Took a while before I had a chance to ship it out. Got another card back in the mail in less than 2 weeks.
HSF assembly is definitely new, no dust anywhere, clean fans, and smells new.
PCB probably used, since no protector caps anywhere (my last RMA had them).
Visibly used screws for mounting the HSF, with a broken sticker, and a small scratch on the backplate.
Ran it through a bunch of loops of Unigine Valley on maximum settings and no artifacts at all like my last cards.
I've had great luck with ASUS motherboard RMAs in the past where they send me BNIB ones. Will probably avoid ASUS GPUs going forward, especially if MSI has a local RMA depot and only requires the serial number.
Keep in mind there's always the risk MSI will try to give you "fair market value" for your card if they don't have something in stock.. there's no guarantee it will be a painless experience with them either.
Hardware Canucks is focused in-depth reviews of the the latest graphics cards, CPUs, storage, smartphones, notebooks and gaming peripherals. Join us as we unbox, review and benchmark the best computer hardware on the market.