Well, since I know it's stable at 4.6ghz, I figured just go for the gold. It booted with 1.36v at 5.0ghz, ran SuperPI 1M, no BSOD. Including the boot process, it was at 5.0ghz for probably 3-4 min.
That's not the point. The point to see how good your chip is, to 'bin' it. Boot at 1.3v, if you can get software overclock (not booting) to 5ghz or above, it's worth delidding. Below that is a judgement call or simply not worth it. like less than 4.8 would be not worth delidding and a bad chip. firstname.lastname@example.org and having issues doesn't really sound like a great chip, but maybe you have a decent chip.
So if I run a high voltage, like 1.6v would it just break my chip and not my other components? Is heat the reason why you can't run high voltages or is it because the chip just dies from it even if it isn't hitting the tj maxx?
It depends on the chip, but in the case of Ivy, the max of 1.45-1.6v being cited so frequently is because of how new the chip is, how frail sandy was, how unexplored those voltages are for 24/7 overclocks, and that heat becomes a huge limiting factor. If you got an extremely high end air cooler or one of the better closed loops or custom water, you can push above 1.5v easily and stay cool (if you delidded, that is)and run over 5ghz for 24/7. No one has degraded or killed an ivy bridge yet except benching insane 1.9v+, and more than a few people run 1.6v for 24/7 so until they say they have problems, I wouldn't worry about running up to 1.6v until you see people who've already been running such a voltage for a long time now, say they have issues.
I mean degradation is immediately apparent generally, it's not like you are creeping signfiicant damage to your chip (I mean im sure a year is more like 2 years of aging, but it's not like 5+ years of aging per year.... then again this is all guessing).
Be aware voltages hurts a chip more than temps do, so if you are going to push extreme voltages, it's best your temps are not riding the limit of 90-100*C on load.
...I rarely use prime95 or the old, modified IBT these days anymore because I find XTU more challenging - and also what commercial clients can agree on as a 'valid' test which we log on commercial builds before they leave...Then again, the XTU test result really doesn't say very much more than 'passed' or 'failed'...obviously, you want the 'green' passed I ran some XTU tests last Friday before a weekend of record runs and there should be a log.
im kinda done stress testing. In the future I'll see how xtu fares, if it catches overclocks that are unstable on prime95, or as quickly, that kind of thing.
I just dont like how it has a separate test for cpu and ram. That seems a bit like a waste. I got to run 24 hours of xtu both cpu and ram tests to see every single overclock I change is stable or not?
You are right. "Hardware has really come a long, long way, as well as software. I really wonder if software overclocking is as bad as it is made out to be anymore."
You know even is software overclocking is okay nowadays, it just doesn't offer enough control, and you have to set it upon logging in every single time you restart your computer as most of them lack 'apply on start-up' options. You can't change LLC, you can't change pwm switch rates, you can't change pll, vtt, imc. I'm the kind of person that literally has every single voltage on the absolute lowest (i tested my pll, vtt/imc, vcore, all to be so that one .05v interval lower would crash), every single ram timing, even the tertiary ones are on the absolute tightest they can be on. You just don't have that control in software. This depends on the motherboard though, of course - gigabyte's software is terrible, while MSI has great software (and vice versa is true on hardware).
Im sure software overclocking is fine for 99% of overclockers who just change enable pll overvoltage, maybe set llc once to a setting, and then change vcore/frequency, but it still has a ways to go before it's good enough for me. I will have no problems using it once it has all the same options .
Then again that might be a motherboard issue. For example MSI's software overclock program, is literally just the BIOS screens popping up in a window when your logged in. It can't get any more straightforward than that.