Possible Permanent Solution to G3 ibook Nightmare

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Joined: Jun 30 2007
Posts: 5

Hello this is my first time ever in a discussion board much less posting one but I was kind of desperate for help and information. This is a long post so bear with me. Like everyone else here who has, had, and will have a G3 ibook or looked at a G3 ibook forum i know that eventually the GPU will come loose from the logic board causing the Black Screen of death. From the various forums I have read, I have summised the two main reasons for failure are

1. The flexing of the logic board in the ibook causing mechanical stress on the GPU's Ball Grid Array (BGA).

2. The heat build up inside the ibook that only exacerbates the previous problem.

Naturally people have come up with clever ways of repairing their macs. Placing clasp on the ibook where the GPU is, placing a shim between the GPU and metal heat shield, sauteeing the GPU with Hot Air Gun to reflow the solder joints, and heating a coin (preferrably of English origin for some reason) to 250 degrees something? (never clarified celsius or fahrenheit) and placing atop the GPU to name a few. All clever but ultimate not a permanent fix to the problem because they are not a solution to the cause. Ultimately the joints of the GPU will come loose from the board. One could do the hot air thing but eventually one will end up destroying the chip. I have been reserching the ATI chip and this BGA and I stumbled upon a device called a Pin Grid Array or PGA (wikipedia or google it) and it appears to be the predecessor to the BGA. Like the BGA the PGA is designed for electronics. Instead of having these easily breakable solder balls it has pins pertruding from it that contact the board surface. However, they are more flexible than the BGA and thus less likely to fail as all they need is to make contact with a conductive part of the board which is easy if solder into the board. Anyway these PGA's also come with socket types (look up Pin Grid Array Socket). If one were to solder that stupid ATI GPU BGA on top of one of these sockets (in possibly just a kitchen oven). Then one could solder the card back down onto the board. It would provide permenently be fixed to it. Or at least an easy way to continually repair it for pennies.

So your probably wondering why I went through the history of repairing G3 ibooks if it is that easy. Well, like I said I am deperate for help and information. I have never seen the actual GPU on a ibook up close. I have seen images but from them I cannot tell if the GPU is soldered to the board as the BGA implies, or if it is actual part of the baord itself. The latter seems implausable as there are services that do reballing and so the GPU has to come off the board some how right? Also has anyone seen the the BGA grid design. I am aware that these reballing/re-flowing (there is a difference) services typically take X-ray images of the layout. If any has gotten the "surgery" or has images of either these X-rays or the actual bottom of these it would be appreciated if you would upload them for all to see. I asked one of the companies (superiorreballing or something) about this solution but they blew me off.

Anyway, I recently purchased two ibooks (800 and 900Mhz) and I would like to explore this solution in greater detail. I will continue to post my progress as I continue. It will be interesting to se e if this actually works as I am a electrical engineering student and have some experience with these types of soldering techniques. If this works I would be willing to sell for the right price. It would be after all the only one of its kind.

Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to set the stage for discussion of this problem. I will be posting this discussion on other forums too. Maybe the entire G3 ibook and maybe even G4 ibook community/market could benefit from this endeavor.

Sincerely Raulito15

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Joined: Sep 21 2004
Posts: 74
Good luck.

You're talking about soldering a pga socket to a bga pinout, then forcing a bga chip into a pga socket? I think it would be a miracle if you could even find one that was pin compatible to begin with. Assuming you found this thing, and assuming you could make it work, you're going to have to deal with the problem of adding that thickness on the logic board.

Basically, for all the effort of what you're trying to do, you're better having your gpu professionally reflowed.

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Joined: Jun 30 2007
Posts: 5
PGA sockets

In terms of getting the BGA onto a PGA it may not be so difficult to do. In fact I believe PGA Socket boards are specifically designed to convert a BGA into a PGA. The only hard part will be finding a company that sells a PGA that is an exact match to the one ATI used in its GPU. I think also that thickness will not be such an issue either. The pins are generally only millimeters high and people seem to put shims on top of the chip that are much thicker with out to much difficulty. The real difficulty, I think, will be finding the correct PGA socket "package" and putting it back on the board. I think having an expert put it back on the board would be a good idea but no one has ever done this before.

Thanks for your input.
Raulito15

protocol6v's picture
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Joined: Apr 22 2006
Posts: 339
http://www.apple.com/support/

http://www.apple.com/support/ibook/faq/

Does your iBook fit the serial range?

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MacBook Pro, 2.2GHz SR Core 2 Duo, 120GB HD, 2GB RAM,
PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz, 3GB RAM, 1x 250GB HD, 4x 500GB HDs(Sonnet Tempo X4P), ATI Radeon 9650 256MB

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Joined: Jun 30 2007
Posts: 5
Serial Number

Yeah both of them do. Unfortunately the the time frame for the repair has elapsed. I think some people have had luck getting their logic boards changed out recently through apple. I will try calling them and seeing if that is a possibility though i doubt it. Thanks though.

protocol6v's picture
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Joined: Apr 22 2006
Posts: 339
I just had my 700MHz done, an

I just had my 700MHz done, and my PowerBook G4s Screen replaced as well...

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MacBook Pro, 2.2GHz SR Core 2 Duo, 120GB HD, 2GB RAM,
PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz, 3GB RAM, 1x 250GB HD, 4x 500GB HDs(Sonnet Tempo X4P), ATI Radeon 9650 256MB

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Joined: Jun 30 2007
Posts: 5
How long ago?

How long ago was it? Also did you buy it from apple and did you have it repaired before.

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Joined: Jun 30 2007
Posts: 5
My recent activities.

For those of you following my post, I have been using the macworld link as my primary forum. So just go to [http://www.macworld.com/forums/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=517059&Main=513126] for my latest updates.