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[Service Review] Gophermods RSX Reballing - 1 Year Later

It all started on Christmas day of 2010. While most families were enjoying the holiday(s), I decided I would go and play a game on my PS3. Sure, I didn’t get anything new that day, but Gran Turismo 5 was calling my name, and I had to get ready for a tournament we were going to hold the following day.

Well, upon hitting the power button, the worst case scenario had happened. I received the tone of death, followed by that dreaded flashing yellow light. Keep in mind, I was way out of warranty by this point, as I own an original 60GB model (but I had upgraded to a 500GB hard drive by the time this happened) and had it for a few years already.

This was most disheartening. I researched potential causes of the issue, and soon drew the conclusion that it had to deal with some of the solder joints on the RSX (the graphics processor) essentially melting away, because Sony had used a lower quality solder to mate the RSX to the circuit board.

I looked around for any services that would deal with this. There were a few on eBay that would do it for, I believe, $90, but people were complaining that they had the money taken out, but never received their console back. I wouldn’t trust that kind of service posting anyway. It sounded way too shady.

That’s when I discovered Gophermods. After having read a number of their reviews (and how Tosh had gotten some success by having service done to his console, albeit it was just reflowing the solder joints with the old solder). At the time, among other services, this was the most popular, though, and you get a free 6 month warranty.

Looking at the services they were providing, upon suggestions from some forum posts I read online, a reballing with higher grade solder was the solution. Unfortunately, at the time, the reballing service from Gophermods had been announced in August of that year, but it was still unavailable (some people even questioned whether it ever would be). Still, I had faith in them, and decided to wait, especially with the promise that they would have a 1 year warranty on the service. Instead of a simple resoldering (which was cheaper at $70 and is often called just a temporary fix), I opted to wait for the reballing service to become available (which was $140).

And wait I did. The service wasn’t available until, I believe, February of 2011. Keep in mind, the $140 is a little pricier than the “fix” Sony provided, but you get to keep your system (they will also send you your game back if you had one stuck inside; they’ll also replace it if it does, for some reason, get lost), hard drive, everything. The only bad part about the service becoming available was the fact that so many other people were wanting it, they had a waiting list. I was still one of the first to receive the service, though, so it wasn’t long after they had the service go live that they contacted me and I sent the system out for repairs (usually, the turnaround for their services is 24 hours; reballing the RSX had an up to 72 hour turnaround if I recall correctly).

Between shipping my console out and getting it back, it was relatively quick. Quite similar to the turnaround you get when you ship out your 360 for a replacement after receiving the Red Ring of Death (I had dealt with a couple of those so I know). It might have been even quicker. Anyway, after getting the console back, I plugged everything back in, started it up, and it ran like new again

Here it is, April 2012. More than a year after I had my PS3 service performed. How did it hold up? Well, the system still runs perfectly. Sure, it often gets dust buildup on the vents (since there’s a lot of dust out here), but that’s besides the point (heck, Gophermods will even clean the system when they receive it). I would get an occasional game freeze, but that’s totally unrelated. I haven’t had any hardware failures or anything of that sort at all since the repair. Was it worth the investment? Definitely. Was it worth holding out until the service was available? I think so.

Now I get to sit here and enjoy my 60GB the same way I did when I got the system. Yes, I sometimes get the urge to play old PS2 and PS1 games. That is what makes this repair worth the cost. That, and I don’t particularly trust myself enough to be able to do it myself.

If you ever need your PS3 serviced, I would definitely recommend checking these guys out.