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Old 04-17-2012, 01:02 AM   #1
momaka
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Default Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

I got this board a year or so ago. Didn't really care for it since it had bad caps and I got the board with nothing else. Thus, I decided to do some experimenting on it....

First was a recap. I used pretty much whatever I could find. Probably broke every rule/convention there is on recapping motherboards. For example, the caps on CPU VRM-high were all 16V 1800uF Nichicon HNs (H03 datecodes), but I used 16V 1500uF Panasonic FLs that I pulled from various Xbox 360's. If that's not bad enough, you should see the CPU VRM-low - here I used a mix of used polys as well as used and new eletrolytics. Here's what replaced what:

Originally [CPU VRM-high]: 3x 16V 1800uF Nichicon HN (H03 datecodes) - all bulged
Replaced with: 3x used 16V 1500uF Panasonic FLs from Xbox 360s

Originally [CPU VRM-low]: 9x 6.3V 1800uF Nichicon HN (H03 datecodes) - all bulged
Replaced with: 1) 3x used 2.5V 820uF United Chemicon PSC (polymers) from Xbox 360s
Replaced with: 2) 2x used 6.3V 820uF Nichicon HN (custom 8mm dia by 25 mm height) from Xbox 360s
Replaced with: 3) 1x used 6.3V 560uF Elite?? ECP polymer from a random Asus motherboard
Replaced with: 4) 2x new 10V 1000uF Nichicon HM
Replaced with: 5) 1x new 6.3V 1800uF Nichicon HM

... yup, I totally disregarded that half-rule for polymers in the CPU VRM. But hey, the board actually worked fine. The fastest P4 CPU I have is a P4 2.66 GHz Northwood which isn't very power hungry (only 66W TDP), so those caps in the VRM-low should be more than enough. Heck, even this current configuration is probably much better than the VRMs I've seen on some older mid-range consumer boards. The total capacitance on the CPU VRM-low dropped from 16200uF to 8460uF after the recap. ESR and ripple-wise, the old Nichicon HNs were good for 1.5 mOhm and 17760mA when all in parallel. Contrast that to 1.11 mOhm ESR and 22240 mA ripple for the new caps.

Luckily, the only bad caps on this motherboard were the CPU VRM-high and CPU-VRM low caps, so a full recap was averted. The caps on the rest of the board are pretty much just Panasonic, except for 2 or 3 Nichicon HM's (with bad date codes as well). I might change those as well, but the board is working fine right now so I probably won't. Anyways, here's a pic of my handiwork:
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782
Good think you can't see the underside. I had quite a bit of a struggle with just my 35W Radio Shack iron. In fact, if it wans't for the heatgun and the flux, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

After seeing that the board worked, I decided that when I have time some day, I will modify a case so that I can make this my daily-use computer. Of course given that I didn't have the original GX270 CPU heatsink and that the retention mechanisms from other P4 did not fit meant i had to come up with a way to hold a standard P4 heatsink in a non-standard GX270 retention mechanism.

After playing around with various hardware for a few hours, this is what I came up with:
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782
Yup, it's totally , but it works just fine. Flipping and moving the board around doesn't make the heatsink move at all. The rubber band that holds the fan also happens to dampen the vibrations from it, so the fan is a lot more quiet.

Here's another close-up of how the heatsink is held in place:
pic 4
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782

Basically, the hardest part about this mod was to think of what to use to hold down the heatsink. Having lots of random hardware laying around is very useful. I'm not sure what that metal spring piece came from, but it's what made this mod possible. It's balanced on that piece of wood so that it inserts a force at the center of the heatsink and it's held by thick steel wire down to the plastic heatsink retention/holder.

And here's all of the hardware (minus the plastic wind-deflector piece on the fan):
http://www.badcaps.net/forum/attachm...1&d=1334645782

As you can see, very simple (unlike the initial plans I had). I can actually install/uninstall the heatsink faster than a regular heatsink.

All that's left to do now is figure out the front panel header (still can't find any info on that), decide which of my cases would be the easiest to modify, fix a PSU for use with that computer, and also find some cheap DDR RAM.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0751.jpg (130.8 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0746.jpg (165.9 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0747.jpg (153.6 KB, 785 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0748.jpg (52.5 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0749.jpg (143.9 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0750.jpg (43.3 KB, 80 views)
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

I have 4 dead GX280s that I will probably scrap (after I strip it for parts) so if you want a heatsink and if it fits the GX270, let me know.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

I don't really know if the heatsink from the GX280 fits the GX270. I'm guessing shipping from Canada won't be that cheap either. But if it is, I'll consider it. For some reason, I'm always short on heatsinks and RAM .
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

The GX280 sink won't fit the GX270. The GX270 can be fitted with any 478 heatsink bracket, it's just a tight fit with the 1800uF 8mm caps....but it will work.

Why are you trashing the 280's? If they still work, they are still very sell-able!! If they have 'turbo fan syndrome', they are dumpster food. I threw about 100 of those damn boards in the trash about a month ago that had that issue.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
retiredcaps
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Why are you trashing the 280's?
I got them from a friend's workplace. All 4

- have bloated Rubycon MCZs by the CPU
- 3 out of the 4 have OSTs caps everywhere else
- none of them have any DDR2 DRAM
- all 4 power supplies have bad caps and one doesn't work at all
- so far the one heatsink I removed reveals 775 3.0Ghz CPU,

The maximum price I could get for these computers (3.0Ghz, 1GB DRAM, 80GB hard drive) is probably $50 in my local market.

The time and money I need to find/add 1GB DDR2 (probably $10 used), recap motherboard and PSU (probably $15 in new caps/psu), I might make $20 per computer or $80 total.

It is way easier for me to sell the power supplies after recap and CPUs separately. I could probably get $60 for 4 power supplies and $20 for 4 socket 775 CPUs or $80 total.

No home user is going to appreciate that I recapped an entire motherboard with high quality caps so no one will pay for it.

I plan to strip the rest, freecycle others, and recycle leftovers.

If anyone here needs screws, heatsinks, etc for 280s, let me know.

PS. I don't know if they have turbo fan syndrome or not since none of them POST due to the bad caps. However, the one heatsink I did take apart was caked in 6 year old dust.

Last edited by retiredcaps; 04-18-2012 at 12:36 AM..
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Same problem here. A GX280 is a fine machine but has virtually no resale value. I pretty much gave all mine away when I upgraded to Dell Optiplex 755 so I could stop dealing with peoples' old crappy Pentium 3 limited memory systems. From many of them I got back motherboards worth much more than a complete GX280.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

I seem to never have trouble selling the SFF's. The SX280's I sell at a phone call, same with GX620 and GX745+ USFF's....
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

I'm happy they are still sellable because I have like 50-100 of them. $50-100 is a good price point?

Thought of just selling the logic boards and windows license on ebay. I can just CL whole machines... Worth it?
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

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I'm happy they are still sellable because I have like 50-100 of them. $50-100 is a good price point?

Thought of just selling the logic boards and windows license on ebay. I can just CL whole machines... Worth it?
You'll sell those all day long for 50 bucks a pop, especially the SFF models. 100 bucks, they'll sell, but slower... If you just want to offload them, 50~75 bucks and gone. The non-USFF, I advertised on a local site for sale, I had about a dozen GX280SFF's with keyboards & mice, but no monitors. Sold the entire lot of them over the weekend for 75 bucks each. They won't hang around long at all. The USFF's, I sell those at a single phone call as fast as I can get them.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The GX280 sink won't fit the GX270. The GX270 can be fitted with any 478 heatsink bracket, it's just a tight fit with the 1800uF 8mm caps....but it will work.

Why are you trashing the 280's? If they still work, they are still very sell-able!! If they have 'turbo fan syndrome', they are dumpster food. I threw about 100 of those damn boards in the trash about a month ago that had that issue.
Did you really throw those away? That's about $400 worth of scrap

Where I'm at, they pay $3.30/lb for dead boards... do the math guys.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

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Did you really throw those away? That's about $400 worth of scrap

Where I'm at, they pay $3.30/lb for dead boards... do the math guys.
Yup, they went in the dumpster. Here, they wanted me to PAY THEM to take them. I dont mind recycling, but I'll be damned if I pay them to take the stuff, so dumpster food they became.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Yup, they went in the dumpster. Here, they wanted me to PAY THEM to take them. I dont mind recycling, but I'll be damned if I pay them to take the stuff, so dumpster food they became.
who is "they"? local recycle?

i wouldnt mind cleaning out all the zombie-franken-puters i have "collected" over the years
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

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who is "they"? local recycle?
Yup.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Why are you trashing the 280's? If they still work, they are still very sell-able!! If they have 'turbo fan syndrome', they are dumpster food. I threw about 100 of those damn boards in the trash about a month ago that had that issue.
What is "turbo fan syndrome" don't think I've seen this. yet...
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The GX280 sink won't fit the GX270. The GX270 can be fitted with any 478 heatsink bracket, it's just a tight fit with the 1800uF 8mm caps....but it will work.
Didn't work with the one I had, so I had to cut the original GX270 bracket a bit. Once that was done, a standard P4 heat sink I had fit perfectly.
And even if a standard bracket did fit, I wouldn't think it's a good idea to have the caps being put under constant pressure on one side. Could probably ruin the seals over time and make the caps dry. Besides, I definitely wouldn't want eletrolyte to spill. That rotten fish smell is very unpleasant .
Also, I forgot to mention, but I also trimmed the MOSFETs' heat sink a bit because it too was exerting some force on the VRM high-side caps. Now it fits like a glove.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smason
What is "turbo fan syndrome" don't think I've seen this. yet...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS1x54K44WA

Last edited by momaka; 05-02-2012 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:26 PM   #16
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

You guys recap and resell boards huh? I didn't know there was money in that, but I really don't have the money to keep stashes of capacitors around and don't have cash to spend on a bunch of spare parts. I just threw out about 10 boards (yea, not much), but if they each could have put $30 in my pocket, that would have been great.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap




Please if you are gonna throw out any pc's in the richmond,va area or are willig to send them I'd love to have them particularly old dells as far back as 486's And particularly agp and board with agp and pci-e.

Wiether they work or not. If it's close to me i'll even pay shipping.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

Try this next time you have a turbo fan...

Open the case and push down on the top of the fan, hard, with one hand while turning the PC on with the other. Keep the pressure on the fan and if the pc boots you have a 775 socket problem.

Turbo fan is an easy fix, we've repaired close to 50 of them, you need to reflow the 775 socket, the balls underneath it are cracked. In some cases a reflow doesn't work and we replace the socket with one that has leaded balls, about $3 each. We get 8/10 repaired this way.

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Old 06-15-2012, 08:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

i'm assuming you have an IR station?
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: Dell Optiplex GX270 ghetto heatsink mod and recap

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i'm assuming you have an IR station?
Yes, I guess I should have mentioned that.
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