A couple of years ago while my then video card, an nVidia Geforce 8800GTS, was semi top end, it went phut :(


As of course things do, it was just out of guarantee.  I was about to put it in the bin, but set it on the side instead, as you do.  A Google about some other electronics and the very subject - reflowing your 8800 popped up - seemed they had a problem.  The 8800 series used the largest video chip in the world and were reckoned to be a pig to assemble.

Seems they were prone to manufacturing solder defects where they just scrape a pass on test, or subsequently have early failure of the SMC components; in particular the GCPU.


Solution = reflow at home.  Nothing is lost on a dead card where the company refuses to acknowledge their own guarantee!



CAUTION:  Very carefully ensure your wife is out shopping, or something, before applying this procedure: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!


1) Strip off all removable stuff, backplane, heatsink with fan, plastic fan duct etc.  Clean off old heatsink compound and dust etc.  Place component side down on a shallow baking tray.  Use balls of screwed up alloy foil as stand-offs:

2) Pre-heat oven to 200C.  Place loaded tray in the oven:

3) Heat soak for 10 mins to allow the solder reflow to take place, then switch off and open the door.  Do not disturb until cooler than the solder setting temp!  There may be wife offending high temperature electronic smells - individual mileage may vary....

Reassemble, refit and try your luck with crossed fingers.  Mine worked perfectly and I saved, temporarily, until the release of the next generation nVidia cards, £280 odd on a suitable replacement.  High end cards are not cheap!

I have read that enough peeps have had enough success to make a difference to the price of dead nVidia 8800 cards on ebay!

John

OAJ


Thanks to GW0OAJ for this article

A “Dead” Video Card?

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