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Danger of GPU overclocking

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July 15, 2013 3:45:44 AM

I would like to know about overclocking side effects, is heat the only thing i should be worried about or there is more to it? is water cooling a must even when your temperatures are low? a friend of mine told me that setting the heat aside, a card may be fried by the increased amount of Volts and does not function safe even in the lowest possible temperature. Any truth to that?

PS:If you are not sure about what i asked please keep it to yourself. I don't want answers based on what you think, i want answers based on what you know.
a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 3:53:05 AM

Well given your attitude I think I will keep what I know to my self thank you very much!
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 4:03:38 AM

You really should be more friendly. You're asking a bunch of amateurs, who are taking their time to help you for no reason other than to help a fellow amateur, for their opinion. If you don't want to know what amateurs think about gpu overclocking then you shouldn't post your question on a forum.
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 4:06:43 AM

indeed...

everyone here is just enthusiasts not pro's... (I assume)

but let me at least tell you (based on experience) that I recently "fried" a GTX570 (MSI reference model btw) under like 70C. So low temps doesnt mean youre safe. Low volts also doesnt mean you are safe. If you push the core or memory frequency too high. The card is gone for good. You gotta be sensible on the overclock.
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 4:09:35 AM

i agree, please be a little more... nice. you are asking for a favor.

anyway, to answer you, high temps can damage components, as well as high voltage. That is why you have max temp and max voltage in the specs
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 4:12:01 AM

. To much Voltage is the main killer of any gpu or cpu. Increased voltage will decrease the life of both of them but there is no really correct answer on this. It sll depends if you got a good gpu/cpu and your card has efficient cooling for the vrms. In most cases a small bump in the voltage when overclocking will have virtually no affect in the long run.

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July 15, 2013 4:26:56 AM

Cons29 said:
i agree, please be a little more... nice. you are asking for a favor.

anyway, to answer you, high temps can damage components, as well as high voltage. That is why you have max temp and max voltage in the specs


im not being unfriendly i just can't risk and i need to be 100% certain on this one... So if a 12 years old gives me an advice based on what an other 12 years old told him well... You get what i mean i hope.
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July 15, 2013 4:30:40 AM

I guess OC is shit then and whoever needs power has to buy an 770/780, run it on factory settings and be done with it.
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 4:33:14 AM

If you want to be safe then run at stock clocks. If you don't mind risking destroying your gpu then OC. There is no completely safe OC. End of story.
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July 15, 2013 4:40:20 AM

People OC due to the fact they cannot afford cards like GTX 780 and any high end cards. Same with CPUs. Some do it for fun or just pushing their cpu to limits. wanderer is right...there's no safe OC since overclocking increases the heat of a component. Check out with your PSU too if it still can deliver the power your PC needs when you're overclocking.
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a c 239 K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 5:56:19 AM

Greg55 said:
I would like to know about overclocking side effects, is heat the only thing i should be worried about or there is more to it? is water cooling a must even when your temperatures are low? a friend of mine told me that setting the heat aside, a card may be fried by the increased amount of Volts and does not function safe even in the lowest possible temperature. Any truth to that?

PS:If you are not sure about what i asked please keep it to yourself. I don't want answers based on what you think, i want answers based on what you know.


A GPU is close to it's cutting edge out of the box, it's not like a CPU with unlocked multipliers or upgradeable memory modules, it's memory is soldered into the substrate.

The memory on a GPU has pretty much always been the weakest link of the chain and if a chain is going to break it happens at the weakest link.

The biggest problem we all face today is how well was the GPUs heat sink installed from the factory, do we have a good overclocking card in hand or are some of the memory chips and voltage regulators on the card only partially covered with the thermal pads.

Temperature wise the only thing monitored is the GPU itself, the memory modules are not and you don't discover you've pushed the memory too far until it's irrecoverably artifacting, but then it's too late.

In the production process the highest quality memory is binned for the top of the line cards to be released and no 2 cards are the same where one can overclock on all fronts, another may die instantly with one step up with a voltage increase, there's just no way to know what you have in hand when it's pulled from the box.

Water cooling a mid range card is a waste of time and money, that's why you don't see mid ranged cards come stock with water cooling, the high end cards do have water cooled versions available from the factory.

Many think getting 2 cheap cards and overclocking in SLI gives them the same level of gaming the high end cards do, but then you have the SLI and Crossfire driver problems to deal with combined with some games are not released to even run in SLI or Crossfire in the first place.

So no matter how far it's overclocked it still falls short, and at the same time the overclock is shortening the life of the card, however software overclocking does not void the cards warranty, many cards come with software overclocking utilities.

Bios unlocking and flashing a card to overclocked settings is a warranty void.

Quote:
a friend of mine told me that setting the heat aside, a card may be fried by the increased amount of Volts and does not function safe even in the lowest possible temperature. Any truth to that?


Absolutely Yes!

Been there, Done that!

A lesson learned the hard way.



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a c 177 K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 6:09:30 AM

Overclocking
+ More performance
- Greater heat output
- Greater power consumption
- If your pushing a big overclock, it can reduce lifespan of the card. Possibility of the card degrading as well, which is what your friend is saying about being unstable even at stock speeds.
- If you do something stupid like max out the voltage, you can kill the card outright.

Looks like very little benefit for a lot of cons right?
Not really, if you do things properly and have no intention of pushing the card to its max, all that will happen is an increase in temperature and power consumption. Cards come with fairly good coolers on them, and power consumption means nothing in the grand scheme of how much it costs to run a suburban house.
The performance boost can be pretty significant. For instance, heres my card (a reference HD7970) at stock speeds
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6521957
And then after a not even significant overclock, you can easily push a 7970 further than this without running into issues (core clock is 1125Mhz, for some reason says 500Mhz in the bench).
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6522537
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a b K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 6:33:04 AM

manofchalk said:
Overclocking
+ More performance
- Greater heat output
- Greater power consumption
- If your pushing a big overclock, it can reduce lifespan of the card. Possibility of the card degrading as well, which is what your friend is saying about being unstable even at stock speeds.
- If you do something stupid like max out the voltage, you can kill the card outright.

Looks like very little benefit for a lot of cons right?
Not really, if you do things properly and have no intention of pushing the card to its max, all that will happen is an increase in temperature and power consumption. Cards come with fairly good coolers on them, and power consumption means nothing in the grand scheme of how much it costs to run a suburban house.
The performance boost can be pretty significant. For instance, heres my card (a reference HD7970) at stock speeds
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6521957
And then after a not even significant overclock, you can easily push a 7970 further than this without running into issues (core clock is 1125Mhz, for some reason says 500Mhz in the bench).
http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/6522537


that card is underclocking due to not enough power or heat. may have to bump the power limit to +10 like i did. i run 1150 with +10 power limit no voltage adjustment other than the default voltage used for the boost clock. i neve bother to touch my memory clocks since you really gain no fps from it
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a c 177 K Overclocking
July 15, 2013 6:39:23 AM

The power limit was maxed to +20% during that test. I suspect it gives 500Mhz because that's what the card sits at in idle, must have checked speeds before the bench had properly started. It happened a few times when I was overclocking it.
I found I didn't need to even touch voltage until I was going higher than 1150Mhz, 7970's overclock like a beast considering they come stock clocked at 925Mhz and get that high with no additional voltage.

With memory clocks I found that once I get to 1450Mhz on the memory, going higher actually started to lower my score. So that's what I have it set too.
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