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Someone who can inspect/reflow a GPU

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by sammy_b0i, May 3, 2020.

  1. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Looking for someone with the proper equipment and experience to reflow a GPU.

    I've got a card that sometimes won't post. I don't know it's history, but I'm assuming ex-mining. When it does post, it'll loop benches for 12 hrs without a problem. Other times it won't post at all (booting with onboard, doesn't show up in device manager at all).

    Thorough cleaning with isopropyl, new paste and pads and a BIOS flash didn't remedy it, so assuming it's hardware related.

    Hopefully someone who has the knowledge and tools to look the board over, test individual components, and reflow the board safely (versus the oven trick).

    Anyone on here? Or anyone know someone?
     
  2. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Only person I know macsbeach
     
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  3. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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  4. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    I could do the hot air reflow, but I'm up here in BananaLand...
     
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  5. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Are you the type (I'm not!) to know about all the components and to be able to test to see if anything has failed across the board? I'm hopeful that a reflow will fix whatever the issue is, but if there's a couple of little SMDs or something that have failed, do you have the skills/time/etc to test/replace?
     
  6. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Been doing SMT since it first came out here in Oz, but pretty well retired. Still occasionally fix TVs and a few other things (mainly out of boredom...) so the rework/reflow part of your equation is fine.

    Been out of the business for the past 6 years or so now, haven't got the gear to test individual stuff nor on-hand access to the standard bits any more. So for me it'll be a "Point Heatgun, Suck It And See Afterwards",
    thence a "Take Guess, Shotgun Part" job, with the associated hassles of that concept thence acquiring the right bits in a same timescale.

    From your symptoms though, if there's nothing visually obvious it sounds more like either bad solder joints "somewhere", or a cracked/broken track or via.

    If it's track related then that'd take some time with a suitable scope, but if it's not on top in plain sight then that'll be Mission Impossible if it's under a component or an internal one.

    Just how fond of this card are you?
     
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  7. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Quite - It was a reasonably inexpensively obtained GTX 1080Ti - so the time/cost to have a suitable person look at it should still make it worth doing. If you've got the equipment, and the interest/time I'd be happy to post it up your way and compensate you accordingly :thumbup:

    If it's a mission impossible, it's probably not worth doing, but if it's inexpensive relative to the replacement cost, then definitely worth a look. The card was pretty messy, and still is. Some discolouration and a bit of corrosion-ish stuff here or there. Few scratches, etc. I touched up a pad with some solder that looked mostly scratched off, but I'm not an expert, or even an amateur, so who knows.
     
  8. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Mmmmm - "messy", "some discolouration" and "corrosion"... :Paranoid::(

    The fact that it still occasionally fires up and runs fine is encouraging, but with the distances involved reckon I'd want to see a few (lots!) of high-rez close-up piccies plz. Can PM you an email addy if that helps...

    Ah, f**k it - if you can't find anyone closer we just might have a play with it... but piccies first.

    Wouldn't hurt to chuck a few choice ones up here for general discussion as well.
     
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  9. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Sure. Will get some tomorrow. :thumbup:
     
  10. GrandmasBoi

    GrandmasBoi Member

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    Don't people give it a ultrasonic clean especially if u got some corrosion visually as a cheap and quick first point of diagnosis? If you can find a cheap ultrasonic cleaner that size nowdays
     
  11. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Maybe corrosion isn't the right word. Not like water damage. Just... yeah. I'll get pictures, easier that way.
     
  12. BurritoMeow

    BurritoMeow Member

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    What card is it :^)
     
  13. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Gigabyte 1080Ti Gaming OC. Triple fan windforce thing. I think they were the cheapest 1080Ti for a while there, so were quite popular on the mining scene.
     
  14. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Well, Yes and No for diagnosis purposes.

    A good clean on a board make it nicer to work on, but has a few main Pros 'n Cons:

    - removes the first areas of suspicion for the (remote) Repair Grunt. Think of this like washing your car motor down before taking it to the mechanic so he can fix the slow oil leak... :rolleyes:

    - if the corrosion was the only thing causing the problem (ie generating shorts between signal lines for example) then fine. Moisture doing this is a common hiccup in TV remote controls by the way...

    - if the problem is an intermittent solder connection under a BGA chip it can make it a permanent open circuit. Helpful if you've got the circuit diagram and are being paid by the hour, but...

    - or worse yet, the bath ultrasonically welds a cracked joint back together juuuuust enough to fool everyone that the problem is fixed. Until 1705 hours Friday afternoon night before a big gaming weekend...

    - if the problem is a cracked/intermittent SMT component or tracking then ditto.

    - I've also seen where a good cleaning ends up with that part in the bottom of the tank, or the corrosion was bad enough that it was the only thing holding the part on the board. Cleaning it off simply left two pads sitting there... helpful in pointing towards the problem, not very helpful working out want type of component was fitted.


    sammy - might also be an idea to ask the Mods 'n Gods to swap this thread over to Electronics 'n Electrics mebbe.
     
  15. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Luckily, I can move it there myself with trading mod powers, but can't do anything with it now that it's here.

    I've got some photos to upload.. they're not macro range, but hopefully good enough to see at least. I thought my camera was better honestly. It just doesn't have the focus depth.
     
  16. OP
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    sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Alright, here an album link.

    https://imgur.com/a/gJkT3P7

    Sorry the photos aren't macro'd as much as you'd probably like, but hopefully something stands out a little? Without borrowing someone else's high-end phone, or getting a better standalone camera, unsure if I can get any closer and still be in focus.

    In the last photo, just above C714 is scratched off, and to the left was the pad that seemed to mostly be missing that dropped some solder onto to try and ensure there was whatever contact was needed still there. Otherwise... it just seems grimy and pretty unappealing.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
  17. cbjaust

    cbjaust Member

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  18. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    Rightio then - piccies very helpful.

    Nothing (much) leaps out waving it's arms, overall it's in Not-Too-Bad a condition. Albeit with a Disclaimer...

    Crap in the three 4-pin sockets on bottom corner lean towards a dirty environment (durr...). That crud wouldn't be causing your intermittents, but shows whoever either had that board operating in a grubby environment or stored it in one.

    If it was operating in grubby conditions that sorta supports the next bit of Bad News, ie the Disclaimer.

    Straight up, the square cluster of parts on the back of the board that are surrounded by brown rather than shiny solder indicates that card's had a very hard life - unless that's just dirt/grime that easily scrubs off with Isopro or metho (curiously odd that it's clustered just there if it does though...), the brown points towards the GPU that does all the hard finger-counting was driven hard/hot enough to cook stuff on the back of the board.

    I'd hazard the grubbiness hints towards the fans etc could have been clogged up with crud, affecting cooling.

    So my evil little clockwork mind has first suspicions that you've got either a dicky joint under that chip itself, possibly internal track damage under that chip and/or possibly a chip that's literally teetering on the razor edge of fail.

    And it's a Lead Free board (I 'ken hate lead free boards...), so to hot-air reflow that GPU I have to be pouring something close to 300 C onto it (one of the many reasons I hate lead free...), and that runs a risk it'll push it over the edge to total cardiac infarction.

    It's quite possible one of those tantalum caps under the GPU is now dicky as well, they look to be all a common value to shotgun on principle and apart from the SMT glue they used they'll come off with a pair of normal Hot Sticks.

    But the temps needed to reflow the GPU make me nervous that this enquine will not respond well to the whipping.
     
  19. merlin13

    merlin13 Member

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    And speaking of C714 - won't hurt to grab a toothbrush and some metho, scrub off all the crap around that area and from between the three little parallel resistor bits directly below C2046 and give it another power-up.

    Unlikely that'll help but worth a shot...

    More than likely flexing/bending the board as you fit it will make any intermittents make contact but can't hurt to try.
     
  20. GrandmasBoi

    GrandmasBoi Member

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    Reflowing lead free solder is a temp fix good for diagnosis, you would really want to reball the chip with leaded solder and hope not to pull pads or like you say kill anything else with that sort of heat
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020

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