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Does overclocking reduce product life?

triumph

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Jul 25, 2008
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ontario
I was just wondering if i were to overclock, say a processer, would its life be shortend?

how much do you guys think i could overclock a Q6600 Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail Box - DirectCanada
with a thermaltake max orb cpu cooler fan to, without cuting much of the cpu's life and without damaging it.
Canada Computers - Cooling > CPU Cooling : Thermaltake CL-P0369 Max Orb CPU Cooler for Intel Socket 775 & AMD 64 754/939 & AM2.

ALL this on a ASUS p5n-D 750i sli mobo
 
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DarKStar

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Jul 15, 2008
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What processor do you have ? what's the initial speed ? What speed you want to OC it to ?What temperature are you running it OCed ?

Yes running your product beyond its designed specs will shorten its life - how fast depends on many facotrs - in most cases the effect is long term and most people will have upgraded long before it dies on you - as it runs hotter, and overheating in the long run is not good for your processor - One thing to keep in mind, get a good aftermarket cooler and use quality thermal compound to keep your CPU as cool as possible during your OC to avoid running it close to its threshold or above it all the time. I can't imagine me staying with the same CPU for mroe than 2 years, as I often upgrade so I don't think there is much to worry about - just play it safe and always overclock little by little at a time, don't use huge increments at once - take little at a time and test the stability of your CPU and keep an eye on the temps, keep a comfortable gap between the CPU's maximum temp and your running temp. Eventhough you can safely run at close to top temps, if it's 24/7 it does take some life away from your CPU, and can even shorten it by half in some cases. but unless you plan on upgading in 5 years I wouldn't worry, not i'm not condoning or telling you you should overclock, but if you get rid of the stock cooler and use a good quality one with a good compound and run your CPU at reasonable temps, then you are good for many years - now when your CPU is idle make use of the power saving features, like cool and quiet for AMD processors for example, if you take safety precautions I don't see why you would damage your processor - the cooler you run it the better - the only thing that will damage it is improper thermal transfer, overheating (as with any other electronic component in your system), and extreme overclocking without proper cooling.

If you read the forums here and elsewhere you will see that some people are running OCed system successfuly and have been doing so for quite some time. :)
 

Frenchtoast

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Jul 25, 2008
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Processors have ineradicably long life spans. ~20+ years. An OC could possibly cut the life span in half, ( at the most) but you'd still end up with a 10 year lifespan.
I know my old Win95 PC, which was bought in 1996, not sure of the specifications, since I don't have the computer anymore, was still running fine in 2006 10 after it was purchased.
There's still people with PCs that still work from the dawn of the computer age. Don't worry you'll upgrade before your CPU goes kaput!
 

DarKStar

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Processors have ineradicably long life spans. ~20+ years. An OC could possibly cut the life span in half, ( at the most) but you'd still end up with a 10 year lifespan.
I think 20 years is pushing it - Old things lasted longer they were better built - Nowadays with cost cutting and cutting corners I think 20 years is pushing it unless you run your CPU idle most of the time :) Mind you I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think a more reasonable nubmer would be 10.... Your CPU might end up outlasting your other components :)
 

t0m

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Jan 6, 2008
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bc
i read a statistic years ago that if you can drop your cpu temp by 10 deg, you will double its life span, and i recently read somewhere that that is still the case (anyone know for sure?). if that is the case, then i imagine heating it up +10 deg would decrease the life span of it considerably as well. with that said, i have a 2.8ghz p4 northwood thats been running at 3.4 under a big coolermaster hsf for about 5 years now 24/7, about 5 deg cooler than it was at stock speed/cooling. its all about balance :thumb:
 

DK2

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Apr 17, 2008
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GTA
no, temperature kills your cpu, the only thing over-clocking does is increase the operating temperature.
The speed at which you switch transistors doesn't change its characteristics, but over heating can change the material
characteristics over time.
Which is why manufacturers spec a part at speed over a temperature range (and voltage).
Look at it this way, do over clockers use the stock cooler.....hell no!
 

DarKStar

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i read a statistic years ago that if you can drop your cpu temp by 10 deg, you will double its life span, and i recently read somewhere that that is still the case (anyone know for sure?).
Whether you do so or not, if you run your CPU within its rated thermal specifications it will last you a long time - It's very unlikely you will go through its entire cycle of life as it's common for people to upgrade - so the extra years won't benefit if unless you plan on not upgrading at all or not upgrading for more than 5 years :)

thats been running at 3.4 under a big coolermaster hsf for about 5 years now 24/7, about 5 deg cooler than it was at stock speed/cooling. its all about balance :thumb:
Despite your overclocking, you are NOT running your CPU under full load 24/7. Most of the time a CPU is idle or not running FULL LOAD unless you are running rendering applications, games, or programs that use 100% of your CPU. I'm sure a CPU woul dnot last as long running 24/7 under 100% load on all cores than it would with intermittent use.
 

Boldeagle

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Jun 23, 2008
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Brisbane, Australia
Have to agree with Eldonko if you can't afford to break it don't OC.

But let's look at it from another angle. CPU makers make parts knowing that enthusiasts would like to "test" the limits and find upper boundaries or just get some more performance from the product for "their viewed life cycle" (I agree 2 years on a CPU and I want something better). Here is a OC segment with an Intel rep who clearly states your warranty allows you to OC (but like anything "within reasonable boundaries"), and Intel do offer CPU's with unlocked multipliers (the only purpose for these is to OC them!) with a 3year warranty;

YouTube - Intel Tiger How To: Overclocking Edition Part 1 of 4

AMD certainly wouldn't isolate themselves from market share and thus would have similar expectations wrt CPU's and OC.

Whether it shortens the lifespan of the CPU will be signifcantly correlated to orginal raw materials, production quality, batch and quality control at that time. Then add in HS quality, thermal interface material, system and surrounding environments, and most importantly experience of user. You could have an average produced product run stock it's whole life cycle and die quicker, with Make and Model numbers remaining constant, than a high quality produced product that undergoes significant OCing for it's life cycle. Often with popular CPU makes you might see them asking which batch number is your CPU and what OC are you getting. So sometimes if all of the initial parameters (materials, quality etc etc) are all very high and produce a good batch which will perform better irrespective of OC or not.
 
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Frank Encruncher

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Jun 28, 2007
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109
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Edmonton,Alberta
My Intel Q6600 ran 9 out 10 months at 2.8GHz under full load 24/7.
The only time it didn't run was when I was on vaction or it needed cleaning.
It would run two or three months straight at a time running Boinc projects.

A good mobo, after market cooler and a good PSU will reduce the risk of damage to the CPU.
Proper cleaning about every three months helps too.
 

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