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Overclocking without voltage increase

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August 27, 2009 7:25:28 AM

Hey Guys,



Planning on getting a core i7 920 (D0 stepping). If I was to do a mild cpu overclock without voltages, would this still increase the chance of CPU failure - even if it is the tiniest bit?

Thanks heaps
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August 27, 2009 8:06:42 AM

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: No.
Longer answer: You won't be able to tell the difference, because the CPU will move on into the abyss of obsolescence before you reach the end of the ever-so-slightly-shorter lifespan.
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August 27, 2009 9:20:09 AM

haha thankyou and nicely said :) 

Do you think overclocking a core i7 D0 to around 3-3.33ghz with as minimal voltage as possible would affect lifespan - again even the tiniest bit?

thanks once again
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August 27, 2009 9:37:31 AM

Yes it will, but the difference is so negligible it's not even worth noting. Voltage does the most "damage" to a processor. If you want to try something interesting you could overclock to 3.33GHz and see if you can undervolt by some amount. This would effectively increase the lifespan even though you are overclocked. However, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to both overclock and undervolt by any significant degree, you just have to try. At the very least 3.33GHz should be doable at stock voltage, especially for a D0.
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August 27, 2009 1:13:50 PM

I believe that heat is the killer of processors, there was an article on anandtech that discusses that a voltage increase does decrease life but heat does more damage. Besides after 3 or 4 years I think you'd be looking at something faster already.
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August 27, 2009 1:45:51 PM

Bah, heat does nothing to a modern CPU! Actually you'd be surprised what they can take, although it's not like you'd TRY to run it hot for fun (Ok, I would). On the other hand, 45nm HKMG CPUs are very voltage intolerant.
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August 27, 2009 3:06:25 PM

randomizer said:
Bah, heat does nothing to a modern CPU! Actually you'd be surprised what they can take, although it's not like you'd TRY to run it hot for fun (Ok, I would). On the other hand, 45nm HKMG CPUs are very voltage intolerant.


hmm running it hot for fun... (uncfan imagines a heatsink shaped like a heat plate with eggs scrambling on top...yum)
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August 28, 2009 6:30:33 AM

randomizer said:
Yes it will, but the difference is so negligible it's not even worth noting. Voltage does the most "damage" to a processor. If you want to try something interesting you could overclock to 3.33GHz and see if you can undervolt by some amount. This would effectively increase the lifespan even though you are overclocked. However, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to both overclock and undervolt by any significant degree, you just have to try. At the very least 3.33GHz should be doable at stock voltage, especially for a D0.



Well done on Intel part for the overclockability (is that word..) of the i7 processor. You have been very helpful, i must thank you again! Do you believe it is worth overcloking the i7 920 to 3.0GHz or 3.33GHz for gaming purposes? or wud the difference be negligable?
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August 28, 2009 6:33:40 AM

amnotanoobie said:
I believe that heat is the killer of processors, there was an article on anandtech that discusses that a voltage increase does decrease life but heat does more damage. Besides after 3 or 4 years I think you'd be looking at something faster already.



Thanks for your response, i will be putting a good aftermarket cooler on it maybs the thermalright 120 extreme as it is around ther price of all good aftermarket coolers but i have heard is the best. I agree probably around 4-5 years maybe less, i will be looking for more speed..
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August 28, 2009 6:44:53 AM

I have an i7 with a DX58SO motherboard.

I have the option of using the default voltage or setting it manually.

The default voltage usually runs at .9v idle, 1.05v medium load, and 1.20v full load

The manual voltage is about 1.16-1.18v, to about 1.15v vdroop full load.


Which would be better for the cpu lifespan? (no matter how insignificant)
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August 29, 2009 1:40:28 AM

fattymole123 said:
Well done on Intel part for the overclockability (is that word..) of the i7 processor. You have been very helpful, i must thank you again! Do you believe it is worth overcloking the i7 920 to 3.0GHz or 3.33GHz for gaming purposes? or wud the difference be negligable?

For gaming with how many video cards? If only one, you could probably leave the i7 at stock and not see much difference unless you play RTS games or Flight Simulator X. 330MHz is not a massive difference in any case, but if you can do both speeds at the same voltage then you might as well do it :D 

fattymole123 said:
Thanks for your response, i will be putting a good aftermarket cooler on it maybs the thermalright 120 extreme as it is around ther price of all good aftermarket coolers but i have heard is the best. I agree probably around 4-5 years maybe less, i will be looking for more speed..

I think the 120 Extreme has a convex (concave?) base and needs to be lapped for optimal performance. The Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 performs well and is about the quietest cooling you can use for an i7. Plus you don't need to buy the fans separately :) 

Bluescreendeath said:
Which would be better for the cpu lifespan? (no matter how insignificant)


Lower voltage is always better.
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August 29, 2009 2:17:44 AM

randomizer said:
For gaming with how many video cards? If only one, you could probably leave the i7 at stock and not see much difference unless you play RTS games or Flight Simulator X. 330MHz is not a massive difference in any case, but if you can do both speeds at the same voltage then you might as well do it :D 


I think the 120 Extreme has a convex (concave?) base and needs to be lapped for optimal performance. The Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 performs well and is about the quietest cooling you can use for an i7. Plus you don't need to buy the fans separately :) 



Lower voltage is always better.



I am not suprised you are a moderator u have very good responses! Ok, so what does lapped mean? What would be the best air cooler that does not require to be lapped? Is lapping hard to do? I have heard good responses from the xigmatek s1283 and not sure about s1284 however I would presume it would be the same if not better, what do u think about these?
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August 29, 2009 2:19:24 AM

randomizer said:
For gaming with how many video cards? If only one, you could probably leave the i7 at stock and not see much difference unless you play RTS games or Flight Simulator X. 330MHz is not a massive difference in any case, but if you can do both speeds at the same voltage then you might as well do it :D 


I think the 120 Extreme has a convex (concave?) base and needs to be lapped for optimal performance. The Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 performs well and is about the quietest cooling you can use for an i7. Plus you don't need to buy the fans separately :) 



Lower voltage is always better.


I will be gaming on 1 GTX 260 core 216, however later on the track I might get two for sli. I mostly play FPS games like Crysis etc.
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August 29, 2009 2:59:23 AM

Lapping is using sandpaper to flatten and polish the contact surface of the heatsink and/or CPU (usually starting course to get it flat and moving to a fine one to polish it off). There's some guides around the Internet that are probably better and more up-to-date than the one that is here.
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August 29, 2009 3:10:59 AM

randomizer said:

Lower voltage is always better.


ya, but which lower voltage? Lower voltage ever, or average lower voltage?

The default voltage usually runs at .9v idle, 1.05v medium load, and 1.20v full load ---> lower voltage on average

The manual voltage is about 1.16-1.18v, to about 1.15v vdroop full load ---> lower voltage ever

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August 29, 2009 3:49:58 AM

Can't really say I know the answer to that. There's two ways you can look at it:

1) The maximum voltage does the most "damage" so reducing the maximum is best.
2) Reducing the voltage at which the CPU runs for the majority of the time is best.

I find it odd that you can't reduce both idle and load voltages though. I'm idling at 0.768V on my i7 920. All I did was drop the vcore by 0.16V from stock.
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August 29, 2009 3:54:29 AM

randomizer said:
Lapping is using sandpaper to flatten and polish the contact surface of the heatsink and/or CPU (usually starting course to get it flat and moving to a fine one to polish it off). There's some guides around the Internet that are probably better and more up-to-date than the one that is here.



Thats odd, why would they make the base concave/convex for it to be lapped, I would have thought there machinery would do a better job.. What would you reccomend as a cpu cooler that does not require lapping?
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August 29, 2009 3:58:32 AM

I haven't got a clue. I've always wondered why they did that too. Never really looked into it much. As I said before, the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 is good.
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August 29, 2009 4:48:20 AM

randomizer said:
I haven't got a clue. I've always wondered why they did that too. Never really looked into it much. As I said before, the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 is good.



Ok thank you VERY much for ALL your help it has not gone unnoticed! :) 
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August 29, 2009 4:55:21 AM

randomizer said:
Can't really say I know the answer to that. There's two ways you can look at it:

1) The maximum voltage does the most "damage" so reducing the maximum is best.
2) Reducing the voltage at which the CPU runs for the majority of the time is best.

I find it odd that you can't reduce both idle and load voltages though. I'm idling at 0.768V on my i7 920. All I did was drop the vcore by 0.16V from stock.


aye...unfortunately my DX58SO doesn't have that option.

I have it on default, so it uses a lower voltage (down to .9) when idle.

If I set it manually, then the voltage hovers around that setting 24/7 and doesn't really go down during idle.


What voltage do you have your mobo/i7 set to? Did you change any other voltages/settings?
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August 29, 2009 5:01:54 AM

I have done nothing but lower the vcore.
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August 30, 2009 3:21:37 AM

What is your vcore at?
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August 30, 2009 3:33:17 AM

I don't know. The BIOS I use only allows me to select offsets from the VID, so I'm at -0.16V now.
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August 30, 2009 3:54:30 AM

fattymole123 said:
haha thankyou and nicely said :) 

Do you think overclocking a core i7 D0 to around 3-3.33ghz with as minimal voltage as possible would affect lifespan - again even the tiniest bit?

thanks once again

Realize that the i7-920 and the 975 are exactly the same chip. Intel will produce more "best" binned 975 chips than they can sell for $999. They take the remainder and reduce and lock the multiplier to produce 950 and 920 cpu's. Each sample is a tiny bit different, but my take is that if you limit your overclock to 975 speeds, you are not doing anything that the cpu is not capable of handling.
If you raise the BCLK of a 920 from 133 to 160, you will get 3.33 with turbo, the speed of the 975. That does not require any voltage adjustments.

There is probably more difference in longevity from chip to chip samples than there is from a overclock with no voltage change.
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August 30, 2009 4:18:11 AM

randomizer said:
I don't know. The BIOS I use only allows me to select offsets from the VID, so I'm at -0.16V now.


oh i see, what motherboard?
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August 30, 2009 5:30:01 AM

MSI X58 Pro-E
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August 30, 2009 6:37:29 AM

Hmmm, what does cpu-z say? A range or a specific number?

I think Imma just copy your settings or something and test it out.
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August 30, 2009 7:19:54 AM

A specific number but it bounces around with every little change in load. Plus reading voltages via software is not that accurate anyway.

EDIT: Checked my BIOS and it does actually say the current vcore which I didn't notice earlier. I'm at 0.992V.
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August 30, 2009 12:03:31 PM

geofelt said:
Realize that the i7-920 and the 975 are exactly the same chip. Intel will produce more "best" binned 975 chips than they can sell for $999. They take the remainder and reduce and lock the multiplier to produce 950 and 920 cpu's. Each sample is a tiny bit different, but my take is that if you limit your overclock to 975 speeds, you are not doing anything that the cpu is not capable of handling.
If you raise the BCLK of a 920 from 133 to 160, you will get 3.33 with turbo, the speed of the 975. That does not require any voltage adjustments.

There is probably more difference in longevity from chip to chip samples than there is from a overclock with no voltage change.



Thanks heaps geofelt, I believe you have commented nearly every one of my threads, thankyou very much u have been a great help! :)  Ok im having a little bit of trouble understanding what you said last. So, the manufacturing process is not 100% accurate therefore every chip is different even of the same model, and the difference in longevity between every chip even of the same model would be greater than that from overclocking with no voltage? Is the performance difference in gaming from 2.66ghz to 3.33ghz on the i7 worth the void of warranty from overclocking?

Thanks heaps bud :D DD
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August 31, 2009 10:05:04 PM

It only voids the warranty if you tell them.
But I've never had a CPU fail on me my entire life, from 4Mhz 8088's to my last P4 which spent way too much of it's life at 70-80C.

You'll throw out or sell the i7 way before it fails I'd expect. I'd definately overclock it, just keeping voltages safe and temp under 50.
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September 1, 2009 7:50:01 AM

SpidersWeb said:
It only voids the warranty if you tell them.
But I've never had a CPU fail on me my entire life, from 4Mhz 8088's to my last P4 which spent way too much of it's life at 70-80C.

You'll throw out or sell the i7 way before it fails I'd expect. I'd definately overclock it, just keeping voltages safe and temp under 50.



So unless you admit to overclocking they have no way of knowing?
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September 1, 2009 3:26:20 PM

well if it's damaged they'd be able to tell but i doubt there is a way they can tell
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September 1, 2009 11:23:00 PM

If it's damaged they'd be able to tell that it's damaged. They won't be able to tell why.
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September 2, 2009 2:04:08 PM

thats true... not all damage is caused by us overclockers :D 
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September 4, 2009 5:59:51 PM

geofelt said:
Realize that the i7-920 and the 975 are exactly the same chip. Intel will produce more "best" binned 975 chips than they can sell for $999. They take the remainder and reduce and lock the multiplier to produce 950 and 920 cpu's. Each sample is a tiny bit different, but my take is that if you limit your overclock to 975 speeds, you are not doing anything that the cpu is not capable of handling.
If you raise the BCLK of a 920 from 133 to 160, you will get 3.33 with turbo, the speed of the 975. That does not require any voltage adjustments.

There is probably more difference in longevity from chip to chip samples than there is from a overclock with no voltage change.



Im a Total Noob, but I wanted to ask something... to achieve the 3,33 ghz at stock voltage, theres something else I have to raise besides BCLK? like ram speed or something? I want to build my first gaming rig,
thanks
sorry for noob question, but if its that easy then I will buy the components very soon :D 



Albertomac...
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September 13, 2009 12:44:15 AM

fattymole123 said:
Thats odd, why would they make the base concave/convex for it to be lapped, I would have thought there machinery would do a better job.. What would you reccomend as a cpu cooler that does not require lapping?


http://www.prolimatech.com/

"Prolimatech does not condone any type of lapping done to the CPU or to heatsink base. Every Prolimatech's heatsink base is designed on a pin-point scale of how the base is to be flat and/or curved where it's needed to be. We have programed our machines to machine the surface in a very calculated way. Any after-manufacture lapping or modding done to the base will alter the design, hence negating its performance factor as well as its warranty."
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September 13, 2009 12:47:06 AM

fattymole123 said:
Planning on getting a core i7 920 (D0 stepping). If I was to do a mild cpu overclock without voltages, would this still increase the chance of CPU failure - even if it is the tiniest bit?Thanks heaps


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

3.33 GHz and no voltage increase
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