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How to exchange caps - tutorial

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#1
A little photo guide about how I do it :) Dedicated to Datsun 1600 - thank you, dear friend :thumbup:

You will need a classic transformer soldering iron, no less that 75W. I use this oldie one for 26 years:

The prolonging of the soldering iron tip is necessary - additional resistance stop overheating the soldering tip too much.

Some resin is need too:


And a little bit of tin:


And tin suction tool:


...and of course replacement caps and something with bad caps. In this case I choose very simple recap of Jaton GF2MX400 card. Of course this card is phased out and you will probably not made and 3DMark world record with it, recapped or not, but for testing or normal office use it is perfect. Thanks to it's passive heatsink and small size it is preferred graphic card, where you need just one to be. I use these cards in folding and testing machines ;)
I do, on the top of that, use a little osciloscope 440 Scope Plus http://www.atcweb.com/tpi440.htm - http://postimg.org/image/qc1qqciol/ ;)

So, let's first take a look at the card itself:

As you can see, we gonna need:
1x 1000uF 6.3V d8 Samxon GC
4x 470uF 6.3V d6.3 Samxon GD
3x 10uF 25V d4 Samxon ZS

Let's take a look at the original caps...

...well, it is obvious they gotta go. Asiacon is the same as Evercon and this is the same cr*p as G-Luxon... :mad:

Step first - desolder with the soldering iron the caps:

Every time before use the soldering iron, dip it to the resin to protect against oxidation not only the contacts, but the actual soldering iron how wire tip. Result did not look ver pretty, but caps are gone now :D The white or shaded (or other way highlighted) holes are typically for the negative cap polarity wires. Of course you gotta stay alert for exceptions and crazy designs, witch can swap the polarity! Sometimes it is better first take a picture of the card to have proof on how it looked before... ;)

Now come the hardest step - suck off tin from at least one of the holes. Choose the one that is isolated from the rest of the PCB. This way you heat up most only small piece of tin and PCB and hence you should be able to suck the tin off easily.

Result - one hole is free.

Now take the replacement cap - take care about the polarization (on some cards, such as Gigabyte FX5200/FX5600XT, it is contrariwise!). Caps has one longer leg, that is the positive wire. If you have free the positive hole, you are good to go. Insert the longer positive wire inside and the negative adjust to be pressing exactly against the tin in the not free yet hole. Apply only light pressure. If you need more pressure, shorten the wires, but leave the positive wire longer.


From the bottom side heat up the tin in the negative hole and after a while (depends how big area of PCB you heating up) the cap nicely slide in place. Looks this way:

If you got free the negative hole instead, then cut the positive wire of the cap in middle, so it get shorter that the negative wire and then work it out same way.
Caps wires should be put thru to the end. Exception from this is only when you solder smaller or bigger spaced cap into holes that did not match. In that case - depends on how much the wires are getting dilate or closer - leave at least 3mm for the bend. Pressing too much in this case is very likely to damage almost any cap!

When you have the cap in place as it should be, then cut off the remaining wires. Leave just about 1mm from them. And then with plenty of resin again solder them.

Now it does not look pretty at all, right? :eek: Well, let's continue till we have every caps soldered first.

Now will come the technical spirit in action. Using brush add the spirit in place where the resin is:

And leave couple of seconds to take effect. You can see that the resin is breaking up and melting already. You can help big chunks get off by sharpened piece of hard wood - notably increasing the rate how the resin leave the PCB.

Then first with rubber, also wetted in spirit, rub off the remains of it. Last small remaining of the resin is best to get off by brush, wetted in spirit again. The brush has to have reasonably tough strings.

(image also show desoldered CE filters and coils replaced by pieces of wires)

With careful clean up you can get professional looking soldering joints.


And now you can only be delighted looking at how the new nice caps beautifully looking at the card.


Whole look on the card with now exchanged caps.


With such simple graphic card with minimum caps you can be done in like 10 minutes top. And with a little work you got the assurance it will not fail you for years and years. And now back with it to the computer ;)



PS. sometimes happens - especially with small caps, where one can heat up with big soldering wire tip both holes - that it is possible solder the cap w/o actually sucking off the tin. Sometimes this is also the only one possibility, when the tin did not want get off and you did not want to damage the PCB... In this case simply cut the legs to be same and much shorter (so you can apply more pressure), align them right to booth holes, hold and from the bottom start heating and push... ;)
 
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#2
Trick with dental pick ;)

The hardest part on recapping is cleaning the holes for new caps. So, there come a little trick...



Yep, with this is the very same dental pick your dentist use to push on your teeths. You can buy it in medical supply shops, the only slight disadvantage is that the quality ones cost premium. But the vacuum tin sucking toy is not even recommended on BadCaps, because from heated PCB it easily can suck-off small traces, or by the back impact it tear them on the mobo. Sometimes it happen for me and certain low-quality mainboards (like JetWay V266B, Abit BX133 and so on) are very prone to this.

So, at first we have holes after desoldered cap (or never soldered cap there) full of tin:




So just attach the pick and reasonably push on it with one hand to stay in place (beware, it is very sharp, be carefull!):




From the other side heat up the PCB with iron and soon the pick do thru the hole like hot knife thru butter and try to push it as far, as you manage with reasonably small force:




Immidetelly after you reach the end, start wriggling with it to sides/up and down a bit, so it will not stuck to the tin or resin in the hole:




Now the big metal chunk of this dental pick come to play - it disperse the heat perfectly, so in just a few seconds we have a free hole:




Now let's repear that with the second hole, when we want to solder the cap inside easily (or he is on wrong place with bad access):




Push a little and we are on the second side easily again:




...and now we have both holes free and perfect for soldering new cap in:




As you can clearly see, this methos is easy, comfortable and fast. And the dental pick clean really well. Tin does not get attached on it at all and resin only very lightly. Cleaning with piece of old clothing and technical spirit is done in few seconds. The steel is very high quality, elastic a little and very hard to break. Almost impossible, I never managed it yet and I tried :) Comparing that to the nevereding cleaning of the vacuum tin suction tool... well, this is not comparable at all. Productivity in recapping go very much up using dental pick. Caps almost like jumping in the board ;) :D

Sometimes it happens that in the holes remain too much tin, that create knob around the holes, where capacitor will be soldered. Such knobs that are on the top of the PCB are easy to tear off by nail or cut off by scalpel.

Soldering was made by my 75W transformator solder, using lot's of resin. Pictures are not retouched at all and I did not even clean the board before taking the pictures. Board in question is Compaq Evo D310 one (MSI 6541 v1.0), exchange 10pcs of 1000uF 6.3V G-Luxon crap caps for 13pcs 1000uF 6.3V Samxon GC caps.
Board works well :)

Some people prefer solder wick and soldering station:
Removal of Solder Using Solder Wick - YouTube
Also a way to go.
 

RCoon

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#3
You are my hero. Please have my firstborn children.
 
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#4
great tutorial :toast::toast::toast:
btw you made it by yourself
Capture.jpg

how do you know exact value every single of it?
 
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#5
RCoon -
You are my hero. Please have my firstborn children.
Thank you. Well, errr... why not? :laugh: ;)



micropage7 -
great tutorial - btw you made it by yourself
Thank you very much. Of course I made it myself, who do you think I'm? Picture thief? LoL ... Maybe - caps thief, yes :laugh: I could show the originals high resolutions of all these pictures:



how do you know exact value every single of it?
Ah, you noticed it! Well... these are CE filters that I just removed. The story goes back to 1996/7 when I upgraded on Amiga my graphic card from CyberVision 64 to CyberVision 64/3D, witch utilized the revolutionary (3D rendering!) S3 Virge chip. Suddently a 1024x768 at 100Hz resolution was not sharp, but blurry around all edges a quite bit. Something that the old CV64 card did not do. Both are made by Phase5.

So I did what anyone can do, when encounter unknown problem - ask others. So I did bring that topic on Amiga list and much to my surprise, I get too many negative responses. To put it short, I was told that:
1) I'm crazy
2) I see things
3) Phase5 put them there, so they must be there
4) If I remove them, I kill my graphic card and/or monitor
5) If in any case this will still work, I damatically shorten the lifespan of my graphic card/monitor

Only one guy suggested that these are filters, that are put there to the component pass the emissions guidelines. And the good fella pointed that the level of EMI emissions are so low for a computer card, that it is like 1000x of a CRT monitor, that it right at your face, so this is a bit crazy.
Only one person.

So despite the overhelming warnings and "arguments" I went for it, because I was convinced that I'm damn right about it and any capacity / induktance component that touch a line with VF signal is bad bad BAD idea. And I remove them and quess what. Image get immediatelly clear, crisp and beautifull!
Not only at 60Hz, but even back in 100Hz refresh I enjoy clear, great picture on my Eizo F35 and later F520 monitors.

And quess what! Instead of shortening the life, the graphic card in my friend house still works, as well, as both these monitors works even today, as I use them for testing... up to this very day.

Case in point - they are CE filters, that blur your image to the card get pass and the CE sticker on it. I remove the sticker as well, as the CE filters. Basicaly they are CLC filters for RGB and H & V sync lines. Most times bacis C only filters are at the information and sense lines, but they did not mess with the image, so I did not touch them.
The removal is easy - just remove all the components and shorten the L lines to get the image back. That it is. No more blurry image even using VGA output. Never heard about it? Thank the people who are basicaly told me, that I'm mad, and in ban sense of the word.

Even today I feel the biterness of the realization, that too many peoples could be dead wrong. The herd mentality call the attack anyone different, just for having different opinions. Or even just for asking bad questions.


When I look at this back, I did not feel any joy. I feel sadness, that people are so desperately dependent on the so called autorities, that could done terrible things, being convinced that this is the right or good way to do things.
I come to realize that being right does not help. People are so hopelessly inclined to believe any BS anyone with just aura of autority tell them and then attack anyone who question this, even if it stinks to high heaven, that I simply cannot believe it. I always from these experience form own opinion and always challenging myself to prove even long helt assuptions, to stand up in face of new facts. Many times they cannot. There are so many "truths", that are just flat out lies and about so many important things, that when you touch them, it is like your head is going to explode - because you really have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes. If you dare to think for yourself and gather own information about many big historical events, you will realize that we are living in a web of lies. And it is all could be taken down by asking just simple, child-like questions and following the evidence whatever it lead to.


But that is a different story. So, one more thing. When I mentioned Amiga, then I have to mention that one polish guy got it right. Back in 1995, the group Venus Art produced demo called Manipulations and it took me years to scratch the surface of two simple sentences they used in the demo:
Everything you see is a lie.
Everything you know is wrong.
http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=17865

But yea, that was the time, when Scene is made out of people, who actually created demos. Later, back in 2000/2001/2002 the "Scene" groups are only groups of people that cannot crate anything, instead they just reencoded DVD into DivX and doing this "theft" they call being on the Scene.
You see - from creating own productions to pirating stuff. Definitively a huge step back...
 

tigger

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#6
Do you not use a desoldering pump, or wick to clear the holes?
 
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#7
Well, in the first part of the tutorial I used simple version of the desoldering pump, but then I exploited the dental pick witch is much easier and mainly safer to work with.

Since the pump can damage the heated PCB very easily, I don't recommend it much. The soldering wick that sort of inhale the solder (tin) is much better, but still far cry from the dental pick. You have also to understand, that in fact, you did not want to remove all the solder (tin). You just want to have a hole, where you can stick new cap, shorten the wires and re-use the solder around to solder the new cap in place.

And one hole is usually enought.

Using dental pick you can do a nice clean hole even from the PCB side and in case a part of the PCB trail lost it's glue to the pertinax and are free. At this panic situation, where your PCB is already damaged, you can still work you way and make things work as they should.

I simply did not find anything better yet :) But anyone can use what find that works best for him. Iwas just merely seggesting the way I do things ;)
 

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#8
Well, in the first part of the tutorial I used simple version of the desoldering pump, but then I exploited the dental pick witch is much easier and mainly safer to work with.

Since the pump can damage the heated PCB very easily, I don't recommend it much. The soldering wick that sort of inhale the solder (tin) is much better, but still far cry from the dental pick. You have also to understand, that in fact, you did not want to remove all the solder (tin). You just want to have a hole, where you can stick new cap, shorten the wires and re-use the solder around to solder the new cap in place.

And one hole is usually enought.

Using dental pick you can do a nice clean hole even from the PCB side and in case a part of the PCB trail lost it's glue to the pertinax and are free. At this panic situation, where your PCB is already damaged, you can still work you way and make things work as they should.

I simply did not find anything better yet :) But anyone can use what find that works best for him. Iwas just merely seggesting the way I do things ;)
Not criticizing, just wondered :)
 

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#9
I thought about getting good at these kind of things and understanding the cap world but then you made me look like a child so I have given up.
 
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#10
tigger - noproblemo ;) I say - anyone can do what they damn please to do so. I presented what suit me best. If I envolve into other methods or someone supply me with some professional hardware, then I maybe start claiming that nothing it better that THIS thing I have now, but ATM I use what I presented there to do what I do.


Solaris17 - you should never give up so easily. You can learn all that quite qickly, the caps are used in computers (with exception of some caps in PSUs) as filtering caps for voltages only, therefore replacing them with bigger capacity and lesser ESR/ESL is always beneficial and you hadrly can screw things up, actually.
Even my first recaps went reasonably well (working to this very day), and I'm not a quick learner.

Only bad thing you can do is to replace the small "logic" caps into PSU with quite different ones. Like 2.2uF? Ah, well, let's just put all 10uF caps there to make it simplier and not differenciate between these (Enermax 620W Liberty use 5x 10uF and 5x 2.2uF caps for "logic") ...
That won't kill the PSU, but the voltage output will not be stable anymore.

Input and output filtering caps - the bigger the better still.

Not to worry, grab some old HW and try something. At worst you kill it... but since it is already dead or not used, then no big deal ;)
 

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#11
snip about herd mentality
This is a tangent, but in most cases such warnings are valid, because the person might have no real knowledge on the subject and risk making things worse. And oftentimes filters and parts of specifications are there for a reason, so it does take the right person to mess about with them.
 
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#12
And I still disagree. There is nothing worser that discourage people from changing things, even that what they are about seems absolutely unreasonable and insane in fact.
Why?
Because even some - at the time crazy ideas - ended up being very helpfull for the whole mankind.

Sure many filters and specs are there for a reasons and sometimes the reasons are good.

But that still did not push aside what I say above.
Let me put it this way - if what I was planing to do was ended up badly, then what? I would kill the graphic card, perhaps even a monitor. So, what? Everyone (who can lean from other people mistakes) would learn a valuable lesson and that it is. Do it affect badly anyone else? Or even your own hardware? Nope.
On the other hand, NOT using precautious principe (what you seems to apply), everyone can benefit from clear images on their displays (of course only to a degree that their monitor and cables allow).

So not discouraging people from doing seemingly crazy things could benefit the whole society. Maybe you should check back history, every inventor was usually labeled as crazy, insane and so on. But if you apply this principialy "valid" precautions, then you effectively end any mankind progress.

Just stick with what is working. Great.


So people get brainwashed to the point, that their refusal to do new things lead them into stagnation. In fact, almost all of computer users are staring for years at more blurry images that are necessary... just because of this "valid warnings."

Not to mention that these are mostly not even warnings, but rather insults.

So anyone who challenge the sacred truth have to be excomunicated? Burnt at stake?
It looks to me as manking did not do any mind progress from medieval times - still the same herd mentality drag people down.

Check this out: "Aliens Cause Global Warming"
A lecture by Michael Crichton
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~scranmer/SPD/crichton.html
 
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Frick

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#13
I don't disagree, but sometimes things truly are not possible. Like the people coming here asking if they can flash their GPU's with a BIOS from a totally different card to magically make it faster. A guy knowing enough about electronics to suspect it's a filter is in a different leage than the "run petrol cars on diesel because diesel is cheaper" people. Some things just do not work, which does not mean that is always the case. :)

IMO obviously. :)

Anyway a real question: Tinning the tip with solder with a rosin core would have the same effect as dipping it in resin, right?
 
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#14
Yes, some ideas did not seems to be possible from moment one, but that should not be used as excuse or even discourage people of doing this. I would simply say that I don't think that this (speed-up obsolete HW by flash or another bios to it, run petrol cars as diesel ones....) is going to work, but never discourage people from doing it so.
(you can always have a good laugh after: http://s22.postimg.org/9r1lv91xd/pcie_modify_for_pci.jpg )

After all, to attempt to cure the PCIE v1.0a incompatibility I was thinking about flashing a MSI GeForce 210 card with XFX GeForce 210 bios - witch is almost close to the first example. Yes, I double checked the specs and there is same ram type, ram amont and so on... except MSI got a bit higher clocks, but that can be edited too...

As the resin does, well, probably yes. I always use only the dipping in resin, because it stick on the tip of the solder and I can transfer it to the soldered PCB, where it is necessary. Few times I tried the whiter rosin core and did not like it, because it is not going as fluid, when hot and not covering the soldering joints while solderting, witch is the whole reason why use it.
The goal is to have the joints protected from air and therefore a oxidation, witch will be rapid when things are heated up. Othervise you never get anywhere near this looks:
http://i45.tinypic.com/a3jdw4.jpg
 
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#15
Solaris17 - you should never give up so easily. You can learn all that quite qickly, the caps are used in computers (with exception of some caps in PSUs) as filtering caps for voltages only, therefore replacing them with bigger capacity and lesser ESR/ESL is always beneficial and you hadrly can screw things up, actually.
Even my first recaps went reasonably well (working to this very day), and I'm not a quick learner.

Only bad thing you can do is to replace the small "logic" caps into PSU with quite different ones. Like 2.2uF? Ah, well, let's just put all 10uF caps there to make it simplier and not differenciate between these (Enermax 620W Liberty use 5x 10uF and 5x 2.2uF caps for "logic") ...
That won't kill the PSU, but the voltage output will not be stable anymore.

Input and output filtering caps - the bigger the better still.
Actually, going too low in ESR and/or too high in capacitance can lead to some serious trouble. You could introduce an unwanted resonance frequency in the filtering section, leading to a rise in electrical noise, which is counterproductive. Or, if some caps are dual-purpose filtering + feedback, you could disrupt the feedback loop, leading to wrong voltage sensed by the control IC and potentially dangerous output voltages.

This is not always the case, that's certain, but caution is advised, especially when dealing with PSU recaps. At the very least, test everything safely and thoroughly after each major change, to make sure you're on the right track.

As the resin does, well, probably yes. I always use only the dipping in resin, because it stick on the tip of the solder and I can transfer it to the soldered PCB, where it is necessary. Few times I tried the whiter rosin core and did not like it, because it is not going as fluid, when hot and not covering the soldering joints while solderting, witch is the whole reason why use it.
The goal is to have the joints protected from air and therefore a oxidation, witch will be rapid when things are heated up. Othervise you never get anywhere near this looks:
http://i45.tinypic.com/a3jdw4.jpg
I sometimes use flux directly on the solder/tin wire. At times, reduction flux works even after a solder joint is already formed, and oxidized (which is obvious from the missing metallic shine, and appearance of grey overcoat). Ammonium nitrate flux works very well in such cases.

Also, I love what you did with those through-hole caps mounted on surface-mount pads! :D
Hilarious and effective at the same time.

I have to ask you, though: Where is all the love for Samxon coming from? I mean, they're not bad per se, but they are Chinese caps through and through. I try to limit myself to using Taicon and Toshin Kogyo at worst. Of course, whenever possible, I use Panasonic/Matsushita, Nippon Chemi-Con, Nichicon, Rubycon, Sanyo... Talking about "classic" wet electrolytics, of course.

I realize Samxon is considerably cheaper, but I've lost faith in them, especially after seeing so many dead GF-series ones...
 
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#16
Well, the experience suggest orherwise. These regulation circuits are ready (except extra rare cases like the X-Fi crappy regulator) for different capacitances AND ESR values, as these are changing in time/temperature of the capacitor seriously.
So these components and designs are already ready for changes. It is true, that some PSUs are not exactly happy, but these are very low end ones, not worthy of recapping anyway.


About the wrongly suggested "low quality" of Samxon caps - nothing could be farer from the truth. If you deal with fakes, then yes. I got mine as real-deal from Hong Kong (BigPope) and they are probably the best electrolytes ever made. Their GD and GC series are outstanding and their GA series are the best that exist. Ever. Period.

Only one cap could par-to-par with specs, and that is Nichicon HZ. But if you get the HZ into your hands and compare them (3300uF 6.3V both), then you realize that Samxon do it sturdy, they used even slightly thicker wires to pass the specced currenty, while the Nichicon is as normal cap and Nichicons are prone to being light-build... Not thicker wires, nothing special.

I'm guy, who get from their first testing GA line or 30 caps 6 or 9 of them, not remember exactly... but ther are (snip the identification of the person who provided this) the measurments:



Nothing, remember NOTHING on Earth could come close to these Samxon electrolyte caps.
If you deal with fake bad caps - your problem. Nothing is wrong with Samxon. If I can get more of these, I will. But Man Yue stoped making them :(

Another good example - back in 2008 I recapped with Samxon caps friend GFX card 7300 GT ( http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189797 ). Recently the card come back to my hands and surprise, it not only still works, but it show the quality of the Samxon caps by - overclocking. Default clocks 350/300 can just just upped to 588/376 ...!



(need four MHz down to pass 3Dmark 2003, tough http://hwbot.org/submission/2441201_trodas_3dmark03_geforce_7300_gt_ddr2_8516_marks )

So, who claims that Samxon caps are anything else that best caps ever, are just plainly wrong.
 
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#17
So this is how you encourage people to try different stuff... Nice, I like it.

Well anyway, my personal experience with Samxon is all but limited to the GF series, which I'm seeing bulging after as little as 3 (three) years of service, on a daily basis. I encounter them in monitor and TV I/P boards, ATX PSUs (especially CWT-made ones), and less frequently on GFX cards and motherboards. I didn't claim to know anything about their GA series, and their GD and GC I'm not sure I've seen used more than once each.

I won't try to debate the quality of the production series you mentioned, since I have insufficient experience to do so, but I will bet my life on the claim that every GF series capacitor will fail, it's just a matter of time. I have seen far, far too many of them to believe anything else. And as for them being fakes, it's a possibility, sure. But to believe that LG, Samsung, Vewsonic, Philips, BenQ, Leadtek, Biostar, Foxconn, Channel Well Tech, LiteOn and Chicony Power/Hipro all used fake Samxon caps, that's too much of a stretch, for just about anyone.
 
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#18
Well, the best way is to show, what these caps can do. Luckily, the chip is well overclockable. In some cases, when you have very limited chip, then there is not much you can do with it...

About the GF series, I did not doubt that they are bulging and I would rate them as bad caps. But they are (at least the ones I seen) not made by Samxon. The letters, color and code are just wrong, so I'm not at all surprised that they ended up bad.
I do used Samxon GF in some of my PSUs recaps and quess what - noproblemo till this day. So there is a clear difference in experience.
And from the day Apple used obviously fake Nichicon caps (gold HN - lol) in their G5 mainboards, I did not believe in coincidence. They buing these caps on purpose, man. It is planed obsoletence, plain and simple. Designed to fail from start to end. Well known stratedgy used by every company:
Story of Stuff (2007, OFFICIAL Version) - YouTube
 
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#19
+1 for a sticky on this thread. definitely helpful