So, for anyone dealing with the “yellow-light-of-death” (YLOD) on their Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), one can pay the original manufacturer to temporarily fix it for over $100, or they can have the graphics processing unit (GPU) reballed to the PS3 motherboard. This entails paying an online merchant to desolder the GPU and resolder it with leaded solder that won’t melt as easily as the tin solder approved for use in consumer electronics.
Online, there are a few competitors in the reballing business. After much deliberation, forum research, and many DIY youtube videos, I have chosen one of three reballers based on criteria such as cost, expertise, professionalism, warranty, website design, and comments from others on forums.
The three companies in question are SpitFireMods, PS3RepairShop, and FixMyPlaystation. The decisive data follow:
1. spitfiremods – $99.95 flat rate + $15.09 shipping = $115.04 – reballed –
includes fan mod ($69.95 without fan) – 1 year warranty
[great warranty, professional and informative website, great price; vids on
Youtube; information on website is self-contradicting and many typos (eg.
it is stated on one page that the weight of the console is listed in its detail
section which it is not and they say nothing about a work order form
except that there is one for printing (send it in?) and they flash “secure
online payment” icons but you can’t even pay online, you have to pay
through money order then text them. very weird.]
2. ps3repairshop – $99 – 30 day warranty – reballed – thermal pad upgrade,
artic silver V
[not so great a warranty, but includes extras. professional, clear, and
3. fixmyplaystation- $149 Premium – 1 year warranty – reballed? – thermal
pad upgrade, cleaning OR $99.99 – 6 month warranty – no pads, no
[great warranty, but way too expensive considering the other choices
and not many extras; vids on Youtube, ad on google, minimalist website
with numerous typos]
I went with SpitFireMods, just the basic reball, $69.95 and shipping. Money order came to $88.xx. I sent it in November. According to forum comments, I should be expecting the PS3 delivered in 3 – 6 months, which is fine since I am borrowing one for now.
I will post my experience with the company and quality of their fix (i.e., how long the reball fix lasts before YLOD (supposed to be a permanent fix)). I tried to post this on a PS3 forum but couldn’t figure out how to make a new post.
Thanks for WordPress.com allowing/enabling me to add my thoughts and experiences to the searchable, archives of the world-wide information “web.”
update: spitfiremods’ customer service is good
July, 24, 2015
A week ago, I decided to check the status of my order for a PS3 reball. I sent the box with money order and texted the requisite person the money order number on the 24th of November. On their website last week, my order said “Awaiting payment.” I called and Todd answered. I told him how I sent my box in last November (8 months ago), and the status still says “awaiting payment.” He seemed confused, gathered the facts from me a second time, and vowed to “investigate [my] order since [he hadn’t] known of any back orders at [that] time.” He said he would call me back that night. Well, he didn’t. I waited the whole next day and then called the day after that to inquire. He said he was waiting for forms from the department and he’d get back to me “after lunch” between 3 – 4 pm. I waited; there’s no call. However, I checked the status of my order and it has been updated to say “awaiting shipment.” I assume this to mean they are preparing to ship it. I’m a little worried because it’s been saying that for three days now. Trust and optimism might transcend our conception of physical boundaries.
I had to angrily email SpitFireMods administration email address to get any progress on getting my PS3 back. According to the response I received, my PS3 is awaiting shipment back TO ME as I half suspected (the other half is that they were waiting for ME to ship it to THEM). As expected, the reball took a really long time (due to “backorders”, which I very much doubt since this is a common excuse among unprofessional companies in my experience) and I had to stay in touch with them, hold their hand, to make sure I wasn’t getting screwed. I should be receiving my PS3 in a few days when I’ll let you know further details about the repair itself.
Yay! It came back. Boo! It doesn’t work. The PS3 will start but when it reaches the landing page with the wavy, sparkling background graphics, the screen freezes and turns into a green- and purple -colored dog’s tooth-ish pattern.
It’s under warranty for a year. I called Tod of SpitfireMods to alert him that I may require additional work. He was inordinately suspicious of me, asking why I was calling a month after they had sent it. “Does that matter?” I thought. “It’s covered under a year warranty, doy.” He told me he would call me back with some options for the next course of action. He NEVER called back.
Conclusion: Consider this blog post your homework. If you haven’t learned to stay away from the scammers known as SpitfireMods from this post, then you fail at life. Go to Sony; the PS3 was designed to fail from the beginning.