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  • [HARDWARE MOD]980m to Desktop 980 core upgrade


    Khenglish

    Due to a stupid accident by me, I acquired a 980m with a chunk knocked out of the core. Not wanted to scrap a perfectly good top end PCB for parts, I wanted to replace the core. You can see the gouge in the core to the left of the TFC918.01W writing near the left edge of the die.

     

    First I had to get the dead core off:

     

    uel9YeG.jpg

     

    With no sellers on ebay selling GM204 cores, my only option was to buy a full card off ebay. With no mobile cards under $500,I had to get a desktop card. And with this much effort involved to do the repair, of course I got a 980 instead of a 970.

     

    Below is the dead 980 I got off ebay:

     

    uBLQg5Q.jpg

     

    You can see for some reason someone removed a bunch of components between the core and PCI-E slot. I have no idea why anyone would do this. I tried the card and it was error 43. PCB bend seemed to be too little to kill the card, so those missing components had to be it.

     

    GPUs can be dead because someone removed or installed a heatsink wrong and broke a corner of the core off, so buying cards for cores on ebay is a gamble. This core is not even scratched:

     

    MhKJV4d.jpg

     

    Preheating the card prior to high heat to pull the core:

     

    FYMovFp.jpg

     

    And core pulled. It survived the pull:

     

    P1JD3jA.jpg

     

    Next is the 980 core on the left cleaned of solder. On the right is the original 980m core:

     

    PVmfFqE.jpg

     

    Next I need to reball the 980 core, and lastly put it on the card. I am waiting for the BGA stencil to arrive from China. It still has not cleared US customs:

     

    https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?tLabels=LS022957368CN

     

    When that shows up expect the core to be on the card in 1-2 days.

     

    So some potential issues with this mod besides me physically messing up:

     

    I believe that starting with Maxwell Nvidia started flashing core configuration onto the cores, like intel does with CPUID. I believe this because I found laser cuts on a GK104 for a 680m, but could not find any on two GM204 cores. In addition, Clyde figured out device IDs on the 680m and K5000m. They are set by resistor values on the PCB. The 980m has the same resistor configuration as the 680m for the lowest nibble of the Device ID (0x13D7), but all of the resistors are absent. Filling in these resistors does nothing. Resistors do exist for the 3 and D in the device ID. Flashing a 970m vBIOS on my 980m did not change the device ID or core configuration. If this data is not stored on the PCB through straps or the vBIOS, then it must be stored on the GPU core.

     

    So I expect the card with the 980 core to report its device ID as 0x13D0. The first 12 bits pulled from the PCB, and last 4 from the core. 0x13D0 does not exist. I may possibly be able to add it to the .inf, or I may have to change the ID on the board. With the ID's 0 hardset by the core, I can only change the device ID to 0x13C0, matching that of a desktop 980.

     

    An additional issue may be that the core may not fully enable. Clyde put a 680 core on a K5000m and never got it to unlock to 1536 CUDA cores. We never figured out why.

     

    Lastly, there was very tough glue holding the 980m core on. When removing this glue I scraped some of the memory PCB traces. I checked with a multimeter and these traces are still intact, but if they are significantly damaged this can be problematic for memory stability. I think they are OK though, just exposed.

     

    Due to Clyde's lack of success in getting his 680 core to fully unlock I am concerned I might not get 2048. If I don't at least I should still have a very good chip. Desktop chips are better binned than mobile chips (most 980s are over 80% ASIC quality, while most 980ms are below 70%). In addition this 980 is a Galax 980 Hall of Fame, which are supposedly binned out of the 980 chips. Having a 90%+ ASIC would be great to have. The mid 60s chips we get in the 980m suck tons of power.


    I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Fox. This card was originally his. He sent me one card to mod and one to repair. I repaired the broken one and broke the working one. The broken one is the one I've been modding.

     

    Article update: SUCCESS!

    Core finally reballed. If the mount is poor I will be very very angry...

    20160718_010715.jpg

     

    Card cooling. New brain installed.

    20160718_013837.jpg

     

    So it actually works with the 980m vBIOS. I tried modding too soon. I just needed to reinstall the driver. I only ran a very lightweight render test because right now the card is only running on 2 phases. I'm pulling the phase driver from my 980m now to get the 3rd phase back up.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!.png

     

     

    Follow the rest of the discussion here:

     


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    Didn't expect it to work while reading it XD 

    Congrats! 

     

    Curious what else can we interchange with what and still make them work.

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    wow, really amazing job! Im curious how many attempts it took you to reball the core...  Regardless, its really cool that you got this to work.

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    hey khenglish i wanna ask you, i have gtx 780m with gk104 can i reball it and change it to gtx 980 or at least 770? if I can am I must mod the vbios or anything else thanks

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    I love fixes like this. Might be something for me to consider if something bad happens. Question though on this is how do you "reball" like this solder balls are really small. I'm completely impressed.

    On 19/06/2017 at 8:36 AM, lul3d said:

    hey khenglish i wanna ask you, i have gtx 780m with gk104 can i reball it and change it to gtx 980 or at least 770? if I can am I must mod the vbios or anything else thanks

    That's an amazing question

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    On 08/08/2016 at 9:08 PM, Khenglish said:

    980 TI (GM200) is built for 384 bits and the core package is far too large to fit on a 980m. GTX 1070 (GP104) cores have a smaller package than GM204 and are also incompatible. GTX 1080 is the wrong size and also wrong memory interface.

     

    The only other compatible core is the GK104. Conversely this means the 680m, 780m, and 880m can take a 980 core if someone wrote their own vBIOS for it. The 680m kepler vBIOS has no chance at running a maxwell core. A 980m vBIOS won't work due to a completely different core VRM & power monitoring module. In addition to the vBIOS write I know at least one hardware strap would have to be changed as well.

    Wait so your telling me some crazy person with a say an Asus laptop running an 880M could throw a 980 chip on there rewrite the VBIOS  and go ham. Are you telling me, cause I've seen a guy on the dog forums do this, that I could have a 980 in my G75VW by swapping the core and nodding the card to fit and writing the VBIOS to make it work. Or would that fail due to the Asus version of the 880m only having 4GB of VRAM?

    Edited by Cailess

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    On 1/5/2018 at 10:39 PM, Cailess said:

    Wait so your telling me some crazy person with a say an Asus laptop running an 880M could throw a 980 chip on there rewrite the VBIOS  and go ham. Are you telling me, cause I've seen a guy on the dog forums do this, that I could have a 980 in my G75VW by swapping the core and nodding the card to fit and writing the VBIOS to make it work. Or would that fail due to the Asus version of the 880m only having 4GB of VRAM?

     

    Ram size doesn't matter. Desktop 980 is only 4GB anyway.

     

    As for the vBIOS rewrite, I don't know how you're going to manage that.

     

    The kepler boards used a resistive strap device ID. I don't know how this would work with the 980 core. I'm guessing you'd just remove the strap resistors and hopefully then the core would report.

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    21 hours ago, Khenglish said:

     

    Ram size doesn't matter. Desktop 980 is only 4GB anyway.

     

    As for the vBIOS rewrite, I don't know how you're going to manage that.

     

    The kepler boards used a resistive strap device ID. I don't know how this would work with the 980 core. I'm guessing you'd just remove the strap resistors and hopefully then the core would report.

    This is some pretty complex stuff then. It's still incredibly interesting to me. I will be attempting to play around with some stuff (mostly have to wait for promotion by the admins) to see what I can get out of my G75VW. Easy way to boost some performance as I decided to go back to school as a mature student at my local university and havn't any money for a new laptop. If you don't mind, I may pick your brain a bit in regards to this in the future. Best way to do stuff. Tips and tricks. Maybe some other stuff.

    Edited by Cailess

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    So all you need for start is a chip transplant and flash the moded vbios? Or did you have to solder some identification resistors?

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    On 1/12/2018 at 9:21 PM, Khenglish said:

     

    Ram size doesn't matter. Desktop 980 is only 4GB anyway.

     

    As for the vBIOS rewrite, I don't know how you're going to manage that.

     

    The kepler boards used a resistive strap device ID. I don't know how this would work with the 980 core. I'm guessing you'd just remove the strap resistors and hopefully then the core would report.

    I was reading through the other thread on this project, and at one point you mentioned possible issues with LVDS support. If i was looking into doing this project, would I be better off trying with a 980m core instead. Again, this is 'if at all' sorta territory for the other issues you mentioned with the strap resistors. The limitations with this laptop are pretty extensive regarding LVDS support and maintaining 3D capability. I had looked into just throwing a 1050Ti in this laptop originally, still pretty significant, bump in performance, as well as reduction in power draw and heat output. Unfortunately the removal of LVDS support alone made that impossible.

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