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12/31/18 13:27:42 (
Rick van der Zwet
= Findings =
* GPU's with less than 2GB RAM are not supported by many BOINC projects anymore
* Software support for older videocards is lacking. AMD open source drivers do not support OpenCL, which is required for the computations. The NVIDIA drivers tends to be more easy to install.
= Repairing GPUs =
Repairing GPUs has been an art. I like the view of [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AcEt073Uds Louis Rossmann] on the matter. He quite rightfully(?) mentions the fact that it is often not broken solder connection on the outside, yet rather a loose connection on the inside. The inner-bond connections becomes loose due to the stress of the videocard from constantly cooling and heating. I have put this to practice, by sourcing broken GPUs and attempt to repair them. The GPUs I source do still have a working image (with artifacts). With 5 cards of multiple vendors repaired, I have a 100% success-rate.
The method I use:
1. Strip videocard, remove cooler, cooling paste.
1. Isolate working area and protect other sensitive parts from burning by putting capton tape on the PCB around the GPU.
1. Using a hot-air station Slowly heat GPU to around 160 degree Celsius. Measure temperature using multiple temperature sensors. It takes roughly 10 minutes to reach this level. Make sure your hot-air station is set to around 160-180 degree Celsius. Do not be tempted to use higher temperatures since you will most likely damage/move parts if solder start to melt.
1. Allow GPU to cool down by slowly removing the heat (e.g. 'cold' to 100 degree Celsius by setting the hot-air gun to 100 degree Celsius.
1. Allow cooling to room temperature without the use of forced cooling.
1. Re-apply cooling-paste; use some good stuff instead of the factory-crap. Also take into account less-is-more. The cooling-paste is only supposed to fill the microscopic small gaps of air between the copper-plating any other configuration will cause worst heat transfer and thus hotter electronics.
1. Clean-up your stuff and try your card.
1. Ensure cooling profile of the card is more stable e.g. let it run idle for a while before turning off the PC. Running an GPU at full-trottle and turning the system off, will cause a lot of stress on the electronics since it does not have time (no power = no cooling fans) to reach it 'happy' operation temperature, which is around 40-50 degree Celsius.