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How safe is Overclocking?


Judge Hades

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GPU's cant handle as much as a CPU(which can be safely clocked by 10% without extra cooling) my 7900GTX comes factory overclocked at 670 where the norm is 650, very small differance.

 

 

But around 5% should be safe.

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Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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There are a few rules to overclocking (they're more like guidlines, really) ...

 

(1) Don't overclock anything you can't afford to replace.

(2) The factory usually sucks at installing cooling - a well applied dab of anything is better than a poor application. My goo-of-choice is Arctic Silver 5, but almost anything works, just so long as it's applied properly.

(3) Record your default settings.

(4) Overclock one setting at a time in small increments (5 MHz is generally a good rule of thumb), test at each stage, the first time you start running into trouble, crank it back a couple of notches and adjust something else (for example: if the GPU freq tops out, back up a couple of MHz and up the voltage a notch).

(5) Synthetic benchmarks (3dMark, for example) are good at stressing your system, but the real test is actual gameplay.

(6) if you can't tell the difference between your default system and your overclock - congratulations - you got more than you paid for, but scale it back until you need the added horsepower (knowing that you can crank up your rig may mean the difference between an upgrade or saving money in the future).

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Usually, mild overclocks (~5%) will not cause permanent damage to your GPU. If you start noticing artifacts or unstable behavior, scale it back immediately and you should be okay. But do keep in mind that your warranty goes kaput the moment you touch those clocks (they have ways of detecting this), unless you have an eVGA or XFX card (not sure if BFG supports overclocking these days). I completely agree with Samurai that factory cooling solutions suck, except for the dual-slot solutions such as the one on the 7900GTX and the top-end ATi's. The problem is that aftermarket cooling solutions are a bit expensive ($30-$40), you'll have to decide whether they are a reasonable investment given the original price of your card, and the kind of performance benefit you are expecting to see from the overclocking.

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Gainward and XFX-cards usually come with extra fans and software that permitts the user to overclock within safe proportions. Ofcourse, those cards usually cost abit more too.

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Go go swingeing statements!

 

The stock cooler on the ATi XTX 1900 (for example, not to mention most of the nVidia line-up) is extremely noisy; replacing it will at the very least give a quieter gaming experience ... and it will run cooler, so be more efficent.

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Nvidia coolers(like the one on the 7900's) are quiet like an aftermarket Zalman.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Yeah, but the 6800s are teh suxX0rz ... someone was complaining like a stuck pig on these fora a while back about his ... :devil:"

 

 

The Asus 6800 cooler was rubbish yes. But that was ages ago, while the new ATI cards sound like blowdriers

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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There are a few rules to overclocking (they're more like guidlines, really)

 

Welcome aboard the Black Pearl!.... Oh wait, wrong forum :blink:

 

And yeah, you should be easily safe with a 5% increase. Never heard of an overheat at that point. Just dont push your luck too far.

"The dimmest light can shatter the darkest night, and the light I carry is in no way dim."

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I've killed a few items in my overclocking experimental days. If you're using BIOS overclocking, be extremely careful. For some reason, when you break the BIOS, it's usually extremely difficult to get the item working again. Also, if you use the BIOS to unlock previously locked features on your GPU, the GPU may fail permanently, depending on why the card was locked in the first place.

 

If you're using software to increase clock and memory speeds you're usually safe. If you overclock it heavily, the GPU might get overheated (you'll notice this when your screen goes nuts), but it usually turns itself off (one way or another) before any permanent damage occurs.

 

If you happen to install lots of new fans and overclock your equipment heavily, make sure your PSU is up to the new task. I've burnt two PSU's because they haven't had the specs for the increased wattage.

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