Good afternoon all!
So I've been busy with work lately, but have stumbled upon a customer who dropped off an HP tower with a nearly dead GTX260. Artifacting pretty bad because of playing games on it. Well, I can't really reflow a card and give it back to the customer because I don't trust it, it might last two weeks and have a serious problem again.
Well, he got a brand new 6850, all kinds of happy with it. I decided to creatively recycle his GTX260.
Sorry for the terrible cell phone pictures, the 7D battery was charging, and as exciting as this is, it's not dSLR exciting.
Step 1: Strip the card, take off the cooler and the PCI bracket. All you want is the PCB naked.
Step 2: Get a cookie sheet, cover it with aluminum foil, and make a few tiny balls of aluminum foil to prop up the card. Never stick the card flat on the sheet, you don't want components to come off in the baking process. Be sure to also keep the balls of aluminum foil away from components, and close to the edge of the board.
Should look something like that.
Step 3: Hop over to the oven, and set it to about 385*F. You want the oven to be this hot before the card gets put in. When the oven is pre-heated, carefully put the card in. As a side note, you want the oven rack to be more or less in the middle. You want an even amount of heat on top and bottom.
Step 4: Wait. You have to keep the card in the oven for just about 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Is this a science? Yes. No shorter, no longer. When you've reached 7 minutes and 40 seconds, turn the oven off, and crack the door open slightly. When the oven feels cooler, remove the cookie sheet, and let the card continue to cool.
Step 5: When the card is cool enough to handle (not room temp), it's time to get some fresh thermal paste on it, and get the cooler back on for testing. This is the make or break part. It either works, or it doesn't. I only recommend trying this on a card that currently artifacts while in use. If the card is outright dead with no display, doing a reflow like this most likely will not help you out.
Step 6: (The most important part) If the card works, order a very good aftermarket cooler for it. It started having a problem because it wasn't being cooled well enough. Doing a reflow and putting the stock cooler on again is a sure way to have this problem again. For testing, use the stock cooler, but once you know it works, cool the card better, and it should be fine.
That's it! Just a few notes:
-It will smell while baking the card. Do this in a well ventilated kitchen.
-This is not a guarantee. I've gotten lucky with two ATI 4850s and now a GTX260. All 3 still had some sort of display output before doing this.
-Please know how to work your oven before trying this, and don't burn your house down.
-If it kills your computer, it's not my fault, I merely provided the guidelines, not the common sense to know when not to do this.
-No I will not do it for you.
There you have it. Should work wonderfully. Off to play some games and see the difference!
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