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What are those white stains on the back of this GPU?

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flalalla

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
I've got this used GPU which has some white stains on its back. What are those? I've searched the web and from what I understand they could be flux residues but I'm not sure. Any other idea? Looks like this GPU was removed from a working PC and it was still functioning when it was removed. Then it sat in its own box for maybe a couple of years and now it was given to me. I've not tested it yet and I'm not sure if it's safe to power it on before removing that white stuff. Anybody knows what that is? Is it harmful? Should I worry? Can I leave it there or should I clean it even if the GPU works? I don't know when those white marks appeared, if the card was sold like that or if they appeared later during daily usage.
Thank you all for any help.
 

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bigtallanddopey

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
My first guess, and it would be a guess, is that it is flux from the soldering.

Another guess would be that someone has used a backplate on it before with some kind of pads on it. Maybe residue left over from that.

I cannot say I have seen this type of thing before so I don’t have an answer of what it actually is.


 
OP
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flalalla

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Thank you for answering.
If those are flux, should I be worried? It looks like a quite big amount of leftovers. Are they harmful for the board, or can they compromise the board in any way? I've never seen a board with so much residues like that before.
 

UltraTaco

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
You can try some alcohol on the swab and try to rub it a little, see if it comes off..
Maybe someone spilled mocha on the assembly line?:cheers:
 

bigtallanddopey

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2016
Ethanol is is liqor... I don't know details, but I would stick with IPA.

Technically they are both safe for cleaning electronics. However there are some caveats to using Ethanol compared to IPA. Any IPA off the shelf is ok to use as it evaporates quickly, doesn’t leave any residue and is a “pure” alcohol. Ethanol on the other hand is a little different, most stuff that is easily available is not as pure, there are still some minerals left over and so doesn’t evaporate as quick and can have conductive properties if anything is left behind. However if you buy the ultra pure Ethanol then it is basically the same as IPA and safe to use.

Most times though it is easier and safer to recommend IPA for cleaning electronics as you can’t go wrong with it.


 
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flalalla

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Thank you bigtallanddopey for the comment.
BTW I've asked the same question elsewhere and somebody pointed out that the black stamps where it's written "TEST PASS" appear to be stamped on top of the white stuff. This seems to suggest that it's indeed coming from the manufacturing process. I'm a bit shocked though because I've never seen a video card with so much residue.