Getting Lucky With An AMD GCN Graphics Card For Just $15 USD
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 13 December 2016 at 02:04 PM EST. 22 Comments
A Phoronix reader pointed out an AMD AIB partner selling "mystery box" refurbished graphics cards from $5 to $15 USD, so I decided to give it a go and see what cards I would receive.

I was sent a link this weekend to this Reddit thread about VisionTek selling mystery box GPUs. These are graphics cards refurbished by the company with $5 for your choice of a refurbished PCI or PCI-E mystery GPU, $10 for a "better" mystery GPU, or $15 for a PCI-E "premium" mystery GPU. For those with AGP systems still, they even have an AGP mystery box for $5 too.

The $10 offering says you will get a GPU either 256MB or 512MB but with no other real details. The $15 package promises to deliver a graphics card between the Radeon HD 5000 and 7000 series.

Given the low prices and the company charging just a few dollars to ship to US and Canada, I decided to give it a go with the $10 and $15 mystery packages but skipped over the low-end $5 option. While I have tons of graphics cards at Phoronix, I decided to give it a go to see if I was lucky to get one of the AMD GCN GPUs currently not in my possession to make for more interesting testing, especially with having AMDGPU GCN 1.0 experimental support in Linux 4.9 and AMDGPU-PRO 16.50 also having the experimental GCN 1.0 support.

This morning I received the box from VisionTek... For $15 I ended up getting a refurbished VisionTek Radeon HD 7750 1GB card. Not bad! And fortunately it's one of the GCN models I don't have. The HD 7750 is the Cape Verde PRO GPU and now an extra card to use when I am running GCN 1.0 AMDGPU / AMDGPU-PRO benchmarks.

The $10 model was less thrilling... A Radeon HD 4890. I already have a HD 4890 along with every other Radeon HD 4000 series card, so this wasn't anything fun, as well as given the age and having no CrossFire support or the like via the Radeon Linux driver stack so just a redundant card now in the collection.

Overall though, at least the $15 mystery box option isn't too bad. A HD 7750 for $15 isn't a bad deal, but again, depending upon your luck you can get any model from the HD 5000 to HD 7000 series. Those wanting to gamble $15 or less for a new graphics card, particularly if you are running an older system with a rather antiquated GPU, the deal is still ongoing at
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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