This builder proves drill presses and graphics cards don’t mix

We've all had times when something just didn't quite fit right during a PC build, but usually that means it's time to stop and consider why tab A isn't going into slot B. LinusTechTips forums poster Zanderlinde wasn't deterred when a screw hole on his GeForce GTX 980 Ti didn't quite line up with a Corsair HG10 liquid-cooling bracket, though. Even though Corsair's official installation video suggests that no screw or mounting nut needs to pass through this hole, Zanderlinde was convinced that one did, and he put the card on his trusty drill press to move the offending hole "just a tiny bit in."

Images: Zanderlinde via LinusTechTips forums

After that treatment, the card stopped working. In a last-ditch attempt to simulate what might happen if a glob of solder was applied to the newly-exposed traces near that screw hole, Zanderlinde started up his system with a screwdriver in the hole and let out the magic smoke. The carnage didn't end there, though. Out of frustration, it appears the poster broke the card over his knee. 

Image: Zanderlinde via LinusTechTips forums

Moral of the story? If something doesn't seem to fit right, triple- or quadruple-check the instruction manual and reference materials before deploying the heavy equipment, or stop and ask your friendly forum community of choice for help.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Well now that it’s in 2 pieces, time to take the Industrial Machinist Radial Drill Press to it πŸ˜€

    [url<]http://www.baileigh.com/media/catalog/product/cache/13/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/r/d/rd1600h-radialdrill.jpg[/url<]

    • Legend
    • 4 years ago

    Maybe if a company like FLIR develops mobile device attaching x-ray hardware he can avoid these mishaps in the future ; )

    As someone who has successfully wrapped paper clips around the top of a PCB as quick release fasteners and used electrical tape as protection to keep from scratching traces; I feel qualified to point out that this guy should have just modded an offset into the bracket if he felt that strongly about it.

    Does anyone know how much electrostatic discharge it takes to break a card in half like that?

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    He probably thought those thin funny lines are there for decorative purposes only.

    • ColeLT1
    • 4 years ago

    I feel for this guy, I broke a pre-ordered skylake 6700k the day I got it, we all make mistakes.

    • davidbowser
    • 4 years ago

    Let he who has not bent a pin on a CPU cast the first stone.

    I have broken, CPUs, mobos, countless VGA, DVI, Parallel, Serial, and SCSI cables. All from bent pins. Try to unbend the pin and it just breaks off.

    I have a dead Pentium 133 chip on my shelf that I keep as a reminder not to “fix things”.

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      The good news is that now the CPUs don’t have the pins.
      But the bad news is that the pins are in the motherboard slots.

      If you start “fixing things” again, you should be very careful lest you run out of shelf space very quickly.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      First, only once (and fixed it properly).
      Second, that’s not even same universe as idiocy showcased by said ignorant.

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    Ordinarily, if the cooler were at fault of ruining the card, NVidia might give him a new one as a PR stunt, but in this case he’ll be lucky if he gets mentioned in a tweet.

    I’m curious as to why the Corsair bracket was bending the card in its factory state though. I doubt he screwed it on wrong, there’s not many ways you can put one of those on.

    • siberx
    • 4 years ago

    I feel compelled to point out that I did what amounts to the exact same mod for a slightly different purpose about 8 years ago to a 4870×2 to which I [url=http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?203720-4870X2-2x-MCW60-guide-%28image-heavy%29<]mounted a couple waterblocks[/url<]. Didn't screw it up in my case though, the card [url=http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo228/siberx4/pcb_holes.jpg<]survived just fine[/url<] with its slightly enlarged mounting holes. So long as you know what you're doing, drill presses and expensive graphics cards mix just fine πŸ˜‰

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    All that stupidity… and it had to happen to a 980Ti.

      • Meadows
      • 4 years ago

      What else are you going to buy custom cooling for?

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I’m sure some owners of lesser cards have gone with custom cooling too.

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          Especially when the lesser cards come with coolers so cheap, noisy, inadequate or a combination of those things that they’re unsuitable….

      • DoomGuy64
      • 4 years ago

      Who else buys those cards again?

    • moose17145
    • 4 years ago

    Hahahahahaaaa!!!

    Not even mad! I’m IMPRESSED! LOL!

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      If you were Krogoth you would’ve had about 70 upthumbs by now already.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    “After that treatment, the card stopped working.”

    He expected it to work after drilling through several layers of a circuit board/? He did it wrong. you’re supposed to drill through the processor first.

    • willmore
    • 4 years ago

    I guess I had better luck with my video card mod. Though, I will admit to worrying that someone had used that part of the board to run a few internal traces. But, who runs traces through the contact area? Fortunately, not the designer of my card:

    How to make a 16x PCI-E card into a 1x:
    [url<]https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=76757[/url<]

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    There was a picture of someone who ‘carefully” cut his AGP GPU card to get it to fit in a PCI slot using a tin snip.

    It didn’t work.

      • albundy
      • 4 years ago

      but it fit though. that’s all that matters.

    • blitzy
    • 4 years ago

    I wrote off a motherboard in a boneheaded way one time, although not quite as bad as taking a drill to it. The push pin on the heatsink mount had got stuck and wouldn’t budge at all after much effort trying the normal ways of twisting / pushing etc, so I tried to squeeze it together with pliers to free it and accidentally slipped and nicked the board. It was a tiny scratch made from not even much force, but it was enough to damage the trace. Probably could have fixed it, but ultimately I didn’t want to put up with a _possibly_ unreliable motherboard so binned it.

    Live and learn I guess πŸ™‚

      • Brainsan
      • 4 years ago

      A nicked trace that you can see is the easiest thing in the world to fix. Just carefully scrape back the solder mask a bit on both sides of the nick, then solder a tiny piece of wire across the break.

    • Mr Bill
    • 4 years ago

    I’d like to have that factory heat spreader… unless he broke that over his knee too…

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 4 years ago

    Ugh. I just had an inappropriately political zinger just come to mind. Must. Not. Type…

      • NeelyCam
      • 4 years ago

      Please please please! It’s almost Friday

        • Aranarth
        • 4 years ago

        Does it involve the size of ones “hands”??

    • Mr Bill
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]let out the magic smoke[/quote<]. This makes me laugh every time I hear it. I did this a few weeks ago when I moved a working Super 7 PC to a new mini case because the old one was corroded. What I did not notice was that the front fan adapter of the new case swapped the red and yellow wires. Most unfortunately, the PSU did not have enough adapters and I choose to put the fan adapter in line with the IDE hard drive so I could copy it to an SSD... I turned on the power and "Snap!" and smoke. The case was open at the time and I pulled the plug the moment I heard the snap and saw the smoke. But several IC's on the hard drive controller had exploded. My pro electronics friend said, "I hear you let the smoke escape from your hard drive". Yes I did. They put it in at the factory and once it escapes thats all she wrote...

      • Aranarth
      • 4 years ago

      LOL! funny

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      I LOL’d. You actually typed “IDE hard drive”.

      You should have written your post on animal skins. πŸ˜‰

      Edit: downvoted either by a “vintage” parts enthusiast or a vegan. I’m sure I’m on the right track now! πŸ˜€

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 4 years ago

    I can almost see the train of thought. For a lot of farkles made for low-volume cars and motorcycles, you can wind up with things that require a little extra finishing in order to get them to fit.

    However, it would have been a lot better to put the [i<]bracket[/i<] in the drill press instead of the card...

    • enzia35
    • 4 years ago

    Mo money, mo problems.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 4 years ago

      I’m not sure Biggie or Puff Daddy/P-Diddy… whatever, would have this problem. They’d know better than to drill a hole in a graphics card.

    • The Egg
    • 4 years ago

    No big deal. As long as all the components are still attached, all he needs to do is get a piece of sheet metal as a backer-plate, then thru-bolt the card to the backer-plate using the red holes. That should hold it snugly in place.

    As far as the break, just fold a piece of aluminum foil a few times, and then sandwich it between the two pieces along the break, so all the connections are made again. Then plug that baby back in and fire it up!

    • Deanjo
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] Even though Corsair's official installation video suggests that no screw or mounting nut needs to pass through this hole, Zanderlinde was convinced that one did, and he put the card on his trusty drill press to move the offending hole "just a tiny bit in."[/quote<] Pffft what a newb....... Duct tape and baler wire son....

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      What?!? Not chicken wire?!?!?! πŸ˜€

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Are we sure this guy isn’t the Fixer?

    • spugm1r3
    • 4 years ago

    So, risk a $600 video card to make a $40 bracket fit more snuggly than the manufacturer recommends.

    Seems logical.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    The worst part wasn’t when he stupidly drilled that hole, but when he broke the card in half. What a brat.

    He should’ve broken his HEAD in half instead. After all, it’s not like it was the card’s fault the guy who bought it is a complete moron.

      • ludi
      • 4 years ago

      Once the card is dead, it’s dead. May as well have fun finishing it off.

        • NeelyCam
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, but he should’ve done it Office Space style. I don’t see a baseball bat. I don’t hear gangsta rap.

        Disappointed.

          • ronch
          • 4 years ago

          No. He should have had some class and sent it to the Will It Blendβ„’ guy.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Time for Junior to nag his mom for money for a new video card then.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    Natural selection has gone to hell if people with that little intelligence have that much disposable income.

    I already knew that the financial system is broken and rewards greed rather than intelligence or ambition; Still – it always hurts anew when I see a GM200 card wasted so needlessly by sheer stupidity.

      • NeelyCam
      • 4 years ago

      In all fairness, regular people can’t be expected to know that there are tons of traces going everywhere inside the the board. This is a learning experience. An expensive one, but still.

      • ludi
      • 4 years ago

      Well, the guy did custom build his own chassis. Figure he had spent too much time in the machine shop and thought anything could be solved with tools.

      Which doesn’t eliminate the possibility that he was assisted by the nefarious Al Cohol.

      • Captain Ned
      • 4 years ago

      Welcome to the world I work in every day and which I try to regulate.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 4 years ago

      Absolutely. A lot of easy, high paying jobs are filled through nepotism and social connections, whereas people with actual skills or work ethic be damned. The system is completely broken, and this is the result. People totally disconnected from reality, many of which start identifying as imaginary creatures on tumblr. (google otherkin. or not.)

    • llisandro
    • 4 years ago

    I’ve posted this herebefore, but since we’re showing broken video cards…

    [url=http://i67.tinypic.com/5d2a1w.jpg<]Heat Sink[/url<] [url=http://i65.tinypic.com/23m4qh1.jpg<]Fell Off[/url<] Cleaned heatsink on my MSI Frozr GTX570, forgot to re-attach fan cable, heatsink FELL OFF while computer was in operation. Heard a thunk and smelled solder. Only solder in the heat pipe channels was holding the main mass of the heatsink to the plate on the chip. Bought an aftermarket Arctic cooler, card still works!

      • Spunjji
      • 4 years ago

      Good ol’ Fermi πŸ˜€ Puts out the heat but it’s a trooper!

    • gerryg
    • 4 years ago

    BUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Haven’t laughed like that for a while, at least not since watching a [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIC4sDVIFWI<]japanese man burn down his house while streaming live[/url<]. Anyway, I thought this was typical behavior for a Green Team consumer? πŸ˜‰

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 4 years ago

    Dumb. Ass.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 4 years ago

      I mean, he knew enough to get a really beefy card, and an aftermarket cooler for it, but not enough to avoid drilling a hole in the damn card?

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        The last time he drilled a hole into an expansion card was probably in the 80’s when we still had ISA cards. I remember holding them up to the light and easily seeing where the traces were.

    • south side sammy
    • 4 years ago

    goes to show you, some people have more money than brains.

      • ronch
      • 4 years ago

      RKOI comes to mind.

    • Redundant
    • 4 years ago

    Donate it to AMD. They need an Nvidia card they can beat

      • dhmhtries22
      • 4 years ago

      3dfx did that to nvidia a long time ago. Isn’t one time enough?

    • K-L-Waster
    • 4 years ago

    All kidding aside, there should be a link to this article at the top of the System Builder’s Guide. The old hands will consider this obvious, but anyone who is just starting out would probably benefit from a graphic example of what happens when you think you can engineer a GPU better than the pros….

      • MOSFET
      • 4 years ago

      I think the link should be to willmore’s mod. If we can get the first-time system builders starting off at that level, we might see more commonplace crazy mods that work! I guess it could be seen as either raising the lowest common denominator or raising the barrier to entry.

    • Thrashdog
    • 4 years ago

    Just the sort of technological brilliance we’ve come to expect from Linus “what do you mean RAID isn’t backup” Tech Tips!

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 4 years ago

      Correction: “What do you mean RAID 0 is a bad idea?”

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        RAID 0 makes sense back in the days using HDDs as scratch disks. SSD media has made that a moot point. It makes no sense for SSD media outside of epenis I/O benchmarks.

    • Bomber
    • 4 years ago

    “My cooler won’t fit!! Hold my beer, I’ve got this!”

      • BIF
      • 4 years ago

      “No need for me to hold your beer. Your computer has a built-in cup-holder. I’ll show you as soon as you take your keyboard out of the bathtub!”

    • bthylafh
    • 4 years ago

    He is not smarter than a fifth grader.

      • AnotherReader
      • 4 years ago

      At the end, this guy took out his anger on the card when he really should have been rethinking his assumptions.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Best comment of this discussion.

    • DrCR
    • 4 years ago

    lol, literally. Thanks for sharing the lulz.

      • Peldor
      • 4 years ago

      He took it surprisingly well for such an expensive epic failure.

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        He posted the photos… I would have been too embarrassed to admit what happened myself.

          • ronch
          • 4 years ago

          One stupidity leads to another… and another… and another…

            • Peldor
            • 4 years ago

            The whole affair reminds me of my favorite despair.com poster:

            “Mistakes…It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.”

            • Mr Bill
            • 4 years ago

            Mine is the one with all the bent nails.
            “Incompetance…When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, theres no end to what you can’t do.”

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    Pro-tip: Just because you don’t see a trace on the top of the PCB and the bottom of the PCB doesn’t mean there isn’t one (or a dozen) sandwiched between the top & bottom in a multi-layer PCB.

    Oh, and all that drilling might have shorted something too.

    Oh, and for all we know he ESD’d the board while messing around with the drill press.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 4 years ago

      Yes, because ESD is the biggest of his worries right about now… πŸ˜€

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        After the snapping incident he can at least say that he has the world’s smallest GTX-980Ti board.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 4 years ago

          Watch for it on the news feed tomorrow. Oops NDA…

      • Alexko
      • 4 years ago
      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      Maybe I’m lucky, but for all my playing around, I’ve yet to ever see ESD damage. The only shock and damage I’ve ever done has been to myself, thinking “Oh, that capacitor is probably discharged.”

        • chuckula
        • 4 years ago

        One thing about the drill press: Even if he was taking steps to ground the board (no evidence that he did) the spinning metal bit has plenty of potential to produce a nasty spark as it cuts through all that material. And it’s in direct contact with the board to boot. Not a big deal in a block of wood, but just one potential source of disaster for a PCB populated with sensitive components.

        • Brainsan
        • 4 years ago

        That’s not the way ESD damage works. The voltage threshold for component damage is way below what you can feel. And usually you’re not lucky enough to kill a device outright. Typically there’s degradation in something, and then a month or 6 months later things start acting randomly, inexplicably, flaky. The ESD damage you caused is just the beginning, as the degraded semiconductor path continues to degrade over time.

        • jihadjoe
        • 4 years ago

        Where do you live? The chances of ESD depends a lot on environmental factors (like the presence of rugs, and humidity). I’ve never had problems with ESD at home or at my own office, but at one client’s office the A/C makes the air so dry it takes just 5 minutes walking on their carpet to make me scared to open up any sort of computer.

          • Waco
          • 4 years ago

          I live at 7500 feet in a very dry climate. ESD can and will kill things, I’ve had my mouse reset my USB controller after getting up, then sitting back down and grabbing the mouse. The shock through it is thankfully suppressed well enough to not cause damage.

          Being uncareful inside a case here will absolutely kill lots of parts.

      • spugm1r3
      • 4 years ago

      Another pro tip, PCBs don’t handle the low speeds of a typical drill press, nor the large size bit it appears he was using.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      That hole is very close to quite few components, so it should have been obvious that space is already taken.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This