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Opinions on baking your GPU?

Poll Results: To bake or not to bake?

Poll expired: Aug 17, 2013  
  • 50% (1)
    Yes
  • 50% (1)
    No
2 Total Votes  
post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay so I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of this whole baking thing. If I do end up doing it I will do so with utmost care as to not damage anything. But... My gpu is only artifacts in one or two games ( But they are hard to miss in these games.). I am planning to give my pc to my father and I would like these games to run well when I do. So I need some advise. Is it worth the risk? Are there any extra steps to take to minimize risks? The advise is appreciated.
Regards.
Matthew Cooksey.
post #2 of 7
Baking is risky and even if successful, there is no guarantee that the problem baking can fix (damaged solder contacts) is responsible for your artifacting issues.

That said, it may be the only option capable of repairing the card, so if the card is already out of warranty and you are willing to risk it, go for it.

As for mitigating the risks of baking, here are some tips (yes, I have baked a lot of parts, with a fair,and improving, success rate):

- Strip all that you can, without damaging the card, off of the card.

- Do not use a gas oven; they tend to have more hotspots than electric.

- Minimize uneven heating by being sure to preheat the oven and ensuring that you have sheets of aluminum foil between any heating elements and the card; you want pure convective heating, not radiative heating.

- Make sure you get the temperatures right the first time; too low and you simply wear capacitors without fixing any solder; too high and parts fall off, destroying the card. I would recommend 200-205C or 400F for 10 minutes, unless you know the specific properties of the solder used.

- Keep the PCB as level as possible.

- Don't allow the card to cool too rapidly, thermal contraction can undo your fixes or make things worse. Just turn off the oven and let it cool slowly over 30-60 minutes.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thnks for the info. I will definitely keep it in mind.
post #4 of 7
An awful lot of video cards have lifetime warranties on them, I'm assuming you already verified that the manufacturer won't do a swap for you.

Greg
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well my GPU is OEM nvidia gtx 295. I called them and they just told me to find the number on the card. I gave him the two i saw but he couldn't find it in his database.
post #6 of 7
As you've described the artifacts only shows on one or two games.

Okay here are your heads-up and paths before proceeding unto baking:

Before going to the hardware touching do this test:
- Read all of this and review it before doing
- Get HWMonitor install and run it
- Leave it open and don't minimize it
- Run one of the games that you've seen the artifacts showing, try to make the artifacts show up then
- ALT-TAB back to desktop, check the HWMonitor's video card temperature and fan data
- Confirm that they are good, as such the temp is high or just normal also if the fan speed and power level is at high or just normal
- By then you can assess if the issue may be caused by overheating or overloading

Upon your conclusion if it's either heat or load issue you may do the following:
- Remove the card from the motherboard to do a visual inspection
- Check visually if the capacitors are bulging from the top or sides, if it is that's bad and may need removal and replacing
- Check the soldering if they are still "very silvery" or "bland greyish", if so it may be the contacts
- Make sure to check the soldering on the power connectors end and as well as the other modules on the GPU board
- See if you need to clean the heat sink or clean the fan, you may unscrew the shroud screws only leave the GPU screws intact
- If you believe its dirty run the vacuum cleaner of blow and blow out the dust clogs ( instead of sucking, but you can you do it too if your vacuum does cannot do that )
- When done you may install back the shroud and test the game again if the artifacts would appear if so, continue on the steps below
- If you believe it's clean you may take the option to fully remove the heat sink and check the heat pads and thermal paste and see if its still viable
- If you see fit that the thermal paste is still sticky and the thermal pads are not cracking you may put it back
- But if you see even a small sign of deterioration you may need to remove the thermal paste and pads
- You may use Isopropyl alchohol on cotton buds or paper towel to clean off the paste and pads
- When done re-apply new thermal paste to the GPU only, ( only place a thin layer ) you may add new pads or not your choice
- When done you may install back the heat sink, then the shroud and test the game again if the artifacts would appear if so continue on the steps below

Here you have assessed that the card may be just dirty or having contact issues
- You now have the option to "bake the GPU" via either oven or heat gun
- You may use either electric or gas oven does not matter
- There are a lot of tutorials here on baking ( here is my update on GTX 580 baking )
- The issue I had was artifacts on boot-up and GPU not detected by OS, so oven baking was done as well

STUFF that you may need:
- small tip screw driver / star head
- thermal paste
- thermal pads
- vacuum / blower
- cotton buds / paper towel
- isopropyl alcohol

Hope this helps in re-assuring the decision and task that you are planning to do.


thumb.gifGood luck on your choice MECH WARRIOR !!!
Edited by psychophat - 8/26/13 at 1:12pm
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post #7 of 7
OMG.. Nobody do this..
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