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Take A Look Under The Hood

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  • Take A Look Under The Hood

    If you are like me, you have an inane curiosity to know how things work, and computers shouldn't be any different. Don't let the endless galaxy of interconnecting wires or the mega-detailed circuitry on your motherboard, dissuade you from knowing what goes where and what does what.

    Allow me to explain...

    I've been experiencing of late, random and infrequent system lockups on my Origin EON-17SLX system. She's about 2 years old now, equipped with decent hardware specs, to which I'm able to do complex 3D modelling and rendering as well as running some great games at high fps. These lockups though, boggle my mind. There's no rhyme or reason as to why the system just stops, but it does, and it takes a hard shutdown and manual restart to get her back up and running, to which everything appears to run normally. I did some checking, through Windows Event Viewer, which did help but not so as i could precisely pinpoint the root cause. Errors appear to point to something to do with power. Well, both my cords are securely attached all of the time, so it isn't that, and as I said, the issue is intermittent and infrequent. So, I checked under the hood, taking off the bottom cover and taking a peak inside. I've been inside before, adding SSDs and doing a general cleaning of the fans (which should be done often on a laptop). Anywho, i didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but DID discover a very small (smaller than a grain of rice) object pop out of the system. It was a resistor, brown in color with both ends having a metallic look to it.

    Long story short, it is a capacitor, and I did discover that it came from my gpu card, a nvidia GTX-1080. Taking the card out and looking through a lighted magnifying glass, revealed that it came from a spot on the board near the power socket, which backed up my suspicions that if i was throwing an error from Windows, indicating a power error, this had to be it. Further inspection of the card also showed another capacitor that was "tombstoning", or rather it was showing signs of breaking free on one end, from it's soldered connection point.

    I am a bit concerned about manufacturing defects in components like this, especially when they can cost about a grand to replace (since my warranty conveniently ran out last month) and it all begs the question about the quality of the components we pay good money for and how long they will last. A 2-year old graphics card shouldn't be in this state so soon, at least, good quality ones shouldn't. If Clevo, being the manufacturer, is churning out defective parts, should they also be responsible for replacements as well? I'd love to be able to get a hold of those folks, letting them know about it, but I don't know if they have any stateside contacts to get a hold of.

    For now, I am at a loss on what can be done, if anything at this point and I'd also hate to have to plunk down a grand for a new card, because I could simply just buy a new system and sell this system i have now, for parts.

    Seems like a sad state of affairs, but something everyone should be aware of, that we shouldn't take anything for granted and as for having a warranty, yeah maybe that extra year would have helped me, but then again, who really knows how long these parts should last.
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