OK, so I am fairly new to overclocking, but I kinda have the jist of it.
I am just curious, what exactly is it that shortens the cpu's life when overclocking? I know when you oc, you add voltage and that creates more heat. Is this what shortens the life? Then if I have a good cooler, will this make it so that the cpu's life is not shortened, because my temps are kept cool. Just curious, because I dont want to shorten my cpu's life just for a speed boost.
i have overclocked every CPU I have ever owned, and i have NEVER had one fail. It really depends how far you are pushing it (particularly when increasing voltage) and how cool you keep it. A phenom 955 needs to be kept really cool to be stable, and around 3.8ghz it a good place to aim for overclocking without having to pump up the voltage too much. So you will need to buy a good cooler. If I were you I would go for an intel setup, core i3 or i5 2xxx chip and motherboard. Even if you dont get the more expensive K series cpu for overclocking, it will still be as fast or faster than an OC'd phenom 955 in most games (assuming your building a gaming PC) and you have much better upgrade options for the future. I really dont see the point in considering an AMD setup knowing that the upgrade options are very limited when for the same price you can get an equivelant Intel SB setup. When they run out of Phenoms, your only choice will be an FX chip, which are unfortunately slower than the phenoms.
well, ive already had the computer for about a year, and i just want to try out overclocking. I have a good cooler, and i just want to know if i have good temps (mid 30s), will my cpu life be shortened at all, even though ive added extra voltage?
If you control your temps you will most likely be ready for a new CPU before it even comes close to failing from an OC. Having said that, I've found no need to OC for several years now. I run current games smoothly at or near max settings on a rather average rig including a 955. IMHO, OCing has become something of a urinating contest.