VOGONS


Reply 20 of 37, by Tetrium

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I had a look, got my tube of MX-2 and I need to correct myself, MX-2 is indeed not white, but grayish white. I probably mixed up with another (cheaper) TIM I used a lot from before I got the big MX-2 tube.
When looking at the pics, it may very well be MX-2 but it's still hard to tell just from the pics (except in the pics it doesn't seem white so this rules out at least some of the TIMs).

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Reply 21 of 37, by Jade Falcon

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At this point I don't think it really maters what kind if TIM it is. The card is having problems and there is TIM on the board, it needs cleaned up and retested regardless.
It that does not fix it its likely cracked solder, missing part, bad a cap or a bad VRAM chip.

Reply 22 of 37, by TheAbandonwareGuy

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I'm not opposed to flashing the card but where on Earth would I get a 64MB bios for a FX5900 Ultra? I'm pretty sure these cards came exclusively in 128MB and 256MB. It's a dead even 50-50 shot anyways if it's a single memory chip.

Actually, now that I've blasted my mouth off I don't know off the top of my head if it's 128MB or 256MB. Either way I plan to order some arcticlean soon or get some running alcohol. I don't want to wash it anymore (I rusted the edges of the VGA and DVI ports as it is)

As for a better description, think of silver glitter mixed with a mild adhesive that hasn't fully matured.

EDIT: MX2 came out in 2007, so definitely the right time frame for a novice trying to extend the life of an aging video card. It also has a rating of 9% so let that speak to the quality of what I'm dealing with here.

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Reply 23 of 37, by Jade Falcon

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You'd have to make the bios with the nvidi bios editor or some other editor.

Also wet naps work real well for cleaning cards. The kind that are alcohol based and come in the little packets
If cleaning doesn't work try posting some real good photos of the front and back of the card, I fixed up a lot of FX cards and may spot something. But most of the time the bga for the ram is bad with a problem like this that or the it self is bad. I recall there being a version of memtest for video cards, might want to look into that.

Reply 24 of 37, by BananaBonez

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TheAbandonwareGuy wrote:
I'm not opposed to flashing the card but where on Earth would I get a 64MB bios for a FX5900 Ultra? I'm pretty sure these cards […]
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I'm not opposed to flashing the card but where on Earth would I get a 64MB bios for a FX5900 Ultra? I'm pretty sure these cards came exclusively in 128MB and 256MB. It's a dead even 50-50 shot anyways if it's a single memory chip.

Actually, now that I've blasted my mouth off I don't know off the top of my head if it's 128MB or 256MB. Either way I plan to order some arcticlean soon or get some running alcohol. I don't want to wash it anymore (I rusted the edges of the VGA and DVI ports as it is)

As for a better description, think of silver glitter mixed with a mild adhesive that hasn't fully matured.

EDIT: MX2 came out in 2007, so definitely the right time frame for a novice trying to extend the life of an aging video card. It also has a rating of 9% so let that speak to the quality of what I'm dealing with here.

You would be wasting your money buying arcticClean. Denatured alcohol works just as well and if you want to go a step further use acetone but be careful with acetone because it could react with some epoxies and chip substrate conformal coatings.

Reply 25 of 37, by Kodai

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There is nothing wrong with 91% or better IPA for cleaning. However almost all commercially sold IPA is made from crude oil based distillate and will leave a thin layer of impurities that can effect/destroy grease type TIM's. This is rare and not really a concern with modern and easily replaced gear. However when it comes to vintage gear, I recommend a final cleaning with distilled water on something like a kemwipe or coffee filter. ArctiClean is fantastic stuff for cleaning and prepping really high temp chips (is P4 and higher or GPU's like yours), and you won't regret it. However it can be overkill if you aren't investing in extreme cooling solution's or removing wax/gum based TIM's.

The handi wipes mentioned above are good options as well, but you need to get the right ones. Some have a mild soap in them and that will leave behind a lot of contaminants. You want the water and alcohol only based wipes. I still would recommend a second wipe with distilled water after.

Reply 26 of 37, by dexvx

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Kodai: do you have any specific product recommendations? I've been cleaning with alcohol wipes this whole time.

Also this goes in the general vein of the conversation, but I have several other video cards that will artifact when in 3D mode (but works fine in 2D mode). One is an MSI ATI X1900XTX. I've tried reseating (and cleaning) the heatsink and used Arctic MX-4, but didn't seem to have any affect. I'm guessing some things just die out with age.

Reply 27 of 37, by BananaBonez

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Kodai wrote:

There is nothing wrong with 91% or better IPA for cleaning. However almost all commercially sold IPA is made from crude oil based distillate and will leave a thin layer of impurities that can effect/destroy grease type TIM's. This is rare and not really a concern with modern and easily replaced gear. However when it comes to vintage gear, I recommend a final cleaning with distilled water on something like a kemwipe or coffee filter. ArctiClean is fantastic stuff for cleaning and prepping really high temp chips (is P4 and higher or GPU's like yours), and you won't regret it. However it can be overkill if you aren't investing in extreme cooling solution's or removing wax/gum based TIM's.

The handi wipes mentioned above are good options as well, but you need to get the right ones. Some have a mild soap in them and that will leave behind a lot of contaminants. You want the water and alcohol only based wipes. I still would recommend a second wipe with distilled water after.

You are spreading mis-information here. Isopropyl Alcohol otherwise known as IPA is graded by the percent of alcohol in solution with purified water. For instance 70 percent IPA means 70 percent alcohol and 30 percent water by volume. 90 percent IPA is about the strongest that you will find in most drug stores at least here in the US. Also most IPA has a oil base added usually glycerin that helps to absorb in the upper skin layer.

Denatured Alcohol otherwise known as lamp fuel is as pure as a cleaning solvent that yo can get as far as the uses that we have in our hobby. It has very little water content in it maybe less than 1 percent or so. Exposure to air and storage contributes to most of the water being absorbed. If you want to clean to absolute then use Everclear and you can drink that if so desired.

Reply 28 of 37, by shamino

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I don't think flashing the card to use less RAM is going to help. Unless these things have the memory bus split up in some unusual way, then I don't think reducing the RAM size is going to disable a chip, it's just going to reduce what depth of each chip is being accessed. It will still be using all the chips in parallel. In effect you'd be no longer using the upper address pin.

I'm not sure, but I think each character of the typical system font is 8 pixels wide. If so then it looks like there's a consistent glitch every 64 pixels. I think most boot screens run in a 16-color mode (4bpp - some have color logos), which would mean the glitch appears every 256 bits, which matches the memory bus width of that card. ... Maybe that's a lot of speculation, but it looks like a plausible pattern for 1 consistently bad data bit coming from one of the chips. It might be the solder joint rather than the chip itself.

That fault is probably not isolated to just the upper (or lower) half of the chip, so programming it to use less RAM probably won't help, but it wouldn't hurt to try regardless.

Reply 29 of 37, by TheAbandonwareGuy

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shamino wrote:

I don't think flashing the card to use less RAM is going to help. Unless these things have the memory bus split up in some unusual way, then I don't think reducing the RAM size is going to disable a chip, it's just going to reduce what depth of each chip is being accessed. It will still be using all the chips in parallel. In effect you'd be no longer using the upper address pin.

I'm not sure, but I think each character of the typical system font is 8 pixels wide. If so then it looks like there's a consistent glitch every 64 pixels. I think most boot screens run in a 16-color mode (4bpp - some have color logos), which would mean the glitch appears every 256 bits, which matches the memory bus width of that card. ... Maybe that's a lot of speculation, but it looks like a plausible pattern for 1 consistently bad data bit coming from one of the chips. It might be the solder joint rather than the chip itself.

That fault is probably not isolated to just the upper (or lower) half of the chip, so programming it to use less RAM probably won't help, but it wouldn't hurt to try regardless.

That's just the initial boot screen. As soon as it hits the XP loading screen everything goes straight to hell. I didn't even attempt to make it into windows.

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Reply 30 of 37, by The Serpent Rider

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As soon as it hits the XP loading screen everything goes straight to hell.

Looks like GPU issue to me.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 31 of 37, by TheAbandonwareGuy

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The Serpent Rider wrote:

As soon as it hits the XP loading screen everything goes straight to hell.

Looks like GPU issue to me.

Was BGA failure an issue with FX5900 cards?

Maybe I should bake it?

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Reply 33 of 37, by jmrydholm

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I have a similar FX5900 card in my old AMD Barton tower- currently running Lubuntu on it. I can't remember ever having artifacts on the thing, but the fan did die pretty early on in its lifetime. The OS would shut down when I had XP installed because the temps would nearly fry the card. I used to open the window in the middle of winter, yank the panel off the side, and stick my desktop facing outdoors to expose the card to cold air while I was waiting for the replacement fan to arrive in the mail. (In hindsight, this was an idiot idea due to possible moisture damage, but nothing broke. I was a dumb 20-something back then that worked for 12 hours+ at night.)

I ended up sandwiching the thing into a Monster-brand heatsink and fans combo, with dual heat pipes and a *crazy* loud turbo fan on the side of the card. I can't remember if it was BFGTech or not, but I used to buy their cards all of the time until they went bankrupt. The Monster fan alone is ridiculously loud, and the variable speed control on the back never worked right. When you push the "turbo" fan's button, it literally sounds like a tiny jet engine spinning up, or a small vacuum cleaner. It still runs to this day. I miss BFG products. My very last card of theirs was a 7800 AGP card that fried itself, some RAM, a hard drive, a PSU, and another motherboard. That was the death knell of my Graphite box. Fortunately, I had yanked my Voodoo 5 out of there prior to testing and ended up having to sell it.

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Reply 34 of 37, by Jade Falcon

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TheAbandonwareGuy wrote:
The Serpent Rider wrote:

As soon as it hits the XP loading screen everything goes straight to hell.

Looks like GPU issue to me.

Was BGA failure an issue with FX5900 cards?

Maybe I should bake it?

A bake will likely not fix a bad bga. I have covered cards in aluminum foil and used a heat gun on cores to fix BGAs.
Unless the card used Tin solder a bake will likely not fix it.

If you don't have a heat gun you can run the card without the heat sink for 30 seconds to a minute. Or at least that's what people did with 8800gtx and similar cards to fix BGA failures. Try both at your own risk

Reply 35 of 37, by swaaye

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I've fixed a couple of cards very temporarily with baking. 8800GT and a notebook GF Go 7900 board. They only lasted a month or so.

Electrolytic caps usually go pop though on older / cheaper cards.

Reply 36 of 37, by TheAbandonwareGuy

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swaaye wrote:

I've fixed a couple of cards very temporarily with baking. 8800GT and a notebook GF Go 7900 board. They only lasted a month or so.

Electrolytic caps usually go pop though on older / cheaper cards.

Alright, I think I'm going to shelf this card until I get around to getting a heat gun that way I can do it the semi correct way. It's pretty clear at this point I've exceeded the limits of the equipment at my disposal.

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