What are your opinions on over-clocking?

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#1 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -

So, getting back into the groove of pc gaming, I've been constantly tweaking everything to make it juuuust right.  So my last hurdle is whether to overclock my card or let it stand at the default. 
 
I have a Sapphire HD 7950 
 The default is: 
 High Performance GPU clock settings: 950 MHz 
High Performance memory clock settings: 1250 MHz 
  I have tried increasing the GPU to 1020 and it seemed to work fine but with an increase in heat ( I believe the hottest running game on default is Crysis 2 at around 73-76c while this brings it to a solid 76-78c) My main concern is less on the heat which can be resolved and just the overall effect of increasing the GPU. Would this decrease the life of my card simply by over-clocking it? Thank you so much for the help duders. 
 
Also, my card seems to heat up whenever I watch a video online, whether it be from here or youtube, is this normal?  
 
Thank you again, I truly appreciate it =)

#2 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2132 posts) -

I'm probably the minority in the PC gamer circle by having this viewpoint, but I have never needed or wanted to over-clock anything from my computer and honestly I don't trust myself in pushing the hardware to the limit and buying extra cooling for it. I'm totally fine getting quality cards at a price I can afford and leaving them running at their out-of-the-box clock settings. If I need more power for some reason, I'll simply save up and get better hardware.

#3 Posted by JCTango (1366 posts) -

@ShiftyMagician said:

I'm probably the minority in the PC gamer circle by having this viewpoint, but I have never needed or wanted to over-clock anything from my computer and honestly I don't trust myself in pushing the hardware to the limit and buying extra cooling for it. I'm totally fine getting quality cards at a price I can afford and leaving them running at their out-of-the-box clock settings. If I need more power for some reason, I'll simply save up and get better hardware.

I'm in the same boat :). I don't have a need to do any overclocking at all. Sure, I could do some research and eek out a bit more out of my system, but I don't really feel like I need/want to.

More power to ya if you're willing to do it though - it's a hobbyist/enthusiast sort of route to go through where you learn a lot about computer hardware.

#4 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -
@ShiftyMagician

I'm probably the minority in the PC gamer circle by having this viewpoint, but I have never needed or wanted to over-clock anything from my computer and honestly I don't trust myself in pushing the hardware to the limit and buying extra cooling for it. I'm totally fine getting quality cards at a price I can afford and leaving them running at their out-of-the-box clock settings. If I need more power for some reason, I'll simply save up and get better hardware.

I know what you mean. Ive been testing some games to see the improvement. And at default without vsync I can get around 70 frames with crysis 2. So I'm ok I think but it's just that little urge.
#5 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (634 posts) -

i've never personally overclocked anything. i've bought stuff that is "overclocked" compared to it's normal version, but i don't tend to push it. mainly do to where my computer sits, the extra heat wouldn't be good for the computer.

#6 Posted by Korwin (2984 posts) -

I don't think I've NOT overclocked something in like 12 years.

#7 Posted by shadowdrone (71 posts) -

Thing about this is, you are in many cases trading the health of your PC hardware for more performance. If you stress your hardware by overclocking it you are driving up the risk that your stuff will fail outright. If this happens, it's essentially tantamount to burning money for that performance increase. I sat in my class last semester and listen to a guy talk about buying Core i7s, and frying them by overclocking, and going and buying more Core i7s and frying them. Processors are expensive, yo. I mean, it is your money, you do what you want, but I never thought risking the life of my computer hardware a good enough reason to mete out some minor performance increases.

#8 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@shadowdrone said:

Thing about this is, you are in many cases trading the health of your PC hardware for more performance. If you stress your hardware by overclocking it you are driving up the risk that your stuff will fail outright. If this happens, it's essentially tantamount to burning money for that performance increase.

The point is, if you've got the cash, do it! If not, well...buy a console. *evil smile*

#9 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@shadowdrone

Thing about this is, you are in many cases trading the health of your PC hardware for more performance. If you stress your hardware by overclocking it you are driving up the risk that your stuff will fail outright. If this happens, it's essentially tantamount to burning money for that performance increase. I sat in my class last semester and listen to a guy talk about buying Core i7s, and frying them by overclocking, and going and buying more Core i7s and frying them. Processors are expensive, yo. I mean, it is your money, you do what you want, but I never thought risking the life of my computer hardware a good enough reason to mete out some minor performance increases.

Those cases happen because people are dickheads and rush.

If you work in increments and go carefully, you can overclock while maintaining temperature and managing power, and in turn get significant increases without seriously impacting the life of your hardware, if it impacts it at all.
#10 Posted by Devil240Z (3406 posts) -

I have never over clocked anything in my life. maybe if I were really broke I would over clock my cpu in lieu of an upgrade. but 3.4 ghz AMD quad core serves me fine.

#11 Posted by envane (1164 posts) -

overclocking a cpu is well within the safe limits these days with processors like the sandy bridge and others with simple multiplier based overclocking , you can easily overclock within a certain range and stay under warranty , and unless you push it (alot of ppl with i7s want to get into the 5ghz club) you wont be doing any damage really , so if its an option availabel to you , look into it .

as for video card overclocking , unfortunately pc developers havent smoothed out certain optimizatiosn that occur with overclocked gpus and you end up with some weird artifacts and crap that make it completely pointless in the first place , in some cases you end up havign to revert a pre overclocked card to standard settings to get some of these games to work properly ...

but yeh .. cpu overclocking is in a sweet spot right now with incredibly efficient aftermarket coolers and easily adjustable chipsets etc .. so id say try it!

#12 Edited by Humanity (9869 posts) -

I place high value on how loud my machine is and overclocking is just pushing the machine into this constant noise level that I'm not comfortable with. Right now I have an FX AMD processor with an ASUS Triton heatsink fan combo as well as one 120mm blowing air in from the side and another blowing air out from the top. Both fans are whisper quiet as is the Triton. This is both my most powerful and most silent PC that I've ever built - I wouldn't want to compromise that by pushing the hardware more than need be and I also much rather have a lot of leeway for stability. I don't want to be riding that redline when too much shit starts popping off on screen and the voltages start to spark against this impending ceiling of a system crash.

#13 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1547 posts) -

I do it and have done it for a long time. I overclocked my 670 the day I got it, mostly just because I was curious to see how far I could push it and to see what my max OC was, I ended up getting a pretty nice bin. I usually don't push for max overclock, I'll probably knock it down a bit if the card or CPU can't handle the voltage or the temps get too high. But I see it as a free small boost, with little to no power usage increase. You just gotta know your limits with your overclocking.

@shadowdrone said:

I sat in my class last semester and listen to a guy talk about buying Core i7s, and frying them by overclocking, and going and buying more Core i7s and frying them. Processors are expensive, yo. I mean, it is your money, you do what you want, but I never thought risking the life of my computer hardware a good enough reason to mete out some minor performance increases.

Frying CPUs is kind of hard unless you're in it for the hardcore benching. I ran at e8500 @ 4.2ghz for like 4 years almost 24/7 now and it hasn't skipped beat. You really got to be pumping a lot of voltage and or not knowing what you're doing to fry a CPU. I assume he was trying to hit clocks the processor just couldn't handle at crazy voltages.

#14 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

overclocking my i7 2600k is just so easy it would be stupid not too.

#15 Posted by Loafsmooch (360 posts) -

Component developers basically underclock their own items just to be completely sure the life of the card/processor is not risked. For me it feels like you're not getting all your moneys worth unless you overclock these days. I've always overclocked everything, never had anything break because of it. And besides, you are probably going to upgrade your components well before any reasonable overclocking could kill their lifespan.

If you know what you're doing, overclock!

#16 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@envane said:

overclocking a cpu is well within the safe limits these days with processors like the sandy bridge and others with simple multiplier based overclocking , you can easily overclock within a certain range and stay under warranty , and unless you push it (alot of ppl with i7s want to get into the 5ghz club) you wont be doing any damage really , so if its an option availabel to you , look into it .

as for video card overclocking , unfortunately pc developers havent smoothed out certain optimizatiosn that occur with overclocked gpus and you end up with some weird artifacts and crap that make it completely pointless in the first place , in some cases you end up havign to revert a pre overclocked card to standard settings to get some of these games to work properly ...

but yeh .. cpu overclocking is in a sweet spot right now with incredibly efficient aftermarket coolers and easily adjustable chipsets etc .. so id say try it!

I had that issue with my OC 560 ti, wound up over volting the card to fix it.

#17 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

I don't do it.

#18 Posted by Remedy25 (131 posts) -

No need to overclock if you don't need to, and its seems like a 'fashionable' thing in my opinion now-a-days. The advantages don't justify the disadvantages (for me) that come along with overclocking; although it is a lot safer and easier. I'm sure you've heard that phrase "If it's not broken, don't fix it."

#19 Posted by SamStrife (1286 posts) -

From what I know (which admittedly is not as much as some people in these forums) is that overclocking nowadays is no where near as bad as overclocking used to be. Way back when, overclocking would greatly increase the risk of damaging your hardware but nowadays it's incredibly safe and easy provided you do it smart; it's just that the negative stigma remains.

#20 Posted by Kazona (3092 posts) -
@Tim_the_Corsair
@shadowdrone

Thing about this is, you are in many cases trading the health of your PC hardware for more performance. If you stress your hardware by overclocking it you are driving up the risk that your stuff will fail outright. If this happens, it's essentially tantamount to burning money for that performance increase. I sat in my class last semester and listen to a guy talk about buying Core i7s, and frying them by overclocking, and going and buying more Core i7s and frying them. Processors are expensive, yo. I mean, it is your money, you do what you want, but I never thought risking the life of my computer hardware a good enough reason to mete out some minor performance increases.

Those cases happen because people are dickheads and rush.

If you work in increments and go carefully, you can overclock while maintaining temperature and managing power, and in turn get significant increases without seriously impacting the life of your hardware, if it impacts it at all.
I was thinking the same thing. I overclock everything in my PC, and I have never fried anything. Sure you can have done bad luck sometimes, but this case sounds like someone bull rushing into things he didn't bother to fully comprehend
#21 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

@ShiftyMagician: I agree with you. I have never needed to overclock anything. Standard stuff works just fine. The performance and what the game will look like visually is usually not dependent on your clock speed, but the program it self.

#22 Edited by RIDEBIRD (1233 posts) -

There's really no point in not overclocking. It's a project that takes a day or two if you do it properly, and you can easily get 40% more performance out of your CPU withouth paying a dime. For example, my 2500k 4,4 ghz - probably, I have no dataz- beats the shit out of a 2700k in any game. Of course you can clock that too, but you get my point.

For GPUs its just so stupid easy these days theres really no reason not to. You can clock your 670 to outperform a factory OCd 680 in like five minutes, and its probably stable. The difference is quite huge as well - at 1080 an overclocked 670 would get about 10-15 more FPS in BF3 on ultra. That's a crazy performance boost for zero cash.

#23 Posted by Hosstile17 (768 posts) -

Factory overclocks are perfectly safe. Just FYI, if it is a laptop and you overclock it, don't sit it on your lap during use. You will fry all of your swimmers.

#24 Posted by JoeBigfoot (114 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: The increase in temperature really kills the lifespan of the transistors in your processors. Running a 80deg for an extended period of time will increase the rate at which degradation renders your gear unusable.

#25 Posted by fox01313 (5088 posts) -

With the strength of CPUs today & how many PCs are using multiple ones, overclocking seems less useful now for games. If you need to overclock then you could just get a better PC instead.

#26 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -
@RIDEBIRD

There's really no point in not overclocking. It's a project that takes a day or two if you do it properly, and you can easily get 40% more performance out of your CPU withouth paying a dime. For example, my 2500k 4,4 ghz - probably, I have no dataz- beats the shit out of a 2700k in any game. Of course you can clock that too, but you get my point.

For GPUs its just so stupid easy these days theres really no reason not to. You can clock your 670 to outperform a factory OCd 680 in like five minutes, and its probably stable. The difference is quite huge as well - at 1080 an overclocked 670 would get about 10-15 more FPS in BF3 on ultra. That's a crazy performance boost for zero cash.

I know what you mean. From what I've over Clocked with my current card I have seen noticeable performance improvement (even without fraps). However when I do that the heat nearly breaks 80c and that just freaks me out especially since I still get excellent performance from the out of box over clock. I just don't wanna turn my brand new card into a very expensive paper weight. This ill probably hold off till I need that extra boost.
#27 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1233 posts) -

@Sackmanjones: 80c is not a lot and if yo ucan stand the sound its fine. You basically can't break a card with standard OC. Heavy overvolts break cards.

@JoeBigfoot: Sure, but an overclocked CPU normally lasts a good 10+ years anyway. It's not going to instadie within a year. 80c is less then optimal of course, but it won't kill it. Especially not an Ivy Bridge, seeing as they run hot as fuck.

#28 Posted by Lokno (386 posts) -

I don't see the point of obtaining minor speedup at the cost of longevity.

#29 Posted by Dick_Mohawk (384 posts) -

I don't bother overclocking at all. My pc isn't what you'd call state of the art, (amd 980 and a 260gtx) but the most taxing game I have is Skyrim and it seems to work just fine for me.

#30 Posted by Morello (85 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

Also, my card seems to heat up whenever I watch a video online, whether it be from here or youtube, is this normal? Thank you again, I truly appreciate it =)

Yes, if the video is being decoded by your graphics card as it will switch from 2D clock speeds to higher settings in order to do this.

Personally I would only overclock a graphics card with a good cooler, and I wouldn't push it too hard. In my experience they are nowhere as robust as CPUs (which I have always overclocked, and always pushed reasonably hard), and it's not as easy to get decent, cheap cooling for them. As mentioned you will also need to do voltage modding in most cases to overcome problems which would make any meaningful difference in speeds.

#31 Posted by JoeBigfoot (114 posts) -

@RIDEBIRD said:

@JoeBigfoot: Sure, but an overclocked CPU normally lasts a good 10+ years anyway. It's not going to instadie within a year. 80c is less then optimal of course, but it won't kill it. Especially not an Ivy Bridge, seeing as they run hot as fuck.

overclocking a CPU older than 3 years old should not have an impact on its lifespan, however anything post 32nm is gonna take a serious hit due to BTI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_bias_temperature_instability). I'm not sure but I'd wager the FinFETs inside the Ivy Bridge would be even worse as the gate of the transistor wraps around and degradation due to temperature occurs at the gate oxide interface. Bone up your transistors, you bone up your on-chip SRAM you bin your processor

#32 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -
@JoeBigfoot

@RIDEBIRD said:

@JoeBigfoot: Sure, but an overclocked CPU normally lasts a good 10+ years anyway. It's not going to instadie within a year. 80c is less then optimal of course, but it won't kill it. Especially not an Ivy Bridge, seeing as they run hot as fuck.

overclocking a CPU older than 3 years old should not have an impact on its lifespan, however anything post 32nm is gonna take a serious hit due to BTI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_bias_temperature_instability). I'm not sure but I'd wager the FinFETs inside the Ivy Bridge would be even worse as the gate of the transistor wraps around and degradation due to temperature occurs at the gate oxide interface. Bone up your transistors, you bone up your on-chip SRAM you bin your processor

My processor is brand new. It's a phenom quad core at 3.6 ghz. Right now I don't have the need to over clock it (much like my graphics card) but later down the line I will definitely kick that up as it gets dates
#33 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -

Also wanted to add that I have 2 fans right now. Was thinking about picking up a 3rd or even 4th if anyone would recommend that.

#34 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

Also wanted to add that I have 2 fans right now. Was thinking about picking up a 3rd or even 4th if anyone would recommend that.

As long as adding more fans doesn't negatively affect the airflow through your case, I'd say more is better.

#35 Posted by crusader8463 (14427 posts) -

I never do it. I'm poor so when I get the money to buy a new PC it has to last me a long time and over clocking shortens the life of your PC hardware. The only time I would consider trying it is if I had the money to buy my new PC and I knew that if I OC the one I currently have I would get another 4-5 months out of it.

#36 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -
@Ravenlight How would
It negatively affect it? Right now I have one in te back and one on the side. If I get 2 more ill add one on top and a second on the side right next to my graphics card
#37 Posted by Sackmanjones (4784 posts) -
@Sackmanjones I meant to put how could it negatively affect it
#38 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Sackmanjones said:

I meant to put how could it negatively affect it

Since the people over at tomshardware are more eloquent, I'll answer with a quote and an image from this thread.

You want more air going out of you case than into it while maintaining the least turbulent direction(s) {i.e. pull air in front/side -> push air out back/top}
Click for zoom.

It's kind've a long read, but if you're interested, this seems relevant if you're interested in learning more about airflow.

#39 Posted by TooWalrus (13255 posts) -

I've never overclocked anything. Right now, my i7 2600k hasn't let me down, but if I still have this PC in a few years, I'll give it a shot.

#40 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I'm already using two GPUs and that's enough of a hassle without overclocking, but I always keep a moderate OC on the processor. Had to cut back a bit after a recent bios update changed the rules.

#41 Posted by Jimi (1126 posts) -

I used to do it all the time when my PC was terrible. However since I upgraded last year I haven't really seen a need for it. Right now my CPU is very slightly overclocked but that's it.

#42 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1233 posts) -

@JoeBigfoot: I had no idea about that. Interesting and good post. I'll stop telling people 75+ is still ok after reading that.

#43 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I don't do it. I totally could, but my system isn't set up to deal with the extra heat and, most importantly for me, noise. Whenever I decide to build a new PC, I'm definitely going for something cool and quiet. Maybe consider water cooling now that it doesn't take a whole lot of extra effort to set up anymore. And then consider overclocking. But right now, I just don't want to deal with the extra heat and all the noise that comes from trying to get rid of all the extra heat.

#44 Posted by EXTomar (4922 posts) -

Although the prices are better than ever to tinker with overclocking, I have found I never do it any more. I simply value a stable and functional machine more than one that is blazing fast due to the rate of some component tech turn over.

#45 Posted by SlasherMan (1725 posts) -

GPU Overclocking - Hardly worth it. Never got any significant boost out of it, and it's pretty hit or miss since it's hard to test for stability and you'd need to have some pretty good luck with a chip to overclock it enough to get a decent result out of it.

CPU Overclocking - Absolutely worth it. Do it all the time!

#46 Posted by Hamst3r (4555 posts) -

I have no interest in overclocking anything.

#47 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

I overclocked my CPU, that's it, I didn't want to bother about RAM or my Video Card, the extra cooling needed would be a nightmare.

#48 Posted by DukesT3 (1941 posts) -

Way too paranoid/nervous/don't trust myself doing that. Knowing me I'd probably burn down my apartment complex.

#49 Posted by Unstoppable (79 posts) -

Personally I don't like overclocking anything, I like leaving it at the stock speeds. I could overclock my Q6600 but really I don't have a need to. If everything runs good why Overclock. I rather not run the risk and give more life to my components. My video card being an HD 4870 which is a pretty good card. One of the best values when it first came out, it still runs the latest games just fine.

#50 Posted by Franstone (1149 posts) -

Pointless

Why risk expensive hardware for 10 extra FPS.

I always buy the best hardware I can, no reason to OC for me.

The only reason that makes sense to me is just to see how far you can push your hardware for your own personal satisfaction.

I guess it's cool to see serious overclockers break world records but if you're not doing that than why bother.

If I had money to burn and hardware to put on the line plus a lil liquid nitrogen lying around than sure, lets party.

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