Ok so this question may seem dumb but I am relatively knew to overclocking and I would like to know how a high voltage actually damages a GPU. I do know that an increase in voltage can drastically increase the temperature but other than that what harm does it do? I am mostly asking this because I recently decided to bump up the voltages from stock on my 580 but I had the voltages set way too high for what the core clock was at for about one or two weeks. The voltage was still well below the maximum safe voltage for the card (1.088) but it was only running at 850 core clock which does not require that high of a voltage. So the point is did I damage my 580 with this overkill voltage? Any responses are appreciated. Thanks.
Short answer, You are shortening the life of your card, but it's your card.
Long Answer, Overvolting degrades electrical pathways faster, especially when you're talking a card like the 580GTX already on the cutting edge, you spent a chunk of money to get that card but you have every right to destroy it.
The flag wavers 100% for overvolting rave about it's benefits one week and a few weeks later are the same ones crying because their card has started artifacting and they don't know why, poor little fellows here's some tissue to wipe your tears.
The higher end GPUs don't have a whole lot of overhead to gain without endangering the life of the card, I stopped overclocking my GPUs a few years ago, I guess messing up just one card wasn't enough of a lesson for me, it took 2 to finally get my attention that my GPU overclocking curiosity just cost me too much.
I hope you don't learn the same lesson the hard way.
I am a firm believer in CPU overclocking because they're a lot more forgiving than GPUs are, now if you pay the extra expense and watercool the GPUs with full contact cooling solutions you may have much better results, because you can keep the card cooler where it counts and it counts more than just the GPU, you have to cool the memory chips and voltage regulators too.
Ok so if i reset everything to stock will i be alright? How much damage has my GPU suffered and is it too late to recover? Its been about a month since i raised the voltages but i just reset everything to stock.
I doubt that you have degraded or damaged your card. Set it to it's default values and get on with enjoying yourself. From your posting I would recommend that you not look to squeeze every bit of performance from your hardware. If you want to use your system as a test bed to gain experience in over clocking then go for it. You have a great card that can most likely meet your needs in all situations. GL
Thanks for the responses. I have yet to see any artifacts and havent had any video card related problems yet. I reset everything to default and im happy with it because it runs cooler and still is an amazing card. Thank you very much for your advice.