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Anandtech: The truth of CPU degradation

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March 5, 2008 6:46:50 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=325...

This is the kind of quality of an article I would expect from Tom's. This article is simply superb, very well written, very well explained, and very technical.

This article not only offered the review of E8500, it also offered the explanation of E8400's temperature errata, as well as its degradation due to overclocks. It should debunk a lot of erroneous claims about temperature and degradation of CPU under overclocks.

Temperature:
Quote:
In the past, internal CPU temperatures were sensed using a single on-die diode connected to an external measurement circuit, which allowed for an easy means of monitoring and reporting "actual" processor temperatures in near real-time. Many motherboard manufacturers took advantage of this capability by interfacing the appropriate processor pins/pads to an onboard controller, such as one of any of the popular Super I/O chips available from Winbond. Super I/O chips typically control most if not all of the standard motherboard input/output traffic associated with common interfaces including floppy drives, PS/2 mice and keyboards, high-speed programmable serial communications ports (UARTs), and SPP/EPP/ECP-enabled parallel ports. Using either a legacy ISA bus interface or a newer LPC (low pin-count) interface, the Super I/O also monitors several critical PC hardware parameters like power supply voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds.

This method of monitoring CPU temperature functioned satisfactorily up until Intel conducted their first process shrink to 65nm. The reduction in circuit size influenced some of the temperature-sensing diode's operating characteristics enough that no amount of corrective calibration effort would be able to ensure sufficient accuracy over the entire reporting range. From this point on Intel engineers knew they would need something better. From this came the design we see effectively utilized in every CPU produced by Intel today, starting with Yonah - one of the first 65nm processors and a precursor to the now wildly-successful Core 2 architecture.

The new design, called a Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS), no longer relied on the use of an external biasing circuit where power conditioning tolerances and slight variances in sense line impedances can introduce rather large signaling errors. Because of this, many of the reporting discrepancies noted using the older monitoring methods were all but eliminated. Instead of relying on each motherboard manufacturer to design and implement this external interface, Intel made it possible for core temperatures to be retrieved easily, all without the need for any specialized hardware. This was accomplished through the development and documentation of a standard method for reading these values directly from a single model specific registers (MSR) and then computing actual temperatures by applying a simple transformation formula. This way the complicated process of measuring these values would be well hidden from the vendor.


This confirms Intel's documented errata on motherboard unable to measure E8400's DTS accurately, and thereby causing thermal interrupts.


CPU degradation from overclocks:
Quote:

As soon as you concede that overclocking by definition reduces the useful lifetime of any CPU, it becomes easier to justify its more extreme application. It also goes a long way to understanding why Intel has a strict "no overclocking" policy when it comes to retaining the product warranty. Too many people believe overclocking is "safe" as long as they don't increase their processor core voltage - not true. Frequency increases drive higher load temperatures, which reduces useful life. Conversely, better cooling may be a sound investment for those that are looking for longer, unfailing operation as this should provide more positive margin for an extended period of time.


As a result, those who believed they can run E8400 @ 4.xGhz with simple stock cooling, and overvolted them about 0.2~0.3V, and still believe they can outrun their warranty lifetime, are morons. As shown in Anand's graph, E8400's VID is 1.125V, and in order to run at 4.xGhz, most people put more than 30% more voltage into the processor. Compared to only 15% more voltage to overclock a 65nm dual core Core 2 to 4.xGhz (1.5V), or 28% for a Q6600 to hit 4.0Ghz (1.6V). So far I have not seen a Q6600 to be overclocked to 4.0Ghz without exotic cooling, that's capable of running more than few days for benching purpose.

EDIT:
I believe Anand summed up very well in terms of overclocking Wolfdale in his conclusion.
Quote:

...Never before has achieving these levels of overclocks been so easy. However, don't become tempted by the incredible range of core voltage selections your premium motherboard offers; it's important not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

These processors are built on a new 45nm High-K process that invariably makes them predisposed to accelerated degradation when subjected to the same voltages used with last-generation's 65nm offerings. Although we certainly support overclocking as an easy and inexpensive means of improving overall system performance, we also advocate the appropriate use of self-restraint when it comes to choosing a final CPU voltage. Pushing 0.1V more Vcore through a processor for that last 50MHz does not make a lot of sense when you think about it.


This means, 1.8V for 4.0Ghz E8400 is similar to putting 2.1~2.2V into 65nm Core 2s. I can guarantee you, unless you have a golden chip, or you're extremely lucky, your chip will fail within weeks, if not days.

Regardless, this is a great read. Definitely a good article for those interested in getting a Wolfdale, and for the editors of Toms to learn from.

More about : anandtech truth cpu degradation

March 5, 2008 7:03:54 PM

Quote:

More than a few programs have been released over the last few years, each claiming to accurately report these DTS values in real-time. The truth is that none can be fully trusted as the Tjunction values utilized in these transformations may not always be correct. Moreover, Intel representatives have informed us that these as-of-yet unpublished Tjunction values may actually vary from model to model - sometimes even between different steppings - and that the temperature response curves may not be entirely accurate across the whole reporting range. Since all of today's monitoring programs have come to incorrectly assume that Tjunction values are a function of the processor family/stepping only, we have no choice but to call everything we thought we had come to know into question. Until Intel decides to publish these values on a per-model basis, the best these DTS readings can do for us is give a relative indication of each core's remaining thermal margin, whatever that may be.


This explains why people are encountering temperature reading problems on the Wolfdales.
March 5, 2008 7:16:58 PM

Nice post, but I dont think anyone is using 1.8v for 4ghz. 1.4v would be the max. But I'm just fine using 1.27 @ 3.8ghz, why ruin such a great chip that is almost impossible to replace right now?
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March 5, 2008 7:37:07 PM

So its the mobo not the chip. Love it.
March 5, 2008 7:44:37 PM

Nice post yomama. I really like the reviews that come out of Anandtech. Especially their mobo reviews. Their articles are definitely held to higher standards than TH and they are usually quite thorough. I just wish they would kick them out faster… :??: 
March 5, 2008 7:49:04 PM

I've been waiting for this for a long time. Granted, I'm using an overclocked Athlon 2800+, and with it's 130nm (feel lucky those of you who have got 90nm cpu's.) process, it's fine pushing at extra 200-400MHz when i need it to. But it just makes sense, doesn't it people? Pushing more power through something smaller will put more strain on it.
I won't be surprised if even smaller processes start losing intel's fabulous overclocking abilities, as of lately.
Only time will tell, but i'm sure there's a remedy to this - the most obvious one will probably be less power usage. We may find sub 45nm processors that have voltages not only very near 1v, but we may make changes in the thousandths for overclocking. 1.001v...1.002v...

New technology is so much fun.
March 5, 2008 8:03:01 PM

I would rate the article as "FAIR".

The writing is excellent, but they fail to provide a technical reference for many of their claims. This is perfectly acceptable if the results are based upon your own tests which you can present.

The claims made in the article, as valid as they may be, are totally invalid w/o documenting the source of those claims.
March 5, 2008 8:13:24 PM

Wait, does this mean that the temperature readings on the Core 2s are inaccurate, or have the tjunction been clearly established for each model?
March 5, 2008 8:26:10 PM

It means since Tjunction (or to better put it, maximum operating temperature) differs between chips, models, and steppings, its hard to come up with an universal maximum value for it.

For example, while the first iteration of Core 2 has maximum temperature of 105C, the later revisions lowered that to 95C, and that is still considers inaccurate. The truth is, we'll never know the accurate value until Intel publishes them.
March 5, 2008 8:32:39 PM

I find the article interesting, if not a bit unsettling. For sure, I'll be watching the temps a bit more closely and taking more effort to reduce them. I don't know if I've been just lucky with some past overclocking efforts or the fact that I usually change CPUs more often than every three years which has kept me out of trouble and my credit card intact.
March 5, 2008 9:52:03 PM

I honestly dont know much about OCing, but would that article apply to say, when Tom OC'd that 1.8ghz Intel Dual Core chip to 3ghz?
March 5, 2008 10:13:15 PM

Anand's article apply to any chip being OCed out of the spec.
March 5, 2008 10:25:25 PM

Is their forum decent over there? Maybe its time to just jump ship completely.
March 5, 2008 10:32:46 PM

Excellent article, thanks for the link. I'm sure even the seasoned overclocker can learn something from this article.

I think it has been well established that overclocking *will* shorten the lifespan of your CPU - however, the point is that, overclocking within reason (ie. 10% overvolt with a good HSF) will not shorten the CPU life long enough for you to notice, since most enthusiasts update their CPU at least once every couple of years.

FWIW, I've yet to have an overclocked CPU die, though I usually only keep them for 2 - 3 years max. However, 5 year ago I built my cousin a rig based on an Athlon XP 2500+ overclocked to 2.2GHz, and it is still running strong to this day.

However, I've had a Radeon 9800 Pro die after prolonged overclocking for over a year, I don't know if it's just bad luck or not. Thankfully, by the time the it died I was due for an upgrade anyway. ;) 
March 5, 2008 10:35:11 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Anand's article apply to any chip being OCed out of the spec.



the article itself says it does not apply to any chip in the same manor - if you read it, it says high hafnium gate cpu's are more likely to degrade faster.

this article while nice for scientist and engineer is useless for normal people

i will translate it:

1) use the best cooling possible and keep temps as low as possible
2) keep voltage as low as possible

3) the more your run a cpu at 100% output the more damage done to it from high end overclocking


my perspective - "the sweet spot"

the sweet spot is the speed which is slight lower then where you see a greater increase in temps after a same increase in speed, in many case the multipler and fsb are interchangable.

fsb should be maximized until performance drops off - today that is 1600-1700 fsb with intel chipsets

the multiplier should optimal for the cpu - c2d is 9 give or take a little. that why the E6600 is such a great chip and the e8500/e8400 are close as is the q6600

you increase the speed of the cpu until you see a spike in temps then back off slightly. typically the voltage is 1.38-1.48. As you increase voltage the temps increase greatly above 1.45 or so volts and the so does the degradation process or diffusion of silicone from resistance.

heat =resistance, this results in electrons being pushed, hard bumping of the electons and energizing the atoms in to cpu material and push the atoms, diffusion - like sand at the beach. the sand stays put until a strong enough current fluidised the sand.

bottom line - new wolfdate cpu's may suffer more from overclocking then cpu's in the past, buy the best cooler, use as many low speed high output fans as possible and keep your voltage in line!

for gamer and such that do not run their systems 25/7 who cares, if you folding at home turn down the oc and voltage

March 5, 2008 11:03:57 PM

My E8400 chip hits 4ghz no problem and very stable and the motherboard manages the voltages for that (Not sure of the exact voltage) but it's cooled very well, with a huge copper waterblock with copper fins that the water passes through... and it keeps the CPU @ 20 - 25'c on idle & 35'c full load, with the Cores between 38 - 45'c on idle and upto core temps of 60'c on full load.

Would these be safe temps? I'll get the Voltage in a moment since ive not got it clocked at the minute.

3.6ghz is a safe O.C, no voltage changes required, very little extra heat and a huge performance increase.

March 6, 2008 12:17:47 AM

dragonsprayer said:
the article itself says it does not apply to any chip in the same manor - if you read it, it says high hafnium gate cpu's are more likely to degrade faster.


Mind proving that with a quotation? I looked around and the article clearly states that overclocking does indeed result in faster degradation, regardless of a specific type of CPU.

Anand just made this statement, which I quoted earlier.
Quote:
These processors are built on a new 45nm High-K process that invariably makes them predisposed to accelerated degradation when subjected to the same voltages used with last-generation's 65nm offerings.


Quote:
this article while nice for scientist and engineer is useless for normal people


This is the reason why I don't like people doing overclocking when they certainly have no background of it. Most of them do not understand the inherit danger of overclocking, and how it affect their system. Its one thing to overclock to 3.6Ghz (for example), and its another to use 1.45V to achieve it.

Quote:

bottom line - new wolfdate cpu's may suffer more from overclocking then cpu's in the past, buy the best cooler, use as many low speed high output fans as possible and keep your voltage in line!

Proof?


March 6, 2008 12:39:24 AM

very interesting article.
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March 6, 2008 1:15:06 AM

I was actually going to post the same link, but guess you beat me to it ;) . Nice to see that more people read Anandtech. I agree with you on the quality of the recent toms articles. Most of the ones are OK but some are just out right dumb. (ie. CPU Cooler charts, WTF? failing all the back plated CPU coolers just because they can't install it? ) I can install a CPU, Motherboard, and a back plated cooler (ie. Zalman CPNS 8700) in about 15 minutes or less if its a good case to work with.

@Every one: By the time the CPU dies you probably would have upgraded.
March 6, 2008 1:15:44 AM

Quote:
1) use the best cooling possible and keep temps as low as possible
2) keep voltage as low as possible

3) the more your run a cpu at 100% output the more damage done to it from high end overclocking

Bolded part cannot be relied on. Many times your overclocked CPU can be suffering just as much damage when idle as when at load. Many of the fried Wolfdales died when near idle. Reasons:

1) Vcore is higher when idle and not using Speedstep; Vdroop occurs only during load
2) Temperature may not drop much when idle because CPU and system fans slow down

When someone says they ran 1.6V for 10 seconds to bench SuperPi-1M, you can infer they probably used 1.6V for several minutes at least.

Quote:
my perspective - "the sweet spot"

the sweet spot is the speed which is slight lower then where you see a greater increase in temps after a same increase in speed

Here I'd have to disagree and say it depends on the process and die size. A lot of the Wolfdale deaths were at the "sweet spot," which happened to be ~1.4V and 4+ GHz. Unlike with Conroe, the "sweet spot" is not a good indicator of what safe voltages are for Wolfdale because a 107 mm^2 45nm die doesn't produce a lot of heat to manifest diminishing returns on Vcore before you reach heavy electromigration.

Conroes stopped you from frying them because they got hot/unstable and made Vcore bumping futile. Wolfdales don't get hot till it's too late.
March 6, 2008 1:16:04 AM

LAN_deRf_HA said:
Is their forum decent over there? Maybe its time to just jump ship completely.



There is something that I don't like with the format of their forums but I am starting to frequent them more often. They feel less techy than here. Posts tend to get buried easier...I always lose thee threads that I post on...maybe I will figure it out.. :pt1cable: 

JonnyGuru is still over there though...he is pretty much a bad ass.
March 6, 2008 1:53:02 AM

Funny, I read this earlier today and didn't see anything special about it. Just typical AnandTech quality, which nothing else even comes close to.

And yes, Tom's's CPU cooler charts (along with most of their articles) are ridiculous. I prefer the forums here though.

Edit: The guys over at Tom's games do a great job though, especially Ben and Rob.
March 6, 2008 2:53:28 AM

dragonsprayer said:
the article itself says it does not apply to any chip in the same manor - if you read it, it says high hafnium gate cpu's are more likely to degrade faster.
yomamafor1 said:
Mind proving that with a quotation? I looked around and the article clearly states that overclocking does indeed result in faster degradation, regardless of a specific type of CPU.
He misspoke and for some reason you are having a hard time understanding what he said. You actually posted the proof below that you were asking him for. What he meant to say was "the Hafnium high K gate CPUs". Intel uses Hafnium as the dielectric in the high K gate 45nm CPUs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to defend dragonsprayer, and he said stuff, in his post, that I'm pretty sure contradicts previous posts of his, but c'mon let us not split hairs.
Technology@Intel · 45-Nanometer-Hafnium-based-High- k-dielectric-Metal-Gate
yomamafor1 said:
Anand just made this statement, which I quoted earlier.
And here is the proof you asked for, if you can call it proof. I didn't say it was not accurate just not proof.
Quote:
These processors are built on a new 45nm High-K process that invariably makes them predisposed to accelerated degradation when subjected to the same voltages used with last-generation's 65nm offerings.

dragonsprayer said:
bottom line - new wolfdate cpu's may suffer more from overclocking then cpu's in the past, buy the best cooler, use as many low speed high output fans as possible and keep your voltage in line!
yomamafor1 said:
Proof?
The same "proof" that you presented in the Anandtech quote earlier.
March 6, 2008 2:59:24 AM

Actually this does indeed affect all processors. But I think as the die's base transistor process size shrinks we will be seeing this more and more. I honestly think this will hit AMD's SOI and super SOI process just as bad if not more so than Intels HighK.

@DS Actually heat= wasted power or wattage that isn't used to do any work inside the processor. I could throw a few formulas at ya'll from my old intro to ac/dc electronics book from college, but I'll refrain from that for now. You'd be amazed but in my early 20s I was going to school for Electronics engineering as well as Computer system and internetworking technology degrees.

It frankly amazes me that current CPU's use so much current (amperage) considering the wire lead and transistor size in question. When you consider the fact that these CPU's are using close to 10 amps for the entire cpu it makes you think. Granted I know there are probably current flow limiting circuits and obviously there are voltage divider circuits involved. And when you consider that most complete electronic devices run on mere milliAmps it gets even more fun.

But back to the subject at hand, it's completely believable that modern processors, or anything below 90nm is becoming more and more susceptable to electron path ablation (I think thats what it's called). Especially when you start raising the voltage more than say 5-10% above spec to try and OC a CPU.

I was going to link to a thread on Xtremesystems but I can't find it at the moment, anyway it was related to some issues with the Phenom Overclocking. Whats happening with some peoples CPU's is after about a month to month and a half the OC will suddenly become unstable at the present voltage, even though it had been running completely stable prior to that. Some times with them upping the voltage higher again will continue to work for a time, but then the same thing will happen. Or in some cases no matter how far the voltages are raised they're unable to regain OC stability. This seems to happen more on the ones that require higher than 1.3v for OC stability, at 2.6 and 2.7. I got lucky for example and got one that does 2.6/2.7 at 1.248v which is only .016v above stock. Also note that some of the higher voltage requirements are due to HSF performance, or at least that is what we've found. The cooler the processor stays the less voltage it requires.

*and this where my train of thought pulls an Amtrak and I can't continue the post*
March 6, 2008 3:25:22 AM

Mathos said:
But back to the subject at hand, it's completely believable that modern processors, or anything below 90nm is becoming more and more susceptable to electron path ablation (I think thats what it's called). Especially when you start raising the voltage more than say 5-10% above spec to try and OC a CPU.
I assume that you are referring to electromigration.
March 6, 2008 3:36:29 AM

nice post, very informative.
March 6, 2008 3:37:47 AM

Zorg said:
I assume that you are referring to electromigration.


ah yes, was having a brain fart. Which lead to the derailed train of thought.

March 6, 2008 3:42:57 AM

Zorg said:
He misspoke and for some reason you are having a hard time understanding what he said. You actually posted the proof below that you were asking him for. What he meant to say was "the Hafnium high K gate CPUs". Intel uses Hafnium as the dielectric in the high K gate 45nm CPUs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to defend dragonsprayer, and he said stuff, in his post, that I'm pretty sure contradicts previous posts of his, but c'mon let us not split hairs.
Technology@Intel · 45-Nanometer-Hafnium-based-High- k-dielectric-Metal-Gate
And here is the proof you asked for, if you can call it proof. I didn't say it was not accurate just not proof.
Quote:
These processors are built on a new 45nm High-K process that invariably makes them predisposed to accelerated degradation when subjected to the same voltages used with last-generation's 65nm offerings.

The same "proof" that you presented in the Anandtech quote earlier.


Thanks for the clarification. However, it is not what I was looking for.

He said, "the high k CPU degrades faster", which I find that statement baseless. Just like you posted, Anand simply said 45nm HK/MG CPUs are likely to degrade faster IF they are subjected to the voltage of 65nm CPUs. This means, 1.6V on Conroe is going to have different effect than 1.6V on Wolfdale, and Conroe is likely to less longer due to higher tolerance of electromigration at that voltage.
March 6, 2008 4:10:43 AM

What that means to me is that the 45nm is more susceptible to electromigration at a given OC/over volt than it's 65nm counterpart. therefore at a high OC/over volt one needs to be more concerned with good cooling etc. Anyway, I don't want to be known as the guy that agreed with dragonsprayer, because he certainly sprays a lot of BS. In this case I don't think he was that far off the mark. I think it was more of a misunderstanding, and a little splitting hairs.
March 6, 2008 4:18:41 AM

I don't think you should couple overvolt and overclock together, although they are related. Anand simply said 45nm CPUs are more susceptible to electromigration when overvolted, compared to the 65nm. However, Wolfdale certainly needs less overvolting to achieve the same overclock.

I agree its was more of a misunderstanding on our part. However, I want DS to know that 45nm CPUs do not degrade faster. They will if you give them the same amount of overvoltage as on the 65nm parts, but in terms of the voltage needed for the same overclock, there's no evidence that would suggest they degrade faster.

March 6, 2008 4:40:38 AM

I don't couple OC and over volt. I have a Q6600 at a mild OC of 3G and I have reduced the voltage to 1.275 from the VID of 1.3, showing 1.232 at idle in cpuz with C1E enabled. I was saying that I got the feeling that Anandtech was more concerned with the OC and over volt as it related to more aggressive OCing, with regard to the differences between the 65nm and the 45nm CPUs

I do understand the knee-jerk reaction to jump on him, based on his previous posts, I feel it myself. But you need to give him a break on this one.
March 6, 2008 4:53:37 AM

I guess. I agree that we're simply playing with word's definition, while we may virtually arguing on the same side.
March 6, 2008 5:02:52 AM

Cool, but next time he goes off the wall, which will happen, then..... :lol: 
March 6, 2008 7:36:21 AM

jimmysmitty said:
So its the mobo not the chip. Love it.

Absolutely wrong. Intel is withholding tjunction info. That is the reason the chips do not show temp.
Intel should incorporate the tjunction in the DTS.
March 6, 2008 7:50:22 AM

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, maybe not so much with how you say it.
WR said:
Quote:
1) use the best cooling possible and keep temps as low as possible
2) keep voltage as low as possible

3) the more your run a cpu at 100% output the more damage done to it from high end overclocking

Bolded part cannot be relied on. Many times your overclocked CPU can be suffering just as much damage when idle as when at load. Many of the fried Wolfdales died when near idle. Reasons:

1) Vcore is higher when idle and not using Speedstep; Vdroop occurs only during load
2) Temperature may not drop much when idle because CPU and system fans slow down

So 1) must take into acount the 2) keep voltage as low as possible.
With 2) the fans are controlled by temp, not core speed
When someone says they ran 1.6V for 10 seconds to bench SuperPi-1M, you can infer they probably used 1.6V for several minutes at least.

[quote said:
my perspective - "the sweet spot"

the sweet spot is the speed which is slight lower then where you see a greater increase in temps after a same increase in speed
Here I'd have to disagree and say it depends on the process and die size. A lot of the Wolfdale deaths were at the "sweet spot," which happened to be ~1.4V and 4+ GHz. Unlike with Conroe, the "sweet spot" is not a good indicator of what safe voltages are for Wolfdale because a 107 mm^2 45nm die doesn't produce a lot of heat to manifest diminishing returns on Vcore before you reach heavy electromigration.

Conroes stopped you from frying them because they got hot/unstable and made Vcore bumping futile. Wolfdales don't get hot till it's too late.]When someone says they ran 1.6V for 10 seconds to bench SuperPi-1M, you can infer they probably used 1.6V for several minutes at least.

Quote:
my perspective - "the sweet spot"

the sweet spot is the speed which is slight lower then where you see a greater increase in temps after a same increase in speed

Here I'd have to disagree and say it depends on the process and die size. A lot of the Wolfdale deaths were at the "sweet spot," which happened to be ~1.4V and 4+ GHz. Unlike with Conroe, the "sweet spot" is not a good indicator of what safe voltages are for Wolfdale because a 107 mm^2 45nm die doesn't produce a lot of heat to manifest diminishing returns on Vcore before you reach heavy electromigration.

Conroes stopped you from frying them because they got hot/unstable and made Vcore bumping futile. Wolfdales don't get hot till it's too late.
[/quote]
Wolfies can get a lot hotter, a lot more quickly.
Everyone should remember though that a slight overclock will at most reduce the life expectancy of a chip from ~ 10 years to about 6.
March 6, 2008 9:23:06 AM

endyen said:
Absolutely wrong. Intel is withholding tjunction info. That is the reason the chips do not show temp.
Intel should incorporate the tjunction in the DTS.
That's great, Intel the great evil As.h.les. I have a Q6600 G0 which has a Tjunction of 100C, afaik. It was updated from the B3 and ultimately we became aware of that. Let us consider that we have no right to inside information, and that it is given to us out of the goodness of their heart. Everyone has been overclocking the he!! out of the Intel CPUs, which is good, and they have benefited from the publicity. But you can't fault them for making the tjunction unavailable/confusing. The OC has become too easy, now it is not. Get back to basics. If you don't have the time or energy then pay Intel more money. That's better than them throwing away perfectly good chips so that they can bin them by speed, right?

@ All anti Intel Whiners: If you whiners keep pissing, then you will find that you get what you pay for, it's not like AMD is going to pressure them. I can assure you that the whining won't either.

Any responses from the whiners?

Edited to be softer.
a b à CPUs
March 6, 2008 12:31:56 PM

<Reads Article, Reads Thread>

<Applies Common Sense Filter>


So:

(1) If you overclock, your processor will not last as long. Period, End Discussion.

(2) Maintaining low temperatures is certainly as critical, if not MORE critical than an "average" power user may suppose if said user intends on a long-term overclock.

(3) The harder you push for high benchmarks and big clock speeds, your processor will degrade ever faster than a similar setup which isn't pushed as hard. Therefore the trick is to not shorten the life of your Proc to less than your planned build/rebuild/upgrade schedule.

(4) On the newest processors there is less "insulation", and of a different type, being used. This apparently tends to increase said processor's sensitivity to temperature and voltage. Anecdotal evidence from (some?) of the people who have overclocked these indicates this insulation may degrade over time when the processor is run (much?) harder than it's rating.

(5) The lower multipliers on said newer processors force overclockers to push them (relatively) harder in search of their intended clock speeds. See point (4).



Seems to me these are old lessons being re-learned/re-stated.



From this I take:

(A) Members of the (imaginary) "Level~Headed Overclocker's Club" should remain at a pretty good price/effort/performance/lifespan, once the benchmarking guys finish spending their money to show the level-headed ones where that point is.

(B) Going for bigger benchmark numbers got harder with the new process/die size due to the increased sensitivity to overclocking plus the lower CPU Multis and higher FSB speeds.

(C) Going to liquid cooling sooner, rather than later is a Great Good Thing. Thankfully, this is easier and easier due to quality pre~configured and pre~built systems for this (Coolitsystems, etc...). Though your wallet won't be as happy when you're done.



Comments??


March 6, 2008 1:37:08 PM

Scotteq said:
<Reads Article, Reads Thread>

<Applies Common Sense Filter>


So:

(1) If you overclock, your processor will not last as long. Period, End Discussion.

(2) Maintaining low temperatures is certainly as critical, if not MORE critical than an "average" power user may suppose if said user intends on a long-term overclock.

(3) The harder you push for high benchmarks and big clock speeds, your processor will degrade ever faster than a similar setup which isn't pushed as hard. Therefore the trick is to not shorten the life of your Proc to less than your planned build/rebuild/upgrade schedule.

(4) On the newest processors there is less "insulation", and of a different type, being used. This apparently tends to increase said processor's sensitivity to temperature and voltage. Anecdotal evidence from (some?) of the people who have overclocked these indicates this insulation may degrade over time when the processor is run (much?) harder than it's rating.

(5) The lower multipliers on said newer processors force overclockers to push them (relatively) harder in search of their intended clock speeds. See point (4).



Seems to me these are old lessons being re-learned/re-stated.



From this I take:

(A) Members of the (imaginary) "Level~Headed Overclocker's Club" should remain at a pretty good price/effort/performance/lifespan, once the benchmarking guys finish spending their money to show the level-headed ones where that point is.

(B) Going for bigger benchmark numbers got harder with the new process/die size due to the increased sensitivity to overclocking plus the lower CPU Multis and higher FSB speeds.

(C) Going to liquid cooling sooner, rather than later is a Great Good Thing. Thankfully, this is easier and easier due to quality pre~configured and pre~built systems for this (Coolitsystems, etc...). Though your wallet won't be as happy when you're done.



Comments??


#1) Agree - OCing Reduces the CPUs life. So does powering your computer on. What we don't know if it may reduce the life of the CPU from 20years to 19years or some other period.

#2) Disagree - This should only be an issue if the CPU is operating outside of the normal operating temperature. For Intel Chips this is about 72c. It's quite rare for even OCers to hit this value. Extra low temps may only help if you plan to use the CPU for more than 10 years. "Life Expectancy" of a CPU is only important if it may be lessened beyond the expected use of the CPU. There is nothing to indicate this is the case.

#3) Agree - But again, So long as you are operating inside of the Thermal and Voltage design specs this should not be an issue with replacement cycle. This is even more true for most OC'ers since those are generalyl the folks who need a bit of power. It's much less likely they will be keeping their PC's 5+ years, since they will need to upgrade to maintain their tasks. (Simple IE, MS Money, users still running Win95 are not your classic OC'ers.)

#4) Disagree - Lack of Evidence. They need to reference techinical documentation from Intel or another manufacturer to state this. However, I would agree that running a CPU outside of it's Temp/Voltage rating could seriously harm the CPU in a relatively short period of time.

#5) Disagree - This is not really a CPU issue as much as a motherboard issue. It's the Mobo more than the CPU that is pushed in these cases. Of course the more you push the FSB of a Mobo, the quicker it will die.


Overall, I agree with you.
My "Disagrees" are not strong disagreements, but more along lines of shades of gray.

The article also seems to fails to really address understanding a CPUs design specs and operating within that.

Example - an E2160 (1.8ghz Default with 800FSB) when it's Clocked to 3.0Ghz (1333 FSB) it is not likely to suffer any more than an E6850 (3.0Ghz Default w/ 1333FSB). The chips are created with identical materials and a nearly identical process. However, If you clock the E6850 to 4.2 Ghz you are more likely to see degradation due to the same 1.2Ghz bump. This is because the E6850 will now likely be forced to run outside of its temperature/voltage guidelines or at least at their max.

March 6, 2008 2:05:15 PM

zenmaster said:
Example - an E2160 (1.8ghz Default with 800FSB) when it's Clocked to 3.0Ghz (1333 FSB) it is not likely to suffer any more than an E6850 (3.0Ghz Default w/ 1333FSB). The chips are created with identical materials and a nearly identical process. However, If you clock the E6850 to 4.2 Ghz you are more likely to see degradation due to the same 1.2Ghz bump. This is because the E6850 will now likely be forced to run outside of its temperature/voltage guidelines or at least at their max.

I guess that would be assuming that Intel's binning means nothing, which may in fact be the case.
Scotteq said:
(A) Members of the (imaginary) "Level~Headed Overclocker's Club" should remain at a pretty good price/effort/performance/lifespan, once the benchmarking guys finish spending their money to show the level-headed ones where that point is.

I'm not imagining that my e6750 runs at 3.2GHz undervolted from 1.35V to 1.25V and maybe lower (I've never tried). I don't think I'm significantly shortening the lifespan of my CPU by doing that. The motherboard maybe, but not the CPU.
March 6, 2008 2:17:52 PM

Scotteq said:

(C) Going to liquid cooling sooner, rather than later is a Great Good Thing. Thankfully, this is easier and easier due to quality pre~configured and pre~built systems for this (Coolitsystems, etc...). Though your wallet won't be as happy when you're done.


Coolitsystems should not be considered as "quality pre-configured water cooling system". They may be sufficient at cooling dual cores, and low end quad cores at stock clock, they are not designed to handle high heat. Ability to handle up to 250W with only 80W of TEC? What a bunch of marketing BS.

Coolitsystem in my dictionary is considered as expensive trash.
March 6, 2008 2:20:57 PM

I think its assumed that most people who have been overclocking a long time know when they are pushing the system too hard and accept that lifespan is shortened because of overclocking. Most people overclocking hard, aren't even holding onto their proc's for long enough to see degredation. Granted it is tempting to push 45nm chips harder because they stay cool and use a ton less voltage than the 65nm parts, but all you have to do is look at the spec on intel's website for whatever sSpec your part is to find out what the safe ranges to run your processor in are. If you are riding the edge of acceptable conditions, you processor wont last as long as it would if you were being more conservative. On that same note, if you are pushing a 45nm processor at 1.4+ vcore, and your temps are pushing the edge of acceptable, you are out of spec and can expect a higher rate of decay, thats the life of a computer parts.

http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLA...
a b à CPUs
March 6, 2008 2:45:31 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Coolitsystems should not be considered as "quality pre-configured water cooling system". They may be sufficient at cooling dual cores, and low end quad cores at stock clock, they are not designed to handle high heat. Ability to handle up to 250W with only 80W of TEC? What a bunch of marketing BS.

Coolitsystem in my dictionary is considered as expensive trash.



That was simply the name that popped into my head... <shrug>

March 6, 2008 3:54:21 PM

An interesting article, and something that will keep me of the same mindset I have now. That is to buy faster stock components than bother to OC.
I was considering having a bit of a mess around, but that his has set my mind that it's just not worth it, for what I would gain (at most, some extra 3DMark bragging points... :sarcastic:  ;) )
I think the problem is, so many people think that just bumping the FSB on their new E8xxx is doing no harm, although this obviously shows that this isn't the case, hence mucho crying in 6/12 months when they go pop!
There are certainly plenty of OCers who see the danger and take it as an acceptable risk, but there are plenty more who think it's like free money...
March 6, 2008 4:32:06 PM

SpinachEater said:
You pay to play.

[:thegreatgrapeape:7]


:whistle: 
March 6, 2008 4:57:06 PM

LukeBird said:
An interesting article, and something that will keep me of the same mindset I have now. That is to buy faster stock components than bother to OC.
I was considering having a bit of a mess around, but that his has set my mind that it's just not worth it, for what I would gain (at most, some extra 3DMark bragging points... :sarcastic:  ;) )
I think the problem is, so many people think that just bumping the FSB on their new E8xxx is doing no harm, although this obviously shows that this isn't the case, hence mucho crying in 6/12 months when they go pop!
There are certainly plenty of OCers who see the danger and take it as an acceptable risk, but there are plenty more who think it's like free money...


Actually It if Free Money.
And Buying a Faster Stock Chip is not going to change the rate of decay.

The two chips are phyiscally the same.
Simply because Intel sets one to a higher default speed does not mean it will not decay any slower than a different CPU set to the lower defaults but then configured in BIOS to use higher speeds.

This is the major flaw in the entire article.

There is one truth: The more voltage and more heat applied to a processor the faster it will wear out.
However, That decay would be the same between two processor with different default speeds if they were set to the same speed and voltage while under the same heat conditions.

All of the charts involving life span and warranty are complete hogwash.
They have no data to back them up.

It's quite common for Intel CPUs to last 10-15years or more running 24/7.
(Yes, I've seen many many many running like this. Never seen a CPU go Poof under such conditions.)

Rather, The reason for the warranty is many fold.
Longer warranties always increase costs.
A CPU could go bad for many reasons - Including Aging PSUs causing bad voltage etc...
Ergo, the longer you warranty a CPU the more costs you will incur even if your CPUs will run perfectly fine for 20 years.

Additionally, there is more cost involved the longer you warranty a CPU for replacement purposes.
Intel needs to keep stock around on CPUs they stopped selling 3 years ago to fulfill Warrranties.
Often they cannot simply give a newer faster CPU since it will not work in the old system with the failed CPU.
This is cost.

It's an article filled with many pretty graphs and charts, but absolutely no substance.

They could have written a very simple sentence stating that the higher the clock, voltage, and heat you subject a processor the shorter it will last. Conversely, if you reduce the clock, voltage, and heat you will lengthen the life span.

The corollary to "I don't want to OC because it will reduce the lifespan of the CPU" is that you should underclock and undervolt all of your CPUs to increase their lifespan.

What they have done is written an article (Possibly even paid for by Intel/AMD to slow down OCers) that completely lacks any facts and if read carefully you will note actually makes very few real claims. Rather they are very vague statements.

Myself, I don't care if I reduce the lifespan of my CPU from 20 years to 19 years. It will be donated in less than 5.
March 6, 2008 5:05:47 PM

Nice article, I think I have the general ideas.

I got a question for the experts, let's say that I have 2 pc running same setups,
pc 1, place it in a hot place, resulting much higher overall system temp.
pc 2, overclock the cpu a little (ex, 500mhz to 1ghz with maybe a little voltage added), place it in a AC cooled place with good cpu cooler.

Let's say that pc 1 has cpu idle to load temps of 35 to 50c,
and pc 2 has cpu idle to load temps of 25 to 40c.

Here comes my question, which one will last longer? Sorry in advance if I didn't explain it more clearer.
March 6, 2008 5:34:49 PM

amdwilliam1985 said:
Nice article, I think I have the general ideas.

I got a question for the experts, let's say that I have 2 pc running same setups,
pc 1, place it in a hot place, resulting much higher overall system temp.
pc 2, overclock the cpu a little (ex, 500mhz to 1ghz with maybe a little voltage added), place it in a AC cooled place with good cpu cooler.

Let's say that pc 1 has cpu idle to load temps of 35 to 50c,
and pc 2 has cpu idle to load temps of 25 to 40c.

Here comes my question, which one will last longer? Sorry in advance if I didn't explain it more clearer.


They will both last until you don't want them any longer.
Most likely until about 2023-2025.

The hard part will likely be finding a PSU that still fits the Motherboard power connectors or other system parts to use with your CPU.
March 6, 2008 5:40:21 PM

From my understanding of the reading, pc2 will last longer correct?
It got the lower temperatures even though it has higher clock and voltage.
March 6, 2008 5:44:03 PM

Good article. A couple years ago I was part of the crowd that thought that o/c did nothing to chip lifespan as long as you kept things cool.

I have an E6400 that o/c'd to 3.0 Ghz on air cooling and stock voltage out of the box. It would o/c to 3.2, but I left it at 3.0 24x7. Ran great for six months. One day my system crashed and it wouldn't o/c past 2.8 - I put an older water cooling kit on it and it ran fine for another month until I had to step it down to 2.6 - now I'm lucky to get 2.4 out of it for a few hours. It's now left at stock speed and works fine 24x7.
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