Replacing surface mount chips on motherboards - anyone here have experience with this?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by RogueRose, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. RogueRose

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Trying to find the perfect motherboard is quite a challenge especially if there are budget constraints. What I am mostly interested in is network controllers, video chips, USB controllers, SATA/SAS controllers, North/South bridge controllers & BIOS/UEFI chips. Obviously I'm not interested in replacing all of these on one board but those are chips that may be of interest.

    I've seen a lot of MB's with different chips from version to version (like version 1.0 to 1.1 or even 1.1A to 1.1B) but it is pretty tough to know if the chips have the same physical layout and can be swapped.

    There are many used motherboards/expansion cards available with great chips that could be swapped with a motherboard/card that is intended to be used.

    I know people do swap or replace video chips on laptop motherboards when they self-destruct due to heat. These often need special equipment because of the BGA joint/connection but I think many other chips look more like simple surface mount chips that can be replaced with a heat gun (or other methods??).

    I've seen some people suggest just getting a new motherboard or card but when dealing with some OS's and software they often have slim selection of supported hardware and being able to change some chips can make a huge difference in system options and or performance not to mention longevity of some systems.


    Jul 13, 2015

    some chips are pre-programmed of software which called firmware.this type cannot swapped to other model or
    version of the it not easy just to take any chips.maybe some TTL type of ics is possible.

    secondly be specific what ics or chip you want to removed .sometimes its easy to removed buts its hard to

    returned. those narrow pitch and many pins are type of harder to return in placed.returning back you needed
    a microscope to enlarge the object. but magnifier is not enough to do so.
  3. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    It was difficult to discern your question(s); and you even used paragraphs...

    Rework on designs of moderate complexity will be beyond the capabilities of most DIY hobbyists. Even on two layer boards, pitches and component sizes can be very tiny.

    Any components with blind connections, such as BGA, are subject to assembly fallout; even at high volume manufacturers.

    At the very minimum, you need a hot air tool with adjustable air flow and some visual aids (e.g. magnifiers) for inspection.
  4. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    I don't think that's a very practical way to get the 'perfect' motherboard even if the swapped chips work. I just used a hot air tool to swap a pic18f8722 on a small board to the pic18f8723 (80-Pin TQFP). Even with the right tools it's usually not easy removing old parts and still having them work correctly when reinstalled on another old board.
  5. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    What is perfect in this context? Easy to repair maybe?

    Your previous experience with SMD replacement sure counts a LOT.

    Sorry but I would like to read a shorter text and concrete questions.
  6. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    I got a very short period of training which included replacing SMDs with hot air tools. What struck me as the most worrying was the risk of damaging surrounding components even if the deflectors seemed to fit the task at hand.

    I gained some experience, peace of mind bah, by desoldering / resoldering chips from discarded boards.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  7. SLK001

    Senior Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Surround the component you are trying to remove with aluminum foil held in place with kapton tape. None of it is difficult if you have the correct tools. Without the tools, it can be a nightmare.

    Also, prior to heating a PCB, moisture must be baked out by putting the entire board in a 100C oven for about eight hours.
  8. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    Thanks for both tips.