Monday, October 4, 2010

To solder or not to solder....

I think I have answered the question

Over the weekend....
- I found the stock VGA card that came with the desktop.
- It doesn't even support any widescreen resolution or any std resolution beyond 1280 * 1024
- At 1280 * 1024, you can literally see the screen refreshing when you switch windows
- Anything graphicky runs yucky and puky with the stock VGA card
- I found yet another graphics card (FX 5200) that had a couple of popped capacitors
- I noticed that all the popped capacitors on FX 5200 as well as the 7600GS were of the same ratings
- Figured even if I manage to fix one of them, I would be in good shape
- I also figured I must have spent around 150-200 bucks between these two graphics cards (Dang! PC Gaming is expensive!!)

So, I went ahead and placed orders for....
- Off eBay -- Rubycon 1000uF, 6.3V Low ESR capacitors - 15 qty - $5.50

- Off eBay -- 40W soldering iron with pencil tip + some 60/40 solder wire - $8.50

- Off Amazon -- Solder sucker - $ 3.49
- For a total of  around 18 bucks, I figure this is way cheaper than getting a replacement card

- I also figured that it's way way way cheaper than replacing the 6 year old desktop (Just looked it up, purchase date: 8/23/2004) that still continues to function and perform like new

What would be the outcome? One (or more) of these should/would/could happen...

- I burn one of the cards with the soldering iron - I burn both the cards with the soldering iron
- I burn 10 of the 15 capacitors with the soldering iron (I only need 5)
- I burn my fingers with the soldering iron (sidebar: As of this morning, I have either a cut or bruise on 4 of my 5 fingers on the right hand!)
- I burn the table with the soldering iron
- I burn the house down with the soldering iron
- One of the two cards gets fixed- Both the cards get fixed
- Both the cards get new capacitors but still don't work

Worst case? I burn my fingers, the cards, the table and house --- Outcome: I'll have buy a new desktop
Best case? I fix both the cards, both test out fine, 7600GS goes in Desktop, FX 5200 on eBay --- Outcome: Profit!
Most likely case? Jury is out on that one....

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