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Ati FireGL failing VRAMs - was thermopad the culprit?

T60/T61 Series
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Ati FireGL failing VRAMs - was thermopad the culprit?

#1 Post by ziemeck » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:45 am

I am planning to clean cooler on a T60p and I wonder how should I cut the thermopad for GPU (no T61 cooler around to go for no-pad config and with 7W/sqm thermopad on hand I don't feel like buying coppershim - should I reconsider?). Why not reproduce the "cover chip and RAM" as in factory setting without rethinking? Well - here comes the main question I wanna ask.

I am a bit curious what was the reason for failing VRAMs on those FireGL (v5200 & v5250) boards.
From my coppershim experience on x1300 and x1400 it seems RAMs on those require no cooling whatsoever (otherwise they would have failed long ago after I removed thermopads switching to coppershims).
Perhaps the story is different for VRAMs used for FireGL configs? Do they require cooling via thermopad or they don't? Because if they don't - was the reason for their failures overheating and/or high amplitudes of temperature they were exposed to due to thermopad placement? I have seen on ebay and other auction sites quite a lot of FireGL boards restored to working condition via unsoldering one or more VRAM modules, which means what was failing wasn't bga below chip or solders under memory chips but rather - most probably the chips themselves (otherwise they'd be resoldered/reflowed rather than removed).

So once again - to put thermopad on VRAMs or not to put - that's the (Hamlet's) question.
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Re: Ati FireGL failing VRAMs - was thermopad the culprit?

#2 Post by dr_st » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:57 pm

FWIW, VRAM failures have been witnessed on X1400 boards a well (probably X1300 too, although perhaps less likely).
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Ati FireGL failing VRAMs - was thermopad the culprit?

#3 Post by micrex22 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:13 am

I would honestly forget about the thermal pillows and use a W500/T500 heatsink and shave down the protruding heatblock and use that instead; then the heatsink contacts the GPU directly via thermal paste. Then with ThinkPad fan controller software you can run the fan at max speed (which is still a decently quiet fan) and not have to worry about GPU temperatures in general.

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