Reply 20 of 46, by bloodem
stealthjoe wrote on 2023-02-15, 04:49:
After switching on the board, a few minutes later noted that the area at the backside of the main IC was quite hot (not sure of the temp but could be around 60-65 deg C) and the heatsink was cold.
It's pretty normal for the backside of a Voodoo 3 to feel very hot to the touch (55 - 60 degrees C would be typical, even with more advanced cooling). At this temperature, you can't keep your finger on the PCB for more than just a few seconds. If the temperature hits 75+ degrees, it could end up being a problem in the long run, but not necessarily.
The problem is the chip itself and its subpar plasticky packaging, so most of the heat remains trapped inside. Had it been a FC-PGA (or FC-BGA, more accurately), the Avenger would've been much easier to cool.
It's worth noting, though, that silicon can withstand and run just fine at temperatures that are 'too hot' for us humans. Just think about it: many of these cards worked for years in ancient cases without any airflow whatsoever and, even worse, the cards themselves being passively cooled. In such conditions the back of the PCB could easily hit 90+ C. 😀
Of course, lower temps never hurt, which is why I also strive to achieve them whenever possible (even with modern parts). All in all, just keep in mind that "quite hot" is not indicative of a problem, you'd need an IR gun to properly see what the actual temperature is.
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