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GTX 280 Artifacting

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

My friend owns a dell (I know) with a GTX 280

Whenever he boots up as soon as it hits the windows screen it artifacts. I determined yesterday it was the video card as when I use my GTX285 or the free GT220 I got it does not artifact. It is for sure not the drivers because I reinstalled Windows...

What's weird is you can boot into safemode just fine with the card. And after several reboots into "Normal" windows it actually stayed there and his computer stayed on just fine for a couple of days with no artifacts. [Note: this was before I formatted]

Any ideas on how to fix the card or are there any RMA options?

His Dell was bought in 2008, and the card isn't evga / BFG or anything. The card just says NVIDIA on it.

Any help is much appreciated!

UPDATE: My friend requested that I bake it.

Drumroll please.

It works!

385 degrees F, 8 minutes. Removed the heatsink, thermal pads, thermal paste. I did NOT have new thermal pads so I had to reuse the old ones.

Fired up first try !
Edited by AmericanPieGamer188 - 8/30/11 at 6:41pm
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post #2 of 14
Maybe give EVGA a call or an email asking what they might be able to do.
Also hit their forums. Post up a question. Perhaps an EVGA rep might answer and help you out.
Maybe they might do a solid for you and let you RMA it.

It's worth a shot.
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC View Post
Maybe give EVGA a call or an email asking what they might be able to do.
Also hit their forums. Post up a question. Perhaps an EVGA rep might answer and help you out.
Maybe they might do a solid for you and let you RMA it.

It's worth a shot.
The card isn't EVGA; it came with his PC
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanPieGamer188 View Post
The card isn't EVGA; it came with his PC
O.K. NVIDIA.....



Even as it did come with a Dell, don't you think it's at least worth a shot in talking to NVIDIA??

Companies can sometimes suprise you as to what they might do for you.
Even though it was in a Dell, its still their card.
Explain to them that you love the card it was working great and now you have this issue. Even though it was bought installed into a Dell system are there any options that they could help you with.

Also check with Dell. Maybe they can do something as well.
Edited by JoeC - 8/18/11 at 12:00pm
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC View Post
O.K. NVIDIA.....



Even as it did come with a Dell, don't you think it's at least worth a shot in talking to NVIDIA??

Companies can sometimes suprise you as to what they might do for you.
Even though it was in a Dell, its still their card.
Explain to them that you love the card it was working great and now you have this issue. Even though it was bought installed into a Dell system are there any options that they could help you with.

Also check with Dell. Maybe they can do something as well.
Will do.

I wasn't sure if it was a misread/typo or if you were thinking to contact dealer.

I am crossing my fingers on Dell though. They sometimes have good CS.

If not, options are to sell it dead / bake?
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post #6 of 14
If Dell can't help you, i would still give NVIDIA a shot. It's a long one, but still worth it.

I don't know about the baking thing, I've heard of it but never tried it. sorry about that.
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post #7 of 14
I do repairs on boards like these all the time. The problem you're experiencing is that one or more of the pins under the main graphics chip of your card has either micro-fractures or is only loosely contacting its pad on the circuit board.

This can be fixed (for a while) by doing something called a "reflow" of the BGA chip.

Here's a step by step:

Things you'll need:
Heatgun 1200W+ (variable temp is better)
IR temperature gun or a Multimeter with temperature sensors
Flux in a syringe
Isopropyl Alcohol (minimum 70% purity, 99% is better)
Kapton Antistatic high-temp tape
Aluminum foil
Plastic Grocery bags
PATIENCE

1: Remove the shroud, fan, and any silicon pads or heatsinks from around the main video chip. It's best to clean around it with alcohol (Isopropyl 70%+. I use 99%) and make sure there aren't any particles or remnants of thermal paste on or around the chip.

2: Mask the board. Take a couple plastic grocery bags, and a sheet of tin foil. Lay the foil out flat and use some kapton anti-static thermal tape to secure the bag to one side of the aluminum. Fold the whole thing over so you have a couple sheets of aluminum with plastic sandwiched between them. Secure the open edge with more kapton tape. Make 4 of these about 4-6" long and at least 4" wide. Bigger is better here. Next secure the flat edges of these sheets to the circuit board around the main video chip (as close as possible without letting them touch the chip itself) and make sure they stay put by making a loop of kapton tape on the bottom of the sheet so it sticks to both. Be sure to take the tops of the aluminum sheets together where they meet so they stay secure.

3: Heat regulation. If you have a variable temperature heatgun then this will be much easier.If you do NOT have a variable temp heatgun you will need to regulate the temperature by how close the gun is to the chip. If using a Thermal IR gun to check temps, be sure to get the sensor as close to the chip while heating as possible to get the most accurate reading. If using a multimeter probe, be sure to tuck the wire under the aluminum mask to prevent melting the rubber sheath. Keep the board as level as possible, use paper or something ceramic to prop up any uneven edges.

4: Reflow process. Firstly draw a line of flux along 3 of the edges of the chip. when heated, the hot escaping air will draw the melted flux under the chip by itself. You may need to put a secondary line of flux after the first has been flowed inward because the GTX280 chips are fairly large. When using the heatgun make sure to move it in small circles or in back-and-forth motions, keeping the heat as even as possible across the chip. Use the lowest speed on the fan. If you have access to a BGA diffuser tip for your heatgun this motion is unnecessary. First heat the chip (slowly) to around 140°C, and hold steady at this temperature for 60 seconds. Increase the temperature to 200°C and hold steady for another 30 seconds. You should see the flux boiling out from under the chip at this point, and this is normal. If you see smoke or vapor, do not be alarmed as it is usually the flux vaporizing. Next ramp the temperature up one last time to 260°C and hold for NO LONGER than 10 seconds. After the ten seconds bring the temperature down slowly, no more than 6-8°C per second, until it is back down to around 160°C at which point you can shut the heatgun off and let it cool. Leave the card as it is for about 15 mins so that it can completely cool down.

5: Cleanup. Remove the aluminum masks from the board. Using a baster or if you have access to an empty thermal paste syringe, squirt some alcohol under the sides of the main video chip to clean out the excess flux. You may need to do this several times. Be sure to wipe the whole PCB down and keep it clean before reapplying thermal compound and reassembling.

6: Boot it up and cross your fingers!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroball View Post
I do repairs on boards like these all the time. The problem you're experiencing is that one or more of the pins under the main graphics chip of your card has either micro-fractures or is only loosely contacting its pad on the circuit board.
I'll look into this, thanks!
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanPieGamer188 View Post
I'll look into this, thanks!
np, enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroball View Post
This can be fixed (for a while) by doing something called a "reflow" of the BGA chip.

Here's a step by step:
This would be the ideal method, if an RMA is not possible.

However, most people, without knowledge of the solder used, it's re-flow point, having never done this before, and lacking the majority of these materials, would likely have about the same chance of success with the much simpler oven method.

It may not even be the GPU itself causing the issue because the RAMDAC/display controller is on a separate NVIO die on the GT200 series.
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