Note: if you have an ABit motherboard affected by this problem, be sure to visit

Pictures of bad BP6 motherboard capacitors

EC14: bulging, leaning, & visibly leaking 6.3v 1500uF (green).  EC2 & EC13 look ok, but leaking electrolyte has obscured the "14" of "EC14"
EC18: a bulging 10v 1000uF (black) -- upper-left in the group of 4 caps (middle of photo)
wide shot, showing both of the above bad caps: EC18 (10v 1000uF black), and EC14 (6.3v 1500uF green)
EC5: another bulging 6.3v 1500uF (green), visibly lifted off the MB by the bulge on the bottom
EC6 & EC11: two more bulging 6.3v 1500uF caps (green)
Wide shot of EC6, EC11, & EC5 (which are bad); and EC4, EC1, & EC15 (which look good, but are probably failing invisibly)
Very wide shot of motherboard; the bulges on EC6, EC11, & EC5 are plainly visible

Here're two pictures showing what to look for on the capacitors:

Note that the defective capacitors seem to be mostly:
1) Low-voltage (6.3v to 16v), high capacitance (1000uF and above); and
2) Often marked with gold (not white) writing - gold writing is customarily used for "low ESR" devices (but this article reports bad "JPCON" brand capacitors with white writing on green plastic); and
3) Branded "JACKCON" or "TAYEH" (or, according to some web sites, "JPCON" or "I.Q./RLE" or "CHOYO" or "SANYO")


More information about the problem

Here're a few interesting background articles, from IEEE Spectrum,, and elsewhere, about the bad capacitor problem:

Here're two forums that discuss this problem:
And a Dutch-language forum: (or translate to English with Systran)

By the time the aluminum cans start to visibly bulge, the capacitors are already very thoroughly malfunctioning. At least that's what implies:

"I removed ALL the caps noted in the pictures, even the ones that weren't showing physical signs of failure. I then tested each one with a Sencore LC102 capacitor analyzer, and EVERY SINGLE ONE was so far out of spec that it was totally unusable!!"


Solving the problem

Here's an excellent web site about repairing motherboards which have this problem:

This web site belongs to a guy in Utah who repairs motherboards with this problem:

Sometimes you can find inexpensive low ESR replacement capacitors on eBay.

Note that most of the replacement capacitors recommended by, e.g.,, are 10mm in diameter, which is too big for my Abit BP6 motherboard (though you could probably cram 10mm caps into most of the motherboard locations which were intended for 8mm caps).  E.g., the Nichicon 647-UPW1A152MPH6 and the Panasonic EEUFC1A152 are both 10mm in diameter.  The Panasonic EEUFC1A102L (note the "L" on the end!) 1000 uF is 8mm in diameter.

If some or all of your bad capacitors are marked "Jackcon" then you can try emailing them photos of your motherboard's bad caps, and ask them to send you replacements.  I did that, and to my surprise they agreed to send me some free replacement capacitors.  Be sure to tell them exactly what you need.  (Note that the Abit BP6 motherboard needs 8mm diameter radial capacitors; 10mm or larger is too big to physically fit in some board locations, but most 1000-1500uF capacitors are at least 10mm in diameter, which makes suitable replacements harder to find.)

Also, Abit says that they will RMA Abit motherboards which have this problem, for free, even if they are out of warranty.  (Wow! A company that knows what customer service is!)  I'm going to try this.  Their RMA dept phone number is 1-510-492-0882.  However, some usenet messages have said that Abit will ask for a $25 S&H fee if you do this and don't have your original receipt from when you bought the motherboard.  I dunno about that; Abit didn't mention any fee when I talked to them on the phone. Addendum: Abit is now under legal obligation to fix 'em; see  But the deadline is 15-Feb-2006.

Caveat: When I read a usenet message which claimed that the repaired motherboard that Abit sends you in exchange for your bad one will have only the visibly bad (bulging or leaking) capacitors replaced, I doubted it.  If any of the aluminum electrolytic capacitors of a particular size and brand on your motherboard are bad, then all other capacitors of that type on that motherboard are likely to fail, too, even those which show no visible bulging.  So they should all be replaced.  I thought that the technicians at Abit would realize that, would not make the mistake of only replacing some of the capacitors. But I've now gotten back a refurbished/repaired BP6 from them which does, indeed, have most of the original capacitors. (But it does seem to work okay, at least for now.)


-Dave Burton