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Baking your Graphics Card (in the oven)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 16, 2010 10:20:41 AM

Hey guys,

Many of you enthusiasts have probably heard of this odd technique before, but I'm posting it up for the less-informed or those who want a quick laugh...

Recently, one of my trusty old 8800GTs gave in. It was artifacting and freezing up, after which it no longer displayed anything. I wasn't too upset cause I've been gearing up for a new build in the close future (getting a pair of GTX 475s when they come out). In the meantime however, I was left using a single 8800GT to power all of my games. Being used to cranking almost every setting to MAX in most games, I got really annoyed with my drop in frame rates. Before chucking out the dead 8800GT, I decided to try one last thing, so I BURNT THE HECK OUT OF IT!.

Well it wasn't so drastic. I stripped it from everything I could (heatsink, memory heatsink etc). What I was left with was a bare PCB. I covered a baking tray in aluminium foil, and place the card on 3 little scrunched up balls as shown in the picture below. After this I put it into a preheated oven and left it there for 8 ~ 10mins at 200'C. You know when its down from the extreme smell of soldering.



Basically what this does is that it re-melts all the soldering points on the card which fixes the micro cracks when it cools down. The PCB has a lot higher melting point than the solder, and the short 10mins isn't enough to melt the plastic bits such as display ports etc.

After leaving it to cool down, I replaced the heatsinks and popped it back into my mobo. Voila, it WORKED!!! I was stunned to find that it powered on, my post screen popped up and eventually I was able to run all my programs (it did play Crysis) without a hitch. I benched it and found that it performed exactly the same as my other 8800GT!

So there you have it...If you find yourself about to chuck out an older/non-working GPU, run it through the oven first and enjoy the "miracle." If you want more info, hit up youtube/google.

If you want, you can add a couple of chocolate "chips" to top it all off :) 

Needless to say, bake your GPU at your own risk!
a c 169 U Graphics card
July 16, 2010 10:37:48 AM

Nice work ! We have had some users in this forum bringing back their card to life by baking it:D 
July 16, 2010 10:47:59 AM

Hey, mate what did you remove to bake and at what temp?
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a b U Graphics card
July 16, 2010 11:27:15 AM

more importantly did you waste the prheat? or did you make cookies afterwards? >_<

but seriously thats good info, if my 8600gt went out i wouldn't have fundage to replace it so if it ever does i'll have to try this, now would you leave in the caps or have to remove them and resolder them when done?
a c 91 U Graphics card
July 16, 2010 11:41:01 AM

I cast a lot of things in lead. This must be "magic" lead because "real" lead melts at a much higher temperature. If it did melt at an oven temp at 200 degrees think what would happen to it while it's running at temperature ( 70-100c ) in your machine for 10 minutes. Mine, yours and my neighbors wouldn't have a video card for very long.
Now, to address the toxic stuff now coating the inside of your oven....Better get an x-ray. You might be glowing..... lol
I used to put my wet boots in the oven at 200d. Worked really well. They fit better too. Only use for putting something in the oven other than food I ever found.
July 17, 2010 4:48:05 AM

amdfangirl said:
Hey, mate what did you remove to bake and at what temp?


I took off everything I could without soldering stuff off. So that included the heatsink/fan combo and the memory heatsinks. Basically anything that was secured via a screw. This left the bare PCB and the dual slot metal fin on the end of the card with the Display outs on it. I baked it for 8mins at 200'C
July 17, 2010 4:51:18 AM

@ swifty_morgan

Lol, I guess it might not have actually melted the lead, but I could definitely smell the scent of solder. I guess it was enough to do something, otherwise the card wouldn't have worked. Ughh, regarding the toxic plumes, I don't really know what to say. I left the oven open for quite some time and cleaned it out with dishwasher soap...

Oh well, we'll do many things in the name of science :D 
a c 169 U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 5:36:01 AM

Common solder alloys are mixtures of tin and lead, respectively:

* 63/37: melts at 183 °C (361 °F) (eutectic: the only mixture that melts at a point, instead of over a range)
* 60/40: melts between 183–190 °C (361–374 °F)
* 50/50: melts between 185–215 °C (365–419 °F)

your 200 degrees must have be been spot on. I dont think the lead fumes would be any good for you though. I personally would not risk my health over a video card.
a c 79 U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 7:33:13 AM

And if any of you guys are going to bake newer RoHS compatible cards with lead-free solders (like eutectic tin-silver-copper, melting point 217°C) be prepared to crank up the heat a little bit more. lol
July 17, 2010 9:48:51 AM

Haha, genius! Heard of this technique before but always thought it was a bit of an urban myth.
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 10:31:42 AM

RobBosman said:
Haha, genius! Heard of this technique before but always thought it was a bit of an urban myth.


Sounds like a future Mythbusters show to me! :lol: 
July 17, 2010 1:24:26 PM

After I baked my card I did a bit of digging around to see how other people fared, and found that many people employed this technique on the GTX 200 series cards with success. It worked on 9xxx and 8xxx cards as well, however I don't think many people have tried it with their brand new 4xx cards yet... :p 
July 17, 2010 4:07:19 PM

Not to subtle but effective. That is great, I haven't heard of this before.
July 17, 2010 5:00:05 PM

HMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
It's get'n *real* close to damaging the Silicon, which I believe happens at 455f; so ya gotta hope your temp-dial was calibrated at the factory in China (which it wasn't ;)  )

I wonder how a MB would hold up >8D
Though, I think the ASUS A8M2N-LA (HP model) has a known issue with the bios failing to direct to the proper video connection. And of course, last BIOS rev-date was something like 2006.
a c 169 U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 11:23:03 PM

Just make sure you turn on the hood fan and open all your windows. Id say not to preheat the oven as the transfer from cold to hot might crack something on the card. The lead partacles aren't going to become airborne at that temperature but the flux fumes will, which are not good for you at all. Here's a link to some safety information.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg248.pdf

a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2010 11:32:47 PM

cool, glad it worked out for you. I have seen this done before, though haven't gotten to do this myself (as even my 6800XT is still working in a computer i gave to a friend)
July 18, 2010 12:42:58 AM

This has to be my favorite way that i've seen for fixing a graphics card.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2010 2:28:22 AM

Thanks to this. I've done this and my two AGP cards are well again from not displaying anything. Even tried this on my 2gig DDR2 and it work fine without errors using memtest. Thanks to you guys.
August 16, 2010 10:29:24 AM

Haha, glad it helped :D 
August 16, 2010 1:41:40 PM

I'm tempted to try this with my malfed ATI card, but I'm pretty sure thw wife would NOT be pleased!
;) 
!