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How long do overclocked CPU's last?

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February 18, 2010 1:47:42 PM

The other day, I did a bit of temp logging with GPU-Z.

Ran Crysis, Very High, 1024*768 (thats my max res BTW), 4x AA, 16x AF. According to the GPU-Z sensor log, my 4870 was averaging 50-65% usage. Random alt+tabbing resulted in CPU usage at 45-48. I think the CPU is holding back the GPU, and am considering OC-ing it. However, I've never OC'ed a machine before (except my old P4 which I could only get to 2.24 from 2 since mobo didnt support over volting), and so I'm concerned about CPU life. I need the CPU to last till 2013 at the very least, if not 2014. If it goes conk, my dad will murder me. So how long will the thing last after a decent OC, say 3.4-3.6?

More about : long overclocked cpu

a c 159 à CPUs
February 18, 2010 4:19:21 PM

If you're not paying for the parts, and can't afford to replace them yourself, I don't recommend overclocking. Sometimes, cpus will become unstable without warning after only 6 months. It's difficult to predict shelf life when you start bumping up the voltage. Start with the stock settings. Check your frame rates and stability. The longer your system lasts, the more time you'll have to start saving for a video card upgrade down the road. If you want to try it, limit the overclock to 20% and drop the memory setting a notch, so when you overclock, the net memory speed will stay the same. Those overclocks tend to work better without a voltage increase. If your board has memory ratios instead that are adjustable, try 1:1.66 instead of reducing the ram speed.
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a b à CPUs
February 18, 2010 4:32:29 PM

Overclocking isn't really a problem.

A lot of the time you don't need increase the voltage to get good overclocks, so as long as you have a good cooler to get the heat off then technically you're running at intended values and should be fine - I've never known a CPU to "wear out" because you're pumping electrons through it faster.

With increased voltage levels, or running hotter than they should, then yes a CPU can theoretically "burn out" but it's rare if you look after it. In fact, the i5 and (especially) i7 Intels have such a crazy high thermal resilience because they are simply hot-running chips you don't have much to worry about.
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February 18, 2010 4:35:01 PM

Plus, you're only looking at 3-4 years which is well within a good lifespan even with crazy overclocks. Add to that the cost of a replacement chip in 3 years will be a lot lower than they are now so it's not going to be too much of an issue if something does go wrong.

What's your CPU?
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February 19, 2010 5:24:59 AM

LePhuronn said:
Plus, you're only looking at 3-4 years which is well within a good lifespan even with crazy overclocks. Add to that the cost of a replacement chip in 3 years will be a lot lower than they are now so it's not going to be too much of an issue if something does go wrong.

What's your CPU?

It's an Athlon II X4.
What I'm worried about is the unpredictability of it all. How about I wait for a year or two, till I actually need the extra GHz? If it goes conk circa 2012/2013, I don't mind. If it goes conk five months from now, I'm screwed big time.
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a c 172 à CPUs
February 19, 2010 6:11:38 AM

If you do not need the performance, don't OC.

If you do overclock, stay within manufacturer's temperature and voltage limits and, short of a random failure, your PC will be obsolete before the CPU fails from overclocking.
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February 19, 2010 7:03:54 AM

jsc said:
If you do not need the performance, don't OC.

If you do overclock, stay within manufacturer's temperature and voltage limits and, short of a random failure, your PC will be obsolete before the CPU fails from overclocking.

The temp and voltage limits are 71 and 1.48. If I stick to these, the CPU wont die? Doesn't the extra electricity wear out the capacitators faster?
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February 19, 2010 8:09:15 AM

um, at the resolution of 1024x768...why bother? your 4870 utilization is so low mainly because of the screen resolution. sure, the cpu is holding it back, but at such a low resolution you'll never notice the difference.
if you notice game-play slow-downs, sure. OC the cpu, but i doubt you do and ever will. i remember getting 40ish fps on my old athlonXP/geforce DDR at that resolution with everything on max in QIII. lulz
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February 19, 2010 12:32:06 PM

justaguywithagun said:
um, at the resolution of 1024x768...why bother? your 4870 utilization is so low mainly because of the screen resolution. sure, the cpu is holding it back, but at such a low resolution you'll never notice the difference.
if you notice game-play slow-downs, sure. OC the cpu, but i doubt you do and ever will. i remember getting 40ish fps on my old athlonXP/geforce DDR at that resolution with everything on max in QIII. lulz

Hmm....
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a b à CPUs
February 19, 2010 5:57:45 PM

the world is ending 9days before 2013, so use it at 4.0ghz, until, ill b getting the 620 or 630 soon, what did u upgrade from, and how major was the difference?
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February 19, 2010 6:21:03 PM

hmm. your processor is only 45 to 50 percent usage? try downloading the fusion software and run it before you test... not sure about the athlon 2 as i have a phenom.. but the processor shouldnt hold back your graphics card at all...
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February 19, 2010 6:23:28 PM

dont overclock if you dont have the money to replace!!!
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a b à CPUs
February 19, 2010 9:16:16 PM

Gah, save up for a new monitor bud, that resolution is a waste for your gpu.

Cpus work harder at low resolutions because your gpu is given room to raise the frames, making it harder for the cpu to keep up.

Does this mean higher resolutions will raise your frames? No.

This means that your cpu will work less and not be needed as much as you raise the resolution because the gpu is carrying most of the work load.

Will overclocking help you at this resolution? Yes, but if the game is playable at max settings then why oc?
Will overclocking help at a higher resolution? Maybe, but a lot less.

So... like you've heard your cpu is enough for that gpu. Yes overclocking will help at that low of a resolution but a 4870 should be already overkilling it.

My recommendation: buy a new monitor. :) 

If you chose to overclock, do so and see if it makes you happier. If you can't tell the difference then simply remove the overclock.

I had an e8400 running at its max safe voltage pumping out 4.0ghz 24/7 for about a year with no degration whatsoever. I'm not saying this applies for all cpus but this is my experience.

If you overclock to your max without raising voltages you shouldn't lose much cpu life, if any.
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a b à CPUs
February 19, 2010 9:34:22 PM

CPUS within the manufacturers voltage limits will last as long as you have it. I have been a strong advocate of safe overclocking for a long time now. CPUs do not die unless overvolted. 10+ years shelf life. Overclock away my friend but stay within the OC vcore limits :)  Temperatures are not too bothersome for CPUs - just stay below 80 degrees! Happy OCING!
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February 20, 2010 2:54:01 PM

xaira said:
the world is ending 9days before 2013, so use it at 4.0ghz, until, ill b getting the 620 or 630 soon, what did u upgrade from, and how major was the difference?

You wanna know my "rig" till december 21st 2009?
Here it goes-
Desktop-
Intel P4 Northwood, 2.0GHz, 512KB L2
256 DDR @ 200-something
Samsung Spinpoint IDE 40GB
Nvidia GeForce 5500 256MB
Laptop-
Celeron M 1.4GHz
128MB DDR
Some 32 MB S3 GPU
20GB IDE
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February 20, 2010 2:55:44 PM

darkjuggalo2000 said:
hmm. your processor is only 45 to 50 percent usage? try downloading the fusion software and run it before you test... not sure about the athlon 2 as i have a phenom.. but the processor shouldnt hold back your graphics card at all...

AFIK Athlon II=Phenom II-L3 & GHz.
And whats Fusion?
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February 20, 2010 2:56:58 PM

Raidur said:
Gah, save up for a new monitor bud, that resolution is a waste for your gpu.

Cpus work harder at low resolutions because your gpu is given room to raise the frames, making it harder for the cpu to keep up.

Does this mean higher resolutions will raise your frames? No.

This means that your cpu will work less and not be needed as much as you raise the resolution because the gpu is carrying most of the work load.

Will overclocking help you at this resolution? Yes, but if the game is playable at max settings then why oc?
Will overclocking help at a higher resolution? Maybe, but a lot less.

So... like you've heard your cpu is enough for that gpu. Yes overclocking will help at that low of a resolution but a 4870 should be already overkilling it.

My recommendation: buy a new monitor. :) 

If you chose to overclock, do so and see if it makes you happier. If you can't tell the difference then simply remove the overclock.

I had an e8400 running at its max safe voltage pumping out 4.0ghz 24/7 for about a year with no degration whatsoever. I'm not saying this applies for all cpus but this is my experience.

If you overclock to your max without raising voltages you shouldn't lose much cpu life, if any.

Actually I'm happy with 1024....I can't see any jaggies whatsoever with 4x AA....even at 800*600 (was the default setting before I changed it) I found Warhead perfectly acceptable....
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a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:27:28 AM

As was noted by everyone but not directly, your video card is fine and so is your cpu. Neither one is showing any problems from what you've reported, Crysis is capable of limiting performance even on a 5970, you can't do anything about it. It's definitly a video card ass kicker not a cpu kicker.
Raidur provides the best suggestion since your card isn't even breathing fast according to your own test.
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February 21, 2010 5:30:39 AM

Hmm....lessee howtomorrows physics exam goes....if marks are goodmn mebbe i might be able to dad to nget a new screen...
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