Don’t Be Scammed By These Fake Graphics Card Sold Online
It’s mid-morning. You are about to open your internet cafe. You mused at how your pre-teen patrons were hollering last night that your computers were ancient and Jurassic whenever they lose a DOTA Clash or suffer the very 1st death at FortNite.
They claimed that the lagging graphics cost them the game.
Although you know that it’s their below-average skills that are at fault. You can’t put out the disclaimer since it’s also true that your computer units are ‘long in the tooth” and way past their prime. If only you can upgrade your units.
It’s this gaddam cryto mining madness that’s making it hard to upgrade. Graphics card prices are insanely high. Double or triple the selling price just a year ago.
You mindlessly scroll through the internet. You click on your favorite websites — one of which is diyinternetcafe.com, of course. You clicked an online shopping site to check for new Funko Pops or whatever your fancy is.
The Mother of All Bargains
Then it hits you like a bag of cement. The Mother of all Bargains!
WOW! A GTX 1050 for less than 50% the store value!! I gotta get this before everyone finds out! Hollee sheet, there are only 10 units left?!
BUY! BUY! BUY!
That my friend is what we copywriters call a hook. A premium product with an attractive discount and perceived scarcity (only 10 units left!) blended into a perfect bait.
You are drawn in by the unbelievable bargain, the limited supply and the threat of being left out.
If the buyer had any restraints, he could have checked the reviews, the company website (if any) and did some basic snooping.
But even with ample red flags pointing to a not so good item, people ignore these warning signs for a chance to hit the jackpot. That’s when people get scammed. Not unlike being victimized by a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, the promise outweighs the risks.
Compare this to a legitimate Palit GTX 1050 2GB DDR5 being sold on another online site. Php 7,650 ($144) compared to Php 2,600 ($50), the biggest bargain ever or a bootleg waiting for a gullible buyer? Like my friend used to say — “ I smell fishy ! “.
What are Fake Graphics Cards
Remember the He-Man cartoon show? I guess some of you might. We’ll I hope majority…Oh, who am I kidding, here’s the Wikipedia link – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He-Man_and_the_Masters_of_the_Universe
Now, back to my He-Man story. One of my favorite characters in He-Man is Faker – the robotic evil double of He-Man. Not only does he have a crazy origin story and a bad ass look, but the Faker toy is one of the coolest in the He-Man line.
Now, however cool Faker is, he is NOT the real deal. Let than lesson sink in.
Fake graphics cards are lower model graphics cards that are disguised as higher model graphics cards and are sold at a higher price. This means that an old and more affordable graphics card — like a GeForce GTX 600 series graphics card can be sold as GTX 900 or 1000 series.
Scammers generally change the name of the graphics card by modifying the GPU BIOS so that the card is identified as higher-model one in the Windows or in system information tools. When you boot to Windows or check via DXDIAG, the modified name appears.
Like the He-Man Faker, these cards will look bad ass cool. Large heat sinks, large fans, rad appearance – like it fell of a Terminator.
Like Faker, this is to make up for the fact that it’s not the real thing.
How to Spot Fake Graphics Card Online
Most of the fake graphics cards are Chinese brands. I was also a victim of this when I bought 3 units of NVIDIA 9700s. I can’t install it properly using the official Nvidia drivers. For two weeks I grinded at it only to find that the fuk-cers were actually Radeon X1300s.
I feel it’s becoming a widespread problem because of how easy it is to sell online. .. And with the rise of cryto currency mining – there’s a large demand for graphic cards. In conjunction with a mega ultra-cheap price tag, many people get scammed into buying these fakes.
Here’s a recent Facebook post wherein the buyer got fake (he bought 2 units) NVIDIA GTX 1050ti’s. He had his suspicions but still pulled the trigger. Clockspeed was only 700Mhz , compared to about 1300Mhz for an actual GTX 1050ti.
Kudos to the buyer for posting this warning. I’m following his lead to spread the word on this practice.
Here are some tips to detect fake graphics card posted on ecommerce or online shopping sites.
1. Check GPU Specifications
Check the specifications of the listed graphics card and compare it with the specifications on the official website of GPU manufacturer – NVIDIA or AMD/RADEON. If the specifications of the graphics card for sale do not match with the ones listed on the GPU manufacturer website, then it’s safe to consider the item as a fake. Of course, these can be manipulated by posting fake or inaccurate specifications.
2. Check Graphics Card Photos
Check the pictures of the graphics card. Check for irregularities. Should the graphics card have a 6 pin power slot? Check the unit picture. Newer cards don’t have VGA ports, if the one posted still has a VGA port then this is a red flag. Look for general design sloppiness like too large portholes for HDMI.
3. Google the Brand, Visit the Website
If the website or brand is not posted, then this is a MAJOR red flag. Nothing screams FAKE like an unbranded graphics card. Send a message to the seller to check for the brand and website.
If the brand has its own website then check out their profile, address and the range of graphics cards they offer. If the website is in Chinese (most of the unbranded ones are), try to use Google to translate.
Another thing that you can do is to check whether the brand or manufacturer is listed as AIB or Add-in-board of NVIDIA or AMD/Radeon.
But, I Already Bought the Cheap Graphic Cards
You did not visit www.diyinternetcafe.com or it’s Facebook page https://web.facebook.com/diyinternetcafe/. You did not partake on the wisdom sharing and you bought that shiny new – but cheap – Chinese graphics card.
Follow the steps below to find out whether the graphics card is a Fake Graphics Card (A Faker) or not.
1. Check Specifications using System Info Tools
Check specifications of the graphics card using free tools like GPU-Z. Scammers can only change the identification of the graphic cards but they can’t change the physical specifications. They do this by changing the name of the graphics card (including GPU code name) in the GPU BIOS by reflashing it with a Fake BIOS info.
Match these specifications of your graphics card with that of the graphics card on the official website of the manufacturer. If the specifications like Shaders, CUDA Cores, memory type, GPU and memory clock found in the GPU-Z is different from the ones listed on the manufacturer website then you have a Faker.
2. In-Game Performance
Assuming the card works. Check the graphics card performance in games to see if it performs on the level of the advertised model. Run demanding and popular games like GTA 5, PUBG, Battlefield 1 and compare your FPS or Frames per Second results with that of benchmarks of similar graphics card online. You can use FRAPS to measure the in game FPS.
3. Get Physical With It
Check the GPU chip physically by removing the heatsink/HSF. Be careful not to damaged the unit or remove warranty stickers.
Be patient in removing the HSF, clean the thermal paste on the GPU chip and check the GPU code name on it. Google the GPU code, check if it matches then congratulations — you were NOT Scammed. But, if it does not match, then you have a Faker. For example, check below code name of the GPU is GM206, that corresponds to a GTX 950 or GTX 960 graphics card from NVIDIA.
I would just recommend buying branded cards and be done with it. But, if you really want to hunt for that homerun deal. PLEASE, follow the these tips. Use common sense. Ask around, message your buddies. Message me @diyinternetcafe and I’ll help you identify before you buy. Listen to what your parents tell you – “wag sayangin ang pera” ( Don’t waste money ).
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Facebook Page @diyinternetcafe for more tidbits of knowledge about Internet Cafes
You are still my favorite Faker, sorry for the bashing.