Replacing the video card chip

Максим Исаев
Reading time: 10 min
61

The instructions describe how to repair a GTX 1060 video card purchased from the aftermarket. With the declared defect – image artifacts without load. In 80% of cases, this is a GPU malfunction or dump. Such a defect in the video card is corrected by replacing the chip on the infrared soldering station. You can learn how to diagnose and repair video cards by completing a professional training program.

Content:

  1. Diagnostics of the video card
  2. Soldering the video card
  3. Chip reballing
  4. Soldering at a soldering station
  5. Checking the video card for performance
  6. Conclusions

Diagnostics of the video card

Diagnostics of the video card was carried out in the following sequence:

  • We checked the installation of the video driver in the test bench (before starting the VC test under load). To do this, we went to the properties of the computer, then to the Device Manager. Then open the branch of the video adapter and make sure that the video card is correctly detected.
  • Launched a load – Furmark, GPU-Z, or YouTube videos with FullHD resolution. Pay attention to the appearance of artifacts. If artifacts appear, the video chip or graphics memory is most likely faulty.
  • Launched the MATS utility to check the video memory channels. Test result:
    • If the test passes, then the memory is good.
    • When there are errors in all memory channels, then the memory controller in the chip itself is faulty. Rarely, GPU reballing can help.
    • If there is an error in one memory channel, then the microcircuit is faulty, it must be replaced.
    • If there are no block errors, the chip is most likely faulty. It needs to be replaced.
  • In our case, there were no errors in MATS. The decision was made – to replace the GPU.
  • Disassembled the video card. They removed the cooling system and backplate (if any). Pay attention to the fan cables and backlight cables (if any).
  • We removed thermal paste from the video chip. For this we use a dry napkin. If you use rubbing alcohol or other liquids, the thermal paste will spread all over your graphics card and paint it a pale white color. Be careful when removing thermal grease from capacitors around the GPU.
  • If there are thermal pads, pay attention to their condition. Possible options if:
    1. Destroyed when removed (fragile), it is necessary to replace them.
    2. Thermal pads are “not greasy”, do not leave greasy marks on the hands, which means their resource is coming to an end, it is advisable to replace them.
  • We examined the video chip. Note:
    1. Chip end color. If the textolite is dark brown, most likely it was soldered. That is, the video card was being repaired. Chances are that the chip was soldered poorly, in this case it will be enough to reboot the video chip.
    2. The color of the compound around the crystal. If the compound is darkened, the chip may get blackened as a result of improper maintenance of the cooling system.
    3. The presence of damage to the crystal. Inspect for cracks or chipped edges and corners.
Сравнение цвета компаунда вокруг кристалла
Comparison of the color of the compound around the crystal

Soldering the video card

Replacing the chip with TERMOPRO IK-650, for this, the following steps were taken:

  • Removed from the video card: video output plugs, other fusible elements
  • Use a permanent white marker to draw a circle around the GPU for easy positioning when replacing.
  • Installed a video card on fluoroplastic racks, on the lower heating
  • It is advisable to install the temperature sensor at a distance of 5-10 mm from the chip, parallel to it. To transfer the temperature correctly and to prevent the temperature sensor from sticking to the board, apply a small amount of thermal paste.
  • A small amount of FluxPlus 412 was applied around the perimeter of the microcircuit. If applied in excess, the chip may “float”, as a result of the detachment of dimes, due to uneven heating.
  • Positioned the upper heater over the element to be replaced using a laser pointer.
  • We installed an IR heater at a distance of 7-10 cm from the board.
  • We switched on the IK-650, in the Thermopro program we chose the thermal profile “Universal soldering”
Установка верхнего нагревателя
Installing the top heater
  • When the boiling point of the flux reaches 140 – 160 degrees Celsius, we determine whether there is a sufficient amount of FluxPlus under the chip itself. If there is not enough of it, then there is little smoke and there is no bubbling, it is necessary to add flux from one convenient side without touching the chip. Since the board is warm enough, the newly added FluxPlus will flow under the graphics microprocessor.
  • Upon reaching the dismantling point, it is important to check the evenness and completeness of the factory solder melting with a probe. We apply minimal effort. We push the chip away from ourselves, alternately in two corners, and then in the middle.
    1. When the chip moves a little, with minimal effort, we realize that most of the factory solder has melted under the entire die.
    2. Prepared vacuum tweezers.
    3. The upper heater was removed to the side.
    4. They removed the chip from the video card with vacuum tweezers.
Подъем микросхемы вакуумным пинцетом
Lifting the microcircuit with vacuum tweezers
  • We prepared a contact pad, for this they applied a little FluxPlus and added Rose alloy with a soldering iron, thereby lowering the temperature of the factory lead-free solder with a high melting point).
  • Remove the remnants of the factory solder mixed with Rose with a braid.
Подготовка контактной площадки
Preparing the contact pad
  • Using a toothbrush and DEGREASER, we cleaned the contact pad.
  • We take a new chip from the donor for replacement. 
Два чипа
Two chips

Chip reballing

Reballing the microcircuit:

  • We apply FluxPlus and Rose alloy to the contact pads of the microcircuit
  • We collect braid all the solder from the surface of the chip
Подготовка к реболлингу
Preparing for reballing
  • We wash the chip qualitatively with a cotton swab and BR-2
  • Apply FluxPlus in a thin even layer to the prepared contact pads. If an excessive amount of flux is applied, upon further heating, the bga balls may shift, and the stencil may deform.
  • If there is not enough flux, the balls will not be soldered
  • Choose a stencil by the name of the chip, in our case we roll GP106
  • We position the previously prepared stencil relative to all contacts. We fix the microcircuit and the stencil in the holder.
Реболлинг
Reballing
  • We select bga balls, the size of the balls is written on the stencil itself. It is allowed to use balls 0.05 mm smaller than indicated on the template.
  • Pour bga balls into the middle of the chip, distribute with a dental probe until all holes are filled. To reduce the consumption of balls, you can use a metal cup, where excess balls will be poured, which can be reused.
  • With a hairdryer without a nozzle, on a small air flow at a temperature of no more than 280 degrees Celsius, performing uniform circular movements, we solder the balls to the chip. The hair dryer must be started from afar, gradually bringing it closer to the rolled chip in order to avoid deformation of the stencil. To avoid “flying out” of the balls from the holes of the stencil, we slightly retract the hair dryer, thereby increasing the distance.
  • How do you know when conclusions have been formed? The color of the BGA balls will change to matte.
  • We remove the hair dryer. We are waiting for a while, only after the stencil temperature has dropped, we separate the bga template from the GPU.
  • We wash off the remnants of the flux from the freshly formed contacts.
  • We carefully examine each contact. Pay attention to the distance between the balls, the absence of slag and dirt in these places. Repeat cleaning if necessary.

Soldering at a soldering station

For high-quality soldering and elimination of defects during the installation of the chip, which can lead to a short circuit, it is important to use an IR station. The result of the replacement is influenced by the correct sequence of actions.

Chip soldering algorithm:

  • Apply a small amount of FluxPlus to the prepared contact pad. We distribute it evenly across all contacts.
  • We install the chip by key. The difficulty of positioning is that there is no silk-screen printing on the board. We provided for this by marking the corners of the chip with a marker before unsoldering.
  • We adjust the upper heater over the element to be soldered. We lower the IR heater at a distance of 3 – 7 cm to the chip.
  • We selected the thermal profile “Soldering lead 210”. The choice of the thermal profile with lead is based on the fact that the chip was cut by us for lead containing bga balls with a melting temperature of 195 degrees Celsius.
  • We expect the board to heat up by the control sensor from 140 to 160 degrees. If:
    • smoke does not come out from under the chip, so you need to add flux. Doing this carefully without touching the microcircuit and other elements on the board. Since with an insufficient number of GPUs, it will not be soldered.
    • flux will be applied in excess, the chip may move a little, soldering the contacts together.
  • We follow the soldering process. Starting from 170 degrees, we do not allow the chip to shift. Otherwise, the procedure will have to be repeated from the beginning, due to the formation of contact adhesions.
  • We are waiting for the end of the thermal profile. If everything is done correctly, you can see how the microcircuit “falls through” or “sits down” in its place.
Замена микросхемы
Replacing the microcircuit
  • The advantage of soldering on IK-650 and the selected thermal profile guarantees the quality of the soldering.
  • We expect the video card to cool down to 60 degrees. Only then can you pick up the board. This step is important to prevent deformation of the VC.
  • We wash off the remnants of the flux and thermal paste. The next step is a final check of the video card.

Checking the video card for performance

After soldering, we assemble the video card by replacing the thermal interface (thermal paste and thermal pads) with a new one. We install the vidyuhu in the test bench. We turn on the PC. If an image appears, then we perform a final check in FurMark.

Testing lasts 1-2 hours, pay attention to the temperature of the video card. If no artifacts appear during the test and the image is stable, only then can the repair be considered successful.

Conclusions:

  • Replacing a GPU on a video card is easy with a donor board and professional equipment. A high-quality result is achievable when soldering on K-650.
  • You can learn how to solder chips on a graphics accelerator by taking a course at Bgacenter. Most of the time of the course is devoted to diagnostics of video cards. Since the success of the repair generally depends on the correct sequence of finding the malfunction.
  • Many miners, possessing high capacities (in Gx / sec), come to Bgacenter in order to learn how to independently repair video cards, perform replacement and increase the amount of memory on them.
  • Guided by this material, having the necessary equipment, you will be able to carry out such repairs yourself.
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