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will overclocking reduce my hardware's lifetime?

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February 2, 2007 8:41:24 AM

I was wondering if overclocking would reduce the lifetime of my cpu and motherboard. Say, i'll overclock my cpu but after 2 years it wont work anymore, i.e, it will be a uselss piece of silicon. Would this be the case if i do overclock?
February 2, 2007 9:29:54 AM

You will reduce the lifetime. How much, you can't say. It's possible that it would've run for 30 years and now it will run for only 20 - big wow! You'll've replaced it before it'll ever be a problem.

It's also possible that it would've run for 3 years and now it will run for only 2. This could be more of a problem!

Overclocking stresses components. They will fail earlier than they would've done.
February 2, 2007 9:33:49 AM

That depends on how hot you let it run. If it's running really hot then I wouldn't expect it to last that long. If you get some good cooling, great airflow... or maybe even liquid cooling, then you'll be fine for at least 2 years... at least
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February 2, 2007 10:26:21 AM

I have read that intel specs it's chips too last 10 years if run within spec. i remember paying around $250 for an athlon xp 2100 around 5 years ago and now that cpu is worth about 15 bux. So the way i see it, o.cing is a great way of getting the maximum value out of a cpu. As long as you don't overvolt the hellout of it and keep the temps low, you should easily be able to get 6 years out of it. a p3 1 ghz i had from around 6 -7 years ago is still running strong at 1.3 ghz. (which is probably a modest o.c for that cpu).
February 2, 2007 11:05:25 AM

Can you give us a specific example of the overclock you are concerned about?
February 2, 2007 11:09:10 AM

i dont want to overwhelm my cpu or anything of the sort. all i'm wanting to do is for example overclock an e6300 or an e6400 to the speed of an e6700.

I just want to save some money thats all.
February 2, 2007 11:39:30 AM

Youll be just fine. A 800mhz overclock from a <$200 CPU is great. That will last you for a loooong time. As long as you have good cooling, dont worry about it.
February 2, 2007 11:59:36 AM

Just watch your temps.

I *can* get more out of mine but I don't. I'm a frugal bastard and want my idle temps at or below 32c and load peaks at 47c which is well within factory spec. At some point I will u/g this unit and it will become the new frontline server so I want it to last as long as it can.
February 2, 2007 12:20:01 PM

I think the other posters have pointed you in the right direction. I'd say that if you're into overclocking and you want your CPU to last a long time, then it's worth investing the $50 or so in a good after-market cooler. People seem to love the Tuniq tower and products from Sythe and Zalman. I'm very happy with a TT Sonic Tower. I can't imagine my CPU is going to wear out terribly quickly even though I put a 560 MHz overclock on it since the temps stay in the 40's.

I think another thing that wears a part out, thermally, is cycling. If you're CPU is constantly going from cold to hot all the time, then there will be more thermal stresses within the chip. Relatively constantly hot or constantly cold should help it last longer. Hardest part on a jet engine is start-up in a cold climate because temperatures increase so rapidly. If you want to keep a minimum load on your CPU, you could set a background program like folding at home to use up idle CPU cycles. You can set the program to use anywhere between 0 to 100% of these idle cycles, so you can keep your CPU running at 50% all the time if you want.
February 2, 2007 12:45:55 PM

Well, I have an AM2 X2 4600+ (2.4GHz) running at 2.6Ghz. So, it is basically running as a AM2 X2 5000+.

I have a Zalman cooler in place of the original CPU heat sink and my idle temps are 25 degrees and load are around 32 degrees. Plus the voltage of the CPU is at 1.35V, which is considered stock.

So, is overclocking worth it? Hell yeah, if your temps are cool and your volts are not too above the recommended...I checked AMD's site, and I found my processor can handle temperatures up to 60-70 degrees. The way I'm going now, I expect my system to last 10+ years...

8)
February 2, 2007 1:13:31 PM

for cpu only, since pentium 4 cpus 'till current, it's not the hot temperatures which shortens your cpu, but the voltage you set is when you overclock it.

the logical reason why temperature of cpu must be not too hot when overclocking is because the main reason you overclock the cpu in order to get additional performance and since intel technology on pentium 4 cpu or above use thermal management, if the cpu gets too hot, it will slow down its performance or throtling so that the temperature will drop into lower state as close as normal operating temperature one. thus, getting high temperature in overclocking at some point won't achieve additional performance gain instead of standard or even lower performance. if that happens, it's useless to overclock the cpu.

other parts will be shortened out too if you raise the voltages too high and or getting high temperature. apart from modern cpu, motherboard, memory, hdd, vga, don't have thermal management inside of its own, that's why even if you're not raising their voltages, high temperature will kill them sooner or later.

good luck :) 
February 2, 2007 1:44:22 PM

The E6300 is the same physical CPU as the E6700 in most respects.

The main difference is that the E6300 is intentionally crippled in certain respects. Cache is disabled and certain timings are hard-coded to run slower.

If you run your E6300 at std voltages/speeds/temps of the E6700 you should expect your chip to last its rated lifetime since it is operating within design limits.

Push your E6300 to 3.4 or 3.6GHZ and higher voltages and you are now looking at cutting your lifetime. Again, this may or may not matter since the CPU may be outdated anyway before it goes bad.
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February 2, 2007 2:12:51 PM

I you watch your temperatures, the computer will probably be long obsolete before the CPU dies.

I took a few minutes to dial my new computer back from 3.4GHz to 3.0 GHz. It runs with a CPU-Z indicated 1.25 volts instead of the stock 1.35 volts. With that that kind of applied voltage, the standard HSF should work nicely.

I would recommend the E6400 instead of the E6300. The internal multiplier of the E6400 means you can operate the FSB lower for any particular frequency:

E6400 - 375 MHz x 8 = 3.00 GHz
E6300 - 430 MHz x 7 = 3.01 GHz.

The problem is that the FSB of the particular motherboard you choose may not run that high.

I have an old P233MMX system that I still use occasionally that I run at 300 MHz. Of course, if I fry that, I haven't lost much.

john
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