Copper shim question – Do you add copper shims or pennies?

This section will try to answer the most often asked questions I get.

Copper shim question – Do you add copper shims or pennies?

Your issue with the onboard BGA chipset is heat related. HP DV2000, DV6000, DV9000, TX1000, Dell D620, D630, D630, D820, D830 systems with Nvidia chipsets have the known BGA issues that I can fix by reflowing them.

Now, the question above is asked to me constantly. I personally do not use copper shims.

Copper shims and pennies before 1981 do not fix your issue, but do more to hamper it.

You will have three things that can happen. These are an electrical arc, an overload, or a soldering issue.

Your chipsets on your laptop 9 out of 10 times are fine if that have not been worked with in anyway and can be reflowed properly. The chipsets have capacitors located on the top and these capacitors are actually made of ferrite. When you apply Artic Silver and the copper shim in direct contact with your chipset you have stress fractures or arcing. Heat will cause the chipset to move up and down, by design, and will cause the copper to flex causing the capacitor to complete a circuit arcing between the chipset, the shim, and the heatsink which has copper in it. Placing a plastic spacer does not help any since the heat will melt, deform, or damage the chipset in its own right.

Now your chipset may get an overload and burn it out internally with no outer signs. Usually on a DV6000 system you will see a three capacitor cluster on the motherboard overload, and burn the planing of the motherboard. Overloading will cause the chipset to pull more power in the board causing stress on other chipsets such as the MAX8774, Max8724E, and MAX8734A.

The simplest issue is that your chipset will heat and the shim causes the solder to glob or puddle on the underside of the chipset. There is a reason the CPU is 5mm and the GPU is 3mm with no need to place a copper shim in to damage that design no matter how poor it may be now or before.

For more details on helping your system not overheat please check this question:

Copper shim issues and how to fix it

What if my need is not listed?

As an electronics technician, laptops and desktops are not the only items I work on. If you have a specific need that is not isted above, please feel free to email me at or call 706-307-9689.

copper shim


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