Does overclocking reduce CPU lifetime?

I am building first computer to be used mainly for video archiving/editing, photo editing, number crunching/numerical simulation work, and office tasks. Gaming= less than 5%. I imagine overclocking could increase overall performance, but at what cost? Does overclocking reduce life expectancy of my computer (Im old school and like things to last forever even if outdated). Or for the work above, should I forgo overclocking a 2600K and be open to other z68 MB possibilities including the Intel board.
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  1. My Q6600 was overclocked for almost 5 years and it is happily running in my mother's computer with no signs of slowing down. It all depends on how you overclock and basically the voltage and temperature you run. My i7 920 is clocked to almost 3.4ghz with just a tad under it's VID for vcore. Keep in mind this is not even trying to push it, I could easily do 3.8ghz safely for another 5 years, just haven't had time to do more testing.

    The 2600K can reach 3.8GHZ+ very easily with a good after market cooler, while running voltages and other settings within Intel's specs.
  2. Thanks. I feel a little more comfortable. I'm only thinking of a decent (not extreme) oc to 4GHz but only if it doesn't shave years off the CPU life (it too will get passed on to the youngest when the time comes for me to upgrade). With that said, (and maybe I should post this in motherboards now), I am curious about Tom's recent article on z68 MB roundup less than $160 where the Intel board had achieved highest and most stable oc but then throttled itself down to stock speed. Does this mean I wouldn't be able to maintain a modest oc with this board? and is this Intel's way to maintain its reputation in reliability by overriding your control in order to preserve the integrity of the CPU? My interest in the Intel board is because I'm looking at more affordable options in MB (I will never use more than 1 graphics card but I like lots of I/O options and stability)
  3. Unless you plan on using the on chip graphics, there isn't a real advantage by going with the Z68 over the p67 board. The Z board can overclock the K chips and use the integrated GPU, while the p67 can't use the GPU and can overclock.

    I don't see the board clocking it's self all the way back to stock when overclocked, unless you use some crappy auto overclock feature.
  4. First, YES OCing a processor will shorten it's life. If a given CPU would have lasted 10 to 15 years you might cut its life by a couple of years - So Don't sweat a modest OC, it will normally outlast the time that you would replace it any ways.

    Here, I would disagree with sportsfanboy. The cost diff between a P67 vs a Z68 is worth it. Asrock Extreme 4 as an example cost diff 155 vs 189 = 35 bucks - but it's like getting a free video card. This comes in very handy, you can build the system without a GPU and check it out. Normaqlly most do not have a problem. However if your initial build does not power up, with the Z68 you do NOT have to throw the possibility that it is the GPU. Also if you later on do have a problem with the Dedicated graphics card you can fall back on the IGP - No can do with the P67. On a P67 initial build and you get NO video, How do you rule out the GPU - have to swap it out and if you don't have a spare???? - Not a problem with the Z68. Plus there are some other advantages of the Z68 over the P67 other than OCing (which they both do equally well. One of thoes advantages is with video encoding.

    On OCing: I would not bother with if only going to 4.0 GHZ, (stock 3.4GHz , 3.8GHz Turbo Boost) - will not really see the diff in day-to-day usage, 4.2 slight increase noticeable . 4.6 -> 5.0, Yes. Reason is the diffential between stock and OC freq. if only 10 -> 15% only benifit is bragging right as most users can not tell a diff of 10->15% increase in normall day-to-day activities. Just not the same as overclocking a E6400 to 3.2 GHz from stock of 2.16 Still have, still works!
  5. ^ I know what your saying...But in context to what i said, If he was planning on buying a discrete video card then the P67 even for 30 dollars less is the way to go(who hard drive caches?). Then obviously if he isn't, the on chip GPU and Z68 is the right choice.
  6. He also indicated " for video archiving/editing"
    From On Video transcoding P67 Vs Z68:
    "Applications that use Intel’s integrated video decoder benefit greatly from the Z68’s ability to activate it. The P67 instead uses the Nvidia decoder in the above chart"
  7. Thanks to all... its good for me to get some real experiences with OCing CPU lifetime. I will be using the z68 chipset to take advantage of QuickSync for encoding/transcoding video regardless of what discrete GPU I use. (BTW, embarrassingly, the main reason to get a midrange GPU is to show one of the kids that a PC can game as well as his PS3... an expensive lesson I know, but anyone with stubborn kids will know its sometimes worth it!).

    I've been looking at the ASRock Extreme4, but still wonder if the 134$ Intel board is a more economical choice given that I will only ever use 1 graphics card. Maybe there are other choices, but I like reliable stuff and think Intel is capable. Its just that article in Toms where the Intel board couldn't maintain its stable overclock that I wonder if its a good choice for me. Based on what RetiredChief said, which made good sense, I think I might want a slightly more aggressive OC than I previously thought if its only going to shave 20% off the CPU lifetime.
  8. My "20%" is just a WAG could be a little less or a little more. It is Highly dependent on the Individual CPU. A Ix-xxxxk from one batch would probably differ fron a diff batch.
    My E6400 with a 50% OC is still going strong - Just keep it cool and vcore as low as possible.

    Have the Asrock P67 Extreme 4 - Good Board. Normally I always buy Gigabyte MB, never Intel.
  9. Do not exceed Intel's max recommended voltage and temperatures, and short of a random failure, your system will be obsolete long before it dies from any overclocking effects.
  10. Thank you all very much. Based on what I hear, I am now willing and happy to explore how non-extreme overclocking can improve my time to complete some giant number crunching scenarios.
    Next will be choosing the appropriate z68 MB... one that is good for OC but doesn't have the cost associated with multiple GPU slots (I will only use 1). The board by Intel looked good at first, but doesn't seem capable of maintaining the clock based on Tom's article on z68 roundups. Any suggestions? If nothing in the 130 price area, then I will probably go for the ASRock Extreme.
  11. @Zamboni

    For your intentions of what you'll be doing with the 2600K, you really have no need to do any overclocking!

    It is so going to completely blow what you're presently running completely out of the water at it's default settings, plus further down the road in the future you could overclock then and have a faster machine to save an upgrade then.

    I agree with RetiredChief's assessment of the Z68 motherboard giving you an additional graphics option, I'm presently running an ASRock P67 Extreme4, but I have a spare discrete GPU to test and swap out.

    Overclocking wise I'm completely on the other side of the fence from your longevity concerns but I fully understand your desires and concerns for the life of what you spend your hard earned money on, learn what you need to but do what you want. Ryan
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