VOGONS


First post, by Namrok

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So I'm playing Doom 3 last night on an Athlon 64/Geforce 6800 GT rig I built in Dec. I've made it all the way up to Delta Labs 3, and extremely suddenly while I'm listening to a PDA log, the display corrupts with a patterned distortion, and then the computer hard locks. I restart, and things look like this.

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It's the first moderately warm evening we've had around here, and it was pretty stuffy in my office. I'm assuming this is heat related. And yet when I am able to boot into windows, the temperature monitor on the graphics card doesn't look out of place at all. About 40 degrees C. To be on the safe side I redid the thermal compound on the actual geforce chip. I didn't have spare thermal pads for the ram chips, so I left those as is. It seems to help some, but the distortion is still there when I restart and rapidly escalates. This morning WinXP couldn't boot at all.

I'm assuming whatever damage done is done at this point, and I should be in the market for a replacement. I'm unclear if anything overheated in the strictest sense, or if the substandard solder I'd read about finally gave up the ghost under even moderate stress. I'm going to borrow a Geforce 4 from my work's supply closet (I don't know why we have it either), just to make sure a different graphics card will work. I mean, I'm pretty sure, but you never know. Aside from that, any advice on a hail mary attempt at fixing this card?

Full Specs for those that believe them relevant:

ASUS K8V Deluxe
Athlon 64 3200+
1.5 GB DDR400
BFG Geforce 6800 GT OC
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Old IBM 120 GB rust platter
EVGA 80+ 500W PSU

Reply 3 of 6, by Blaster

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Namrok wrote on 2021-03-12, 19:47:

So I think, I'm going to try to reflow the solder with a heatgun this weekend as my last attempt to get this card back. Mostly the VRAM area. Sounds about my skill level I'm sad to say.

Fingers crossed.

Don't reflow anything with the paint strippers. Get your self a proper hot air station. "Reflowing" solder balls is most likely not the cause and will not solve the issue. Burning your card with heat gun is a horrible idea. You can get RAM IC's from aliexpress or ebay in bulk. Look at the data sheet for info.

Reply 5 of 6, by Namrok

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Blaster wrote on 2021-03-12, 21:37:
Namrok wrote on 2021-03-12, 19:47:

So I think, I'm going to try to reflow the solder with a heatgun this weekend as my last attempt to get this card back. Mostly the VRAM area. Sounds about my skill level I'm sad to say.

Fingers crossed.

Don't reflow anything with the paint strippers. Get your self a proper hot air station. "Reflowing" solder balls is most likely not the cause and will not solve the issue. Burning your card with heat gun is a horrible idea. You can get RAM IC's from aliexpress or ebay in bulk. Look at the data sheet for info.

Alas, my options are not do it the right way, do it the wrong way, or throw it out and buy a new one. Given the limitations of my budget and expertise, I can give the wrong way a go, or just give up and buy a new one.

I can totally respect it's not the right way to do it.

That said, I did it the wrong way and it appears to have breathed life back into the card. At least for now. Wrapped up another Doom 3 session glitch free. At first I had no signal, and was ready to consign myself to ignominy for ignoring your advice. Then I realized I just forgot to plug the VGA cable back in, and everything appears 100% after that.

So I guess this counts as a success story... for now?

Reply 6 of 6, by Blaster

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Namrok wrote on 2021-03-13, 23:37:
Alas, my options are not do it the right way, do it the wrong way, or throw it out and buy a new one. Given the limitations of […]
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Blaster wrote on 2021-03-12, 21:37:
Namrok wrote on 2021-03-12, 19:47:

So I think, I'm going to try to reflow the solder with a heatgun this weekend as my last attempt to get this card back. Mostly the VRAM area. Sounds about my skill level I'm sad to say.

Fingers crossed.

Don't reflow anything with the paint strippers. Get your self a proper hot air station. "Reflowing" solder balls is most likely not the cause and will not solve the issue. Burning your card with heat gun is a horrible idea. You can get RAM IC's from aliexpress or ebay in bulk. Look at the data sheet for info.

Alas, my options are not do it the right way, do it the wrong way, or throw it out and buy a new one. Given the limitations of my budget and expertise, I can give the wrong way a go, or just give up and buy a new one.

I can totally respect it's not the right way to do it.

That said, I did it the wrong way and it appears to have breathed life back into the card. At least for now. Wrapped up another Doom 3 session glitch free. At first I had no signal, and was ready to consign myself to ignominy for ignoring your advice. Then I realized I just forgot to plug the VGA cable back in, and everything appears 100% after that.

So I guess this counts as a success story... for now?

Glad it worked out for you.