Overclocking dangers

I would like to know how I can know my cpu's temp. ceiling is before it crashes or gets damaged. My confusion is the different things that I have been told. I have considerably read that the cpu can get damaged and it seems to me that if the computer is not overclocked any more when it starts crashing, there will not be damage. Here is the scenario: I am taking little steps overclocking my system and it won't boot windows or crashes in windows when it is overclocked too high. If I keep taking little steps, would it damage my machine before it crashes, all at once? It seems to me that I can't damage my cpu if I stop overclocking once the machine has crashed. Is overheating the only reason that it crashes or becomes damaged? I know that there is an automatic shut down mechanism on the computer for when the cpu gets overheated, so why would there be damage if it is supposed to shut down before there is any danger?
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More about overclocking dangers
  1. Overclocking has always been known to shorten the life span of components. Thermal throttling will help prevent damage but eventually it will happen if run at the upper limit.
  2. thermal throttling-hmm...does that mean something about how good of a cooler I have?
  3. The better the cooler the higher the overclock before the CPU reaches its thermal limit.
  4. Parts like your power supply and RAM will go out LONG before anything goes out due to overclocking.

    Overclock away.
  5. Best answer
    There are a few ways to damage the CPU when overclocking. I will just assume that you have an i7, so this will be based off of that assumption.

    1. Heat: Can quickly kill a CPU if the processor gets too hot for extended periods of time, the temperature limit before the processor throttles is 100C, but most recommend keeping a processor in the lower 70C's. Heat will only shorten the life of the processor, but the closer you run it to its thermal limit, the shorter its life will be.

    2. Voltage: Can kill the processor slowly or quickly if overlooked. Intel recommends 1.35V or lower for the core voltage, anything above that may shorten the CPU's life, and going too far will instantly kill the processor(unless you have extreme cooling).

    3. Trying to clock any part too high will also damage it. Most people seem to reach a base clock of ~200 with good air heatsinks. Trying to use a base clock of 300 will damage it, but if your processor could only reach 200 and you tried to do 205, it shouldn't affect it.
  6. Best answer selected by dragonfly522.
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