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How long do overclocked rigs last?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Though I feel I've learned a lot about overclocking, I'm still fairly new at this as my first overclock was performed less than a year ago. I'm wondering, based on your experience, does overclocking significantly lower the lifetime of the computer? I'm talking about a properly done overclock, in which the voltages are increased but in a controlled amount (say vCore 1.500v and memory no more than 0.1v above spec) and temperatures are kept under control. In theory, a proper overclock shouldn't impact the lifetime by much but I want experimental results! For those of you that have been doing this for years, in your experience, how does the lifetime of a properly overclocked rig compare to that of stock?
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White Whale
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post #2 of 16
Of course overclocking lowers the life time for the processor. The processor is said to last for 8 years when overclocked, so there will be no problem. Nothing is ever accurate, so you can try it to know it. And, usually people upgrade their parts less than 10 years, by many times as well. Usually, the motherboard would not fail that easily, in my experience. If its nvidia chipset, may have some problems, but intel chipsets are pretty good. I think you have nothing to worry about though.
    
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post #3 of 16
Heat is what kills components, so with proper cooling going along, I don't see why something will fail earlier.
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post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by durch View Post
Though I feel I've learned a lot about overclocking, I'm still fairly new at this as my first overclock was performed less than a year ago. I'm wondering, based on your experience, does overclocking significantly lower the lifetime of the computer? I'm talking about a properly done overclock, in which the voltages are increased but in a controlled amount (say vCore 1.500v and memory no more than 0.1v above spec) and temperatures are kept under control. In theory, a proper overclock shouldn't impact the lifetime by much but I want experimental results! For those of you that have been doing this for years, in your experience, how does the lifetime of a properly overclocked rig compare to that of stock?
Unless you are doing extreme overclocking, components will generally out last their useful life. There have been instances of CPUs dying sooner but that was due to CPU design issues. Supposedly, the recent E8400 has some problems. I remember one of the older Pentiums would overclock well for a few months and just die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev1 View Post
Heat is what kills components, so with proper cooling going along, I don't see why something will fail earlier.
Wrong....Heat just accelerates electromigration rate.
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Once again...
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post #5 of 16
Funny you should ask really. I think I've just overcooked mine...

When I woke up after running super pi overnight 32m to check stability, I found the computer switched off. Pressed the power, switched the psu off and on, nothing.
Upon trying another cable... "POP" and a flash of light... So I assumed my psu was dead, but upon trying another psu, it still doesn't fire up.

It's possible that either the psu has killed the mobo or vice versa, I just don't know and it's a pretty new/good psu, so I can only put it down to the OC...

I've been running that mobo for 2 years I think... It's always been well cooled and not often OC'd.

I just hope the psu hasn't fried anything else, but I'll be RMA'ing the psu as it shouldn't really have popped within a year...

If you're looking for reliability, I'd suggest running as few volts as you can.
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Unless you are doing extreme overclocking, components will generally out last their useful life. There have been instances of CPUs dying sooner but that was due to CPU design issues. Supposedly, the recent E8400 has some problems. I remember one of the older Pentiums would overclock well for a few months and just die.


Wrong....Heat just accelerates electromigration rate.
Yea I had heard that electromigration kills the CPU, and it is accelerated by increased voltages and increased heat (which unfortunately usually go hand in hand). So theory would tell you that the part's life is decreased on any overclock, but by how much? That's what I'm trying to gage based on the experiences of OCN members how much of an effect it has.

Unfortunately I doubt any real scientific data can be collected, as we'd need to take many processors at stock and see how long they lasted on average under load, then take more of the same processors, overclock them and submit them to the same load and compare the lifetimes. No one has that kinda cash, time or probably even interest in the results haha, so I'm settling for answers like "my rig has been overclocked for years with no problems"

I'm more interested in this based on recommendations I'm making to friends and family. I'd feel guilty if I promised a long lasting overclocked machine only to have it die in 2-3 years. Most of us are gamers and replace our systems every 2-3 years but these old folks like their's to last a long time and I want to make sure I'm not significantly contributing to the computer's early demise.

I personally have lost a motherboard in just 18 months (and only 6 months of overclocking), but I can't be certain it was the result of overclocking as it could have been random failure or related to my UPC that was acting up.
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White Whale
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post #7 of 16
Everything I have read is OC'ed CPU's have 2-3 less years of life, and CPU's should last 8-10 years. AS said above, you will more liely be replacing the CPU/entire system due to wanting newer stuff before it "burns out".

I would think a mildly OC'ed system would have minimal if any effect on life. My sisters CPU is OC drom 2.1 to 2.4 with no changes in voltage, and I have no worries about it's life.

Karashi, Sound like the PSU fried the MoBo, and may or may not have damaged the CPU (when my PSU fried my MoBo, it took the CPU and everything in a PCI slot with it).
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post #8 of 16
All depends on you and how you oc it. I have a couple of rigs that have been oc'ed and still are and I have had them for a few years. My PIII for example, it's been running strong for about 7 years now with a 300Mhz oc on it.
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjinsamax3 View Post
Of course overclocking lowers the life time for the processor. The processor is said to last for 8 years when overclocked, so there will be no problem. Nothing is ever accurate, so you can try it to know it. And, usually people upgrade their parts less than 10 years, by many times as well. Usually, the motherboard would not fail that easily, in my experience. If its nvidia chipset, may have some problems, but intel chipsets are pretty good. I think you have nothing to worry about though.
lol but who on here really uses there computer for more then 2-3 years lol
thats the thing we are gamers.
post #10 of 16
Let me just say this:

Your mileage may vary.

If you are careful, the OC'ed life of a processor, GPU, or motherboard chipset will generally speaking be longer than most people keep their computers anyway. Planned obscolescence > electromigration. Emphasis, however, on the "generally speaking". You can always get in trouble pushing the envelope, or if you just happen to get a vulnerable unit.

So recognize that you are taking a risk no matter how careful you are, but that you can control that risk by being careful.

Voltage and heat are the enemies; running a unit at a higher clock speed without more volts and with better cooling to keep heat low shouldn't be more risky than stock, in theory.
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