Originally Posted by DeadlyDNA
How long have you had your 3820? I know the Cpu Degradation rate is more subjective to what people throw around with and without experience. Was just wondering if your speaking more for your personal experience or citing a source?
Nice Overclocks by the way!
CPU degradation is subjective because it depends on numerous factors which are specific to the chip, ie quality of the silicon, spatial distribution of defects, quality of the solder job, etc.
Not to mention factors related to the cooling setup, ie poor contact or uneven application of thermal paste can exacerbate the problem.
This is kind of a simplification but essentially degradation is caused by electrical stress on the transistors, where they are exposed to higher current than they were designed to handle, this creates defects in the transistor which lower its current gain, thus requiring more base current than before to function at the same level it used to. The degradation process is dependent primarily on current intensity and duration of exposure but also indirectly related to temperature since electrical properties of other components in the system vary with temperature, making it easier for current to flow at high temps.
Source: I'm an EE, have degraded numerous chips in the past, wrote a 30-page research paper on a related topic in college. Googling 'Transistor stress degradation' will give you lots of scientific journal articles on this topic =)
Note: The thing about 'duration of exposure' is why its a very bad idea to run extended stress tests like hours and hours of prime 95 at high voltages. A stable overclock at high voltage under normal use conditions might cause very little degradation since the amount of time spent at high currents is usually limited; however, when you start stressing the processor at 100% for extended amounts of time at high voltage the amount of degradation will eventually start to grow exponentially