Question Does overclocking decrease life span?

AngelTech

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So from what I have heard overclocking completely voids your warranty (correct me if I am wrong) but does overclocking ACTUALLY decrease the lifespan of your chip/card or is that a myth? as some say it does and others say it won't affect the lifespan which is quite confusing...if anyone can give me a for sure answer that would be great as I am planning to have my parts stay functional for at least 3 years or more (if possible) but I do wanna try overclocking and want to know if the overclock is worth losing the extra life of the card OR if it really doesn't affect it at all.
 

Mandark

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I am sure if it is done properly and with the right equipment, no, it should not significantly degrade lifespan (small amount if any). If you have insufficient power and cooling--and you are not experienced, well, that's another story....
 

Barty1884

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Strictly overclocking (raising clocks/multipliers) will not damage anything. Voltage/heat is what can damage electronics.

As for voiding warranting, that entirely depends. With most consumer protection laws, the burden of proof would be on the manufacturer's that what you did the to chip damaged it. That would apply to high voltages, sustained high temps etc, which would be detectable on the chip(s) themselves. Simply raising clocks/multipliers and voltages within safe tolerances, keeping the relevant components sufficiently cool (CPU/GPU/VRM etc) should not.

Of course, there's always a risk with anything..... but it's a pretty nominal risk - especially with GPU's, as (with stock BIOS), your voltage is locked down. Raising core/mem clocks can be done, and the card will throttle if it gets too hot.
 

AngelTech

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x3 Corsair SP120's + 2 fractal design fans + an Enermax ETS-N31 cooler for CPU would that keep my parts cool enough to be overclocked? if you need the case to judge let me know and would a 750WATT PSU be enough to overclock? I'll be running an EVGA 2080 FTW3 + Ryzen 3600X 3700X or 3800X
 
Ok so what kind of overclocking? To take a product from lower in the stack and raise its performance to that of a product higher in the stack? You may exceed TDP specs but will unlikely cause noticeable lifespan decrease. Yesterday I did this with an i5-6500T, raising it from 2.5GHz to 4.2GHz. Sure, I exceeded the SKU's 35w TDP, but I kept it within limits of the Skylake architechture as a whole, unlikely to cause any more harm than normal wear and tear. After all, Intel rates these chips to 1.52v for worst case leakage, and I stopped at just above 1.3v.
 

xravenxdota

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I ran my old fx 4170 oc for around 3-4y and she's still running today but i declocked her for my friend to use.I got a core 2 duo 2.66ghz oc'd to 3.6ghz and she's also still running idk when i oc'd her.I want to oc my ryzen 5 2600 but kinda bugged out because of temps that fluctuate when i oc her.

PS both oc'd systems are running on aircooler just the fx 4170 has a custom home made cooling solution.
 

cats_Paw

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There is a lot of "I think" kinda stuff presented as facts when it comes to the internet.
Overclocking is very much like that.
Let me explain what I have learned (Meaning, you make your own decision what to believe, I just tell you what I do and what it is based on):

Overclocking is increasing the speed at which transistors open and lock signals in order to create binary 0 and 1. The reason you WILL void your warranty if you do this (regardless of increase in voltages or not) is because the transistors are running outside of the parameters that the manufacturer has calculated that they should survive for at least that amount of time that they are on warranty.

Generally speaking, this is not an exact science, and this is why some CPUs die even with no overclocking and others run fine for years with heavy overclocks, and thus the void in warranty.

There are a few things to consider when overclocking:
-In the temperature department: Average temperatures, Maxixum temperatures, BURST (or micro second) maximum temperatures are some.
-In the voltage department: Mostly Vcore and LLC (LLC tends to be the oine people ignore more often and the one that kills cpus).
-Ambient temps.
-Workload.

You can think of overclocking like lifting too much weight. At what point are you going to break something? No idea, but you can get some average safe weight and some average dangerous weight.

Same here. Each CPU should be able to slightly Overclock with no problem (In the case of AMD, XFR is basically doing it for you in most cases anyway, and it is covered by warranty). The minute you have to increase more Vcore/LLC to gain lower increases, you are going too far, and the CPU WILL degrade.
The question is not if it will, the question is by how much and how fast.

Because CPUs are rated mostly for 10 year lifespan at stock (not warranty, expected life), if an overclock decreases that to 9.2 years, most people will not even know what happened (also, bare in mind that when a CPU is failing due to an overclock it will usually start being unstable first, meaning you will have to lower the overclock to keep it stable anyway).

That is for CPUs.
For GPUS? Not worth overclocking. Ever (unless it is a factory pre applied overclock). Here is why: If your GPu cant keep up the frame rate over 30 FPS, overclocking it wont make it run smooth.
If it is running at 200+, the extra 30 frames is worthless for the risk of glitches and crashes.
If it is running at 60, the extra 5 wont make a noticeable difference either.
 
Well the problem with overclocking modern GPUs is that they just don't have as much headroom left over as they used to. So typically you are looking at maybe 5-10% performance boost for a whole lot more power consumption and heat.

But man, I've had some older graphics cards overclock like beasts with like 30-40% overclocks and equal performance boosts, but these were pre- "turbo boost" cards.
 

fagetti

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Gen 1 processors where easy to overclock for 30% performance gains and i have had 25% boost with 600 / 700 / 900 series gpu:s also.
However i would be afraid to oc anything less than 3-5 years old im too scared
 

Math Geek

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personally, considering how everything will "boost" itself, i don't see a reason to do it for normal use. the last few gen gpu's saw almost no gain from a manual oc vs letting the boost feature do it. you may get an extra 100 mhz or keep it there longer, but real world it amounted to pretty much no gain.

cpu's are different but even they are starting to get their own auto-oc features. amd chips will now boost themselves so long as there is thermal and voltage headroom. so i'd just invest in solid cooling/mobo combo and let the chip do it's thing for day to day use. we'll see reviews soon on the new chips and we'll know for sure but the 2000 series did not gain much by manually overclocking vs letting the chip take care of it. i don't expect there to be any major reason to manually oc those chips either. but that's just my guess based on past experience.
 

Snookslayer

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Same. Bought an i5 4690k many years ago knowing that someday I'd want to OC it. That day came a couple months ago when I didn't care about it anymore since I'll be upgrading to Ryzen someday soon. And since I play BF1, a cpu intensive game which maxes out my 4690, I finally decided to try OCing. I quickly learned I can't get much more than 4.4 ghz, because the needed voltage beyond (1.25+) sends my temps into the 90's in no-time flat due to my crappy Hyper 212 cooler. But I'm happy at 4.4. Decent improvement over the stock 4.1 boost I was getting.

As for the OP's question.... I'm obviously no OC pro, but from everything I've read... it doesn't usually hurt anything OCing the cpu. I did read that some people say over time (years) it takes more and more voltage to achieve the same frequency, but by then the cpu is obsolete anyway.
 

fagetti

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Same. Bought an i5 4690k many years ago knowing that someday I'd want to OC it. That day came a couple months ago when I didn't care about it anymore since I'll be upgrading to Ryzen someday soon. And since I play BF1, a cpu intensive game which maxes out my 4690, I finally decided to try OCing. I quickly learned I can't get much more than 4.4 ghz, because the needed voltage beyond (1.25+) sends my temps into the 90's in no-time flat due to my crappy Hyper 212 cooler. But I'm happy at 4.4. Decent improvement over the stock 4.1 boost I was getting.

As for the OP's question.... I'm obviously no OC pro, but from everything I've read... it doesn't usually hurt anything OCing the cpu. I did read that some people say over time (years) it takes more and more voltage to achieve the same frequency, but by then the cpu is obsolete anyway.

Snookslayer: Your base clock frequency is 3.5 ghz for that cpu, there is intel turbo boost techonogly allowing SINGLE cores to boost up to 3.9 -4.0ghz. So going from 3.5 to 4.4ghz on all cores is a significant boost in performance. Remember to always disable intel turbo boost when you are overclocking, cause you can read false values with cpu-z or other monitoring programs looking at intel turbo boost having higher values with single cores.

You could get still some performance without updating your cooler by delidding your cpu, there is a risk you break it but it can reduce up to 20-25c on the core temperature. Replace the crap between ihs and die with liquid metal.
 

Snookslayer

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Fagetti - appreciate your thoughts. "Disable intel turbo boost." I'll do it.

All I know is HWMonitor showed 4.1 on all cores while playing BF1 before OCing, which I assumed was the built-in boost.?. 4.4 felt like I accomplished something. Hard to tell exactly how much fps went up, as every server/map is different, but it seems to have less dips below 60 than before.

As for "delidding".... I've watched videos - I ain't that guy. I'll leave that to pros like you and Linus. Actually thinking of getting an ugly brown Noctua to help my OC limitations.
 

Karadjgne

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Expected physical lifespan of a cpu is well over 20years. OC can lower that, but as earlier mentioned, that depends entirely on the OC. My PentiumII 350MHz has been under a 400MHz OC for 20 years now, and still works just fine. As long as you consider 1 thing. Physical lifespan is totally different to usable lifespan. Software, OS, needs will cut that down to 10 years or under. There's extremely few ppl trying to game with current games on a lga775 build. The processors are too slow, don't have anywhere near the necessary IPC or in most cases even ram capability to run modern games or even OS and OS related software with any degree of success.

So does it really matter if you cut a cpus physical lifespan in half with a close to limits OC or not. Chances are good that sometime in the next 5-10 years the cpu will be obsolete from a software standpoint, so any remaining possible physical lifespan is moot.
 
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fagetti

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Fagetti - appreciate your thoughts. "Disable intel turbo boost." I'll do it.

All I know is HWMonitor showed 4.1 on all cores while playing BF1 before OCing, which I assumed was the built-in boost.?. 4.4 felt like I accomplished something. Hard to tell exactly how much fps went up, as every server/map is different, but it seems to have less dips below 60 than before.

As for "delidding".... I've watched videos - I ain't that guy. I'll leave that to pros like you and Linus. Actually thinking of getting an ugly brown Noctua to help my OC limitations.

Just disable intel turbo boost and see if you still hit 4.1ghz, thing is you might crash if vcore isnt enough and you where just using 1-2 cores at that frequency with intel turbo boost. There is no built-in boost, just intel turbo boost. You can probably hit 4.0 even at stock voltages though on all cores
 
...as some say it does and others say it won't affect the lifespan which is quite confusing...if anyone can give me a for sure answer that would be great as I ...
The thing that kills any semiconductor is heat and voltage. Any time you apply power to a semi-conductor device it 'reduces it's operable lifespan' if you consider lifespan as the clock time it can do useful processing work before it starts to generate random errors and lockups. And the harder you work it, making it use a higher voltage and run hotter with intensive processing loads, the more you reduce it's lifespan even if not overclocked. That's the nature of semiconductors.

So yes, overclocking it can reduce it's lifespan if the purpose of the overclock is to be able to work it harder, at extremely high processing loads to complete more work faster. But as a practical matter, reasonable over-clocks with controlled temperatures won't reduce lifespan enough to matter. Even if worked really hard 24/7 the processor will become outmoded, irrelevant and need upgrading well before it starts to generate errors.

Whether or not it voids warranty is funny. Everyone says it 'voids warranty' but there's this little thing (in the USA at least) called the General Warranty of Merchantability that says things you sell have to meet the purpose for which they are sold.

So here's AMD selling and advertising unlocked processors and offering overclocking advice and software. And Intel even sells locked and unlocked versions of their processors. I'm no lawyer, but to me they are both selling processors with a fairly explicit purpose that they can be overclocked and therefore THAT warranty applies.
 
Well dang smart yeah I wasn't gonna really mess with the voltage most likely just wanted my CPU and possibly GPU to run a little faster
While not knowing anything about your processor or motherboard I think it's safe to say most BIOS's over-volt processors. That is, they use higher VCore than really necessary in order to assure stability during turbo-boost to higher frequencies. With that in mind there's generally headroom to raise clocks somewhat without raising voltages.

When you think about it, they are trading a (theoretical) 40 year lifespan of your processor for early-on user satisfaction so you don't complain. So you could also 'undervolt' and sleep comfortably knowing you will have a stable, if laughably irrelevant, processor in 40 years time.
 
Fagetti - appreciate your thoughts. "Disable intel turbo boost." I'll do it.

All I know is HWMonitor showed 4.1 on all cores while playing BF1 before OCing, which I assumed was the built-in boost.?. 4.4 felt like I accomplished something. Hard to tell exactly how much fps went up, as every server/map is different, but it seems to have less dips below 60 than before.

As for "delidding".... I've watched videos - I ain't that guy. I'll leave that to pros like you and Linus. Actually thinking of getting an ugly brown Noctua to help my OC limitations.
what is your cpu/gpu?
 
Jun 14, 2019
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Yeah more voltage/heat = shorter lifetime for cpu. Realistically I tihnk that means instead of lasting 40years it will only last 15-20 years so nothing to worry about. People have been running overclocked 2500k's for a decade nearly no problems.
 

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