Laptop GPU Reball Guidance - Solder type, Size of Ball, Reuse or Replace?

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sharp334

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I have been nursing an old well used Gpu, a gtx 965m in my alienware 13 R2, a few days ago after progressively crashing ( colored lines, dots, BSOD) all while gaming I reduced it was time to try and fix the GPU, I went ahead and successfully reflowed the GPU and restored functionality but I am still experiencing intermittent crashes requiring a hard restart. I realize that reflowing is only a temporary fix so i figured i will run it until it the BSD leads separate again and do a proper Reball and reflow.

I am in need of some guidance on what the ideal type of solder and what size of Ball to use on the gtx 965. ( my guess is lead/tin and and I'm unsure of size )

aswell as if it it makes sense to replace the gpu at this point, if it is possible to upgrade to the 970m? I am fairly confident it shares the same pin pattern. I would not mind investing in an aftermarket cooling setup to support such an upgrade. I'm capable of working out driver compatibility issues.

I'm experienced in soldering and computer repair, this would however be my first Reball. Please let me know , some guidance would be welcome.
 

fagetti

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I have once replaced smd northbridge on a laptop motherboard but reballing noway. Even that was hard as hell and i failed bad like 5x before that. Not to mention Graphics card chip is even larger. You could try oven method or when reflowing heat it until all solder is melt and move it VERY slightly with someting so it moves REALLY slightly. Even this is just temporary fix and you probably break it even more both methods
 
Even a 440BX Northbridge solder job is beyond me ... l don't have the eyesight or the patience ... I can do caps and the odd voltage regulator ... I do not even have the patience to do resisters ... slippery little suckers they are.

:)
 

sharp334

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Still haven't gotten anything definitive out of the thread I appreciate the discretion people are advising however, the OS runs entirely on the CPU, and integrated Intel HD graphics. So the way I see it is I can 1. Run my pc until those pretty lines come back and then disable the GPU from accelerating anything forever. Or two. Attempt a Reball and win/lose/draw end up in the exact same situation with a small chance of a long term solution and a fun project aswell.
 

USAFRet

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what size of Ball to use
...simply relates that you may not be cognizant of what a "reball" actually is.

https://madpsy.uk/the-nonsense-that-is-reballing-dead-gpus/
https://www.deskdecode.com/reballing/
https://www.technibble.com/forums/threads/reball-vs-reflow.22373/

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Reballing is the process in which the GPU is removed, and the tiny solder balls on the bottom of the graphics card are replaced with a better, lead-based solder. It's then replaced back on the motherboard and reflowed to form proper bonds with the motherboard.
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NRTS
 

sharp334

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Thank you for showing me you don't understand why they call it "reball" the lead based solder you use as replacement for BGA applications comes in various sizes. The size being important because if you use too much you risk overlapping connections and too little you risk not forming a strong lasting connection. BGA stands for Ball Grid Array which is a technique used in attaching the chip to the PCB. Commonly a Stencil is used to align the balls above every pin and to distribute solder in a controlled precise fashion. So that's what I mean by ball size. Next time don't talk about something if you don't have anything valuable to contribute.
 

fagetti

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Sometimes problem is inside the chip itself like in my case northbridge didnt work at all after reflow but when i change chip to new one with leaded solder balls it started working right away. Actually i have been using it 6 hours a day for past 2 years and still working well.
You need dead motherboards to practice lifting chips from the board, right temperature and what flux to use and when to lift it. Try reflow with flux first.
 

sharp334

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This info applies for a GTX 965m Reball.
Ball type: Sn/Pb Solder balls
Ball size: .5mm (Size on Stencil)
Recommended ball size: .45mm (Decreases # accidental overlapping solder points)
Temp: 230 degrees Celcius

To steal an idea from another poster it's a good idea aquire dead motherboards and
"practice lifting chips from the board, right temperature and what flux to use and when to lift it."

If the chip has not been used recently moisture must be baked out of the chip prior to achieving 230 Celcius or else you will break your chip.
Bake in an oven at 100 Celcius for >4 Hrs to solve this.

Note that this post mentions nothing about the extensive list of tools and resources needed for attempting this process, nor does it cover the process itself. I do not recommend anyone else take this info and use it, unless they are educated, confident, and are attempting to repair a part that is 1. Non-essential to the functioning of the laptop and 2. Repairing a part that is fully non-functional.
 

fagetti

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Its so easy to lift pads from motherboard while removing chip. After that its goodbye for the gpu or motherboard. I actually did heat new chip in oven for some time to remove moisture. If you heat it too fast you will hear popcorn noise and chip will be broken :(

Good luck for your attempt!
 
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