Solder on your own RAM

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shnn2011, Sep 3, 2013.

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  1. shnn2011 macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #1
    I think that it is crap that nobody has tried to solder on their own RAM. You can buy the ICs online from the manufacturer and flow them on with simple hot air gun.

    Further, if you lack the skills to do this. You can find many people who do laptop motherboard repair who have professional Pick and Place machines, reflow ovens, hot plates etc, and will be happy to do it for you at a small cost.

    Even GPU upgrades should be possibly if you have a compatible chip, but RAM, of all things, would be the simplest as you can solder it in by hand and does not require an X-ray to confirm a connection.

    Here is a nice video demo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZypXa9BDXHw

    I also think it is crap that apple wont do this for you even if you offer to pay.
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #2
    Can you name any major laptop manufacture that does?
     
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #3
    You do realize badly pointed heat gun can mess up your solder right? Not to mention a bad solder point is worse than no solder point. Mess up polarity or positioning and so long IC (and quite possibly motherboard).

    Soldering RAM is not for everyone. Unless you have a reflow oven at your disposal, then don't even attempt it.

    There is a a lot more to SMT soldering than just heat.
     
  4. skinny*k macrumors regular

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    California
    #4
    Where's the video of you doing it?

    If my memory died, I'd give it a try—why not? But take a chance on ruining a good motherboard? Not me.

    Show us what you mean, though; we'd like to see the results. Or do you think that that's crap, too?
     
  5. shnn2011 thread starter macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #5
    How to find someone who can do this for you

    Many used car lots have people who pick up their car ECU's and repair them. Some of the newer ECU's are several hundred dollars to replace. These guys are the ones to contact for such a task. I do not know of any major company where it wont cost more than an arm and leg.

    Also try you local maker and or hacker spaces

    http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces

    http://makerspace.com/makerspace-directory

    Those guys would certainly know someone you can go to.

    interestingly enough after posting this I got someone, from what seems to be a Tor I.P, attempting to hack my account.


    Perhaps someone does not want this shared.

    I starred out the I.P.

    Email text:

    Dear shnn2011,

    Someone has tried to log into your account on MacRumors Forums with an incorrect password at least 5 times. This person has been prevented from attempting to login to your account for the next 15 minutes.

    The person trying to log into your account had the following IP address: ***.***.***.***

    All the best,
    MacRumors Forums

    ----------

    If you know what your doing, it will be fine. Plus there are many tools to make it easier.

    ----------

    I know many people who used a 20 dollar toaster with a thermocouple and do this type of thing all the time.
    But, you should not do this unless you know what your doing.

    http://hackaday.com/2012/01/01/a-very-detailed-reflow-oven-build/
     
  6. Valkyre macrumors 6502

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    #6
    correct me if i am wrong but even if you would do all this and put in more ram, the motherboard wouldnt recognize it.
     
  7. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    #7
    Retina MacBooks are expensive so I don't think anyone wants to risk it being paper weight.
     
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #8
    While your intentions are noble, the fact of trying to desolder BGA chips from a $2000 computer's logic board and then resoldering newer ones, is for lack of a better word: insane.

    The average Joe can't perform such actions and in a vast majority (I am willing to bet 99%) these people will be left with nothing but paper weights or door stops, you take your pick.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    I paid enough money for my laptop, there's no way I'm willing to take a soldering iron to remove the components and resolder new components. Apple or other companies won't offer this because the risk of damaging the computer is too high.
     
  10. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #10
    why would you want to solder it when it needs to be upgraded at some point in the future? That is why it is not soldered.
     
  11. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #11
    To remove RAM chips (which are BGA based), a soldering iron would not work.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    How would you do it :confused:
     
  13. Astroboy907, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #13
    A hot air rework station or BGA rework station, probably with a reflow oven. But I'm just starting this out as a hobby, better wait for jav6454 for a better answer :)

    Edit: just got on my computer, here is some hopefully helpful links
    Ball Grid Array (Wikipedia)
    vs
    Through Hole (what you mostly do with a soldering iron)

    As you can see, BGA chips have pins all along the underside of the chip. Not exactly accessible by soldering iron. Just a bit of word technicality between soldering iron and hot air rework (same basic task being performed), so you were pretty much heading in the correct direction. You got the principle of it down though. Hope this helps!
     
  14. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    #14
    Why in gods name would you ever want to do that?
     
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #15
    See below....

    Exactly. To desolder a BGA in a SMT component (like a RAM chip) you need to heat it up with a hot air gun (usually 230-245*C does the trick). However, depending on the type of PCB finish (HASL, OSP, Tin Immersion) and solder mask work, heat has to be adjusted to prevent damage to the PCB itself (in this case our logic board).

    A Reflow Oven is not a useful tool when it comes to desoldering... ;)

    BGA chips/packages are very tricky to solder. If the material they are made off (plastic) isn't good enough, they will warp. Warping is very bad as not all solder balls in the BGA grid will make contact point with the PCB pads/printed solder paste. Which means you will have an open circuit.

    Hence, you need a good reflow temperature evenly spread out or soldering will be a huge pain. Oh and adding too much solder paste will result in pillowing effect and possible shorts.

    As per THT components, those are a pain to solder back as you need a wave solder. Unless you are skilled and good enough to handle a solder iron.
     
  16. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #16
    Retina MBPs and MBAs all have the RAM soldered in place.
    Only the cMBPs have RAM that is not soldered.
     
  17. blackburn macrumors 6502a

    blackburn

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    #17
    You would need to remove the old chips, re solder the new ones and them reprogram the spd (if even possible).

    And If the logic board is different from the 8gb version to the 16gb version you cant convert it (traces might be missing).

    So its most likely that its impossible, but hey you could do it and show us :D
     
  18. shnn2011 thread starter macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #18
    As far as my research shows, the motherboard, or logic. board, if you prefer has no control on the RAM. You can even use less chips with higher capacity it the are traces are lacking or even solder pads are missing. As custom as the board is it is still a processor made by Intel.

    I got my 16 gigs. I have no need for this. But, I may decide to upgrade the graphics chip as soon as I find a suitable replacement.

    And there is no cryptographic hash taken off the memory as they don't hold any firmware. That would be silly.

    Further, you should research how RAM works on ivy sandy and haswell before deciding, without reason, that the motherboard has any control on this.

    ----------

    However, I have done many things like this on other devices, including Motorola phones, Samsungs Galaxy S2, S3 and Dart.

    Here is an example:

    www.infamousdevelopers.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=11
     
  19. shnn2011, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    shnn2011 thread starter macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #19
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMr2GhgC3yQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Another example by another person doing bga repair.

    Anyways, I'm tired of arguing, that's not what my post was for. If you get it, you do, if you don't, you don't. I am just sharing information and knowledge. Having people falsely cast judgment upon me without being informed, almost makes me regret posting this.

    Back to the point.

    1 You can upgrade if you want and have the skills or know someone who does.

    2 It is bull that Apple won't do the upgrade even if you offer to pay.
     
  20. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    You're talking to the wrong demographic of people here. There aren't many people dropping $2500 on a computer that feel the need to reflow for more ram. It's not bull, it's business. Why waste the money on developing procedures for modifying the systems after the initial build? The ROI is not there.
     
  21. shnn2011 thread starter macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #21
    Well just sharing info, unless my contribution is not wanted; that would be another story.

    For many of my friends and I, its just an everyday thing.

    My goal here was to inspire others to be proactive and to learn. That is all.

    Furthermore, once you master such things they do not seem like such a risk.

    Do with my thoughts what you wish.
     
  22. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #22
    Is the layout of a 6770M compatible with a 780M?
    If it is, this could be interesting...
     
  23. shnn2011, Sep 4, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    shnn2011 thread starter macrumors member

    shnn2011

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    #23
    I'm not sure, it would be best to compare chip revisions and their reference boards.

    If the reference is the same then it should be ok.

    I'm told the 6770M is also labeled and or marketed as something else.
     
  24. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #24
    Examples mean nothing to the average Joe who doesn't even have the equipment for it.

    Yes we know BGA repair can be done, but it is very hard for average Joe. Moreover, BGA repair is always done by people with lots of skill and who are good at it; not beginners.

    Apple will not risk themselves doing it. Why risk it when you can have it made at factory? There is so much risk in doing an in-store RAM desolder and soldering. Senseless and expensive.

    We argue because the feasibility of this is next to none. Economically it is not viable and chances for failure are too high.

    Yes, your friends, and me too (I know SMT soldering and lots of things related to it), but it still stands it is nothing easy for average people. Like the ones visiting this place.

    Also, leave the drama of "oh don't listen to me or do as you wish". This is real world and constructive criticism. If you can't take it, then you shouldn't have made the thread.

    I wouldn't even dare try that. There is always a BGA grid difference (polarity, count, X & Y positioning) between chips.

    Not to mention going from a mid level GPU to a high tier GPU always increases BGA count.
     
  25. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2009
    #25
    This is a perfect example if why a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    1. Yes, it's theoretically possible to replace the BGA chips. I know SMD production houses that reball FPGAs and replace 1500 pin 5000USD dollars devices. They have a lot of experience and even then good results are not guaranteed.You either need a couple of hundred bucks of equipment (and that's if you buy low quality Chinese copies of Hakko/JBC etc), a lot of experience or pay a company about 100USD/hour for about a 3 hour job and a large chance of messing things up. Now, consider the price of selling your current laptop and buying one with more memory...

    2. I guess you don't run a business and look at profit/risk assessment, right?
    *I* would not trust a resoldered BGA package to be reliable versus temperature cycling and mechanical shocks that a laptop experiences on a daily basis.
     
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