Fixing broken Radeon RX 6900 XT with a drill
KrisFix shows an extreme attempt in fixing a broken graphics card.
Just because a graphics card is malfunctioning doesn’t imply it’s beyond repair. Some fixes require more than just addressing basic issues like broken capacitors, memory module replacements, or damaged PCBs. In certain scenarios, a more intricate problem emerges, such as a disruption in one of the numerous path signals. This type of issue demands an extensive and intricate diagnostic process.
KrisFix illustrates his approach to restoring a faulty MSI Radeon RX 6900XT GPU that continued to experience problems even after initial repair attempts. One of the memory modules exhibited malfunction, prompting the logical step of examining the solder joints. Surprisingly, the joints were in perfect condition. The customary solution would involve installing a new memory module to rectify the issue. However, KrisFix was already familiar with this recurring problem in RX 6000 GPUs. As a result, he pursued an alternative strategy, which involved examining all 180 solder points for potential connectivity problems between the module and the GPU.
During this process, the multimeter could indicate the lack of connection at a specific pad, as indeed occurred in this instance. Consequently, the next step was to reestablish the connection between the disrupted memory pad and the GPU. It’s important to note that PCBs are composed of multiple layers, rendering direct repair on the PCB itself unfeasible. Nevertheless, a viable solution involves adding a separate wire exclusively to mend the broken connection, thereby potentially resolving the issue.
Kris demonstrates the method of repairing a fractured signal path by carefully drilling into the PCB to insert a minute 0.2 mm wire. Despite its seemingly drastic nature, the drilling procedure employs a very small drill and solely aims to rectify the severed connection. Notably, the drilling is performed manually, followed by the placement of the wire, and the subsequent reballing and soldering of the GPU.
For those curious about why Kris wouldn’t simply encircle the entire PCB with a new wire, it’s crucial to maintain a similar length for the memory’s signal path. Digital components, particularly those operating at high frequencies, are susceptible to a phenomenon known as “hazard.” This hazard has the potential to introduce data inconsistencies, and altering the signal path length indiscriminately could worsen this issue.
In essence, this highly unconventional repair of a damaged GPU underscores the potential for salvaging even the most seemingly irreparable cases with the right tools and expertise. While this fix might not restore the card to its original appearance, it effectively revives the GPU’s functionality and presents substantial cost savings for the owner.