vrm exploded?

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by ichangedmyname, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. ichangedmyname

    ichangedmyname Notebook Consultant

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    I'm not an expert on motherboard components and circuitry, but I disassembled an alienware 15r3, and found this burnt component. it seems to be like it is on the backside of CPU VRM.

    this is a 6700hq and gtx 1060 model. the computer still functions fine and passes stress test.

    http://imgur.com/a/ubbtB9I


    the third picture is the burn damage? that also scorched the power button board. the power button board still works too.

    Would it be still safe to use?
     
  2. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Prophet

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    Hmm hard to say, if you still have warranty, I would contact Dell asap. The Damage looks pretty severe and I'm kinda shocked that it is still operating. What was the reason that you disassembled it? Did you notice anything strange while it was running?
     
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  3. ichangedmyname

    ichangedmyname Notebook Consultant

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    It is out of warranty.
    It was running loud and hot (could see heatsink fins somewhat clogged with dust).
    It's never been disassembled before.

    Nothing strange while running. I left it plugged off and battery disconnected so that it won't catch on fire and potentially burn down my house.
     
  4. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Evangelist

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    It looks like you had a CPU capacitor explode. This often does not prevent the system from working, as the short created does not result in a high enough current to trip overcurrent protection.

    Go check your CPU idle power usage in something like hwinfo64 or throttlestop. It is likely 5 or so watts higher than it should be because of the short.

    Obviously this is bad and you should RMA if possible, but running the board as is should not damage your other hardware. If the short is bad though you can cause further damage to the motherboard by overheating other components.
     
  5. ichangedmyname

    ichangedmyname Notebook Consultant

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    i downloaded hwinfo64 and tried to look for power usage. I think "CPU package power" is what im supposed to be looking for and it hovers around 3-4watts under minimal cpu usage (5%~ ish)


    I called dell and asked if I can get someone to see if this system is still serviceable or not, but the dell rep told me that they don't do any troubleshooting or diagnostics, only part replacement, in Canada. she quoted me 458 + tax for replacement of motherboard + power button board though.
     
  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Just look and see if you can source the part cheaper than that on ebay.
     
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  7. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Evangelist

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    That power usage sounds normal.

    That replacement price is ridiculous. I would just use it as is since you don't appear to have a short, or at least one of any significance. If you find someone competent with a heat gun it can be fully repaired for a dollar worth of parts.
     
  8. Muezick

    Muezick Notebook Consultant

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    Jumping jesus jacks that is a great price! You are unlikely to find a motherboard fitting your specs for under 900, i say go for it. Also you might look into getting a new heat sink/fans and/or using higher quality thermal interface materials (Pads, paste, etc) ... parts can fail, but i can only imagine the heat that thing was eating before it burst like that. Do you keep it overly warm in your apartment/flat? I lost a GPU to basically the same thing on the first day of winter when my brother decided it needed to be 80f in the flat while i was gaming (Blew a cap, huge black mark on pcb, never turned on again D:)
     
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  9. Khenglish

    Khenglish Notebook Evangelist

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    Don't replace the motherboard. That is completely unnecessary.

    Clean up the area with a tooth brush and isopropyl alcohol. If you have a soldering iron, remove the blown cap by just putting a big glob of solder on the iron tip and heating both ends of the cap at the same time. There are around 50 other caps, so missing one doesn't matter.

    Do not try to replace the cap with an iron. You will probably kill the replacement cap. Replacing it requires a heat gun.
     
  10. Muezick

    Muezick Notebook Consultant

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    Also not a bad idea.
     
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