucks but, it would be for something worth it if you are up for it especially if you upgraded to the best graphics card for gaming.
Old Graphics Card – But How Old Exactly?
While there is a lot of things you can still do with an old graphics card, it still depends on how old the graphics card is and the condition it is currently in. You can still do a few things with it for older and incredibly outdated graphics cards as long as it is working.
If you notice that in all of the most popular free-to-play games out, the system requirements for these games are probably a decade behind the current technology. This is because these kinds of games rely heavily on their addicting gameplay and make it accessible to literally everyone with a working personal computer.
An old graphics card can hold up and play these games on the lowest setting (really depends on the version or model of your graphics card). As you go further down this article, you should gauge how old your graphics card is and see if the options below are still possible for you.
Giving or Selling It to a Friend
This should be obvious but, you would be surprised at how big the second-hand market for graphics cards is. A friend in need could do a lot with an old graphics card. This is assuming that they do not have their own personal computer.
There are a lot of gamers that only dedicate themselves to buying console devices for their gaming needs. Giving a graphics card or selling it at a low price to them might entice them to branch out and try PC gaming since the entry-level for computers is quite high compared to consoles.
It can help a brother or sister out and you might even get to play with them in the future. This is usually what I do when I upgrade my PC and just give out the parts. I would probably recommend selling it if the market value for the price is still inflated and it is up to you on how much you want to sell it for.
Using It as a Supplementary Device
A PC is kind of an all-in-one device if you think about it. It does not have to be your typical personal computer where you can play games, browse the web, and even do work. You can set up a personal computer as a supplementary device for your TV.
Imagine setting up your TV while your PC’s output is directly connected to your TV. In fact, it does not even have to be directly connected, some TVs have wireless connectivity options but, assuming you are using an old graphics card, this setup is an extremely budgeted one and your setup might not include Bluetooth for your PC.
Regardless, you will be able to connect this old PC to your TV with an HDMI cable. You will be able to mirror or project what is showing on your PC to your TV. Even for new Smart TVs with all these new features and apps, you can still do more by projecting your PC to your TV.
This means any streaming services that are not available on your TV could still be projected by your PC. This would be a godsend for older TVs because it is basically a “Smarter” TV upgrade with a lower quality resolution of course.
Creating Your Own Console Emulator Setup
As an extension to the method above, you can use that old graphics card to set up an emulator to play old-school games. For example, you can install and set up an emulator on an old PC with your old graphics card to easily open it while connected to a TV or monitor.
These old-school console emulators are perfect for old graphics cards because the system requirements are literally based on the past. Depending on your budget, you can set it up with the cheapest computer peripherals and even use your old computer parts (CPU, RAM, etc.).
You just need to download an emulator like PCSX2, and you can run it on this old computer. Use an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. Connect your controllers with the appropriate drivers installed and it should run smoothly. Again, the resolution and quality of this emulator will be limited to the version of the game.
Once you set this up, you can literally have every emulator on this single device running on your old graphics card. This is probably the best-case scenario if you are a hardcore gamer since you can have thousands of old games available on this computer. It does not need a good GPU and you would only need some hard disk space to store all of this data.
Use It for Testing
This might sound a bit of a reach but, in my experience, it is still somewhat useful to keep an old graphics card along with your old PC. If you just upgraded your PC, you can keep this as a spare for testing.
When I upgraded my PC, it is rare that the friends you play with have the same computer specifications as you. You can help them by testing out new games whether their system can play them or not. An example would be when Cyberpunk 2077 released.
GPUs like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti cannot run Cyberpunk 2077 smoothly on 144Hz 1080p resolution even on medium settings. You will only get around 40-50 FPS and it is always better to have some extra frames over 60 to account for hardware-intensive scenes or battles.
You can learn how to test a graphics card and you will know the benchmarks of your old graphics card. This will give you an idea of comparing it with other games especially ones that are similar in design, genre, and style.
When you think about it, as long as this old graphics card has been used for more than 4-5 years, it should usually mean that it is already money well spent. With that logic, it should be easier to let it go even without getting a penny for it. This is why most people just give it to their friends rather than sell it on eBay.
Do not bother trying out stuff like mining cryptocurrency or doing SLI (dual-GPU setups). Mining cryptocurrency is only profitable through luck (because of the system) and, if you invest a ton of money on it.
For SLI, it is basically a feature that lets you use multiple GPUs for increased performance. The problem relies on the games that actually have SLI support. None of the games focus on implementing the use of this feature so it is basically useless.