Originally Posted by espn
Burning so more energy, make the life of the card much shorter, then for very few % gain.
Damn, sit down and listen
The specs of every chip are not specific numbers, they are a curve. Take some random, made-up chip - it can run between 5Mhz and 90Mhz, between 0.8 and 1.6v, and depending on the chosen configuration, you need between 15 and 33W cooling capacity on the heatsink, to keep it operational. Place frequency on one axis, voltage on another, and heat dissipation on a third, you get a weird unique 3D graph for a chip, and you take ANY
point of that graph - the chip can run at these specs perfectly, without shortening its lifespan.
On my previous job we were making radio signal processing devices, we had CPUs that can run between 15 and 70Mhz and between 1.0 and 2.5V, and that is all official, supported specs that the chip is guaranteed to work on. Using the max values does not shorten its lifespan. But you don't just use the max values for a low-end device, you program it to run slower, more energy-efficient, so you take the efficiency-bound share of the market, and you can sell your more expensive devices on the performance-bound share. And you also save money with the heatsinks, copper is expensive!
Now, the GPU companies make a bunch of nearly identical chips, and then the market department chooses the spec configurations for each, in order to take certain spots on the market. Sometimes the configuration is made more permanent by cutting off shader cores or stuff. In other cases it is just a software thing, like those Dual-core AMD CPUs that could unlock to Quad with lvl3 cache. Similar thing happens to core clocks - your GPU, the way it is when it comes out of the box, very rarely uses even 90% of its hardware's capacity. And we're talking about capacity that is still within each chip's supported specs, we're not talking about forcing it to do something it shouldn't be able to. Rising the clocks to utilize more of what your hardware is actually capable of does NOT
shorten the lifespan of the card, if the OC is within the capacity of the chip. If you go overboard, like those l2n 7Ghz Phenoms we had back in the day, then of course you shorten the lifespan. But if you OC like most of us do - just a mild 200-300Mhz OC, that is still well within the capabilities of the chip, the longevity of the card will be the same.