Point of View 7300GT gfx card recap
About four years ago I was confronted with this unfortunate fact, that computer witch I build for friend, started giving him troubles. The image on screen started going off, PC refuse to start, etc. After a while the PC get started in the end, but it was pretty clear, that once it will fail completely and it will be impossible to start it anymore. Not even with convincing the PC to start anymore.
This problem was the more embarassing for me by the fast, the my friend absolutely did no play games at all, so he is not stressing the gfx card much at all. That is why I picked up reasonably low powered (24W TDP) 7300GT with masive passive cooler for quiet operation. That is because in the case, there is a bit 120mm front fan, that at 7V spin pretty well and move cool air directly on the heatsink, right to the fins well orientated for it. So I expected a long life, despite the questionable caps (any cap, that is no genuine Rubycon, Nichicon, Samxon, Panasonic or Sanyo I call questionable if not outright bad... and yes, I did not like Chemicons and not consider them as good, but I could be mistaken or smeared away by bad personal experience with them, or more precisely - with likely fakes of them).
However the cause was embarassing for me the more, that I did the PC build from start to finish and has virtually only a little budget restrictions, so I was proud of the result and... this was just unexpected.
Not to mention that the GFX card itself looks cool:
After we discovered, that the waiting for RMA will took a month (and my friend was not cool with this and he fear, that after a month it will get his old card back because it works and that will be it), so we took a round to local shops in Prerov, yet not find anything that will be at least closely as usable and good as this card. So I get the idea, that I could try recap the card and see, if that helps. I suggested this, even none of the caps on the card are bulging or leaking at all. Yet they are still qestionable caps and there aren't that much of them on the card, so we decided to give it a try.
Rush was really big, so I did not even write down what caps are there in the first place, not even taking a picture of them. These pictures I made just after four years...
As you can see, I used a combination of what I had on hand. The bigger caps I replaced with Samxon GC caps, on the smaller ones I used Panasonic FM caps. I did not even added the missing cap. Also I did not optimized the voltages of the caps - at normal situation I measure the voltages that are really in action there and then use as close voltage and as big caps, as they fit there. Trying to make the voltage filtering better.
But as I was saying, there is not time. It was like a blitzkrieg. Yet despite the rush, the recap went fine and th card kicked on. And mainly - from this time on, the card is not giving any problems at all. I get to it after four years just because Mirek lend me it for testing, what works in my Sapphire A9RX480 mainboard. Because MSI GeForce 210 card do not...
So after four years of usage are there no signs of any problems, that with the questionable caps come just after one year and they are quite serious problems... And the graphic card is reasonably hot in run. Temperature just on the testing desk w/o any fan around is very high indeed:
So after years I checked up on my worn and come to conclusion, that it was not that bad, after all. So if anyone is recapping a Poing of View 7300GT gfx card, then he need something like that:
5x 1500uF 6.3V Samxon GC d10
4x 470uF 16V Samxon GC d6.3
2x 120uF 16V Panasonic FM d5
...or adequate replacements, like Nichicon HN/HM/HZ or polymer caps (Nichicon LE, FP...), where it will be necessary measure the actual voltages on the caps, because polymers are for 16V huge and hard to fit there. And I have my doubts that the 470uF 16V caps are under 12V. There is almost no way they will be. Usually the input voltages are used as low, as possible, to get as few voltage drop on the regulator, as possible, while this way is used to get as low heat output out of the regulators, as possible.
For example the two 1500uF caps on the back of the card will be for rams, so they are likely only up to 2.5V. And the 470uF 16V caps before them will be on the input of voltage regulator, likely powering from 3.3V or 5V rail. Hardly a point for 16V cap, IMHO... etc.
It can be optimized a lot :)
Since it was quite some time (2008), when I recapped this card with Samxon caps, then I got an idea. How about to test the caps longetivity by - overclocking? So, not only the card still works, but it show the quality of the Samxon caps by overclocking, becazse from default clocks 350/300MHz (core/ram) can just just upped to 588/376MHz...!
(it need four MHz down to pass 3Dmark 2003, tough trodas`s 3DMark03 score: 8516 marks with a GeForce 7300 GT DDR2 )
This is IMHO more that impressive :)
Do you have access to a reflow station for the recap work? I tried replacing the DC input socket on a Dell laptop once and it just made it worst. I finally gave up and paid a guy $100 in labor just to install the new socket.
Nope, doing it all just by hand and my soldering iron. Not need for a reflow station:
Temperature with fan, blowing from the side on the heatsink, to somewhat simulate the airflow in case:
...this is much better, huh? (later the temp climbed to 42°C) Room temperature was 21°C, 77% moisture.
I have loaned out to some one ASUS 660. Actually gamed quit hard on in the day. Dungion Siege 2 four five hours at a time before I think the heat got to it.
P4 3,0 Ghz HTeded stock heat sink , one 120 mm fan in the case. passive cooled graphics.
oh man 2006, before I had my own PC
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