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Is this a safe vcore for gaming?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
At the moment I have my 2500k overclocked at 4.7GHz, 1.416v (I'm sure I could clock higher with even more vcore but haven't tried). Is that a safe voltage to be gaming at? Since it wouldn't be running at that voltage the entire time shouldn't it be fine?It reached 80c on the hottest core after 25 min of p95 and then hovered in the high 70s. But it never runs that hot during gaming, well, maybe close to it tho.
I play bf3, black ops, gta iv, sleeping dogs and a bit of dirt 2 mostly. And I usually don't game for more than 1, max 2 hours at a time.

I have another option which I quite like. And that is to knock the vcore down slightly to 1.400v which seems to run about 3-5c cooler. It is almost stable, I've been gaming for weeks now without any issues, today I ran p95 for 15 min and then gave me bsod (I did test it before, but I used different fft, and only for about 45 min).
    
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post #2 of 4
Some say Sandy Bridge is "safe" under 1.45v. But that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and rainbows as long as you stay below that voltage, because it's still quite high when you overvolt past 1.40v. My max attained clock at 1.44vcore was pushing 70 degrees under benchmarking, but I usually just run it at the usual 1.33vcore/4.6GHz because 70c @ 1.44v is pretty extreme even with how much cooling hardware I run. My biggest concern would be heat, and 80 degrees even in a synthetic bench situation seems to be pushing it. High voltage alone can be okay if temps are good, high temps can be acceptable if the voltage is reasonable (since there would be little you can do about it), but both together might cause your chip some problems earlier in its life than it should. High voltage and high temps have a synergistic effect on the degradation of your CPU.

The way the voltage/turbo works on your i5 is whenever the CPU is called upon to perform a task (even opening programs), it'll clock up to your OC voltage. So even if you're watching youtube videos or browsing, most of the time it'll be running at 1.416vcore. It doesn't really throttle in between its idle and full-throttle voltages, it's either all on or all off.

And also, there is no such thing as "safe for gaming", voltages are either safe (stock vcore and speed) or unsafe (overclocked). It's just a matter of deciding how unsafe you're okay with running your hardware. It's about calculated risk. So if you're fully stable and content knowing that you may have to replace the CPU earlier than you might like (by a numbers of years or maybe only weeks), then go for it. biggrin.gif But I wouldn't expect your chip to burst into flames 1 hour into a gaming session just yet or anything.

ALSO: BSOD on Prime95 after 15 minutes or even 15 hours means unstable. Unstable voltages should not be used.
Edited by lowfiwhiteguy - 5/14/13 at 7:02am
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Óðinn
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razor 580 | Dual SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | Dual RX360 | | Dual MCP-655 | Variable-Speed | | Koolance | RP-452x2 | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CaseLabs | M8 + Pedestal | 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razer 580 | 2-way SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | RX360 | | Phobya | Xtreme 200| | MCP 655 | Variable-Speed | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CoolerMaster | HAF X | 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great explanation. I'll set it back to 1.400v, 4.6GHz, it's not like I notice a difference. How much of an effect would 1.4v have on life span? Will it last a few years? 1 year?
I don't understand, or maybe I do, it's just that it would be nice if the CPU didn't have to run either idle or max speed/voltage all the time.
When you say that if a voltage is unsafe it shouldn't be used even if it is stable 90% of the time, does that actually cause any hardware issues?
    
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post #4 of 4
It's hard to tell how much a specific voltage setting will cut from your chip's lifespan. I've heard stories of 2600K's and 2500K's dying the same day they were mildly overclocked a few hundredth's of a volt, and then on the other hand, you have guys who run theirs full-throttle and mad voltages at all times for years without issue. You just need to think about the law of averages, and the average overclocker usually won't see their chip die before they decide to upgrade their hardware. So you're pretty safe for the next 3-5 years, I would wager.

If you push your chip beyond an average SB OC voltage (above 1.40v generally) then you're into extra uncertain territory. A few hundredths of a volt may not seem like a lot, but it really makes a big difference to your chip. If I were you, I'd be more concerned with keeping your CPU temps to around 70C maximum under heavy load, and use that as your limit rather than the highest stable clock. Not all chips are built the same, and to be honest, having to keep it at 1.40vcore to keep 4.6GHz is a little bit higher than most. Usually it's around 1.35-ish. But as I said, no two chips are the same.

My thing with discouraging using unstable voltages is that it can cause your pc to crash and behave erratically, usually when you're right in the middle of doing something important (haha) and that's no good. So, bottom line: Try to keep your max heavy load temps to 70 max on that chip, and whatever OC you pick, pick a stable one. THAT, my friend, will be your highest "safe" overclock for that particular chip.thumb.gif
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razor 580 | Dual SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | Dual RX360 | | Dual MCP-655 | Variable-Speed | | Koolance | RP-452x2 | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CaseLabs | M8 + Pedestal | 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razer 580 | 2-way SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | RX360 | | Phobya | Xtreme 200| | MCP 655 | Variable-Speed | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CoolerMaster | HAF X | 
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Óðinn
(15 items)
 
Methuselah
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razor 580 | Dual SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | Dual RX360 | | Dual MCP-655 | Variable-Speed | | Koolance | RP-452x2 | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CaseLabs | M8 + Pedestal | 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
| Intel Core i7 | 2600K | 4.2GHz @ 1.33v | | ASUS | Maximus IV Extreme | | ASUS | ENGTX 580 | 933MHz @ 1.138v | 2-way SLI | | G.Skill | RipjawsX | 2133MHz | 8GB | 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
| Intel | 510 SSD | 120GB | | Western Digital | Caviar Black | 1TB | | XSPC | Raystorm | | XSPC | Razer 580 | 2-way SLI | 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
| XSPC | RX360 | | Phobya | Xtreme 200| | MCP 655 | Variable-Speed | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCase
| Acer | P243W | 1920 x 1200 | | Enermax | MODU87+ | 900W | | CoolerMaster | HAF X | 
  hide details  
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