If your chip is good from the start, then you can only damage it by overvolting, overclocking, overheating. Other means including dipping it into toxic acid or shoot a bullet through it. Since your card is very unlikely running at full speed, the chance of overvolting, overheating and overclocking is reduced.
What resolution are you gaming at? CPU bottlenecks are also influenced by resolution. A CPU that bottlenecks a GPU at 1280 x 1024 (17" CRT or 19" LCD native resolution, though some 19" LCD are 1440 x 900), might not be a bottleneck at 1680 x 1050 (22" LCD).
Using a higher resolution allows the GPU more headroom. The GPU cranks out fewer fps, but the CPU can often handle it, so the actual fps you get go up a bit.