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9800GT Almost Fits - Possible Solutions?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 1, 2009 5:44:26 PM

I recently purchased a new Zotac 9800GT PCI-Express card, and unfortunately it doesn't want to fit into my old motherboard from a pre-built Gateway PC (GT5082). The end of the card is too long and ends up touching the top of a few capacitors, therefore not allowing the card to completely go into the PCI-Express (x16) slot. It seems like the pins at the beginning of the card (as in, where x1 card would be) actually click fully into place and up to the middle of the card they are fully in as well. After that I can start to see the top of the gold contacts more until the end of the card, although it is a very small amount.

Using onboard graphics, I have not been able to get my PC to recognize the new card. It powers on just fine and the fans start spinning. I have ample power with an Antec 480W PSU and have the power connector attached on the edge of the graphics card.

I'm hoping someone can give me some ideas on what else to try so that I can see if my PC is recognizing the card. Otherwise the only possible solutions I can think of are to remove and solder on four new capacitors with long legs so I can bend them out of the way. Also, I have read a bit about "taping" a x16 PCI-Express card so that it runs at x8. Does anyone have any experience with this (type of tape to use, complications, any software change necessary)? I am only looking for a temporary fix until I buy a new motherboard in a few months.

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a c 275 U Graphics card
January 1, 2009 6:26:12 PM

If you can't fully seat the card, don't use it.
I would not try soldering new capacitors. If you are an expert at this, go ahead.

Can you supply a pic of the problem?
How much room do you need, and where?

Does the capacitor interfere with the pcb board or the cooler?
If the cooler is the problem, you might be able to cut away a part of it. Alternatively return the card for one with a different cooler, or less length.
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January 1, 2009 7:00:07 PM

Can you bend the cap any?

Personally, I'm all for a new cap. I wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't have a desoldering iron, though, and if you don't, I wouldn't try it. I mean, this motherboard is getting replaced soon, anyway. I'd rather spend $1 on a cap over $40 on a riser.

But, if you don't have experience soldering, maybe the riser is for you.
January 1, 2009 8:10:13 PM

I could try and get a picture, but I don't think it will turn out very well at all. Basically if you look at the side of the PCI-E slot you can see about half of the gold contacts on the card, but just barely. The whole card is covered with a metal enclosure which is touching the caps, and while I could remove it, I can tell that there are caps on the card that would cause the same problem. So basically that eliminates any solutions involving modifying the card.

I did see card riser devices for sale, but I really do not want to spend more money since I will be buying a new mobo soon. The good news is I manage a production department so I have a few guys on my team that are very good solderers. We have all the equipment to do it professionally, including powered desoldering tools. This was going to be my last resort if "taping" the card doesn't work. I have a feeling it may work if I tape it, because I know half of the contacts are fully seated, so I was just hoping someone could provide me with some better instructions on taping a graphics card. I haven't found too much online.
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