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QOTD: Did You Ever Fry Your PC by Overclocking?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 114 comments

Everyone wants to get the most for their money. This is no exception to Tom's Hardware readers.

Granted, a good number of Tom's Hardware readers also overclock their computers. From the CPU to GPU to RAM, they're all designed to operate normally within a certain frequency range. However, with the right cooling, and voltage, these components can easily be pushed higher.

In some cases however, bad things happen and something starts to smell bad. Hopefully, this hasn't happened to you, but...

The question of the day is: Did you every fry your CPU, GPU, memory or other things by overclocking?

If so, what were you doing and how far were you pushing your components?

Display 114 Comments.
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  • 7 Hide
    nukemaster , April 2, 2009 10:48 PM
    Not yet, but i am still working on it.
  • 2 Hide
    lucuis , April 2, 2009 10:50 PM
    Can't say I have, but there is always that risk.
  • 3 Hide
    jefreynnv , April 2, 2009 10:53 PM
    nothing yet
    I hope I don't have to experience one.
    how would I claim warranty for burned processor?
  • 1 Hide
    The Schnoz , April 2, 2009 11:01 PM
    No, but my new Q9400 is coming in the mail today so we'll see. Shooting for 4GHz. Right now I'm still running an E2160 at 3.2GHz.
  • 2 Hide
    Dave K , April 2, 2009 11:06 PM
    Components yes... Graphics Cards seem to have been particularly susceptible (even after liquid cooling).
  • 1 Hide
    daft , April 2, 2009 11:09 PM
    i have, but it was a case of underclocking believe it or not. old celeron 750 on a cuw-am mobo. i smell something burning, turn it off, take off the HSF and what do you know, melted silicon on the HSF
  • 1 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , April 2, 2009 11:09 PM
    Pentium D 820

    Intel says 1.40 volts is safe, but i ran it 24/7 for a year at 3.91GHz with a voltage of 1.44 and now the max overclock i can get with that voltage is 3.8Ghz so damaged the CPU but not fried.
    Once had it as high as 4.16GHz at that voltage but wont go back there anymore.
    http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=424242

    Biostar P43

    The usb controller on the board literally melted, no reason it shouldve but my friends insist it was because i had the voltage to the northbridge cranked up there too. Again, shouldn't have happened anyway. But Biostar was nice about an RMA even though i didn't have a receipt anymore. New version of that board has a Core 2 Duo running at 4.1GHz 24/7 with an intel safe 1.36 volts ( i've learned not to overvolt )
    http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=480253 E7400 @ 4.25
  • -1 Hide
    tommysch , April 2, 2009 11:14 PM
    Not yet, and that is not because i havent tried. Ive seen a friend who forgot to unplug his CPU while filling his liquid cooling loop... It didnt even burned, thx god we didnt OCed it yet.
  • -1 Hide
    xizel , April 2, 2009 11:15 PM
    nope... also still working on it...
  • 2 Hide
    waikano , April 2, 2009 11:16 PM
    Never Burnt it completely but had a K6II 450 that I shortened it's life, had it running over ~533 for about 6 months....then one day...No Go. Was fun while it lasted.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2009 11:25 PM
    My mate strapped a massive heasink to a fx5700le and overclocked it by a massive 55%, it was a tempory fix that worked so well he left it like that, till oneday the heat corroded the elastics used and they failed, it went up in smoke in a few secomds lol, I told him he should have glued the heatsink to the GPU more permanently, shame, that card rocked at the time overclocked like a beast
  • 1 Hide
    judeh101 , April 2, 2009 11:25 PM
    My core 2 duo needed more and more voltage over the months, It used to be 1.47V for 3.2GHz with 400MHz FSB, now it would need 1.53V.
    And I've fried a Northwood P4, which suffered the SNDS (Sudden Northwood Death Syndrome)by being stupid and fed 1.8V to it, died in less than a week.
    However, other system's that I have overclocked didn't go bad so far. So I'd say, if you overclock too aggressively, it will damage the components, but if you overclock mildly, it shouldn't make much difference in the life of the CPU.
  • -6 Hide
    apache_lives , April 2, 2009 11:30 PM
    all i loose is motherboards - my Q6600 has seen 2 motherboards with the same faults (my new one is showing it now) - cold start issues - the morning start for the first ~3 minutes is unstable yet if i pause it in the bios for a minute or two it will be fine and work aok

    My original ASUS P5B-Deluxe/Wifi-App did it, now my Gigabyte EP35-DS3P is doing it but a touch more v's seems to help (chipset, fsb both +0.1v helps)

    Video cards are easy to cook, AMD processors are also easy to cook, Intel's survive all sorts and survive.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 2, 2009 11:47 PM
    Nah, never burned any yet, but maybe one day I will burn my 8500GT for fun :) 
  • -1 Hide
    TheFace , April 2, 2009 11:49 PM
    My Pentium D 830 attempted that itself without OCing.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , April 2, 2009 11:53 PM
    Nope, I've done a bit of overclocking, but nothing stupid...nothing more than 1.5Ghz over...and never fried anything or killed any of my rigs or my customer's rigs...or my family's rigs.
  • -1 Hide
    randomizer , April 2, 2009 11:58 PM
    I ran an E6600 at 4GHz (not at all stable), 1.725V on air with no damage. I've run it at stock with no heatsink too. You can't kill these 65nm gems.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2009 12:13 AM
    Not recently, but waaaay back in the day when this was Tom Pabst's overclocking site ['96] I pushed a 486SX-25 all the way to 50Mhz and after about a week it croaked. This was in the deep dark mists of time when processor heat sinks were a fairly new concept and CPU's were hand carved out of blocks of raw silicon so trying to get a 60% overclock with no additional cooling was asking for trouble. That CPU just died quietly - no drama at all, it just died but I had made the horrible mistake of overclocking my bosses PC which was a bit silly now that I think about it in hindsight.

    The most dramatic burnout I ever had was a Rendition Vérité 1000 that was plugged into a mobo driving an 486DX-40 to 50Mhz - the overclock wasn't all that dramatic but there was no separation\multiplier between the CPU clock and IO bus on those systems and the additional load caused the GPU (or whatever the render chip on the Vérité should be called) to literally pop its lid and I was left with the equivelent of a $1K card with a smoking hole right in the center of the Rendition chip and little bits of blackened ceramic spread across the inside of the PC. The CPU was fine once I replace the video card but the greatest loss was the fact that I was no longer able to enjoy the very first Lara Croft in all her hardware accelerated glory, Those were the days. Yeah - I know if I had real overclocking cojones I should have been trying to push Pentiums past 133Mhz by then but I was a bit strapped for cash and all I could afford were the 486's.
  • 1 Hide
    tester3000 , April 3, 2009 12:17 AM
    Nope, never fried anything. Knock on wood...
  • 2 Hide
    akoegle , April 3, 2009 12:34 AM
    demonhorde665could you be any bigger a fanbaby .. i eman fan boy .. get lsot with this BS , AMD processors cook NO easier than intels ganted you cant OC them as high but i have yet to have an OCe'd amd chip fri on me. god get lost you dang fan boy we dont need you (for teh record i'm ntoa fanboy i ahve both amd and intel based comps in my home .i jsut hate freaking fanboys that spew utter trash


    The only thing in this message that's useless trash is your typing.
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