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Running an overclocked i7 950 for X days straight in a row

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February 14, 2010 9:54:22 AM

Hi,

I'm helping a friend build his computer, and he's thinking about getting an i7 950 and overclocking it to 3.6GHz (my suggestion). I can safely overclock the CPU, and I've told him to get the Noctua NH-D14 so that his temperatures will never surface above 60C.

The only problem is that he's going to need to run the computer for days on end at 100% (or near 100%) usage. He thinks it may be two or three days, but I'm more inclined to think worst-case scenario and go four or five days without even the slightest break. This also won't be a one-off thing. It's quite possible that he'll be doing this sort of stuff every week, sometimes even twice a week.

Assuming that I get all of my voltages right (which I am confident that I will), are there any risks (besides the norm)? The main risk that I'm looking for right now is the CPU overworking itself to a very premature death (say in 2 - 3 years instead of 10 - 12 years).

Please don't lecture me about the regular risks - this CPU will be under constant stress for extended periods of time all the time, and therefore won't be your normal overclocked CPU (i.e. it'll be a workstation/workhorse, not an enthusiast's machine).
a c 126 K Overclocking
February 14, 2010 10:18:12 AM

why go for a 950 when you could go for a 920 and save ALOT of money ?

I have my ci7 920 at 4ghz 24/7.

You just have to make sure the overclock is stable by testing it with a program like prime95 or OCCT for 24 hours. Using the CPU for days on end wont damage it, but if the temps are to high for an extended period of time then it'll start to degrade quicker.

Just keep the temps under 65C, make sure you stress test it, and for f**k sake dnt let him waste his money on a 950!!!, its not worth it at all.
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February 14, 2010 11:53:04 PM

Thanks - I was rather concerned as to whether time affected quality over time, simply because this is his work computer.

That Noctua should be able to keep the temps well under 60C, so I'm not terribly concerned about them (we're only doing a mild overclock to boost the RAM to 2000MHz, and to wake the damn thing up). I've talked him into getting either an Antec 902 (with i7 950) or an Antec 1200 (with i7 920), so the ambient temps will hopefully also be rather low.

The reason we've gone with 2000MHz RAM is because we need the tightest possible timings (his software actually takes advantage of that stuff), and we couldn't find the 1600MHz Patriot RAM that his board officially "takes". We don't live in America, so we can't buy from Newegg either.

And I've been trying to get him to buy the 920. Trust me, it's been hard. But now that I know that the clock isn't going to fail on him, I'm sure that I can convince him to push the CPU to 3.66GHz with a 920.

Thanks again :) 
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a c 126 K Overclocking
February 15, 2010 9:08:01 AM

Yeah he should be able to get 3.6Ghz with a 920 pretty easily, 3.4Ghz should be reached with stock voltage :) 

Seems your trying to go for tight memory timings and fast RAM speed, which is very expensive and IMO not worth it.
The best 2000mhz RAM I could find was this
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY... £286.99 :o 

OR you could save ALOT and have extremely similiar performance
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

Maybe if you told your find that if he went for the 920 instead of the 950 he could get himself a very nice SSD or a second graphics card :p  OR he could build his own watercooling loop
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February 15, 2010 12:45:32 PM

a stable oc is a stable oc. It should run for a long time. These cpu's are claimed to be able to run at stock speeds @ 100% for 50 years! <-from intel. Obviosly we dont know this for sure but thats what they claim.
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March 6, 2011 10:05:35 PM

Rustyy117 said:
why go for a 950 when you could go for a 920 and save ALOT of money ?

I have my ci7 920 at 4ghz 24/7.

You just have to make sure the overclock is stable by testing it with a program like prime95 or OCCT for 24 hours. Using the CPU for days on end wont damage it, but if the temps are to high for an extended period of time then it'll start to degrade quicker.

Just keep the temps under 65C, make sure you stress test it, and for f**k sake dnt let him waste his money on a 950!!!, its not worth it at all.



what's wrong with the i7 950 I just bought one, and it's running amazing out of the box, no overclock... and not that expensive.
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March 14, 2011 6:56:09 PM

why not go sandy bridge?
I am running at 4.5ghz right now using only cm h 212+ cooler and temps never go above 60 degrees C while running prime.
Just get the 2600k which is faster and runs cooler.
Add the noctua fan and you will never have to worry bout temps again.
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a b å Intel
a c 197 K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 9:28:57 AM

If it is a workstation that needs the higher memory bandwidth that triple memory channels will bring, an i7-900 will be the better choice.
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