Changing voltages very often, is it bad for my cpu?

Hello, I am curious about one thing.. Well more then one thing when it comes to being concerned about damaging things.

Anyway I have my i7 and I change the voltages around a few times a day and change the clocks depending on what I am doing. I have different presets in my bios, one for stock w/ and w/out HT, one for 3.5 with and w/out ht, 3.8 4.0 4.2 4.4 etc.. I never took my voltage over 1.3 but I rarely take it up over 4ghz which is at 1.2V. Is it bad that I keep changing the voltages from around 1.05 to 1.25 back and forth a few times here n there every day? Does it wear out the chip faster to keep on restarting my system to check things and put extra use on the chip? I know overclocking will wear out the cpu quicker but if it's safe and lower then the voltage is set when its on auto (1.25V) then shouldn't I be fine? When I first built my system and had everything on auto it would stay at 1.25 and make weird squicky sounds which I read is a normal thing for a lot of people who own the GA-X58A-UD3R boards Rev. 2.

Anyway I can't make up my mind on what I want to run because some days I game, other days I don't. I play games like crysis, metro 2033, dirt 2, bad company 2, etc etc.. My idle temps are higher then normal no matter what I do. I have tried everything and have posted on a few other threads about it. I have gone through 3 coolers, stock, corsair h50 and now my current cooler is the Megahalems with true push pull with scythe kaze fans (I have a fan controller) My idle temps at 4ghz with all 4 cores on average are around 47 48 49 50 and they stay around that and never go above 60 unless im running prime 95 so I know the load temp is fine but the idle temp seems high. The northbridge chip on my GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard runs very hot as well, if I don't use my antec spot cooler and a small 40MM fan on full blast it gets in the mid 50's and when overclocked in the 60's. I am able to keep it around 46-52.

This system in general is very warm. My psu gets warm as well. I have tried many different types of thermalpaste. The current paste I am using is what has worked the best which is Prolima tech, it came with my megahalems and works very well with it, better then arctic silver 5 and I have tried many different ways to apply the paste. a thin layer hardly using any, doing the line thing, the x and what I found to be the best way to apply it because there are no air bubbles if you do it correctly. What I did was put a BB size drop in the center of my cpu and clamped the heatsink on it and twisted it a tiny bit to get out the bubbles so no air could get in. It has ran best that way and temps have been 5-6Cº lower by doing it.

Anyway sorry to go into much detail but any feedback on that would be great. But the main thing I am curious about is by how I am changing my voltages around so much is that bad for my hardware? Also my video card I have a 5830 (price gap card) but I got it for 200 so I got it upgraded from my 5770 for 20$ The card sucks unless I overclock it, I am able to take it from 800/1000 to 975/1300 and have it run stable with cool temps never going above 72, am I okay doing that as well? Or should I not take them about 875/1200 which is the max that Ati CCC lets you do.

Thanks a bunch!
6 answers Last reply
More about changing voltages often
  1. No, not as long as you stay under Intel's recommended limits for voltage and temperature.
  2. What's your ambient?

    And I can't really see it being an issue. Keeping it lower and only OCing higher when needed is probably going to extend the life a little bit. On the other hand, it can probably handle the 4ghz OC just fine anyway (although, who really knows yet). You really just need to decide if you want to keep your clocks up or not. If you want to lower your idle, on the CPU just make sure C States (C6) is enabled (as well as EIST, C1E) and for the GPU, if the idle clocks are high you can reduce them by flashing it with your OC bios. Then it will downclock normally and have a nice cool idle temp.
  3. Thank you for the feedback. The ambient temp is around 85ºF which is warm, because my room is right above a huge garage and its really hot here in utah, around the 90's I have AC but my computer makes it not work as good.

    With hyperthreading, I have been leaving it off, I used to always want it on but my idle temps are way too high, my computer can handle a huge OC up to 4.5ghz with prime 95 maxing the temp at 80 but I don't like it to get that hot but at 4.3ghz it stays under 70 but my idle temps range from 52-58 which worries me a lot. Load temps are good, idle temps suck no matter what I do, it doesn't matter whether I have 8 scythe kaze fans going at 3000 rpms or 3 fans it makes hardly any difference, I wonder if it is just my motherboard because my northbridge runs very warm, it took a lot of modification to get it to stay under 50. I just wish I could have my idle temps average. With my stock heatsink that came with my i7 the temps idle would stay in the 50's however I kept all my voltage settings on auto (1.25) and I am able to run stock settings (133x21) with 1.05 voltage which decreases the temps a lot.

    Am I safe with these idle temps? Will the cpu wear out faster if I have my idle temps in the 50's? but never going above 60's and with load temps never going above like 72, will this wear out my cpu faster?

    Also thanks for telling me about whether or not changing my voltage over and over might not be bad but could be good to overclock only when I need it.
  4. Well, I can't really say about the idles. I mean, in theory it shouldn't matter much since the CPU isn't actually doing anything. The idles are that high with C States enabled?

    IMO if you can save some temperature by disabling HT, might as well do it unless you're running apps that can use all those logical cores. For gaming and such you'll never need that.

    Overall tho, your temps are quite good under load so I don't think there's a lot to worry about... but the thing is, it is overclocked afterall which is an inherent risk in itself. I suppose the real question is, do you need it OCed that high?

    But really, since the temps are good and your voltages, I'm not really sure what the specs are, but if they're below Intel's max then it shouldn't be too bad. I'd bet it would last at least a few years (assuming light to medium daily usage).
  5. Thank you for your feedback. Do you think in games like Metro 2033, crysis, bad company 2, stalker cop, avp would having my cpu overclocked improve the performance at all? Say if I were to be running them at 2.8ghz vs 4gh? That's really all I need performance for is gaming. I have ran some benchmarks like 3dmark, cinebench, etc and have noticed a difference but in games I haven't really had time to benchmark them.

    What do you think?
  6. Well, there will be a little benefit but it really depends on the game. Some games are well multithreaded, so all cores are not running at full. Generally you'll only see an improvement if any of your core usage is getting maxed or near maxed. Benchmarks can sort of lie, for example FurMark only runs on a single core so you can see a big FPS improvement by overclocking. Something like 3DMark Vantage will show an overall CPU score increase since it runs your CPU at 100%. But real world gaming, you might see a performance boost up to, oh just guessing here - 3.4ghz and after that you'll only see the benefit in benchmarks or things like zipping big files or converting videos. You'd get the most benefit out of OCing the graphics card.

    Personally, I'm running my i5 750 at 178 base clock, turbo on so 3.75ghz->4.3ghz turbo and it's temps are good so I'm happy with this as an all-the-time setting.
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