Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
RezidentSeagull

Today I Fixed a Dead Graphics Card for the First Time - An Amateur's Guide

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

I thought I'd share a short tale today about fixing a dead graphics card!

 

A few months ago, I bought a box of graphics card for the sole purpose of getting an EVGA GTX 295 for a display model (what can I say? It's a neat looking, beefy dual-GPU card and I thought it would be neat to display).

 

Turns out that all four of the cards included in the box were dead. While I didn't really need any of them to work, it was kind of a bummer that I wouldn't get a conveniently usable GPU out of the deal...

 

UNTIL TODAY!

 

Yesterday I took another look at one of the dead GPUs, an XFX 8600GT 256MB, and I noticed that the a number of capacitors had blown. With the hope that the capacitors were the only issue, I scheduled a trip to a local electronic component store, Lee's Electronics in Vancouver, purchased a number of replacement capacitors and attempted to replace the bad ol' capacitors with some brand spankin' new ones.

 

For the people who might be contemplating doing something like this, it's important to note two things about replacing capacitors, and the person replacing them:

 

1) Capacitors can be replaced with another capacitor as long as the capacitance (measured in micro-Farads or uF) is an identical amount, and the rated voltage of the new capacitor is equal to OR greater than the old capacitor. While people say you CAN use a higher capacitance in some cases, it depends on what the capacitor is being used for exactly, so for someone (like me) who is not sure, using an identical value is the safest option.

2) I am pretty amateur/bad at soldering, and even I managed to remove and replace the bad capacitors (though perhaps not... perfectly. More on that shortly.)

 

While I initially struggled to get the first capacitor out of the spot it was soldered into, I eventually managed to get a technique down of heating up the solder that was holding the capacitor legs in place while holding and gently rocking the capacitor back and forth until the legs slid out of the holes they were pushed into. The first try must have taken me a whole 5-10 minutes just to take out the capacitor, not to mention another 5 minutes of trying to seat a new one in place. Eventually though, I figured out a solid methodology:

 

1) Heat up the solder attached to the legs from the backside of the graphics card

2) Grab the capacitor on the front side of the card and rock it back and forth, pulling gently on it to pull the legs through the holes on the PCB.

3) After pulling out the old capacitor, take the replacement one and trim the legs down to a more manageable size (I trimmed them down from 3-ish centimetres to about 0.5 centimetres)

4) If there's leftover solder in the holes where the old capacitor legs used to be, heat the solder up and push the legs of the new capacitor through (making sure the positive and negative ends of the capacitor are in the right spots). You may need to rock the capacitor back and forth as you push the legs through, heating the solder to make sure it doesn't cause the legs to stick.

5) Once you push the capacitors all the way through, apply flux to the metal legs sticking through the PCB. I used a flux pen that I also bought at Lee's Electronics.

6) Finally, apply some solder the capacitor legs to secure them to the graphics card PCB.

Done!

 

I have a bit of a confession to make. I mentioned earlier that I didn't quite perfectly perform the capacitor replacement, and that's because I accidentally burnt the tip of my finger when I brushed it against my very-hot soldering iron. That, uh, sucked.

 

But! Did it work? Was there a point to spending $5 in capacitors, burning the tip of my finger and possibly inhaling some maybe-not-good-for-me-fumes because I'm not the smartest cookie in terms of workbench placement?

 

The answer is Yes! The once-dead 8600GT has risen once again to deliver pixels anew, booting into the BIOS and Windows without breaking a sweat!

 

So, that's it! Hope you enjoyed the brief story/guide of a dumb-ass electronics amateur fixing a graphics card with blown capacitors! Hopefully this is useful to others who might be thinking about trying this on one of their dead graphics cards, or at the very least they find it mildly amusing!

 

Spoiler

8600GT_Repair_720p_Scaled.jpg.f04d911b65dd7c17801af0816fb242e1.jpg


CodeMaster (Name Due for Update):

CPU: FX-8320 @ 4.6GHz | Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 | RAM: 24GBs Crucial DDR3-1600

GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 Windforce OC | Case: Fractal Design Define S | PSU: Corsair AX860i

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good for you man!


PC:

Spoiler

CPU: i5 6500 | GPU: EVGA GTX 660 SC | MoBo: ASUS B150 plus | RAM: 8GB Ballistix 2400 | Case: Define R4 | PSU: EVGA 650GQ | SSD: ADATA SP550 120GB |

HDD: 1TB WD blue | OS: Windows 10 Pro 

Dad's PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Pentium G4400 | MoBo: Asrock H110 | Ram: 4GB Ballistix 2400 | SSD: ADATA Su800 128GB | PSU: Delta 400w | Case: Dell Vostro 460| OS: Windows 10 Pro

Laptop:

Spoiler

A really crappy Dell dimension D630 rocking a core 2 duo. Upgrading to a sandy bridge Thinkpad soon!

Accessories:

Spoiler

Keyboard: Magicforce 68 | Mouse: Mionix NAOS 7000 | Monitor: ACER R240HY | Mic: Blue Snowball iCE | Headphones: SuperLux HD668B | AMP/DAC: FiiO E07k      Phone: LG v20 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done. Awesome info, thanks for the tips. 

 

Fully expected how to basic when I clicked on the link. 


PC Part Picker Link || CPU: Intel i7 4790K @ 5Ghz; MB: ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Ranger; RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 2400; GFX: Asus Strix 1080ti; CASE: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Glass; STORAGE: 500GB Samsung 960 Pro, 250GB 850 Evo, 500GB 850 Evo, 3TB WD Red; PSU: Corsair AX1200i; MONITOR: Acer Predator X34; PERIPHERALS: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Chroma; Razer Deathadder Chroma, Audeze Mobius;

 

Devices || Macbook Pro 15" (2016); iPad Pro 12.9"; iPhone X; Samsung A5; Lenovo X1 Carbon

 

Audio Gear || Headphones: Audeze iSine20; Audeze LCD-X; B&O H5; Sony MDR-1000x; AMP/DAC: Chord Mojo; Audeze Deckard; Devialet Expert 220 Pro; Speakers: AudioEngine A5+; Focal Aria 936

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, RezidentSeagull said:

I accidentally burnt the tip of my finger when I brushed it against my very-hot soldering iron

im still doing that after many years of soldering, but sometimes i actually grab the wrong end like its the handle.

 

You might want to add to take photos before removing the caps for a record of polarity & size if its not printed on the PCB


             ☼

ψ ︿_____︿_ψ_   

Link to post
Share on other sites

The thread was moved to the Guides & Tutorials section!


NiceHash Mining Guide

Ethereum Mining Guide

Spoiler

My Gaming Rig - Motherboard: MSI Z370-A PRO CPU: i7-8700 RAM: 32GB DDR4 2400(4x8GB) GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1060 3GB OS SSD: 240GB Avexir E100 Storage: 1x 1TB Seagate PSU: Seasonic G650 OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bits Monitor: Acer 21in G205H + Lenovo 21in

 

The Community StandardsPSU Tier list | PSU Whitelist

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, wkdpaul said:

The thread was moved to the Guides & Tutorials section!

Oh, thanks! Sorry for the misplacement, when I started this out I just meant it as a fun story, but I guess it kinda morphed into a semi-decent-ish guide!


CodeMaster (Name Due for Update):

CPU: FX-8320 @ 4.6GHz | Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 | RAM: 24GBs Crucial DDR3-1600

GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 Windforce OC | Case: Fractal Design Define S | PSU: Corsair AX860i

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
13 hours ago, SCHISCHKA said:

im still doing that after many years of soldering, but sometimes i actually grab the wrong end like its the handle.

 

You might want to add to take photos before removing the caps for a record of polarity & size if its not printed on the PCB

That's a good idea! I was fortunate enough because the card I was fixing had the polarity marked on the PCB itself, and I only worked on them one at a time, but this is a really good tip in general!


CodeMaster (Name Due for Update):

CPU: FX-8320 @ 4.6GHz | Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 | RAM: 24GBs Crucial DDR3-1600

GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 Windforce OC | Case: Fractal Design Define S | PSU: Corsair AX860i

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2017 at 10:16 PM, RezidentSeagull said:

While people say you CAN use a higher capacitance in some cases, it depends on what the capacitor is being used for exactly, so for someone (like me) who is not sure, using an identical value is the safest option.

To add an example of this, in a passive high-pass filter, if you swap the capacitor for a higher value one, then you've altered the cut-off frequency by lowering it. That kind of defeats the purpose of the filter

 

10 hours ago, Long_GD said:

 

If it's a through-hole capacitor like what OP replaced in their guide, it will say somewhere the capacitance and the voltage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Buy VPN

×