Baking 4870x2 in oven saved it!!!

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by mrBullseye, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    Hello guys.
    This is not a joke, since the 1st of April is some days in the future still.

    This story starts off with me having alot of issues with my ~4 year old Powercolor HD4870x2. Some months ago, I started having issues such as computer not receiving any video signal when booting and strange green checkered artifacts all of the screen requireing a reboot.
    I was especially experiencing issues with hardware accelerated video like flash.

    These issues where quite sporadic and never while gaming. Gaming still worked like it should. However the issues became more and more frequent, until one day, when I could not even start a game because the screen would hang, and only 1 out of 10 boot ups where successful without any artifacts.
    The successful boots almost always ended up in the green checkered screen as soon as i went to youtube, or for that matter gamespot or any other video heavy web site.

    To say the least I was beginning to tire of rebooting my computer, so after researching, I found that this was a common issue after some years with these cards, and I just basically had to resign myself to the idea that my card was dying. The horror! :behead:
    Basically some of the memory modules become bad after being heated and cooled for a long time, or something like that.

    I switched the card out for my old X1950XT that was still working like a charm. And then the same day that I switched the card, I got an invite for the Diablo 3 beta. I played it, and it worked, but I want my bells and whistles dammit, so after checking Toms Hardware (in researching what new card to buy) I found that my old card is still pretty high on their hierarchy chart.

    I have always been that kind of guy that never gives up and always, always looks for one more way to solve something, so I started searching for ways of maybe repairing the card, or if someone knew a way to split it via software to one card or basically ANYTHING else than discarding it and buying a new one.

    What I found was this:
    http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606658
    and this:
    http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/members-helping-members/1394250-4870x2-died.html
    aaaaaaand this:
    http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1421792&page=2

    You get the gist, right?

    For those of you that don't want to read the links, these are success stories of people stripping their out of warranty graphics card of everything except the card, then baking it in the oven for 180 - 220 degrees celsius for 7-9 minutes and then letting it cool down, applying new thermal paste and then - Voila! A working, non artifacting graphics card.

    Basically something that I had never seen here on Guru 3d, and this is my main forum for all things graphical.

    Since the card was now a very expensive paperweight sitting on my desktop, I figured that I don't have anything to loose, so I stripped it of the cooler, cleaned all the thermal -grease and -goo from it, and then put it in the, preheated to 200C, oven GPU side facing up, standing on three small mounts of aluminum foil, placed carefully so as not to touch anything sensitive, for 8 minutes.

    Some of the longest 8 minutes of my life so far.

    I then let it cool for half an hour in the oven with the door open, then for 15 minutes outside the oven. Then I cleaned the cooling blocks under running water, let them dry, applied new thermal goo (had some Arctic Silver 5 left from earlier adventures) And put everything together again.

    Held my breath, and in to the computer it went.

    Still held my breath and turned the power on.

    Still holding my breath as windows booted up, FIRST TRY!.

    WTF?! It worked! :3eyes::3eyes::3eyes:

    Don't get your hopes up, might just be a fluke, it worked 1 out of 10 times earlier, remember? Okay, so let's try this. Start up skyrim, works perfectly, start up Crysis 2, works perfect.... hmm, some strange artifacts, no these are driver/texture related. I remember these from earlier, phew!
    Start up Mass Effect 2, works perfectly, leave it on for 10 minutes while I go take a dump and shut up that nervous tummy of mine.

    Still running!!!!!

    To say the least, I am happy, elated even that I got my 3990 SEK (599$ todays exchange rate) graphics card working again by baking it in the oven.

    The theory behind this is that these cards get so warm and then cool down so often and to such extremes that the solder get tiny micro fractures that the eye can't really see, but they interrupt the electrical pathways. One other theory is that whiskers grow ever so slowly from the solderings. The xbox 360 has seen alot of these issues, and the 8800 from nvidia aswell.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisker_(metallurgy)

    The oven baking is basically making the solder liquid again so that it can, via surface tension, blob up and reflow itself to the correct configuration. This apparently solves the tin whiskers aswell.
    People have been baking their Xbox 360's by wrapping them in towels and disconnecting the fan to solve the red ring of death, which apparently reflows the solder aswell.

    Now, I did this yesterday, and so far so good. I have no idea though how long this will last.
    One dude (see links above) writes that he began having issues again after 7 months, and did this again to much success. Apprantely he has done it 3 times in total, when issues started appearing again, and it has worked every time.

    Im just so glad that I may now be able to keep this card still when I get my new equiptment (new Cpu, new Mobo, new rams and an SSD) yeah baby!


    I wish you all the best, I will write here again if it stops working, then I might do the oven trick again and take some pictures aswell.


    TL : DR I baked my 4870x2 in the oven at 200C 8 minutes, and it works wonders again.

    Peace out.
     
  2. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

    Messages:
    25,214
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    7950 Vapor-X 1100/1500
    Thanks, it's actually a pretty well known trick here - a lot of 8800's have been fixed using the oven method.

    Glad it worked for you...
     
  3. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,399
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    i am happy for you !
    really i am ..
    the downside of home DIY BGA reflow is the long term damage...
    i am talking this after a BGA rework /reflow classes that i am taking now,and prety delicate stuff.you solved the consequence,not the real problem..you need to re solder the BGA chip using different solder alloy and get rid of the older one..
    sorry for ruining your party...
     
  4. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

    Messages:
    25,214
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    7950 Vapor-X 1100/1500
    Lol. I tried to bake a router one day and forgot to set the oven timer. Turned into a big puddle of goo...
     

  5. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    You aren't ruinin anything man, I am thankful for the comment. Really. While investigating i saw alot of thoughtful, educated, comments like your own. Of course reflowing solder in an relatively uncontrolled environment (a home oven) is not the ideal way to go, however, you have to remember that my card was just a heavy piece of scrap metal and silica in my book.
    Out of warranty and all.
    I would never throw it out, that's not how I roll, but now it works again, and istead of having it as a piece of show gear on a shelf, I can have it working in my computer like the way it was meant for a while longer.

    The only worryig thing here is that I saw no marks or anything about ROHS on the card, meaning it was probably lead based solder. So I have cooked lead..... in my home oven.

    Might need to clean it out. :nerd:
     
  6. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

    Messages:
    29,232
    Likes Received:
    2,076
    GPU:
    GTX1070 iChillx4
    baked a couple of 8800gtx's myself :) unfortunately one died at one time though lol
     
  7. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    I have never seen any posts about this trick here in the AMD forum, and I actually never hang in the green camp. been ATI since the Geforce 2 MX waaay back when.

    Did you bake the router with the plastic covering still on? Then I imagine it have gotten somewhat.. melty.
    :puke2:
     
  8. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

    Messages:
    25,214
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    7950 Vapor-X 1100/1500
    ^Yeah.

    I also baked an 8800GTX about a year ago (thx to white's advice ;)) and it's still going.
     
  9. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    Thats too bad, but at least a 50% success rate then? any of them still going? :)
     
  10. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    Awesome. A year. You're making me hopeful :)
     

  11. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

    Messages:
    29,232
    Likes Received:
    2,076
    GPU:
    GTX1070 iChillx4
    only place they are going is inside a box for dust collecting. cards are too old nowadays for me. upgraded a few times already :p
     
  12. Mikedogg

    Mikedogg Banned

    Messages:
    2,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Radeon HD 4650M 1GB
    Yeah I found about this trick a few years back over at "Laptopvideo2go.com" back when I was rocking Nvidia. The only problem is, that it is only a temporary fix; expect problems in the near future.

    It's a bit harder if it's (IGP) though.


    Since the "oven bake" worked, I'd suggest not overclocking it anymore and to start looking at "SMAA" or "FXAA" for better rendering and/or performance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  13. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    Normally, this rig I am running now (Check description) would have been swapped out long ago, however I have been having trouble with work and unemployment for some time now.
    That's one of the reasons I am so happy that my 4870x2 is alive and kicking again. It is still a monster of a card, if only I get some new gear to push it with.

    It's always been my goal to see what this card can do, just too bad I lost my job about when it was time to upgrade.
    Now I am working hard again though. Upgrades will be coming, and of course sometime in the future a new graphics card is a must, but I still want to see what this baby can do.
     
  14. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

    Messages:
    29,232
    Likes Received:
    2,076
    GPU:
    GTX1070 iChillx4
    Well i can understand your position. good too see your happy with it. i rather not comment on the 4870x2 card itself, since its the worst ive ever owned myself. anyways its your fun with it that counts :thumbup:
     
  15. CLass

    CLass Active Member

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gainward GTX980 Phantom
    My Opinion

    Hey,

    ive been working for a very big chip manufacturer and deliverer and we also bake parts if they get too wet, we have so called MSC Levels thats tells you how long that part can work without any drybags as a loose part, i can imagine baking your card could dry the memory modules, were also codeing/bakeing/using hynix memory modules used for Graphicscards.

    Thats just what i can say from my POV, anyway great job have fun with your card :biggun:
     

  16. mrBullseye

    mrBullseye Member Guru

    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gigabyte HD7970 GHz Ed.
    Snip from a previous post: You have to remember that my card was just a heavy piece of scrap metal and silica in my book.

    Out of warranty and all.

    I would never throw it out, that's not how I roll, but now it works again, and istead of having it as a piece of show gear on a shelf, I can have it working in my computer like the way it was meant for a while longer.

    You are of course entitled to your opinion, and I value educated comments, so please, if you you know stuff. Share! :)
     
  17. Yxskaft

    Yxskaft Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    119
    GPU:
    GTX Titan Sli
    Nice to hear it worked for you

    I recently tried resurrecting my 8800GT, and the PC started and could surf on the net and such...Died directly when I was going to stress test it though:cry:
     
  18. orion24

    orion24 Master Guru

    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GTX 680 @ 1254/1703
    Well you must have missed some action as there have been plenty of such threads in this forum. One of them is mine, about a successful oven trick on an 7900GTX and an unsuccessful one on a X850XT
     
  19. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,659
    Likes Received:
    95
    GPU:
    Nitro+ 5700XT
    Heck I have baked my release version PS3 4 times now. It just keeps coming back. :nerd:
     
  20. Pav4o

    Pav4o Member Guru

    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Sapphire 7970@1025MHz
    Glad for your success too, mrBullseye :)
    I have had success too with my good old ASUS 4870x2.
    The card had been slowly degrading since summer of 2010 and eventually stopped working last December. It was not covered by a warranty by then, so I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degress C. And the card worked and has been working flawlessly for 3,5 months :)
     

Share This Page