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So I did the "bake the GPU in the oven" trick.

corrado33
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And..... it... worked? 

 

I had an old GTX 960 that I had replaced because it started developing lines and glitches even when sitting on the desktop. (Not OCed at all) It was still.... "working" per se, but definitely not usable. Then I kept it in my "computer cord bin" for... 4 years? So yesterday I decided I wanted to see if I could fix it. Wasn't doing me any good sitting in the cord bin. 

 

Now, I'm not ignorant when it comes to electronics. I've done my fair share of soldering, even surface mount parts. I looked over the entire board with a fine tooth comb and didn't notice any blown parts, no smoke, no markings whatsoever. It just looked normal. No cracked solder joints even. 

 

So I took the heatsink off, and took the mini heatsink off the small parts. Then I had to scrape off the plastic "washers" under the heatsink screws cause they were stuck to the board. I removed the plastic fan connector (literally just carefully pry it off.) The only remaining plastic on the board was the  6 pin power connector, and that stayed on. 

 

Then, I found a crappy toaster oven that was left in my apartment by the last tennants, stuck my oven thermometer in it. I tuned the temperature to as close to 385 F as I could. (It was probably closer to 380), and stuck the card on some tin foil balls on a pie pan. Then I started a timer for 8 minutes. At about 5 minutes, I started smelling "weird stuff", but I left it in there for the full 8 minutes. Then I pulled the card out and let it cool naturally (still in the pie pan). 

 

Then... since I destroyed the blower cover a long time ago trying to make it quiet, I strapped a 120mm fan to the heatsink with zip ties and it works great. Also I literally just plugged the 4 pin 120mm fan into the header on the GPU, even though the pin pitch is slightly different (they bend easily enough, and since you already took the plastic piece off, there's more room to plug it in) and it freaking works. Afterburner detects the fan and fan speed, and there are no artifacts in heaven, AND the thing barely heats up at all. 

 

I mean, the card takes up like 3 PCIe slots now cause the fan is big but hey, it works! 

 

So if you've got a "slightly dead" gpu, you should totally try this as well. 

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Nice, Linus will be proud of you!

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 (1x2GB), Crucial DDR3-1600 (2x4GB), Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 (1x4GB) GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 2.5" 1TB HDDs: WD Green 3.5" 1TB, WD Blue 3.5" 1TB PSU: Corsair AX860i & CableMod ModFlex Cables Case: Fractal Design Meshify C TG (White) Fans: 2x Dynamic X2 GP-12 Monitors: LG 24GL600F, Samsung S24D390 Keyboard: Logitech G710+ Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Mouse Pad: Steelseries QcK Audio: Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

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Yah, it's a real thing. I've done it a ton, and I'm pretty good at it and itll fix anything caused by the solder joints that doesn't really need reballed or something expensive that I take to a someone with the right equipment. 
Here's something I've posted a long time ago somewhere about laptop gpu reflowing. I had a guide once but I can't find it, either way this is interesting info as well for anyone reading. 

Quote
If you are concerned about the GPUs dying, repaste them when you get it if the temps look high. Put some IC diamond on them, can't hurt. My GPUs are virgins to the screwdriver, as was most of the laptop and thus must have factory paste. But the temps are good, and I'm probably not gonna repaste. 

When I can tell you about is reflowing is that 4850m shouldn't have been reflowed more than once in this past year. If you reflowing it that much, you are likely doing it wrong... not trying to criticize not a lot of people do it right. 

I have reflowed things that work server years into the future. For example Reflowed my fat PS3 some years ago and gave it to a friend who used it way too much for a couple of years I think, and still works to this day even though i have it again and I don't use it way too much until recently as my other PS3 was stolen =(

Anyway constantt reflowing usually only happens if you didn't reflow it long enough with the right heat source. Don't use a heat gun. Doesn't cut it. Use a reflow oven. If you don't have access, use a regular oven. The temperature regulation isn't near as accurate people argue, but a heat gun is far worse. I usually reflow things in a regular oven for 8 or so minutes, at...it was either 325 or 375 Fahrenheit, I forget, I have it written down somewhere. Anyway oven reflowed things held up much better than the things I reflowed with a heat gun. Keep in mind with lead solder if you intend to cook food in the same oven, don't do it often and clean it like mad with a strong cleaner afterwords. 

If you don't want to do it in a regular oven, use a toaster oven. Keep in mind their temperatures aren't as accurate as an ovens usually, so maybe throw a temp probe in there and monitor it, controlling it manually. 

Since MXM cards are very expensive I have reflowed a lot of them, and I'd say 75% of them were fixed. (I've done at least 10 or so, and tons of onboard gpus)

A few things to keep in mind-

As you know reflowing is a last ditch effort. Don't rely on it working

Reflowing something too many times can damage the capacitors. 

Beside the rubber and obvious stuff, don't forget CMOS batteries on motherboards. The don't just leak. They explode. I forgot to remove one once, that was a surprise. 

If you have visual artifacts or a scrambled images or something from the GPU, a reflow might actually fix that. Most people think it's only for completely dead GPUs.

 

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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Heh, Someone go tell Louis!

"Although there's a problem on the horizon; there's no horizon." - K-2SO

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4 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

Yah, it's a real thing. I've done it a ton, and I'm pretty good at it and itll fix anything that doesn't really need reballed or something expensive that I take to a someone with the right equipment. 
Here's something I've posted a long time ago somewhere about laptop gpu reflowing

 

Good point on the toaster ovens not being temp accurate. I had to turn mine up to ~415 to get it stable at an actual 385 (measured with the thermometer.)

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4 minutes ago, corrado33 said:

Good point on the toaster ovens not being temp accurate. I had to turn mine up to ~415 to get it stable at an actual 385 (measured with the thermometer.)

in addition to the often wonky heat controls, there's less area and the temp fluctuates faster as well. Often they are not very well insulated. 

One thing people often do with regular ovens that aren't as stable is they use some form of thermal mass, something big on another rack, and make sure its up to temp before starting (could take a long time). I stress do not use food as thermal mass. Lead solder or not. xd

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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1 minute ago, Syntaxvgm said:

in addition to the often wonky heat controls, there's less area and the temp fluctuates faster as well. Often they are not very well insulated. 

One thing people often do with regular ovens that aren't as stable is they use some form of thermal mass, something big on another rack, and make sure its up to temp before starting (could take a long time)

Mine, surprisingly, was pretty darn stable. I let it sit there before I started for 10 minutes and the temp didn't change a bit (until I opened the front.) But the thermal mass thing is a good idea nonetheless. Honestly I didn't feel like finding a brick. :)

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Also with the fan strapped to the heatsink and spun up on high, the GPU only hits 49C in heaven. Admittedly it's only 60F in my apartment. 

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8 minutes ago, corrado33 said:

Mine, surprisingly, was pretty darn stable. I let it sit there before I started for 10 minutes and the temp didn't change a bit (until I opened the front.) But the thermal mass thing is a good idea nonetheless. Honestly I didn't feel like finding a brick. :)

I've noticed that electric ovens tend to do better, and I see the thermal mass thing with older full sized gas stoves. That said, a good toaster oven just fires the heating element more often, and what people do to convert them into a "reflow oven" is pretty much just making an Arduino or something pulse the coil on and off fairly fast to keep the temp just right. Often people the are using a reflow oven are just surface mounting components, and they want to follow the temp curve specifically meant for what they're heating, like so (random google image)
image.png.3608d367fa1255c7daa4e01ce46d60bc.png
Of course with shitty reflowing, we just want to make sure that solder is nice and evenly heated, and just by doing that you're beating a heat gun (or non IR reballing stations, which are glorified heat guns on sticks) by far. One disadvantage of course if you are heating everything else on the board, but what can you do.  
I should make a proper guide again sometime since I can't find mine. A lot of people have old shit they want to last ditch fix like you, but they're too scared to try 

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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8 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

Of course with shitty reflowing, we just want to make sure that solder is nice and evenly heated, and just by doing that you're beating a heat gun (or non IR reballing stations, which are glorified heat guns on sticks) by far. One disadvantage of course if you are heating everything else on the board, but what can you do.  
I should make a proper guide again sometime since I can't find mine. A lot of people have old shit they want to last ditch fix like you, but they're too scared to try 

I mean.. what could go wrong? It's already broken, and paying someone to fix it would be more expensive than buying a new one. 

 

Also, about the leaded solder thing, I THINK that companies were required to stop using leaded solder years and years ago, to be compliant with ROHS perhaps. So if the component is in any way modern, it shouldn't have leaded solder on it. 

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Do you have to worry about the orientation of the card? I mean, components are soldered onto the topside and underside...will reflowing the solder make it weak enough for components to literally come away from the pcb?

Definitely trying this with my 680 though. I tried fixing it by replacing some blown SMT's and it now displays, with significant artifacting. I've got nothing to lose.


 

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1 minute ago, Ross Siggers said:

Do you have to worry about the orientation of the card? I mean, components are soldered onto the topside and underside...will reflowing the solder make it weak enough for components to literally come away from the pcb?

Definitely trying this with my 680 though. I tried fixing it by replacing some blown SMT's and it now displays, with significant artifacting. I've got nothing to lose.

I did it with the GPU chip UP, even though there were technically more chips on the bottom. The GPU chip is the heaviest, so it's the most likely to fall down if you put that side down. I would imagine if you heated it TOO much some heavy chips would fall off. 

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4 minutes ago, Ross Siggers said:

Do you have to worry about the orientation of the card? I mean, components are soldered onto the topside and underside...will reflowing the solder make it weak enough for components to literally come away from the pcb?

Definitely trying this with my 680 though. I tried fixing it by replacing some blown SMT's and it now displays, with significant artifacting. I've got nothing to lose.

you want the side with the heavy chips up, but the most important thing is that nothing is touching the pan. Make sure to roll up foil to use at feet to raise the board a few cm. 

muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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