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Baking your 8800gtx main board

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 13, 2010 1:33:36 PM

Ok so it turns out that XFX "Double Lifetime Warranty" is not worth anything in the UK!!! We get a mere 2 years! Grrrrr!!!!

My card is out of warranty, XFX have suggested helping me in selecting and buying another, cheeky sods, so there is really no where to go. Like I want to spend another £500 with them on a card that lasts a couple of years.

Anyway, I have read of a number of people having exactly the same issue, () with corrupt characters pre-post and in BIOS setup, and lines appearing on the Windows boot up screen.

They have suggested stripping the card down and baking the mainboard at 195 degrees C for 9 minutes, to cause the solder connection to re-fuse.

Has anyone else tried this with any success?

Obviously last resort, but that is where I am.
a b Î Nvidia
April 13, 2010 2:27:54 PM

the method works in some cases, namely when the solder interconnections have cracked. But 195C is too low*, cranck it up to 240-250C to melt the solder joints properly. If you like you can 'preheat' the card up to 195C for couple of minutes and then increase the temp to 240C for few minutes, depending how fast the oven reaches that temperature. And if possible use the convection fans in full blast to make the heat transfer faster. Typical components used in electronics can withstand temperatures up to 260C, so dont overheat the thing. It would be advisable to have some sort of temperature meter in there as well.

*if the card is pre-RoHS, ie contains tin-lead solder with melting temperature 183C, 195 would be enough. But lead-free RoHS compatible solders have melting temperatures around 220C.

and there are lots of threads about succesfull repairs over the net.

And dont worry, I know what I'm talkin about, MSc in electronics production :p 
April 13, 2010 8:33:52 PM

I am still absolutely amazed.

Thanks to all the author of articles I read over various forums, and to Kari for the reply, I bucked up the courage as the warranty is out, so it either kill or cure, and I am ecstatic cos it cured.

I put my apron on, got out my screwdriver and stripped the cooling off the card, and baked in a pre-heated oven at 235 degrees C for 8-8.5 minutes.

My card is working again.

Saved me a packet.

Thanks again from a very happy gamer.

If your warranty is in get it replaced by the reseller or the manufacturer, else I would highly recommend baking your card. :-)

RESULT!!!!!!
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April 13, 2010 8:45:16 PM

Woah, This can help he card?

I thought it was just for shi.t and gigles!
April 13, 2010 8:53:54 PM

Yep it melts the solder in the connections and reconnects the solder where it had previously fractured.


I am so pleased.
a b Î Nvidia
April 13, 2010 8:57:47 PM

Yup- its been shown to work several times- there is a great thread on it over at HardOCP. Pretty cool way to fix your card, but still- just shows that those cards were not manufactured properly if their solder joints are cracking.
April 13, 2010 8:57:59 PM

I've done this to my 8800 gts with success ...for a limited time First time I did it at like 195 for 8 minutes. It lasted for a month or two, then I did it again for like 10 mins. It still works mostly but still gives me some problems. Decided to just buy an 5850... grrr
April 14, 2010 4:11:15 AM

I hope that you are saving for your new card because when it is time to go, it will, and no amount of baking will help.
April 14, 2010 7:49:56 AM

soundefx said:
I hope that you are saving for your new card because when it is time to go, it will, and no amount of baking will help.


Yes am already planning and saving for the next build, had this machine for 3.5 years, but its still doing all I want it too and playing all the games I currently play so no need at this precise moment.


a b Î Nvidia
April 14, 2010 4:38:06 PM

3.5 years is a great run for a machine:-) Especially if you are still playing what you want to and happy! Hope it lasts you a bit longer until you are actually ready and have the money for the new build:-)
a b Î Nvidia
April 14, 2010 7:17:01 PM

flyinfinni said:
but still- just shows that those cards were not manufactured properly if their solder joints are cracking.
no matter how well the card is manufactured in the first place, the joints will eventually fail. The joints are under quite a lot of stress when the card heats up and cools down, because of different coefficients of thermal expansion of the silicon/chip carrier/pcb-structure. Typical wear and tear so to speak. And since the failures follow some sort of weibull distribution, some joints will fail sooner rather than later, even if there wasn't anything obviously wrong with them in the first place...


anyways... it's likely the card wont last for long as mentioned already by others, there are plenty of other failure mechanisms going on in there, and even if this repair method fixes some, it will likely worsen some others.

But I'm glad to hear it worked again, even if it is only a temporary fix. ;) 
a b Î Nvidia
April 14, 2010 7:27:48 PM

I understand the physics of the solder joints- I'm an electrical engineer after all:-) However- the 8800 series boards are the only ones I've heard of to have this particular failure and fix, and it seems to me there is some problem either with manufacturing process or design that causes this type of failure before it really should. I'm sure there are other cards that fail this way, but not, seemingly, in the same quantities and time frame as the 8800 series. Plenty of people have and use their cards much longer than the 2-3 years that these 8800's fail in. Maybe its just something thats been found on the 8800s and other fail the same and just haven't been fixed the same way. But yeah- anyway- thats just how I see it from what I've seen and read.
a b Î Nvidia
April 14, 2010 8:33:32 PM

fair enough :)  yeah it might have something to do with the physical size/design or material choices...or something else
April 15, 2010 2:28:48 AM

Most of the time, once you take care of your equipment, they take care of you.

3.5 years is a good run and for only one part to act up isn't bad at all.
April 15, 2010 7:48:23 AM

2.5 hours last night running, Borderlands, BFBC2, and C&C Generals, no problems at all.

:bounce: 

April 15, 2010 7:50:25 AM

flyinfinni said:
I understand the physics of the solder joints- I'm an electrical engineer after all:-) However- the 8800 series boards are the only ones I've heard of to have this particular failure and fix, and it seems to me there is some problem either with manufacturing process or design that causes this type of failure before it really should. I'm sure there are other cards that fail this way, but not, seemingly, in the same quantities and time frame as the 8800 series. Plenty of people have and use their cards much longer than the 2-3 years that these 8800's fail in. Maybe its just something thats been found on the 8800s and other fail the same and just haven't been fixed the same way. But yeah- anyway- thats just how I see it from what I've seen and read.


I agree, my 8800 GTS died just under 2 years into its life and it seems to be happening to quite a few people.
a b Î Nvidia
April 15, 2010 5:09:38 PM

Nice Scrag-Meister. I still love that baking a board can make it work again, especially when we are all so worried about our hardware overheating:-)

Dark- exactly too many of them failing the same way right around the 2 year mark for it not to be something inherent in the design or build of the board.
April 15, 2010 5:12:59 PM

Its a shame that most video card vendors only give 2 years warranty. Gives people the incentive to upgrade though.
a b Î Nvidia
April 15, 2010 7:00:41 PM

Any one still remember when most ICs were made at or close to M spec or better?

They could have done better with this generation as with most and as usual they skimped on cooling allowing for hot spots in the VRM to even the core it's self. For some who come into the profession/hobby of PC repair still come across hardware that is decades old and yet functions as the day it was taken out of the box.
a b Î Nvidia
April 15, 2010 9:19:26 PM

Yup- there are plenty of electronics that work consistently forever. Part of the problem is that today, manufacturers want you to upgrade and spend more money, so they don't focus so much on making things last.
a b Î Nvidia
April 15, 2010 9:54:59 PM

flyinfinni said:
Yup- there are plenty of electronics that work consistently forever. Part of the problem is that today, manufacturers want you to upgrade and spend more money, so they don't focus so much on making things last.



Correct, not to many have seen a working TV from the 50s with all original parts except for a few caps. I miss the quality American and European electronic manufacturing every thing even the cheap crappy stuff is quality by today's standards. Just like cars every thing else is just the bottom line sigh. :( 
a b Î Nvidia
April 15, 2010 10:11:12 PM

Yup. Used to be appliances lasted. My parents had a dishwasher that worked well for like 20 years. They finally decided to replace it, and have replaced it like again and its not even been 3 years yet.
a b Î Nvidia
April 16, 2010 11:26:51 AM

back in the day the components were the size of a matchbox with two leads, today your gadgets have tiny csp-packages with lots of tiny solderbumbs, theres so much more to go wrong with them.... but yeah, cheaply made crap is just depressing.....
a b Î Nvidia
April 16, 2010 12:55:01 PM

Yea :(  same applies to buildings and infrastructure..

New building last 2 or 3 decades before major repairs or is torn down...
Old family home that was built in the 1900s only minor maintenance..
a b Î Nvidia
April 16, 2010 6:16:36 PM

Yup- Its too bad people can't plan more for sustainability rather than immediate cost cuts or looks or whatever. It is true that there is more that can go wrong with the much more complicated gadgets today, but theres also a ton more knowledge of how to mitigate those types of issues today.
April 17, 2010 4:20:17 AM

Well that is business for you. They have to find the balance between quality and it must break.
a b Î Nvidia
April 17, 2010 1:43:28 PM

soundefx said:
Well that is business for you. They have to find the balance between quality and it must break.



Sure if it makes money even when it undermines civilization.
a b Î Nvidia
April 17, 2010 7:43:31 PM

haha- yup.
April 18, 2010 4:08:16 PM

Yep. My parent's have a fridge that 23 years old, and still kicking.
April 19, 2010 3:13:03 AM

My Grand parents had a fridge that got replaced, not because it died, but because it didn't go with the new decor.
April 19, 2010 1:00:17 PM

Ha.

Tremendous waste of Fridge.
a b Î Nvidia
April 19, 2010 5:19:53 PM

Agreed. How would it not go with the decor though? I mean, they're mostly black, silver, or white (sometimes off-white) how does that not go with pretty much anything?
April 19, 2010 7:12:05 PM

Well, THey could have an all black decor and a wood pannled fridge...

But still a waste.

My cousin is ugly, but we didn't throw her out whne she was born....
a b Î Nvidia
April 20, 2010 1:02:26 AM

builderbobftw said:
Well, THey could have an all black decor and a wood pannled fridge...

But still a waste.

My cousin is ugly, but we didn't throw her out whne she was born....



OMG

........Wants to throw out government due to it being fool of bottom feeding scum sucking criminals and stink to high heaven when rest of country might as well be botanical garden.
April 21, 2010 3:34:23 AM

The counter tops were marble and the fridge was an orange colour. So they decided that it needed to go.

How did this turn from a 8800GTX being baked to replacing ugly people?

Don't get me wrong, I like it, but it is WAY off topic.
April 21, 2010 8:07:28 PM

Baking ugly people?

Don't get me wrong, my cousin is an eyesore, but that seems a tad harsh.
a b Î Nvidia
April 23, 2010 1:58:49 AM

Wow.... lol. How did we get to this again? haha
April 23, 2010 6:25:30 AM

flyinfinni said:
Wow.... lol. How did we get to this again? haha


Builderbob said this: Yep. My parent's have a fridge that 23 years old, and still kicking.

That is how it began.

Anyway, back to the topic. Is the card still running at the stock speed or did you have to underclock it a bit?
April 26, 2010 9:48:33 PM

My friend baked his 8800 gtx 5 months ago and it still works strong. That artifact problem is a case of weak or not enough solder just heating up and then cooling causing it to crack. I just bake mine yesterday for 10 mins and the card is working like brand new. I also have an 8800 gtx. Nvidia forever thats all i have to say.
April 26, 2010 9:49:11 PM

NV forever cuase thier products break and need to be heated in an oven yay!
April 27, 2010 3:35:19 AM

Ah.. I now understand why nvidia makes their cards run hot. It is so that it 'bakes' itself, hence, fixes itself.

Nvidia, you sly company you.....

All this time we are trying to keep our cards cool while they should be run hot, with dust bunnies surrounding them to keep all the heat in. This might make the card run for years to come.

April 27, 2010 7:48:22 PM

^ Lol'd at that.

But the heat/noise of the Fermi cards isn't the problem, It's the power usage.
a b Î Nvidia
April 27, 2010 7:51:17 PM

You know when it is working when every one else is having rolling black outs and the local hospital is rocking their generators.
April 27, 2010 8:35:56 PM

Yep. Just uses to much power. Could be a viable product if built on 28nm, but it is not so....
April 27, 2010 8:42:01 PM

Since when is 250w max TPD too much for an enthusiast, even 750w x 3 only requires a really good PSU.

If it really mattered, no one would overclock their CPUs, RAM, or GPUs and no one would ever dare do anything demanding on their PCs because it would simply use too much power.

Sure the GTX 480 would be a much better product if it used less power, but common I don't even look twice at 250w.
April 27, 2010 9:33:49 PM

This has got to be the best thread i've read in a long time.

My only questions: Who the hell figured out that baking worked!?
April 27, 2010 11:01:54 PM

Dude, the GTX 470 uses more power than the 5970.

Just to much money in power....
April 28, 2010 12:40:18 AM

builderbobftw said:
Dude, the GTX 470 uses more power than the 5970.

Just to much money in power....


ummm...









Just to name a few...
April 28, 2010 12:51:20 AM

Oh , Sorry, i meant 480 uses more than 5970.

April 28, 2010 12:53:02 AM

Sometimes, yes, but that is not all that bad. It isn't anything we haven't seen before, although it is a single card.

But I suppose that is my opinion.
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