Would you replace defective capacitors on 5 yr. old motherboards ?

Would you replace defective capacitor on 5 yr. old motherboards?

  • Yes

    Votes: 23 43.4%
  • No

    Votes: 30 56.6%

  • Total voters
    53

Happy Hopping

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I have a few motherboards, 5 year old, that has capacitor plague. Would you replace them? Because locally they charge me $4/capacitor (Japan), is that a good price?

Because I don't mind replacing a few capacitors on a motherboard, and get the whole machine up and running again. But my concern is, if I replace those defective capacitors, more on that same motherboard will become defective in the near future. So it becomes not worth it if that's the case.

and from wikipedia, it doesn't say if these plague can be caused by prolong bad power supply or some sort of 1 time bad voltage shock. Can anyone tell me what the story is?

All it says is "The capacitors fail because of a special water based corrosion effect, due to a poorly formulated electrolyte."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
 

jmilcher

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I have a few motherboards, 5 year old, that has capacitor plague. Would you replace them? Because locally they charge me $4/capacitor (Japan), is that a good price?

Because I don't mind replacing a few capacitors on a motherboard, and get the whole machine up and running again. But my concern is, if I replace those defective capacitors, more on that same motherboard will become defective in the near future. So it becomes not worth it if that's the case.

and from wikipedia, it doesn't say if these plague can be caused by prolong bad power supply or some sort of 1 time bad voltage shock. Can anyone tell me what the story is?

All it says is "The capacitors fail because of a special water based corrosion effect, due to a poorly formulated electrolyte."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

Just depends. Most older boards if they were popular, can be purchased for less money than replacing the caps.
 

ep0x73

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Most motherboards that are only 5 years old had solid capacitors that were not plagued like the liquid caps.
I have two boards over 10 years old with liquid caps still doing fine, then again the caps used were Sanyo and Rubycon and not the cheap Chinese crap caps.
 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blown_capacitor_on_video_card.jpg

but these are solid state capacitor, same thing
 

Maxx_Power

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That is not a solid capacitor (polymer or semiconductor). That is a normal electrolytic capacitor without a plastic outer sleeve. A lot of these capacitors exist that looks like (superficially) solid capacitors, but are in fact, electrolytics. One telltale sign is the vent pattern on top. Solid capacitors do not de-gas, and do not require vents on top (although very few do have vents anyway).

In case you want a read with a specific excerpt on these caps:

http://www.rangertech.net/en/products.asp?Nid=11

and quote:

"The above FZ series capacitor is not a polymer capacitor, its just a normal wet electrolytic without a sleeve. We know this because we can see the K vents at the top of the capacitor. Still there are a few rare exceptions to the rule, Nichicon HD are not polymers but do not have visible vents. Fujitsu FPCAPs which are the yellow sleeved ones often seen on motherboards and graphics cards are a type of polymer cap but do have K vents."
 

Happy Hopping

Supreme [H]ardness
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thanks for that link

these distinction are more involve than I thought. I have to memorize that article
 

Maxx_Power

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thanks for that link

these distinction are more involve than I thought. I have to memorize that article

You are very welcome. I like your sig material, by the way. The way we treat animals from pets to food is really reflective of ourselves.
 

drescherjm

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I would replace them buy I certainly would not pay $4 each. If they were $4 I would pass.
 

cyclone3d

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I have replaced capacitors on motherboards, video cards, and power supplies before.

It isn't all that hard, especially with the through the board ones. Surface mount are a little bit trickier, but still not bad at all.

Buy a soldering iron (adjustable wattage is best), some non-lead based solder, and some soldering paste and do it yourself.

A solder sucker and/or some solder wick is also helpful to remove the old solder so you can start fresh.

Learn on a piece of electronics that you do not care about, and then go on and fix the boards you want to keep yourself.
 

Happy Hopping

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You are very welcome. I like your sig material, by the way. The way we treat animals from pets to food is really reflective of ourselves.

Thank you Maxx. Feel free to join any animal activist group on facebook, you'll find me there
 

Happy Hopping

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I would replace them buy I certainly would not pay $4 each. If they were $4 I would pass.

If there are a few popular uF capacitors on these motherboard (In my case I have only seen bad capacitors on motherboard), and that there is some place to order them at a good price, I would buy it

the local store has rent, these rent are easily $7K to $11K per mth., so selling $4 a capacitor is high, but that the price tag going to local electronics store.

So I can stock a few popular capacitors on motherboard, if there is such a thing, but they have to be solid state capacitors
 

Happy Hopping

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I have replaced capacitors on motherboards, video cards, and power supplies before.

It isn't all that hard, especially with the through the board ones. Surface mount are a little bit trickier, but still not bad at all.

Buy a soldering iron (adjustable wattage is best), some non-lead based solder, and some soldering paste and do it yourself.

A solder sucker and/or some solder wick is also helpful to remove the old solder so you can start fresh.

Learn on a piece of electronics that you do not care about, and then go on and fix the boards you want to keep yourself.

and I have done that once on my own circuit board (satellite board). I want to replace motherboard because if a motherboard fails, the CPU, memory has to go as well.

But as I post at the very top, if you replace a few capacitors, are they usually the patch that went bad? Or is it just a 50-50 chance that more bad capacitors will come?

Because from this link, they said it's a function of:

http://news.cnet.com/When-good-capacitors-go-bad/2100-1041_3-5940438.html
underpowered power sources, excessive heat from a computer or the weather, and overclocking the processor.

now, I know none of those CPU were overclocked, so if it's the weather or bad power source, would you say whatever gone bad has already gone bad, thus, once replace, then you're good for a long time?
 

mi7chy

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If you can put the mobos to good use, sure, why not.

Refer to this site to get the scoop on brands to avoid, brands to replace with, ratings, source, etc.

http://www.badcaps.net/

If you only have a couple of motherboards you can pay someone else to replace them for you. But, if you have many or plan to do it as a service maybe consider putting out the capex to get the proper equipment. Avoid using the hand pump suction device as it's more likely to damage your mobo and takes longer.

http://www.amazon.com/Hakko-808-KIT-Contained-Desoldering-Internal/dp/B00FZPTEK2

http://www.frys.com/product/2760813
 

Matthew Kane

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Curious op but what is the board in question? A 5 year old board from today isn't exactly too old and I'm judging it is 1150/1366 or am3, makes decent for a secondary rig if you have the components to match up (spare ram, cpu etc). If it was C2D series, probably not worth it.

No knowledge or special skills required to replace caps other then a steady hand, decent iron (or soldering station) and some solder. Solder sucker and wick are optional.
 

cyclone3d

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and I have done that once on my own circuit board (satellite board). I want to replace motherboard because if a motherboard fails, the CPU, memory has to go as well.

But as I post at the very top, if you replace a few capacitors, are they usually the patch that went bad? Or is it just a 50-50 chance that more bad capacitors will come?

Because from this link, they said it's a function of:

http://news.cnet.com/When-good-capacitors-go-bad/2100-1041_3-5940438.html


now, I know none of those CPU were overclocked, so if it's the weather or bad power source, would you say whatever gone bad has already gone bad, thus, once replace, then you're good for a long time?

From what I have seen, the capacitors on motherboards, in power supplies, and on video cards going bad is either from poor quality parts, or from them not being a high enough uF value to begin with.

Overheating can cause them to go bad as well, but as I always keep my equipment cool, that has not been the case for me.

On stuff I have replaced caps on, I haven't had anymore of them go bad afterwards. Of course I usually use a higher uF rating if possible as well as higher quality than stock, so that may have some bearing on it as well.

Some boards back in the day that had a few go bad, I went ahead and replaced the whole bank of them since only a couple originals would have been left anyway.

I have never bought new capacitors. I keep a box of old electronics around and pull parts off of them when needed.
 

Cube

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no.

i only replace caps on classic video game console or arcade hardware

unless the board is from a classic pc that matters or you need that hardware it is not worth the trouble.


5 years is not that old anyway i am not even sure why they died they must have been cheep motherboards with cheep caps or falty ones.

a lot of sega genesis have bad caps since they was made from a bad batch from the early90s

i have had pc hardware that ran everyday 24 hours a day for 7 years and the caps are fine.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjauOGwmKH8
 

Happy Hopping

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Curious op but what is the board in question? A 5 year old board from today isn't exactly too old and I'm judging it is 1150/1366 or am3, makes decent for a secondary rig if you have the components to match up (spare ram, cpu etc). If it was C2D series, probably not worth it.

No knowledge or special skills required to replace caps other then a steady hand, decent iron (or soldering station) and some solder. Solder sucker and wick are optional.

They are AMD Phenom X4 motherboards. There are 2 of them. Currently worthh of these CPU about $50 to $100 each at ebay. So far, I can't find a wholesaler that still carry AMD motherboard that fits the above CPU. So if the capacitors are not replaced, then I would wasted the CPU, heat sink and the memory.
 

Happy Hopping

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no.



5 years is not that old anyway i am not even sure why they died they must have been cheep motherboards with cheep caps or falty ones.

a lot of sega genesis have bad caps since they was made from a bad batch from the early90s

so say it's for home use, what's the average lifespan of a motherboard? Would you say 10 years?
 

drescherjm

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We had a VIA AltlonXP board last over 10 years here before it was retired. It was overclocked slightly for all of those years.
 

Jorona

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IT depends on the board. A Soyo Dragon, absolutely. A Foxconn 915G board, NOPE.
 

dandragonrage

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$4/cap? You should be able to do better from Mouser, Digikey, etc. I'm assuming the $4 is just the part and not installation. And not all capacitors are good for all purposes, even from Panasonic or Nichicon. You really need to know how to read the datasheets if you want to do a good job. (Still the case if you buy them locally, and in fact it could be worse because you might not even be able to buy the good ones locally). Ideally you want one from Panasonic or Nichicon that's rated at least 5000 hours (the REALLY good ones will be 10k hours but they will likely cost a fair amount more) at 105C, per the datasheet. Avoid all 85C and all 1000-hour caps.

If there are several more similar caps on the board that would be likely to go bad soon too, then it's probably not worth it.
 
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Hagrid

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I replaced caps on a few motherboards, but they were not for business.
I just did it to mess around with them. Worked great.
 

Jorona

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$4/cap? You should be able to do better from Mouser, Digikey, etc. I'm assuming the $4 is just the part and not installation. And not all capacitors are good for all purposes, even from Panasonic or Nichicon. You really need to know how to read the datasheets if you want to do a good job. (Still the case if you buy them locally, and in fact it could be worse because you might not even be able to buy the good ones locally). Ideally you want one from Panasonic or Nichicon that's rated at least 5000 hours (the REALLY good ones will be 10k hours but they will likely cost a fair amount more) at 105C, per the datasheet. Avoid all 85C and all 1000-hour caps.

If there are several more similar caps on the board that would be likely to go bad soon too, then it's probably not worth it.

Bah, Panasonics(Matsushita) and Nichicons are nice, but Rubycons Teapos and NCC are all solid enough for motherboards.
 

r00k

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i replace capacitors on old motherboards / lcd's all the time. i have a pretty good success rate at it. I usually try to get a cap with a higher voltage rating (using a 16V cap where a 6.3 used to be is fine), and uF rating within 10% tolerance. If i don't have a new one, or six as the case may be, i have no problem ganking them off of other motherboards that ARE dead for good. Even if i only get a few years life out of the replacement set of caps, who cares, really?
 

Michaelius

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How many needs replacing ?

Because for Phenom class equipment i wouldn't bother and just get new pc parts - if you get rid of that old stuff you can probably get close to buying something low end from today era.
 

Happy Hopping

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How many needs replacing ?

Because for Phenom class equipment i wouldn't bother and just get new pc parts - if you get rid of that old stuff you can probably get close to buying something low end from today era.

It's not a lot of $. But on those motherboard, I would lose 1 CPU, 2 x memory modules, and the heat sink. My min. replacement cost on 1 x CPU, 1 x memory module, 1 x motherboard would be $188

And it's a few capacitors of unknown uF. MY unknown is, are they all the same uF, I suppose I can pick the ones w/ highest uF, but I haven't done this often, so I don't know if there are other criteria
 

Nostram

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$4/cap? You should be able to do better from Mouser, Digikey, etc.

Gonna second Mouser as a good place for caps. I order from them as they always have what I need in stock and due to being in Texas they tend to get to me rather quickly. :)
 

MiG29TangentBoy

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

Fascinating reading:
"A major cause of the plague of faulty capacitors was industrial espionage in connection with the theft of an electrolyte formula. A researcher is suspected of having taken, when moving from Japan to Taiwan, the secret chemical composition of a new low-resistance, inexpensive, water-containing electrolyte. The researcher subsequently tried to imitate this electrolyte formula in Taiwan, to undersell the pricing of the Japanese manufacturers. However, the secret formula had apparently been copied incompletely, and it lacked important proprietary ingredients which were essential to the long-term stability of the capacitors. The bad formulation of electrolyte allowed the unimpeded formation of hydroxide and produced hydrogen gas."
 

Maxx_Power

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can you elaborate the above?

Different capacitors are designed for different purposes. For motherboards, the ones that wears out the fastest are usually the Low-ESR (equivalent series resistance, an important factor in fast drain-charge situations, like decoupling) varieties. They are used to smooth out the PWM (pulse-width modulation) power signals from the MOSFETS (or whatever equivalent they actually use, could be bipolar or just FETS if they are older boards), and thus you really want the lowest ESR for that size of a cap. Higher ESR means that the cap heats up more due to Ohmic heating (like batteries) when subjected to large drain-charge cycles. This tends to wear them out faster.

The good caps are all Low-ESR for this situation. The really reliable Panasonic ones are the FM series (probably the best Low-ESR caps Panny makes). The Nichicons are good too. But I mostly use Pannys for re-caps, so I don't have a lot of Nichicon part numbers in my head. These caps that are Low-ESR are usually very efficient in terms of capacitance/volume, due mostly to etching on the surface. This unfortunately makes them less suitable for signal conductance, like coupling caps, since the excessive etching increases distortion (one of the reasons why audio grade caps are so much larger per capacitance). Digikey has FMs for cheap. Samxon also has a large collection of nice and reliable Low-ESR capacitors, but they are harder to source in bulk.

There are also general purpose caps. You'll find those in linear power supplies (not switching, or PWM), non-PWM based amplifiers, and so on. They don't have the Low-ESR, but their position doesn't require it either.

Then there are high temperature electrolytics, which are mostly being replaced by polymer/semiconductor caps. These are rated at higher operating temperatures, some up to 125 Degrees Celsius (usually, the Low-ESR varieties are rated to 105 Degrees Celsius). The increase in longevity results typically in a increase of ESR, so unless your design readily calls for these types of temperatures, and capacitances, most would avoid these high temperature caps.

Outside of electrolytics, there are TONS more uses for caps, like motor run, DC suppression, and so on.
 

Thermite Paste

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It's well worth it if you DIY and recap the whole thing, but I wouldn't pay a shop to do it unless the board is irreplaceable.
 

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Maxx, some of the info you mentioned reminds me of what I learned back in university. Some other material, such as ESR, I don't recall my professors mentioned it, so either I skip too many lectures or my professors are idiots :D

I'm going to buy them locally, so I can exchange it easily, some1 told me if I buy a bag, it will be a lot cheaper than $4/capacitor.

I'm just hoping for all the defective that I have in those 2 motherboards, that I can buy 1 bag that has high enough uF to replace all of them.

thanks for the info
 

Thermite Paste

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Maxx, some of the info you mentioned reminds me of what I learned back in university. Some other material, such as ESR, I don't recall my professors mentioned it, so either I skip too many lectures or my professors are idiots :D

I'm going to buy them locally, so I can exchange it easily, some1 told me if I buy a bag, it will be a lot cheaper than $4/capacitor.

I'm just hoping for all the defective that I have in those 2 motherboards, that I can buy 1 bag that has high enough uF to replace all of them.

thanks for the info
IIRC you can get capacitors rated for a higher voltage than the original, but the capacitance (uf) must remain the same. So you're probably not going to be able to do a blanket replacement on the whole board.
 

Fenris_Ulf

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IIRC you can get capacitors rated for a higher voltage than the original, but the capacitance (uf) must remain the same. So you're probably not going to be able to do a blanket replacement on the whole board.

Not necessarily. If used for decoupling, larger capacitance values are generally fine as long as the ESR is equal or lower. Manufacturers run into limits with board space and cost, so they put in the smallest value that will work for an acceptable period of time. Going bigger and better won't hurt in that situation. My personal preference is Sanyo OSCON caps, but I like the Panasonic, Samxon, Nichicon, and Ruybcon as well. I'd rather buy a good polymer cap once than have to replace a cheap one several times. My time is just too valuable to worry about a few cents difference between a cheap generic cap and a high quality one so I pretty much only buy the high quality ones now. $4 is too much for just a cap, but $1-2 is reasonable.
 

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I agree $4 is high. I bought 3 of them that day, but that's to replace my satellite receiver. But a capacitor is still a capacitor, I understand the 1s I bought are made in Japan, but $4 is high. As long as they last about 4 to 5 yr., that's more than enough. The way our industry works, in 3 to 4 yr., things would change that you need to phrase out those PC anyway

But I agree I won't bother save a few cents for a cheap capacitor, if there are good 1s made in JApan, I'll go for it. I'll write down the names of the above, and see what those stores have, but I want the 1s I bought to be made in Japan
 
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