My sis got this board, as attempt to make the Sims2 on her machine run a bit faster over Radeon 9000. The card history is long, but to make long story short, it served me as backup card well, when I killed my FX5700Ultra, and it even show great O/C potencial (under watercooling), but novadays I did not have any use for it, and sis like it.
However I noticed that in extra stresfull situations (like in 64k intros fr-019: poem to a horse there http://farb-rausch.de/ or Life Index (curiously not present in download section, but you can grab it there: http://ax2.old-cans.com/life_index.zip ) that the image like to freeze and then re-appear (no change to music or intro run) later. This indicate that the core have a problem. Either overheating, or undervolted on load. Quick test (decreasing O/C to stock) proved it is the second case, and quick look at the card shoved Evercon caps.
Now I already suggested them to be added to the bad caps brand, based on my experience with JetWay N2PAP Ultra board, I know what went wrong.
There are five 1500uF 6.3V Evercon caps. There are also a Sanyo 510uF 4V Oscon cap too, but only one. I heard that these are excelent, so no change. Tough I planed I used there a 560uF Pannasonic FM one, I skipped this idea, because it turned out to must be a SMD one and the Panny it is not.
Now what we all waiting for - the results.
The Gigabite 5600XT card is what XT mark in nVidia. Pure crap. Come with default 235/200MHz clocks. With watercooling I manage it to unbeliable 375/268MHz. Now the question is, what happen on passive only cooling (Zalman ZM80-HP) in fanless case, yet with exchanged caps from Evercon ones to Samxon GC ones.
Why Samxons? Because Pannasonic FM ones are too big (won't fit under the cooler, even the Samxons are very close - curiously enough - the Evercon ones are even 3mm less tall that the Samxons!) and because Big Pope was very helpfull for providing this small testing sample to me free of charge :eek:
There is another reason for it, I just recapped the whole sis mainboard with Samxons and gained excelent results, but that is for other thread I preparing to create.
Anyway, the clock results. First at all, core has to get into 355MHz to be stable - yet this is still good, considering that the card is not watercooled anymore like it was:
(illustration pic, DangerDen Maze4 GPU block on FX5200)
Now the rams, well, they started crapping out a very little on 283MHz now!
That is pure 15MHz increase, just for caps exchange. Well, for stable run i backed down to 275MHz just to be sure, but then again - the demos won't stop anymore like they used to do before and 275MHz is still a 7MHz increase
Very very very good, if you ask me
Of course, the card is oldie crap and nothing help it, but… The overclock from 235/200 to 355/275 is impressive. Is not it?
Any mainly - stable!
And there is a valid lesson learned from this card. Most of the big caps (with exception to one), could be replaced with also SMD variants. They are usually with lower specs, so no interest from me, but… but the orientation of the caps not seems to be right. The white parts of the PCB, that says "ground" are in the wrong place. When I followed them, the caps are reversed and quickly start bulging...
So I have to replace them once more.
Therefore lesson learned - never trust the mainboard ground orientation for anything - especially when it did not seems to be right when soldered caps. Therefore measure first. Also pay attention witch caps hole has a rectangle around the hole - that is the positive hole! Always. Even in this, reversed example.