For those of us who have fallen victim to the YLOD, one of the potential problems that causes it was the deterioration and melting of the lead-free solder on the hot-running RSX chip. Over time, the solder will have potentially melted off of a contact, causing the error, which required the solder to be re-flowed onto the contacts (using the same solder).
Doing it that way will likely not be a permanent fix, since it was that solder that caused the problem to begin with. If you researched fixes, the closest thing you can get would be a reballing service (which replaces all of the RSX solder with new stuff), preferably a lead-based solder. That’s where Gophermods comes in.
For a few months now, Gophermods has had the service listed on their site, but it only had a “coming very soon” on it, with no purchasing options or a FAQ available. It did have a price ($139.99), though.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I received a mass-email pertaining to the service (since I had contacted them and asked them about it. It was sent to everyone who had sent them the same questions), and with it was a little FAQ, and a few more details of the service. You can read those here (and although this little FAQ doesn’t say when it will be available, the email did, with the launch happening this month):
Q: How much will the service cost?
A: As of now, everything is priced at $139.99.
Q: What will the warranty be?
A: As of now, we are looking at standard free one year warranty.
Q: How long will the repair take? All other repairs on the website are listed as 24 hours.
A: We will not be able to guarantee a 24 hour turnaround time for the reballing service. While we would like to get them finished in the 24 hour period, it is not possible. Each repair will take in the time frame of 2-3 hours to do it correctly, and that is assuming there will be no issues in the repair process.
Our timeframe will be 24-72 hours, with more units getting out well before the 72 hour timeframe.
Q: I tried reflowing my unit before, or I sent it to another repair shop, other than yours. Will you accept my unit?
A: Unless the console was repaired by us previously, we will not be able to accept any other units that have been worked on previously, unless approved by us.
Q: Will you replace the lead-free Sn-Ag-Cu solder, with a lead Sn/Pb based solder?
A: Yes, all lead-free solder BGA’s will be replaced with a more robust lead based solder spheres.
Q: Is this a permanent repair?
A: No, we cannot guarantee this is a permanent repair because we cannot test a unit that extensively. So we don’t want be deceptive to our customers, and guarantee this will last for life. Other than the processors on the PS3 motherboard, there are more areas where the unit is susceptible of breaking down. While 90% of failures are caused by the processors, we want to stress that there are about 10% of YLOD failure points that are unknown.
Q: What if my GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) is dead, bad, or fried?
A: A reball would not fix this problem. It would require a new GPU to be reballed onto the motherboard. We are currently working to source some reliable and new GPU processors so we will be able to offer this. At the moment, there is no one reliably supplying brand new GPU processors.
Q: What is a sign that my GPU is bad?
A: Graphic distortions, green lines, polygons, white snow on the screen, color distortion, pixelation, no audio or video on either HDMI or Composite ports.
A one year warranty sounds like they definitely have confidence in the fix and in their work. The lead-based solder will also help ensure the solder won’t simply melt from the heat, either. Although they say it’s not a guaranteed permanent repair (for liability reasons), mixed with the standard warranty and the success of other reballs people have done, there’s a good chance you’ll get even an old 60GB PS3 to last a few years longer.
With the overall positive ratings these guys received, I have decided to wait until the service becomes available so I can get my YLOD fixed by them. If you have gotten a YLOD, or if it does happen, keep an eye on the service here.
Written by: Jay
- Community Manager / Editor-In-Chief