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ABIT IC7-MAX3 recap advice needed

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I got this nice ABIT IC7-MAX3 here. The caps seem fine, but they're too tall for my WB mount, so I'd like to replace them. I guess there are better ones out there anyway... This is the first time I've thought of something like this, so I need someone to point out what caps I should get :)




Caps w/red marking: Rubycon 6.3V 2200µF MBZ T0330 105 deg. C

Caps with blue marking: Rubycon 16v 1200µF ZL T0326 105 deg. C


If there are other caps I should replace, let me know :)

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Only 3pcs and only 1200uF and ZL line (not exactly low-ESR Rubycons such as MBC, MBZ) on P4 input Vcore?! What a...!


That suxx. I did not like the design on first sight. I made everything I can to my MSI mobo and it got 4pcs of Vcore input caps...

Output 8pcs of caps - that seems to be quite low number of caps too, so...


To be exactly fair, I did not like the design single bit. (at least is four phases)


Could you take a close up on the two big SMD caps into the CPU area? These are tantal caps and todays are produced beautifull 470uF 2.5V KEMET caps (tantal-polymer ones) with kick-ass specs, so they should get there to compensate for the lower capacity of the outputing filtering caps, because eight caps on P4 - that just suxx. Even they are quality (presuming they are genuine) Rubycons.


I would like to see also picture from bottom, so we see, what can be added there (or what is missing, such as the two missing pieces into the CPU socket - shamefull).



1) the Vcore output caps - easy choice, Nichicon LE polymers

2) the 4 places for the SMD tantal caps into the CPU area - also easy choice, the KEMET mentioned above

3) the Vcore input - there are tough choice, but if your PSU is good, then a 3 pcs of 470uF 16V Nichicon polymers have to do the job...


We did not have much choice there, since you want the caps to be smaller, that means polymers and that leave us w/o choice.


Don't be alarmed that the capacity is so much lower. The ripple current is so much higher that it will leave you SPEECHLES once you know how ZL suxx... so that should compensate the lower capacity.

I see CPU Vrms with 3x 270uF 16V polymers on the input, so... it will work and better that what you got now.


Also I know it, but please clarify, that all the caps are d10 in diameter.

Also make sure, that you can solder the KEMET caps into the places I see for them - cut out of piece of tough paper a 7.3mm x 4.3mm bit piece and try it. ( http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/315/TPF_OS-262426.pdf )


If it will fit, then 4pcs of this cap number: 2R5TPF470M6L you get.


As for the other caps, please clarify, that 12mm height is not going to be a problem, before I go into exact caps.


Also polymers not only suxx at low frequency (not case of CPU VRM, be sure about this), but they also introduce noise. We need to add ceramic caps to keep it under control, so... that is why I want detailed picture of the bottom of the PCB under CPU and under the Vcore regulators.

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Can you please download the picture and draw what you need more info on/pictures of? :P I don't really see any big SMD caps anywhere...


All the ones I marked have a diameter of 10mm.


I'm charging my cam battery now, I see a pair of empty spots here and there. Will take some photos in a minute. It's not the best cam out there, but good enough I hope.

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Well, you did not see then, but I do see them on the first sight. Marked with green circles - empty circles as empty space for them, cull circle as full cap:




As the caps are d10, then this is consistent with the datasheets. In fact, the ZL is much better that I thought:


Rubycon MBZ 2200uF 6.3V (d10x20 - 2770mA)

Rubycon ZL 1200uF 16V (d10x23 - 2150mA)


So I suggest replacing them with these:

Nichicon LE 1500uF 2.5V d10x13 PLE0E152MDO1 (7300mA)

Nichicon NU 680uF 16V d10x13 RNU1C681MDN1PH (6100mA)

(alternatively - Panny Os-con 470uF 16V d10x13 16SEPC470M+T (6100mA) )


That would boost the Vcore input from 6450mA to 18300mA and the output get boost from 22160mA to 58400mA :D

Of course, the capacity get lowered down to 12000uF from 17600uF for the output and 2040uF from 3600uF.

But that is not that important. And as long, as we improve the SMD caps (replace with better and fill the empty places), then it should be much better.


As for these four suggested SMD polymers, then use these:

Panasonic Tantal-polymer 470uF 2.5V 2R5TPF470M6L

...if the size of the installed ones are 7.3x4.3mm, as I believe it could be. But you yet failed to provide the measurments... :)

Edited by trodas
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So I get the dimentions right, good.

As for the bottom look - well, there are space for next two, witch is good. There are no space for any ceramic blocking caps, but we can solder them right on the legs of the replacement caps from the bottom side, no biggie.


If you can photograph these SMD caps that way, we can read what is written on them, that will be great.


Regardless, if 12.5 - 13mm height are fine with you (you hardly can get anything smaller), then go for it.


Word on these SMD tantals - every electrolyte/polymer cap has marked a cathode (-) ... but tantal caps have marked the anode (+) !!!

And it is very important not to make it wrong. They promise, that modern tantal caps did not catch fire, but I will not be trying that for real... :)


Remember to measure the anode and cathode orientation before you start desoldering for all these 6 places for these SMD tantal-polymers now. Make a simple diagram, with the mobo and caps orientation, so you did not solder it wrong.


As for the ceramic blocking caps to surpress the polymer noise (because there are not enought ceramic caps on the mobo for the CPU - mine MSI used 10 ceramics caps in the 775 socket and 6 above it - so go figure), then I would recommend to solder then directly on the legs of the polymer caps. Hope you got what I mean.

Can you solder well?

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The 4.3mm x 7.3mm SMDs say S3141 2v120v. 99% sure this is correct, but I can't find anything


If that height is not enough I'll buy another set of brackets and get the dremel out of the closet :) It should be OK, I think I have about 15-17mm clearance.


MY soldering skills are bad, but I have a friend who is decent. If I'm lucky I can ask some physics lab guys at uni, too :P I also don't quite get what you mean by directly on the legs of the polymer caps. I have a picture in my head, but it looks weird :P

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In case you decide to go for hipro's mods Knut, just be careful. The IC7s are great boards for sure, especially if you want to go crazy with the 1:1 divider (extremely fast), but once you heavily mod them, they tend to die pretty easily.


Hipro admitted in the past that he had killed more than 10 IC7s. Stelaras has killed 3 if I'm not mistaken, mine is dead too. Hell, I was on the phone with Stelaras today and he told me that another one died. Now he only has 1 left :D


That's why I decided to go with the P4C800-E Deluxe. In ASUS we trust :D

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P4C800 - probably need lowering the FSB then or need replacing (boosting) the small caps near the SB and SATA? Dunno.


As for the ceramic blocking caps for the Vcore output/input caps, then the lead spacing is 5mm, so a 4,5mm long one (1808, 1812...) will not fit, so we are restricted to the 1206, 1210 sizes. So for the output I recommend bridging the caps using this one:

Murata X7R, 10uF 16V (1206) GRM31CR71C106KAC7L


Don't be fooled with the 16V, just look at the DC bias - at 16V it will have -55% of it's capacity, but up to 2V it hold the 10uF well.


And that bring us to the imput bridging caps. Since the noise, introduced by the polymers, need to be dealt with before it "ring" the coils and overheat unnecessary the mosfets, then we need to block this before it goes on wild. So... the major problem is the DC bias at 12V, therefore I suggest you use this cap:


Murata X7R, 10uF 50V (1210) GRM32ER71H106KA12L


Once again, DC bias will somewhat lower the capacity (at 50V it is -45%, but at 12V it is like -2% or so, so acceptable) ...


As for the soldering, I want you to solder these caps between the legs of the replaced caps, like this C360 one there:




...but at at the side of the main big cap wires/legs - but directly between them. That would be perfect.


So in sumary, you need to order:

8x Nichicon LE 1500uF 2.5V d10x13 PLE0E152MDO1

3x Nichicon NU 680uF 16V d10x13 RNU1C681MDN1PH

6x Panasonic Tantal-polymer 470uF 2.5V 2R5TPF470M6L

8x Murata X7R, 10uF 16V (1206) GRM31CR71C106KAC7L

3x Murata X7R, 10uF 50V (1210) GRM32ER71H106KA12L

(just use the serial number in Digikey or Mouser search and that it is)



As for soldering, take anyone who did this sucesfully before rather that try it for first time yourself. I would gladly do the job for you, just to see how far the overclock will go then - especially using watercooling - but I live in Czech republic and did not planing on moving anytime soon :)

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