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HD 4870x2 Restoration Log

Yo, I picked up this relatively cheap working HD 4870x2 recently off of eBay and I’m going to log my repair and restoration of it.


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Straight off the bat here’s what I’ll be using, minus one key component I won’t have for a few days. I’ll likely have the thermal pads I need by next weekend so I can finish it off, but that’s OK because i won’t be able to finish the whole thing in one sitting anyway.

Taking advantage of a boring hotel weekend to get this started.

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The card itself is mildly bent and is showing some overall grime, and signs of being poorly assembled to begin with by whoever slapped the cooler on it years ago.

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With that I’ll take the cooler off, note here the mismatch screws, lack of spring on one screw, though they did at least use a small washer for that.

Ill look into replacement screws for this but it’s a pretty minor problem

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Up next comes some alcohol and brushwork to clean up the back of the pcb.

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And it’s apart.

This card is supposed to have a backplate, and the video memory on the back is not particularly well cooled without it. But the tiny of box of heatsinks and thermal adhesive I have will fix this issue.

 

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I’ll unbend this bracket. Locking pliers/vise grips are good for this because they work like a tiny vise. This can quickly level out the metal.

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Time for more cleaning of the die side of the pcb.

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Nice and shiny and clean. Mostly, more will be done to get the rest of the stubborn dirt on the pcb. 
Note the power adapters, because the 4870x2 was designed as a blower card the power connectors face upwards from the pcb. Arctic originally supplied these thin cable adapters which look terrible and downgrade the 8 pin to a 6 pin. This doesn’t really mean a whole lot, this is a 250w gpu, and as for actual wattage it’s closer to 230-240w. It’s not ideal to run dual six pins for this but it works.

Why this adapter was originally supplied I will never know. I will be ordering custom cable extensions to fix this issue.

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The thermal pads are toast and they’re all going to be replaced. Though that will be much later when they arrive.

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The fans are very dirty and the textured white plastic blades really show scuffs and dust. I gave up with the alcohol and just ran it under some hot tap water.

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it will dry out and look much better, I highly recommend this method for fans and heatsinks with difficult to scrub, caked on or thin and sticky layers of dust. As long as you let it dry for enough time, it can really get gpu heatsinks clean.

You can also use a dishwasher, though I wouldn’t recommend doing your dishes with computer parts at the same time.

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Quickly alcohol brushed the die side memory and vrm heatsinks, they weren’t too bad but it was mainly to get the thermal pad residue off.

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And cleaned up the contact plate. This is particularly bad with the finish of the contact plate and I’m going to polish it up a bit before full assembly.

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Now to unbend the Heatsink, the overall bend was fixed by smacking it against the desk a few times so I’m not going to show that because I couldn’t hold my phone at the same time.

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But let’s get these little bends fixed. If you’ve got these types of small bends, here’s the solution:

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Small flat head screwdriver and time.

Very tenderly unbent and then the ring punches which contact the heat pipe were pressed back to make better contact.

Its not perfect but it’s a lot better.

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Overall the Heatsink itself looks a lot better. There wasn’t too much dust on this so I just ran it under the sink and burned the hell out of hands touching the heat pipes while rinsing it with boiling hot water.

 

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13 minutes ago, 8tg said:

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yooo i never knew that theres 2 gpus in one card... this is sick, do they work together in crossfire or what?

👀👀👀👀 

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The final bit I’m going to do today is toss on some memory heatsinks. I chose the larger black ones to put on there, making sure to orient them in the direction of airflow.


I applied all the thermal adhesive:

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Adhered myself to the gpu within seconds:

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Cleaned that up and tossed on the heatsinks:

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Now I just have to wait a day and they’ll be on there permanently. I tested the strength of this stuff with a dead motherboard some years ago and it’ll straight up rip the memory out of the card before failing. It’s also pretty good for thermal transfer, this isn’t some super hot stuff requiring amazing thermal conductivity, but it’s better than having no memory cooling.

With more direct airflow the memory cooling isn’t a big deal but without direct airflow this needs a backplate or heatsinks.

 

And that’s all for now, future posts will be about the reassembly and application of thermal pads and paste. And then it’ll probably sit on a shelf forever like every other gpu I own

 

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Just now, adarw said:

yooo i never knew that theres 2 gpus in one card... this is sick, do they work together in crossfire or what?

They do, the chip in the middle is a crossfire bridge.

Theres lots of dual gpu cards out there through the years, even quad gpu cards meant for consumers in the early 2000’s (Linus even did a video on one).

The most recent dual gpu is the Polaris Radeon Pro Duo, but the last relevant consumer tier ones were the Asus GTX Mars series of cards and the R9 295x2

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2 minutes ago, 8tg said:

They do, the chip in the middle is a crossfire bridge.

Theres lots of dual gpu cards out there through the years, even quad gpu cards meant for consumers in the early 2000’s (Linus even did a video on one).

The most recent dual gpu is the Polaris Radeon Pro Duo, but the last relevant consumer tier ones were the Asus GTX Mars series of cards and the R9 295x2

thats sick thanks for the info, what do you think the problem is with yours?

👀👀👀👀 

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2 minutes ago, adarw said:

thats sick thanks for the info, what do you think the problem is with yours?

It works fine it’s just dirty and beat to death.

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Oh sweet you got one with the arctic cooler on it. You'll have one of the 4780x2 that I'll keep on working. Thats super sweet!

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