GPUs Graphics Latest news Practice

Used graphics cards bought with a capital water damage – PayPal has decided (Update)| igorsLAB helps

Update from 30.05.2021

Based on an expert opinion I created for PayPal, the service provider has now decided in favor of the bruised buyer and has already transferred the money back. As long as you can prove everything cleanly, the buyer protection is quite useful, as long as you follow the most important rules, which I also describe below in the original article again. Documentation and witnesses, then almost nothing can go wrong.

Original News from 19.05.2021 06:00

I must make one important preliminary remark in this very special case, which was recently brought to my attention, and in which I did not refuse my assistance. Even if I have taken over the detailed appraisal here free of charge, I am neither qualified legal counsel, nor do I have to judge the guilt or possible legal offences of third parties. For this purpose, in case of doubt, there are lawyers. But you don’t even have to let it get that far, with a little luck and sense, if you pay attention to a few little things that could end up being so important.

Who’s looking? In any case, it was not an Asus card

What happened? A supposedly lucky buyer purchased two GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with water block via Facebook Marketplace. After all, 1600 Euro for two used cards (Asus RTX 2080 Ti Dual, Asus RTX 2080 Ti Turbo) is a lot of money, but if they would still work and the two waterblocks would be mounted professionally, it would be quite a common offer in this day and age. However, an Asus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Dual and a cheap OEM card from an Alienware PC (Dell) were delivered. I deliberately edited the conversation together and depersonalized it, privacy takes precedence. In the end, it’s all about a brief overview before I get to the actual topic.

Sample chat history

Buyer protection and seller protection

Both cards were no longer usable, however the buyer was smart enough to handle it all through PayPal and use buyer protection. This point needs to be emphasized again. Also as a seller, before sending such a shipment, you should make a clear documentation of the goods, necessarily also with a witness. The same applies to the buyer, who opens such a shipment best with witnesses and immediately documents the contents. In this case, that’s exactly what probably helped the buyer quite a bit, even if PayPal still insists on an appraisal by a qualified person, which is understandable. Otherwise, anyone could come. This is where I come into play instead, because I took over this part (for once!).

I would ask that you do not overly bombard me with such things now as a result of the article, because it is a one-time concession to the community and the case is also very clear. If there are similar cases, I am of course always open, but I would like to point out that my time resources are very limited. PayPal, whether you like the service or not, can be a viable option to cover yourself with buyer protection, however. That is why I use this myself in this form.

Water damage and consequences

First, I have to preface this by saying that both GeForce RTX 2080 Ti are definitely affected by a capital water damage, which completely limits the functionality in total and must have happened before shipping. Thus, both flooded maps are irreparable total losses, which I would like to explain in detail. Especially since traces of an attempted rescue by means of water could be found, which in turn indicates that the seller knew exactly what kind of damage he had caused.

The first damage, already visible and recorded from the outside, is an entry of the purple coloured liquid between the terminal of the water block and the circuit board in the area of the upper accumulators, well recognizable by the coloured heat conducting pads, which thermally connect the accumulator to the water block.

Traces of a second liquid can still be seen on the acrylic of the water block which was then dismantled, although it should be noted that distilled water alone cannot cause such traces. It can be assumed that in the worst case here, rinsing with tap water was used to remove the dyed pastel liquid. Even if the cards were dried off later, enough residual liquid naturally remains in many hidden places inside to leak out during later transport and to then result in such a damage pattern when drying out.

The fact that the cards were improperly cleaned with a completely unsuitable liquid (most likely even under pressure) is shown by the residual traces on the dismantled cooler. The marked area is the raised cooling area of the PWM controller of the power supply of the memory, which is also provided with a thermal pad directly on this circuit. You can even see very clearly through remaining debris and the course, in which direction was flushed.

In the next picture you can see very well the counterpart in the form of the affected PWM circuit, on which there are even remains of the leaked coolant. Since such liquids are also slightly electrically conductive, one can assume at least a fine circuit of the external 12-volt line (sockets on the right) and the areas around the controller at this point. The stains on the sockets and the circuit board are the result of coolant residues and the used water that dried up later, as well as the damaged protective coating of the circuit board

Another reason for the total failure of the card is the flooding of the highly sensitive area under the BGA of the graphics chip. You can even see with the naked eye the colored residue of the liquid that has entered in the area of the MLCC support capacitors.

This could be cleaned again at great expense, but any cleaning would further damage or completely destroy the applied tropicalization (acrylic-based protective coating against environmental influences such as humidity, etc.). The fact that this layer has already been partially irreparably damaged can be seen here again from the dark areas. The extent to which fine connections and component damage have already occurred can also no longer be checked in the current state, as commissioning for measurement is no longer possible.

The last picture also documents the fraud attempt to sell a cheap OEM card as branded goods (Asus). The so-called UL number (E203413) printed on the board refers to Micro-Star International Co Ltd (MSI for short) as the manufacturer of this graphics card, as it is often used in SI products (in this case in a finished PC from e.g. Dell, who also like to use MSI motherboards). You can also see on the PCIe slot the irreversible damage to the data lines of the lanes at the end of the slot. Since also here the lacquer finish of the circuit board looks very attacked, already this would be a complete total loss, since it happened in a very sensitive area (data transmission to the motherboard) and also long-term damages are not to be excluded.

What should you do if you suffer water damage yourself?

Rule number one also applies here: switch off the power immediately (socket!) and don’t panic afterwards!

  • Stopping further build-up and protecting the power supply from water ingress are the top priorities. For safety’s sake, disconnect the pump, as the power supply unit may still be supplying power.
  • Rough removal of the liquid from the surfaces with suitable materials (rags kitchen paper). The rule is: never wipe or smear, only dab!
  • Removal of all affected components and rough drying from the outside.
  • For affected graphics cards, the cooler MUST be carefully removed.
  • Liquid residues can be dabbed off carefully, depending on the liquid, never wipe! Cotton swabs are also great for in-between spaces.
  • For spills of clean, distilled water, a simple natural drying is actually usually enough.
  • All coloured or pastel liquids, on the other hand, must be removed BEFORE they dry out, leaving as little residue as possible.
  • Cleaning must NEVER be done with tap water! At most with isopropanol (no methylated spirits!), a clean and very soft (cosmetic) brush and swabs.
  • Before final drying, a very precise surface inspection must be carried out and any residues must be reworked.
  • Drying should be done slowly, so never blow dry or put in an oven that is too hot! If baking oven, then maximum 50 to 70 °C and circulating air. Nevertheless, still store warm and dry overnight.

Summary and conclusion

Second-hand goods in the marketplaces of social networks can by chance and with a little luck be a bargain, no question. But even with higher-priced, serious-looking offers, the devil can be in the details, as is the case here. Because there a bloody layman has aggravated his damage by improper cleaning attempts and afterwards sold the whole thing as functional with full knowledge of the circumstances. In addition to that, they tried to sell a cheap OEM card as a branded product, whereas the OVP can’t match the packaged product that way either. This kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident, either, but with the fullest intent.

I am not a judge or investigator and therefore will not pass judgment on the seller, because I cannot and am not allowed to. But the whole circumstances point quite clearly to the fact that it did not go here with right things and I can only hope that PayPal recognizes the appraisal provided by me separately contentwise also fully in the sense of the bounced buyer and activates the buyer protection. The rest is up to each person to figure out for themselves and their conscience. If he even has one left. Update to follow.

Lade neue Kommentare



159 Kommentare 137 Likes

Der Käufer kann einem nur Leid tun....
Alles was bei einem Gebrauchtkauf schiefgehen kann,ging schief.

Murphy at its best!

Einzig positiver Punkt:
Die Sachlage ist klar wie „detailliertes“Wasser.
Er hat wohl eine gute Chance vollumfänglich sein Geld rückerstattet zu bekommen.
Dank Deinem Artikel und der doch klaren Sachlage.
Hoffentlich kann er diese Geschichte ohne Anwalt und jahrelangem Rechtsstreit
rückgängig machen....

Über die Einschätzung dieses Verkäufers sind wir uns wohl alle einig.
Diese überlasse ich im Sinne des netten Umgangstones in Deinem Forum
ohne weitere Worte der individuellen Phantasie der lesenden Mitglieder.....

Antwort 7 Likes



125 Kommentare 92 Likes

Graka Gebrauchtmarkt wirst aktuell nur über den Tisch gezogen. Überall holen sie den alten Schrott vor, in der Hoffnung nen blöden zu finden.

Nicht so hier. Schön das Igor sich die Zeit nimmt, hier ganz klar zustellen was an den Karten kaputt ist.
Dem Käufer kann ich nur wünschen so schnell wie möglich sein Geld zurück bekommt.

Antwort 2 Likes



10 Kommentare 7 Likes

Es kann leider auch genau anders herum gehen.

Eine etwas ältere CPU über eBay-Kleinanzeigen verkauft, eine CPU mit vielen kleinen Beinchen.
Diese vorher getestet und vorsichtig und ordnungsgemäß in die originale Verpackung gepackt, ja ich hebe die immer auf.
Und der Käufer behauptete dann, dass die Beinchen zum Teil krumm und ab waren und er so die CPU nicht einbauen konnte. Fazit, CPU defekt.
Gut das in diesem Fall mein bester Freund anwesend war, als ich die CPU vorher getestet und verpackt habe.
Da das Ganze auch noch vom Käufer selbst abgeholt wurde, konnte ein Transportschaden durch DHL auch ausgeschlossen werden.
Das Schreiben von einem Anwalt kam dann recht schnell, also schnell den Rechtsschutz angerufen und den ganzen Verlauf des Verkaufes angegeben, inklusive Zeugenkontakt.
Nachdem dann der Käufer keinen Zeugen vorweisen konnte, ist das Ganze eingeschlafen...

Aber da hat jemand eben sein Unvermögen beim Einbau auf den Verkäufer schieben wollen, ggf. ist ihm die CPU auch herunter gefallen, ich weiß es nicht.

Seitdem dränge ich den Käufer aber immer dazu die Ware komplett, noch vor Ort, in Augenschein zu nehmen, wenn die Ware denn dann persönlich abgeholt wird.

Antwort 3 Likes

Klicke zum Ausklappem


170 Kommentare 88 Likes


ich habe hier fast Tag Täglich mit verschmutzten Leiterplatten zu tun. Ein Tipp, nie Wasser zum reinigen von Leiterplatten nehmen auch nicht Destiliertes Wasser. Wasser in irgendeiner Form hinterlässt immer Spuren und Wasser zieht unter die Bauteile und braucht Tage bis das abtrocknet. Das beste zum reinigen von bestückten Leiterplatten ist Isopropanol. Nicht einwirken lassen einfach Fett, Schmutz usw. abspülen und trocknen lassen. Der Alkohol verdunstet mit der Zeit und die Leiterplatte trocknet wie von alleine. Die Reinigung führe ich immer mit einem weichen Pinsel aus und ich habe in den fast 30 Jahren eigentlich nie eine Leiterplatte durch reinigen Kaputt bekommen.

Antwort 5 Likes

Igor Wallossek


5,447 Kommentare 8,420 Likes

Genau das steht auch im Artikel. Ich mache das seit den 1980ern so. Wasser ist Gift :)

Antwort 2 Likes



395 Kommentare 165 Likes

Immer Abholung und Barzahlung bei vermeintlichen Schnäppchen. ☝️

Wenn das Schnäppchen zu weit weg ist für Abholung oder der Verkäufer gerade üüüüberhaupt keine Zeit hat… Pech gehabt und weitersuchen.

Antwort 1 Like



5,986 Kommentare 1,336 Likes

@ipat66: its, nicht it's, aber das nur am Rande.
Zweitens (und auch auf die Gefahr hin, dass das nicht sehr pastoral ist): das wenige, was da von der erfolgten Kommunikation preisgegeben wurde, hätte mich sofort denken lassen, dass da wer (oder was) nicht ganz dicht ist.
Drittens (s. vorherige Klammer): wer geht mit so einer offensichtlichen Knalltüte denn dann noch ein Geschäft ein?

Antwort Gefällt mir



2 Kommentare 0 Likes

Zuerst hatte ich mich erschrocken, da ich kürzlich selbst eine wassergekühlte GPU verkauft habe. Aber nach Artikelsichtung war dann klar, das es nicht um meine alte Vega ging. :D

Paypal Friends ist auch immer problematisch, denn so spart man Gebühren, hat aber generell keinen Anspruch auf Käuferschutz. Da muss man auf die Gunst von Paypal hoffen. Drücke dem Käufer die Daumen, dass die Kohle zu ihm zurück findet, unter Umständen aber mit einer Gebühr die Paypal sich einsackt.

Antwort Gefällt mir

Igor Wallossek


5,447 Kommentare 8,420 Likes

Wenn das Haben-Wollen das logische Denken blockiert, ist alles plausibel :D

Antwort 4 Likes

Martin Gut


3,103 Kommentare 1,032 Likes

Es ist meist nicht nötig zu beurteilen ob jemand eine Knalltüte ist oder nicht. Aber ich habe mir auch angewöhnt, solche Angebote genau anzuschauen. Wenn jemand seine Waren nicht exakt beschreiben und fotografieren kann (oder will), dann muss man die Finger davon lassen. Da bringt es nichts lange nachzufragen, wenn doch nur unklare Antworten kommen.

Antwort 1 Like

Danke für die Spende

Du fandest, der Beitrag war interessant und möchtest uns unterstützen? Klasse!

Hier erfährst Du, wie: Hier spenden.

Hier kannst Du per PayPal spenden.

About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

Follow Igor:
YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter