Core i7 showing possible signs of wear due to OC

I set up a very stable OC on my core i7 a little over a year ago. I've never had any problems with it until now. My temps have always been great due to a good case and my Thermalright IFX-14 with 3 Scythe Ultra Kaze 2000rpm in push-pull/push-pull configuration. In just the last two days, though, my computer has frozen (total lock up, no response to keyboard or mouse, graphics stop updating). After the first time, it started doing the same thing more and more frequently until it would happen consistenly within the first two minutes after power-on. It even froze while in my bios settings once.

After a bit of experimentation, I found that changing to a much lesser OC has caused the issue to not be seen any longer. My previous OC was 3.95GHz at 1.2875V (approx--I don't remember the exact numbers but could look it up if relevant) and the one I am using now is 3.5GHz at 1.25V.

My question is, can an OC produce wear on a processor even at low temps? Over time, if a processor does wear down, would it show symptoms similar to the ones I was experiencing?


Thanks!
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More about core showing signs wear
  1. weird suggestion, but you haven't heard your DVD drive spinning up when this happens have you? I don't know why but cheap optical drives have a tendency to wear down after a year and seem to be able to crash the whole pc, even if there is no disc inside. Pressing eject normally resolves the issue.

    Very abstract I know, it's just that the very same started to happen to me after about a year on an OCed pc.
  2. phantomwolf13 said:

    My question is, can an OC produce wear on a processor even at low temps?

    I have never heard of that happening as long as you stayed within Intel's recommended voltage and temperature limits.
  3. Maybe your OC isn't completely stable at the higher clock

    I'd assume that if there were actual CPU degradation, your CPU wouldn't be running stable under any clock speed...
  4. bearclaw99 said:
    Maybe your OC isn't completely stable at the higher clock

    I'd assume that if there were actual CPU degradation, your CPU wouldn't be running stable under any clock speed...


    ^ +1

    3.5 Ghz is a decent overclock so I would leave it at that and if the stability issues go away, then I would be content. Yes, 3.95 GHz is nice, but not so nice when it causes major stability issues.
  5. Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    It's been stable now for almost 3 weeks with the new (lower) OC of 3.5GHz and 1.25V. I don't understand why my 3.95GHz@1.2875V overclock was stable for almost a year and suddenly became (very) unstable. It was originally stable under all the stress tests I could throw at it. Then suddenly 4 weeks ago it apparently became unstable. Eventually it couldn't even finish loading windows without freezing in the middle (and as I mentioned, it once even froze in the bios settings).

    I know it wasn't a heat issue and I would think that a voltage issue would cause permanent damage that wouldn't go away by reducing my OC (like what bearclaw99 said).

    @jsc: I don't know what the recommended voltage limits are, but I do remember that I had to bump up my voltage a bit higher than what other people were using in order to stabilize my OC at 3.95GHz.

    @fruees: pretty sure this wasn't the issue.

    @Gene O: My PS is now a year old and I remember getting a pretty decent unit with a lot of wattage overhead to give me room for expansion. I wouldn't think it would be crapping out on me already, but no, I haven't checked the voltages. What's the best way to do this? Can someone point me to a guide?


    So, I'm still stumped as to why this happened. However, the 3.5GHz@1.25V is fine for me and I just pulled those numbers out of the air--I'm sure I could optimize it more.
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