This video card claims to be a Jetway N73GTEP256I. It hides a Geforce 7300GT under that imposing mound of black metal, and it has a dirty secret.
Here is that secret. Those capacitors have, quite simply, blown. That brown stuff sticking out the top is the insulating material between the two rolled-up conductive plates.
(The feel of which, you’ll be fascinated to hear, reminded me of loose threads in a wicker basket or chair. It was a strange conflict between senses, I can tell you.)
The really creepy thing is that these strongly resemble solid caps, down to what I imagine are the split lines engraved into the top like normal old caps have. Gigabyte’s “Ultra Durable” caps certainly don’t have those. I find it hard to believe genuine solid caps would die this quickly, either – the “0708″ printed on the back of the PCB suggests it was manufactured in the eighth week of 2007, so it’s only about 18 months old.
I don’t know if I’m making a mountain of a molehill here, or if I’ve uncovered some kind of secret conspiracy, but I can tell you Jetway don’t actually list that exact model number -N73GTEP256I – in their list of video cards, and the closest match – the GT-EI – doesn’t have quite the same layout, or a fanless cooler. I’ll update this post if and when my research turns up anything interesting.