Success - I baked my Graphics board back to life!

For those of you who have heard of this and are skeptical so was I but I assure it worked for me (so far). I followed the 'recipe' outlined by the following video with the noted exception of cooking the board 'face up':
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmzGn...

I've got plenty of pictures of the process but the video above describes the process near perfectly. In the video he bakes his board 'face down' but his post script recommends baking 'face up'.
I could post pictures but I can't figure out how to upload a picture to include in this post.

-Jaya

Systrem info:
GPUs: GeForce 9800GT(x2)

System Manufacturer DELL Inc.
System Model XPS 730X
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz, 2668 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)

Remember that this is often a temporary fix. It'll give you a month or two, but it's pretty common for the card to fail again before too much longer. You might be able to resurrect it again, but it's probably going to completely die within the next six months or so.

You could always get lucky, and have it work for years more. But if that doesn't happen, think of this as some time to save up and get a good replacement.

Well that's a little discouraging. Even so, if I extend the life of my rig several months thats better than nothing. I really like this computer and its running SWTOR just fine and that's all I play right now. It also runs the Mass Effect 3 demo fairly well which is pretty good considering this is a three year old machine.

-Jaya

This worked for me as well. See Malor's sig

ELewis17,
How long has this worked for you? I'm trying to squeeze as much longevity out of my machine as possible. I think I purchased it in July 2009 so I'm coming up on 3 years which is probably above average for a gaming rig.

Well, 3 years is definitely a good amount of time for video cards. Motherboards seem to be the next thing to fail, unless you bought cheap ram. Hard drives are a crap shoot and CPUs tend to last forever (unless they're overheated).

You cpu is still good (if a little slow on clock performance), but I imagine your Dell mb and psu aren't the best ever made. You can also do an upgrade to a single solution video card and get better framerates.

I think my baked 9800 lasted 3-4 months before I found a good deal on a newer card. As far as I know it still works, but it is just a paper weight in a drawer somewhere at this point.

I have a Core 2 Duo E8500 that is going strong with the Radeon 6970 (2 gig) I bought almost a year ago now. It put shame to my 4870 (512 meg). I am able to max out Skyrim with the high res texture pack and get close to max in BF3 (at 1680x1050 though). You can probably squeeze quite a bit of life out of your PC with a new video card if your current card finally dies. However, I am surprised to see that the 6970 card is going for the same price as the one I bought a year ago (~$350). The 7970 is over $550 and the 7950 is around $475! It doesn't seem that long ago you could get a top of the line video card for around $300.

Yeah, AMD is going for a big cash grab with their new generation of chips. The 7970 is a terrible deal for almost everyone. It's on a new process, and is thus cheaper to make than the existing chips, but they're pricing like they shipped it three years ago, instead of today. Presumably, the pricing will become more honest when NVidia ships their next-gen parts.

The 6970 is still about the fastest card that makes much sense to buy. Even my prior-gen 5870 is still hanging in there pretty darn well -- it's only about 10% slower than your card.

Is it worth it to replace the graphics cards in this machine or should I just drive this beast into the ground and replace the whole rig? Its such a clean machine inside and out. It is the minimum speck for Mass Effect 3 and is runing SWTOR just fine. I guess I answered my own question: I keep this machine for at least until the Graphics cards go or another year whichever comes first.

-Jaya

That's still an okay processor, although it's about the same as a Core 2 Duo at the same speed for games... I think of 3GHz as being about the sweet spot. Unfortunately, that being a Dell, you probably can't overclock at all -- you could probably get to 3Ghz on that chip, but oh well.

Depending on what games you want to play, just putting in a good graphic card when that one dies might hold you over for a couple more years. Computers are really moving a lot slower than they used to. Your gen of i7 to Sandy Bridge was a fairly large performance bump, but it's looking like the next Ivy Bridge chips will barely move the needle. So you're not that far behind. A good graphic card might be all you need for a long while.

I've never over clocked anything but myself before. How does one go about it? This machine has a lot of fans and ample space for ventilation so I should be okay, right? Malor, you imply that Dell Inc. makes it hard(impossible?) to overclock. Is this true.

thanks for any advice/instruction,

-Jaya

Dell generally locks the bios so you can't overclock.

The 7970 is over $550 and the 7950 is around $475! It doesn't seem that long ago you could get a top of the line video card for around $300.

Actually it was never... check it out.

Its all relative though.. I agree that the 7970 is about $100 too expensive.. but its market forces working in AMD's favor so they are getting as much profit as they can right now.

AFAIK neither company has ever launched their top of the line flagship card at $300.

The 6970 is still about the fastest card that makes much sense to buy. Even my prior-gen 5870 is still hanging in there pretty darn well -- it's only about 10% slower than your card.

Agreed..but its all relative.. if you are gaming with 3 monitors.. then you will need something more powerful than a 6970. The best for the buck card is the 6970...unless you find a killer deal on a 6950 2GB and can unlock the shaders.

TheGameguru wrote:

AFAIK neither company has ever launched their top of the line flagship card at $300.

Sorry if I was being too vague for you. I got my 4870 for $260 and my 6970 for $340. That's what I was basing it on.

EDIT:
Actually going back futher I see I got my Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB for $286. Not sure if that was "top" of the line in May of 2007.

Also,I didn't mean to say that is the release price, but I got all these cards within a few months of their release.

8800 GTS wasn't top of the line, the GTX was and was $600. 4870 might've been as I'm not going to take the time to look and see when the 4870X2 came out. (Okay, I looked, it came out at $300, the X2 versions came out a few months later and were super expensive.) 6970 is a flagship card and had a MSRP of $370. Guru's point is that the true top of the line cards are always super expensive. The 4870 is the exception, not the rule.

To me, $300 is the price where more consumer friendly cards get released and then sell like hotcakes when they drop down closer to $200.

Yeah, I think of $350 as being the rough price point of the card that power gamers usually want, although that's been changing over the last couple years -- these days, you more size the card for the resolution you're running, rather than just flat buying as much card as you can possibly afford. Games are mostly still designed for consoles, so you rarely need to go crazy on video card power. GPU is the big limiter on framerate, but the demands being made on GPUs just haven't been coming along that fast for the last two or three years.

At 1920x1080 or 1200, which seems to be where most of the real gamers are, a 6950 is just about an ideal match. The 570 has a little more horsepower, but I think it's more expensive, and the 6950 gets really close to 60FPS in most games at maximum settings. The 570 will push that up to high 60s. Anything past 60 is worthless on normal LCDs, but the minimum frame rate is also higher, which can be nice for twitch games.

If/when you can actually get 7850s and 70s, they'll probably be better purchases than the 570, if ATI gets its drivers together. The 7XXX series is a completely new architecture, and the only person I know who's bought any (Guru) walked into a minefield with an SLI setup.

NVidia has had a bad habit, over the last couple generations, of over-promising specs and under-delivering when the cards actually ship, but if you can believe the leaked info at all, their next cards should make the ATI ones look like crap. Their claimed performance improvements are more in line with the usual increases you get from such a massive increase in transistor budget. ATI's improvements have been really underwhelming.

OK, maybe $300 was too low. Geez!

PoderOmega wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

AFAIK neither company has ever launched their top of the line flagship card at $300.

Sorry if I was being too vague for you. I got my 4870 for $260 and my 6970 for $340. That's what I was basing it on.

EDIT:
Actually going back futher I see I got my Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB for $286. Not sure if that was "top" of the line in May of 2007.

Also,I didn't mean to say that is the release price, but I got all these cards within a few months of their release.

Fair point on the 4870.. but I would say you got me on a technicality.. at that point in the market AMD didn't have a competitive high end part to compete with Nvidia.. so they released a competitive mid-range part to try and attack Nvidia at the much more lucrative mid range market.. so in reality though it was the fastest AMD card at the time.. it was positioned for the mid-range market because Nvidia's high end cards at $450+ ate its lunch two ways to Sunday.

Once AMD straighten its act out and had a competitive high end part vs Nvidia they launched the 5870 at $399.

If/when you can actually get 7850s and 70s, they'll probably be better purchases than the 570, if ATI gets its drivers together. The 7XXX series is a completely new architecture, and the only person I know who's bought any (Guru) walked into a minefield with an SLI setup

I havent been home in over a month.. but waiting for me are new drivers that are supposedly awesome on the 7X series.. in Crossfire and Triple Screen.. so I'm excited to give it a whirl.

Just a follow up to this thread. I brought my 9800m gt back to life this way. It was either bake it, or spend 200$ for a used version that would fit my laptop.
So far, it runs a little cooler than before, so I am keeping my fingers crossed to see how long it lasts.

Ok. The graphics cards appear to both be kaput. Any ideas on a cheap replacement?
No changes to my system except new headset:

Summary
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP2
CPU
Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz 45 °C
Bloomfield 45nm Technology
RAM
6.00GB Triple-Channel DDR3 @ 531MHz (7-7-7-20)
Motherboard
DELL Inc. 0P270J (CPU 1) 28 °C
Graphics
Standard Monitor ([email protected])
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT (NVIDIA)
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT (NVIDIA)
ForceWare version: 311.06
SLI Disabled
Hard Drives
932GB Hitachi HDS721010KLA330 (SATA) 46 °C
Optical Drives
SATA PLDS DVD-ROM SCSI CdRom Device
SATA HL-DT-STBD-RE B SCSI CdRom Device
Audio
Plantronics GameCom

I'm basically looking at the best deal on Amazon or NewEgg and hoping to spend ~ $100.00 Any suggestions?

-Jayavarman

Found this old article (http://www.pcworld.com/article/22582...)
that recommended these 2 cards:

1 Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti
2 AMD Radeon HD 6870

Do these cards represent both significant graphics upgrades but not over performing the rest of my system?

And for discussion purposes let's say $100-$200 price range.

Thus, this is my leading contender:
http://www.amazon.com/GeForce-GTX-56...

I'm not a huge fan of Zotac as they tend to put poor (or just loud) cooling systems on their cards. That price though...

I'd probably go for a 660 2 gb model. It's worth the money imho and the 2gb will be of use going forward.

Yeah, not a fan of Zotac either. My first GPU was a Zotac, and I actually got and installed another cooling system. It was really, really loud.

Also, didn't know you could "bake" your video card, got a big smile and a chuckle out of this. Can't believe you got an extra 1.5 year out of yours doing that!

It's a thing only with NVidia cards in a specific timeframe; they used a bad substrate that expands and contracts too much as it heats and cools, and it eventually starts breaking the teeny tiny solder connections inside the chip packages. 10 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees will melt and 'reflow' the solder, temporarily fixing the breaks. This can sometimes work repeatedly. But, eventually, either the breaks will become too large, or the solder will bridge the wrong thing, and the card will die.

First: note that you might be able to rebake the cards and bring them back to life again, at least for awhile, if you haven't already tried that. Looks like you got 1.5 years out of your last bake session, which is great.

At 1680x1050, you don't need a ton of card. I think you can get a 660Ti for $200, which is actually overkill, strong enough to drive a 1920x1080 or 1200 monitor. So going to that level would cover you for most likely monitor upgrades for at least a couple of years, maybe longer.

I was trying to scare up some pointers, because I saw some on sale just last week for $200, but now the cheapest I see are $235. Dunno what's up with that. They're almost as expensive as the 760, so I'm thinking that maybe people are finding that the retuned compute balance in the 760 isn't as good as the older cards. I have nothing to back that up except that the price on the older 660s is jumping; it could be simply stocks running low, rather than the cards being perceived to be extra-good.

A 560Ti would be okay for the monitor you have, but I think it would be a little anemic for 1920x1200. The 6870 should also be okay, with similar limitations, although it's a little stronger, and can actually handle 19x12 reasonably well. You'll have to turn some settings down, but it will run okay at the higher resolution. A 6950 is very strong at 19x12, if you're thinking about that monitor upgrade.

Malor wrote:

First: note that you might be able to rebake the cards and bring them back to life again, at least for awhile, if you haven't already tried that. Looks like you got 1.5 years out of your last bake session, which is great.

At 1680x1050, you don't need a ton of card. I think you can get a 660Ti for $200, which is actually overkill, strong enough to drive a 1920x1080 or 1200 monitor. So going to that level would cover you for most likely monitor upgrades for at least a couple of years, maybe longer.

I was trying to scare up some pointers, because I saw some on sale just last week for $200, but now the cheapest I see are $235. Dunno what's up with that. They're almost as expensive as the 760, so I'm thinking that maybe people are finding that the retuned compute balance in the 760 isn't as good as the older cards. I have nothing to back that up except that the price on the older 660s is jumping; it could be simply stocks running low, rather than the cards being perceived to be extra-good.

A 560Ti would be okay for the monitor you have, but I think it would be a little anemic for 1920x1200. The 6870 should also be okay, with similar limitations, although it's a little stronger, and can actually handle 19x12 reasonably well. You'll have to turn some settings down, but it will run okay at the higher resolution. A 6950 is very strong at 19x12, if you're thinking about that monitor upgrade.

Yeah, that's why I was recommending the 660 as I couldn't find a great price on a 660 Ti.

Best bet, if you can wait a bit, is to keep checking the Trading Post thread and hope for GameGuru to post up some cards for cheap. Best bang for buck out there.

Yeah, I dunno what's up with the pricing, it's jumped a ton just in the last week or two. (at least, I think it has, I could be misremembering.)

Was thinking about picking up a second 680 just to play with SLI, but jesus, those things are still nosebleed expensive.

Well, I will probably try one more bake as I know how to do it already and it doesn't cost much in time or expense (one more tube of thermal paste) at the same time I can keep my eyes peeled for new graphic(s) cards. Thanks for all the advice. Will keep you posted on the yield of the next bake.