Lower temps leads to longer card life?

Hey community,

So I have a reference 6950 with unlocked shaders and a heavy overclock, and basically I plan to keep this card for a very long time, at least another 3-4 years, probably till I'm out of college. Will having an aftermarket cooler help to extend the life of the card much longer? I love this card to death and want to keep it for a long time.

The temps are normal, as on full load, running kombustor or any given game, the card does not exceed 72C, yet by that point the card sounds like a jet. I don't really care about it sounding like a jet, I'm just wondering if the temps are alright if I'm trying to preserve the GPU. I also like the look of the reference cooler, so I would only really get an aftermarket if highly recommended by you guys.


P.S. If recon-uk finds this post, I was looking at the cooler he has on his 480's, but I forgot what it was called.
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  1. If that's the highest temps you're seeing on that card I don't think you're going to see any extension of life from an aftermarket cooler for the 6950.

    I know that those cards can run upwards of 85C before you start to see stability issues.

    As long as you don't OC it, keep it dust free, and in room temperature I don't see any reason why it couldn't last for the next 5 years.

    By the way which brand is it? I know that some brands (like XFX) will give you lifetime warranty on their parts even with an aftermarket cooler.

    However, installing an aftermarket cooler on most other brands will void your warranty.


  2. The brand is HIS, and its the reference design card. Here it is:


    I bought it back when it was my first build and I didn't know anything about computers (contrary to now). I more or less bought it because it was expensive and looked pretty. Little did I know at the time it was a steal of a deal at $230 when I bought it.

    I do have a hefty OC, but the temperatures stay where they are most of the time. I wouldn't really care about lowering the OC, since it was more for 3DMark scores anyway. It has the unlocked shaders and I run it at 930/1420 @ 1170mV core voltage.

    And yea, the card barely goes above 70C. These reference fans are mad loud, but darn good at cooling.
  3. In case you didn't know overclocking can shorten the lifespan due to excessive heat and voltages beyond the recommended specs.
  4. Deemo13 said:
    I do have a hefty OC, but the temperatures stay where they are most of the time. I wouldn't really care about lowering the OC, since it was more for 3DMark scores anyway. It has the unlocked shaders and I run it at 930/1420 @ 1170mV core voltage.

    Irresponsible OC'ing can result in shorter lifespans .... but at your voltages and temps, you are certainly within "safe" temps and, as long as they are accurate, you should have nothing to worry about.

    I'd run a 60 minute GPU test with OCCT and see how it stands up

  5. Lifespan is reduce by heat and voltage. Your temperature is perfectly fine. If you left the card at stock voltage, or only increased it by a modest amount, that should be fine as well. Furthermore, if you are maintaining ~70 temp, it should last at least 3-4 years with any stable overclock.
  6. why not to overclock with stock voltage it is safer idea, to much overclocking will not give a massive increase just about 10 to 15% that is not noticeable factory default is even enough for every thing. Or if you want to overclock it more by raisng the voltage then keep the temps lower at anyway.
  7. My last two cards were both OC'd as far as I could push them on air, but I have Arctic Cooling Acceleros on both and the temps stay very cool (as in 15-20C lower than with stock cooling and speeds). The 8800 GTX was used to game with daily for four years before it was retired (while still running fine) and the GTX 460 1GB is coming up on two years old. So yeah, I do think that low temperatures prolong a card's life, especially if heavily OC'd. A card with stock cooling may run perfectly safe between 70C and 80C (which is normal for many), but 50-60C has to be better.
  8. since you're looking for a life-span of 4 years, I would recommend defaulting to stock voltages and OCing it as far as you can there. OC at stock voltages are generally pretty safe, and should further lower your temps (probably get it below 70C at load).

    Additionally, I would recommend actually shutting the machine down when you don't expect to use it for a while, and getting a UPS to help with over voltage and voltage stability overall. I have an 10 year old gaming rig that my parents are running (gamed on it for 5 years) and nothing's broken yet (they refuse to let me upgrade it :( )
  9. Alright, I'll probably end up lowering the overclock back to regular, since what I have it at now was mainly for 3DMark scoring against my buddy with a 560Ti and a 2500K (I won)

    The voltage was of course added very carefully, only at increments of 5mV when I was overclocking it. I'm going to try to overclock on the stock voltage now. I'll keep the overclocking profile I had previously for now though, just in case I need it down the road :)

    Ive done 45 minutes worth of MSI Kombustor in the past on this same overclock setup. I will try the one posted by JackNaylorPE as well.

    I'll use my overclocking profile sparingly, maybe at LAN's, big and small. I love this card, and probably after it is done in my main rig, I will replace it with something else, and still use this card. The voltage was only increased by 20mV, I'm not sure how high relative to the stock voltage, which is 1150mV.

    Thanks for the help guys! Always get the best advice here.
  10. good luck.
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