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Bad Capacitors on an ATI 9700 Pro

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February 16, 2005 12:57:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

All,

This story has a happy ending, so I hope others will benefit from my
experience...

My PC display first started showing "snow" and what looked like a
scrambled screen from the old DOS/CGA days when something stomped on
memory. Initially, I could still use the PC though. Then, the next
day at boot-up the PC would go thru the POST but at the point Windows
XP starts loading it would just lock up.

After normal troubleshooting, it was definitely a problem with my 9700
Pro (swapping vid cards allowed the PC to boot, etc.). On inspection,
the 2 capacitors near the power connector on the 9700 were damaged.
One was leaking, and the other was bulging.

I took it to a local TV repair shop, and got it fixed the same day. He
used 16v capacitors in place of the 10v ones just for added assurance.

And, that seems to have done the trick! I've been running for 2 days
solid now.


**> Now, the $64,000 question -- What caused this problem? Was it
heat, an electrical spike, just bad capacitors, or what?

The TV repair shop didn't think it was heat -- they thought it was a
power problem. I think I'm using a pretty decent PS (an Antec
TruePower 380), and the PC is plugged into an APC SurgeArrest Pro power
strip.

As far as heat goes, the CPU temp is normally about 58C, and the board
temp is about 36C. Also, I replaced the stock 9700 GPU fan with a
passive Zalman heatpipe cooler to cut down on noise. I don't have a
way of directly measuring the GPU temp, but its hot.

One other thing -- I had just installed a new TV capture card in the PC
about a week before this happened (coincidence?).

Any thoughts?

Thanks, and good luck for those who have this problem!
-Craig

Abit IC7-G
Intel 2.8GHz
Kingston 512MB PC3500 (X2 - 1GB total)
ATI 9700 Pro w/ Zalman Heatpipe cooler
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250
NEC 3500A DVD-RW
WD Raptor 35GB (X2 - Raid 0 - 70GB total)
Adaptec 2940U SCSI
(using on-board Ethernet and Sound)
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 2:06:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

On 15 Feb 2005 21:57:16 -0800, "Craig" <craigrpeters@charter.net>
wrote:

>All,
>
>This story has a happy ending, so I hope others will benefit from my
>experience...
>
>My PC display first started showing "snow" and what looked like a
>scrambled screen from the old DOS/CGA days when something stomped on
>memory. Initially, I could still use the PC though. Then, the next
>day at boot-up the PC would go thru the POST but at the point Windows
>XP starts loading it would just lock up.
>
>After normal troubleshooting, it was definitely a problem with my 9700
>Pro (swapping vid cards allowed the PC to boot, etc.). On inspection,
>the 2 capacitors near the power connector on the 9700 were damaged.
>One was leaking, and the other was bulging.
>
>I took it to a local TV repair shop, and got it fixed the same day. He
>used 16v capacitors in place of the 10v ones just for added assurance.
>
>And, that seems to have done the trick! I've been running for 2 days
>solid now.
>
>
>**> Now, the $64,000 question -- What caused this problem? Was it
>heat, an electrical spike, just bad capacitors, or what?

Heat can cause it. But they can just go bad over time like any
electrical component and like the other guy said there was a glut of
bad caps on the market for a while too.
February 16, 2005 9:16:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

On inspection,
> the 2 capacitors near the power connector on the 9700 were damaged.
> One was leaking, and the other was bulging.
>> Any thoughts?

There was a problem a while back with a huge number leaky and bad caps on
Gainward Ti4200 cards. And of course, the massive bad cap problem that
plagued numerous m/b's as well. I've not heard about issues with this and
ATI products.
Related resources
February 16, 2005 4:06:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

"Chris Pound" <Chris@invalid.noemail> wrote in message
news:q4s511t74d1tm1hs2877r1tvdoqgbuhvae@4ax.com...
> On 15 Feb 2005 21:57:16 -0800, "Craig"
> <craigrpeters@charter.net>
> wrote:
>>
>>I took it to a local TV repair shop, and got it fixed the same
>>day. He
>>used 16v capacitors in place of the 10v ones just for added
>>assurance.
>>
>>And, that seems to have done the trick! I've been running for 2
>>days
>>solid now.
>>
>>
>>**> Now, the $64,000 question -- What caused this problem? Was
>>it
>>heat, an electrical spike, just bad capacitors, or what?
>
> Heat can cause it. But they can just go bad over time like any
> electrical component and like the other guy said there was a
> glut of
> bad caps on the market for a while too.

Might be worth checking that the tv repair place fitted caps with
the correct temperature rating, i.e. 105C not 85C. 85C rated caps
may give you problems again, depending on your case temps and the
temps of and around the caps failure could be within a few months
worse case.

Glad you got it fixed, I've resurrected quite a few (cap failure)
things over the last year.
It's quite worrying that most home electronics contain
electrolytic caps; I keep asking myself when my
TV/DVD/VRC/FRIDGE/CAR etc... will die ;-)

--
Ian
February 16, 2005 11:58:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
connector.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 12:44:46 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Craig wrote:

> Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
> that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
> connector.

Historically, there was a problem that hit the entire computer
industry--even IBM--a while back. Seems that in a bungled attempt at
industrial espionage (or maybe as the result of clever counterespionage)
somebody stole the electrolyte formula from a Japanese capacitor
manufacturer and put that electrolyte into production in Taiwan. The
Taiwanese capacitor manufacturers rushed to adopt the supposedly superior
Japanese formulation and found out the hard way that there was something
wrong with the stolen formula (I think it would be really cool if the
Japanese had planted a known-bad formula on the thief, but I digress) with
the result that just about every manufacturer who produces anything
electronic in Taiwan was getting capacitor failures. Odds are that the
ones that failed on your board came out of that fiasco.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 11:55:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

"Craig" <craigrpeters@charter.net> wrote in message
news:1108533436.847981.102330@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> All,
>
> This story has a happy ending, so I hope others will benefit from my
> experience...
>
> My PC display first started showing "snow" and what looked like a
> scrambled screen from the old DOS/CGA days when something stomped on
> memory. Initially, I could still use the PC though. Then, the next
> day at boot-up the PC would go thru the POST but at the point Windows
> XP starts loading it would just lock up.
>
> After normal troubleshooting, it was definitely a problem with my 9700
> Pro (swapping vid cards allowed the PC to boot, etc.). On inspection,
> the 2 capacitors near the power connector on the 9700 were damaged.
> One was leaking, and the other was bulging.
>
> I took it to a local TV repair shop, and got it fixed the same day. He
> used 16v capacitors in place of the 10v ones just for added assurance.
>
> And, that seems to have done the trick! I've been running for 2 days
> solid now.
>
>
> **> Now, the $64,000 question -- What caused this problem? Was it
> heat, an electrical spike, just bad capacitors, or what?
>
> The TV repair shop didn't think it was heat -- they thought it was a
> power problem. I think I'm using a pretty decent PS (an Antec
> TruePower 380), and the PC is plugged into an APC SurgeArrest Pro power
> strip.
>
> As far as heat goes, the CPU temp is normally about 58C, and the board
> temp is about 36C. Also, I replaced the stock 9700 GPU fan with a
> passive Zalman heatpipe cooler to cut down on noise. I don't have a
> way of directly measuring the GPU temp, but its hot.
>
> One other thing -- I had just installed a new TV capture card in the PC
> about a week before this happened (coincidence?).
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks, and good luck for those who have this problem!
> -Craig

There was a big thing about bad capacitors a while ago.
My ABIT 9600XT has a sticker on the box saying 'High quality japanese
capacitors'. I think from memory ABIT were one of the first to get stung by
that whole capacitor espionage thing a couple of years back.

My old Geforce2 Ti worked fine for like 2 years, and then one day I fired up
MOHAA and the screen went all funny (lots of coloured lines and stuff). I
had to turn off the machine, tried to turn it on and it seemed fine for a
couple of seconds then lots of coloured square blocks. I finally took it
out, and a couple of capacitors seemed bulged with one having some internals
poking through.

Thought I could get it fixed but the electronics store guy showed me that
near the capacitors a little tiny integrated circuit had also ruptured (in a
wierd way too - but definitely stuffed). It was a Leadtek as well which I
thought was quality - but I guess bad capacitors can happen anywhere?
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 6:41:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Boy, did you mangle that story.

A chemical company in Twaiwan that was going out of business left out a
key but expensive ingredient from a batch of electrolyte. There was no
"espionage" involved, they were simply trying to "cut corners" and save
some money as they went down the tubes. But a few hundred million
electrolytic capacitors were made with this bad electrolyte, and it
plagued the electronics industry for several years. That problem is now
MOSTLY behind us. The story was covered extensively about 3-4 years ago.



J. Clarke wrote:

> Craig wrote:
>
>
>>Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
>>that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
>>connector.
>
>
> Historically, there was a problem that hit the entire computer
> industry--even IBM--a while back. Seems that in a bungled attempt at
> industrial espionage (or maybe as the result of clever counterespionage)
> somebody stole the electrolyte formula from a Japanese capacitor
> manufacturer and put that electrolyte into production in Taiwan. The
> Taiwanese capacitor manufacturers rushed to adopt the supposedly superior
> Japanese formulation and found out the hard way that there was something
> wrong with the stolen formula (I think it would be really cool if the
> Japanese had planted a known-bad formula on the thief, but I digress) with
> the result that just about every manufacturer who produces anything
> electronic in Taiwan was getting capacitor failures. Odds are that the
> ones that failed on your board came out of that fiasco.
>
February 20, 2005 6:41:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Barry Watzman wrote:
> Boy, did you mangle that story.
>
> A chemical company in Twaiwan that was going out of business left out a
> key but expensive ingredient from a batch of electrolyte. There was no
> "espionage" involved, they were simply trying to "cut corners" and save
> some money as they went down the tubes. But a few hundred million
> electrolytic capacitors were made with this bad electrolyte, and it
> plagued the electronics industry for several years. That problem is now
> MOSTLY behind us. The story was covered extensively about 3-4 years ago.
>
>
>
> J. Clarke wrote:
>
>> Craig wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
>>> that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
>>> connector.
>>

Is this related to the power supply problems that several people have
had where the video card will not post properly without jumping through
hoops such as having to change power supplies, delaying plugging in the
power connector on the card, adding delay timers, rebooting the whole
system etc? This was reported to be a capacitor issue.

Ray..
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 6:41:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 15:41:42 GMT, Barry Watzman
<WatzmanNOSPAM@neo.rr.com> wrote:

>Boy, did you mangle that story.
>
>A chemical company in Twaiwan that was going out of business left out a
>key but expensive ingredient from a batch of electrolyte. There was no
>"espionage" involved, they were simply trying to "cut corners" and save
>some money as they went down the tubes. But a few hundred million
>electrolytic capacitors were made with this bad electrolyte, and it
>plagued the electronics industry for several years. That problem is now
>MOSTLY behind us. The story was covered extensively about 3-4 years ago.

I guess it depends which *story* you read then because the one I read
certainly did say it was espionage. Stolen formula that was not
complete and then used by Taiwanese manufacturers. If you look it up
you will find that this espionage story is quite easy to find.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 2:37:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Barry Watzman wrote:

> Boy, did you mangle that story.
>
> A chemical company in Twaiwan that was going out of business left out a
> key but expensive ingredient from a batch of electrolyte. There was no
> "espionage" involved, they were simply trying to "cut corners" and save
> some money as they went down the tubes. But a few hundred million
> electrolytic capacitors were made with this bad electrolyte, and it
> plagued the electronics industry for several years. That problem is now
> MOSTLY behind us. The story was covered extensively about 3-4 years ago.

Seems that the IEEE "mangled" it too.
<http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/feb03/nca...;

If you have a more reliable source than the IEEE please post it.


> J. Clarke wrote:
>
>> Craig wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
>>>that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
>>>connector.
>>
>>
>> Historically, there was a problem that hit the entire computer
>> industry--even IBM--a while back. Seems that in a bungled attempt at
>> industrial espionage (or maybe as the result of clever counterespionage)
>> somebody stole the electrolyte formula from a Japanese capacitor
>> manufacturer and put that electrolyte into production in Taiwan. The
>> Taiwanese capacitor manufacturers rushed to adopt the supposedly superior
>> Japanese formulation and found out the hard way that there was something
>> wrong with the stolen formula (I think it would be really cool if the
>> Japanese had planted a known-bad formula on the thief, but I digress)
>> with the result that just about every manufacturer who produces anything
>> electronic in Taiwan was getting capacitor failures. Odds are that the
>> ones that failed on your board came out of that fiasco.
>>

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 2:37:49 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 23:37:48 -0500, "J. Clarke"
<jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:


>Seems that the IEEE "mangled" it too.
><http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/feb03/nca...;

Yep, that's where I got my info from too but I have seen one other
person on a newsgroup say it's not true too. Probably plants. ;-)
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 12:00:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

Trinity wrote:

> On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 23:37:48 -0500, "J. Clarke"
> <jclarke.usenet@snet.net.invalid> wrote:
>
>
>>Seems that the IEEE "mangled" it too.
>><http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/feb03/nca...;
>
> Yep, that's where I got my info from too but I have seen one other
> person on a newsgroup say it's not true too. Probably plants. ;-)

Or maybe there were two separate incidents--Barry was talking about a 3-5
year timeframe, IEEE reported it in 2003.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 8:09:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati (More info?)

There was a different story, an earlier story (2002), but I can't find a
link now. Espionage was not part of that story, the chemical firm in
Taiwan was identified, they were in financial difficulty (ended up going
bankrupt), and simply left out -- intentionally -- an ingredient that
was a major part of the cost, simply to save money. But the bottom line
result was the same, electroylyte made without a cricially important
ingredient resulting in hundreds of millions of bad capacitors.


J. Clarke wrote:

> Barry Watzman wrote:
>
>
>>Boy, did you mangle that story.
>>
>>A chemical company in Twaiwan that was going out of business left out a
>>key but expensive ingredient from a batch of electrolyte. There was no
>>"espionage" involved, they were simply trying to "cut corners" and save
>>some money as they went down the tubes. But a few hundred million
>>electrolytic capacitors were made with this bad electrolyte, and it
>>plagued the electronics industry for several years. That problem is now
>>MOSTLY behind us. The story was covered extensively about 3-4 years ago.
>
>
> Seems that the IEEE "mangled" it too.
> <http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/feb03/nca...;
>
> If you have a more reliable source than the IEEE please post it.
>
>
>
>>J. Clarke wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Craig wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>Does anyone think that I may have a power problem? The only 2 caps
>>>>that had a problem happened to be the 2 right next to the power
>>>>connector.
>>>
>>>
>>>Historically, there was a problem that hit the entire computer
>>>industry--even IBM--a while back. Seems that in a bungled attempt at
>>>industrial espionage (or maybe as the result of clever counterespionage)
>>>somebody stole the electrolyte formula from a Japanese capacitor
>>>manufacturer and put that electrolyte into production in Taiwan. The
>>>Taiwanese capacitor manufacturers rushed to adopt the supposedly superior
>>>Japanese formulation and found out the hard way that there was something
>>>wrong with the stolen formula (I think it would be really cool if the
>>>Japanese had planted a known-bad formula on the thief, but I digress)
>>>with the result that just about every manufacturer who produces anything
>>>electronic in Taiwan was getting capacitor failures. Odds are that the
>>>ones that failed on your board came out of that fiasco.
>>>
>
>
!