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Bad engineering from Sapphire: Radeon 9600 the heatsink damages the open die beneath

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Jopo75, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Jopo75

    Jopo75 Guest

    Yeah, ad subject says, my heatsink has damaged the die of the Ati chip
    beneath .
    See www.digit-life.com/articles2/radeon/pcolor-1.html for a visual
    explaination of my accident (see the pics at the middle-bottom of that
    page).
    My card is running fine but I'm wondering why Ati has licensed such a sloppy
    manufacturer to produce that bad engineered card : on the 9600 the heatsink
    is too way big and too heavy to being placed on the chip via two ultrasmall
    plastic spacers (like those on old mobos).
    Take nVidia for example: all nVidia chips are virtually mechanically
    unbreakable (like all Pentiums IV), not quite like Ati's: infact nVidia's
    haven't the open die touching the heatsink.
    Remember how many Amd Athlons got permanently damaged because the open die
    touches directly the heatsink??
    Bad engineering.
     
    Jopo75, Nov 10, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jopo75

    Skid Guest

    Just curious. How did you know the cooler damaged your chip?

    If it's running fine, you had to pry it off to see. If so, perhaps you were
    the one to damage it.

    Draw any conclusions you want about Sapphire, but they are ATIs biggest
    partner and make more of the cards ATI sells under its own brand name than
    anybody else.

    I've had three of them, and had the coolers on and off all of them with no
    such problem. They cut corners to keep costs down, but they perform well.

    That's my definition of good engineering. You're certainly entitled to a
    different opinion.
     
    Skid, Nov 10, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jopo75

    Jopo75 Guest

    Just curious. How did you know the cooler damaged your chip?
    Simple: touching the heatsink I've heard a sound similar to the sound that
    you make when you rub a piece of glass against sand.
    Have you seen how BIG is the heatsink on the Sapphire Radeon 9600??
    And that big heatsink simply cannot be placed firmly against the die using
    only two small piece of plastic.

    Yes, but only touching once the heatsink (who hasn't touched once the
    heatsink, and by saying "touched" I don't mean that I've taken the videocard
    BY the heatsink) doesn't automatically imply that I've ruined the chip.
    If so it means that the card is mechanically bad engineered.

    Frankly I don't care how big or not a brand is: I care for quality and
    robustness.
    Well you're lucky. Probably the Sapphires you own have the heatsink glued to
    the chip via a thermoconductive epoxy (in that case rub against the chip is
    avoided).
    That's not a definition of good engineering: Pentiums IV are GOOD
    engineered, their type of heatsink (the way they are mounted and the quality
    of construction) are good engineered, nVidias are good engineered.
    Old proper Atis are good engineered (infact I'm very happy of my Ati Radeon
    7500).

    Tell me one thing: why Ati stopped to make the entire video board and relied
    to 3rd part manufacturing only for Europe?
     
    Jopo75, Nov 10, 2003
    #3
  4. Jopo75

    Skid Guest

    I don't think ATI ever manufactured ANY of the Radeon series sold under the
    ATI brand name. Those have all be done by Asian companies. They are all made
    to ATI design and spec, and even the OEM cards sold by Sapphire and others
    have to use a minimum reference design.

    Sorry you feel you got a bad one, QA slips happen. But I think you're
    reaching to conclude that Sapphire is second-rate because you discovered a
    chipped core when you pried the cooler off.

    The fact that no one in this group has agreed with you in the multiple
    threads you've started should tell you something.

    Feel free to buy another brand next time. I'll feel free to recommend
    Sapphire cards based on my personal experience with several of them and the
    good vibes from friends I've suggested them to.

    Opinions are like snowflakes, there are no two exactly alike.
     
    Skid, Nov 11, 2003
    #4
  5. Uhhh.. do you actually know what a die is? What you're refering to is
    actually the ceramic substrait that the die is inside of (acutally in
    this case it appears the die is attached to the substrait below and
    there is a ceramic cap on top of it). Typically the ceramic can be
    significantly damaged and the chip will still function. But after
    reviewing the pictures that you show, it doesn't appear to be cause by
    vibrational friction as you are proposing. What it appears is that
    someone lifted on side of the heat sink diagonally across the chip's
    ceramic causing the corner to either chip off or be scraped off. If
    it was vibrational damage you would see more consistant wearing of the
    ATI silk screen on top of the ceramic; but this is not shown in your
    photos.

    Conclusion. You did the damage yourself; it does not look like what
    you claimed (bad heat sink design / connection).
     
    Cyclone Owner, Nov 12, 2003
    #5
  6. Jopo75

    J.Clarke Guest

    On 11 Nov 2003 21:57:40 -0800
    With many contemporary chips the the die is exposed, with the pure
    silicon base on which the circuits were grown pointing up. The reason
    this is done is that that approach gives the lowest thermal resistance
    in the cooling solution. The Athlons are the best known chips
    constructed in this manner, and cracking the die was a fairly common
    installation error until AMD started putting some bumpers on the chip
    to ensure that the heat sink went on level--occasionally someone still
    manages to crack the die. The ATIs appear to be similar in construction
    to the current generation Athlons, which means that that little black
    rectangle in the middle of the substrate _is_ the die. Further, the
    substrate is often a fiberglass PCB with current designs.

    However some of the immense heat sinks used with Athlons are secured by
    a spring-clip to the skinny little tabs on the socket--if the mass of
    the heat sink is not a problem with Athlons, which it generally is
    not, then the relatively tiny one used on ATI boards is most assuredly
    not going to be a problem when secured using the drilled-through
    mounting holes in the circuit board.

    Intel and nvidia put a metal heat spreader on top of the die that serves
    to protect it from hamfisted installers, however it also adds another
    layer of thermal resistance to the cooling. AMD has started doing the
    same thing with their 64-bit chips.
     
    J.Clarke, Nov 12, 2003
    #6
  7. Jopo75

    J.Clarke Guest

    On 21 Nov 2003 23:45:27 -0800
    Gee, that sure looks like an exposed die to me. What leads you to
    believe that it is not?
     
    J.Clarke, Nov 22, 2003
    #7
  8. With many contemporary chips the the die is exposed, with the pure
    <BIG BIG SNIP>

    Yeah, I understand that 100%, but I was refering to this case. If you
    look at the pictures, the die is not exposed. But the way he was
    talking about it, you would think that it is. First thing I did was
    to look at his pictures and you can quickly determine the die is not
    exposed.

    As far as I know AMD is the most popular manufacturer using the
    exposed die. It does tend to open a whole new can of worms when it
    comes to the general public (I wonder how many were cracked during
    installation and returned as defective). The bumpers help, but
    doesn't emlimate the issues.

    Dave
     
    Cyclone Owner, Nov 22, 2003
    #8
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