||[Friday 1st May 2015 at 8:00 pm]
Bah, the graphics card in Nyx has just failed again, judging by the bluescreen followed by epic video corruption. This is not entirely unexpected - the internets did suggest that baking the card may only be a temporary fix - but still, 4 months or so is pretty decent for a bodge fix.
Since it's still a pretty decent card I'll have one more go at fixing it. This time I'll see if I can get hold of some replacement thermal pads for the memory and voltage regulators (I was never entirely happy about reusing the existing ones), and additionally see if I can manage a better mounting for the heatsink. I'm not convinced it's making good contact with the GPU - rather than the copper block being held against the chip, it's embedded in a large metal frame with little standoffs for the screw mounts. I wonder if filing those down a little would let me actually tighten the heatsink against the GPU and get a better thermal connection. It may also be worth sanding down the copper block a little, to try and get it to sit evenly on the GPU.
Tightening down the heatsink down may also help with the problem, as the layout in the case means the GPU is on the bottom of the PCB and so gravity will be pulling the GPU away, placing stress on the solder balls (which are the only thing actually holding the GPU to the PCB). Given that the consensus on the internets is the solder balls cracking under thermal stress, forcing the GPU and PCB together should make this less likely.
At least Aether is working for now...