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New love for old cards - [GPU restoration]

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Just reporting back, thread is not dead. It will never be, but time is often short and I´ve added CPU-OC to the list of my hobbies.



Just yesterday I took the 4850X2 apart and as you can see there is a lot of dust that has build up over time. Thanks to the heatsink design it did not block any airflow, but still I prefer a clean pcb over THIS any day.



The thermal pads were very brittle, will have to replace them. It seems like 1mm thickness on the memory, and 1mm thickness on the VRM-heatsink on the back of the card. 0.5mm thickness for the large silver VRM-heatsink on the front.



I have decided not to try and pull the ASIC heatsink off, it is glued in place and I think it should stay that way. There is no alternative mounting mechanism and tearing on the glue will most likely destroy it.



Backside looking fine, stickers still in place. That thin yellow foil stuff looks like thermal and electric isolating tape, I can replace that with my own. However I did just run out of 0.5mm pads, will have to re-order those before moving on.



I like these coolers, they use thumb-screws. Really simple to attach and you get good control over the mounting pressure.

 
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It's called kapton tape.

Thats the name I was looking for! Thanks :)

Yeah I got a lot of this stuff around. Very useful.

Oh and btw I did fix the chart in my first post to a more forum friendly format. Seems it was broken during some update recently.
 
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Whenever I come on your thread it makes me wax nostalgic for my 8800 GTS (first GPU ever bought).
 
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I just looked at your table; I ran 3x 4870 video cards in crossfire in a i7-920/x58 setup a few years ago, and I never realized they drew that much power!

I must have been pushing 900w on video cards alone, lol.

Nice thread!

BTW, the kapton tape is the same kind of stuff they make flex-circuits out of; it's polyamide, and good to ~400C for soldering on, and then be dipped in LN2 to operate, lol.

Also, If you want to get the HS off that's glued on, you can use acetone, carefully applied with a syringe, with the board standing on edge.
I'd find a good thermal 'glue' to put it back with before I considered that. :)
Arctic Ceramique is an epoxy I've used, but it can pop off if hit just so.
 
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Nice tip; I hadn't considered that. :)

That should even work with liquid metal, if the superglue is compatible; the surface tension should hold the LM in place.

I had problems with peltier based dehumidifier I made for drying rocket chemicals; the cold side kept popping off.
A freon leak can be Bad in that usage case, and is to be avoided. :)
 
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Nice tip; I hadn't considered that. :)

That should even work with liquid metal, if the superglue is compatible; the surface tension should hold the LM in place.

I had problems with peltier based dehumidifier I made for drying rocket chemicals; the cold side kept popping off.
A freon leak can be Bad in that usage case, and is to be avoided. :)
Please dont use liquid metal, those heatsinks on VRMs and in this case on the bridge chip are most of the time made of aluminum and will be destroyed by the LM.
It is also completly unecessary to use LM on a part that was fine with cheap paste or even a pad before.
 
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I know all about aluminum and Gallium, lol.
The specific one he shows above IS aluminum, so I get your point.

There's a lot of places I use heatsinks, and something that doesn't outgas is an advantage; like in a vacuum chamber.
You can really only move heat to the walls, and stainless is a terrible heat conductor.
A piece of copper laid up beside a piece of stainless, with a thin gap of vacuum between them is WAY worse, so a film of LM between them would be ideal.
The vapor pressure of LM, IDK, but it's got to be better than silicone based products, or even epoxies.
(most hivac is stainless; copper tubing is considered porous at hivac conditions. Yes, I know about the copper gaskets. :) )
Swaging the metals together is possible, but it's not reconfigurable then. And there can still be vacuum areas between them...

On the fun side:
You can dissolve aluminum into a chunk of a certain metal, and when it starts to solidify, the aluminum will come to the surface and burst into flame as it's not covered with an oxide layer; and it's too hot for it to form in a protective way. :D

I won't mention the composition, because it's been used for nefarious purposes in the past. :)
 
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Time for the pretty photos. Got rid of the worst stuff and started my usual photo-routine.



Looks like a pretty tidy layout.






All the little SMDs and everything labled and traced. Just beautiful to look at up close. I wonder why this one has so many big diodes.

Here we have a battle-scarred die:


And some more die-shots:


Time to dress it up again.


Like I mentioned before, memory and backside VRM takes 1mm pads, the front side VRM heatsink (the thing on the right side below PCIe-power) would want 0,5mm thin pads but I decided to use paste instead this time.





Gonna throw it on my testbench some time soon, but at this moment it is still busy benching a CPU and I don´t want to mess up my data with a sudden GPU and driver switch.
 

r9

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aaaahhh, this thread is giving me all the nostalgia feels! :peace:

I should get my X1600 Pro, 2 HD4850's, a GTX 295 (sandwich edition), and an HD5970 out for some photoshoots
 
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I should get my X1600 Pro, 2 HD4850's, a GTX 295 (sandwich edition), and an HD5970 out for some photoshoots
I'm always up for some naked card photo shoots.
 
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aaaahhh, this thread is giving me all the nostalgia feels! :peace:

I should get my X1600 Pro, 2 HD4850's, a GTX 295 (sandwich edition), and an HD5970 out for some photoshoots
Do it :) Especially the 295, I love those. Got 5 of them now, 2 dual pcb and 3 single pcb and even waterblocks for every single one.
 
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