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First Time Overclocking, Need to know whats safe

Hey I just built a PC for the first time, and also first time overclocking. I went with a I7-6850, with a Corsair H55 water cooler and a gigabyte 1080 water force, a Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard, and a 1000w gold PSU. While it is amazing, I'm still surprised that I can't play fallout 4 at 60fps, with absolutely everything on Ultra, and the distances at max. In-fact I get about 25fps, and that's with the distance brought down a ton.

I downloaded MSI after burner last night, I upped my voltage 20%, and the Core clock 16 MHz.
I now get a decent frame rate at 35. But I'm wondering if its safe to turn the voltage up more(Safe as in, will it last at least 5 or 6 years)? When I played fallout 4 after the OC it was sitting at 40 Celsius. I read last night that you can only up the voltage to a point in afterburner, before your BIOS puts a block on it. I really need to know how safe this will be, my computer is for work so its very important for me, but its also very important I get the most out of my computer for work, I'm an indie dev and if it craps out within the next 4 years, it will be a huge delay before I'll be able to ship my game, and able to afford another GPU.

I also have this little device that came with my motherboard.
Is this for the CPU, GPU, both? I'm guessing its for changing the bios max voltage settings and stuff?


I know that overclocking will reduce its life, It would be awesome if someone who is experienced, with no doubts in their mind, could answer my questions.
I really appreciate if you do this for a hobby and know a lot about it, but I would prefer someone who works with computers, and does this for a living to answer, my whole career is at stake here.

To wrap it all up in a question or 2.
#1- How much life does overclocking take from the card?
#2- What's a safe voltage where there is no doubts it will last 5 years or more.
#3- Even though the temp is fine, can damage still happen?
#3.5- Lets say someone has an air cooled 1080, with a load at 80 degrees, and someone has a water cooled, with the voltage cranked, and on a load its at 80 degrees, will the Overclocked one live as long as the air cooled, and if not what's the most likely difference?
#4- Can It damage anything else?

Really sorry about the long post, just wanted to make sure you know what I have, why I need an accurate/no doubt answer.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    #1- How much life does overclocking take from the card?

    -No way to tell. It might not take any away or it could instantly fry it. Depends on how much you want to push things. If you set your voltage to stock and find your headroom from there things are relatively safe.

    #2- What's a safe voltage where there is no doubts it will last 5 years or more.

    -Stock voltage is the only "safe" voltage technically. Unless it is an EVGA card because I could break it in half and those lovely bastards will send me a new one :)

    #3- Even though the temp is fine, can damage still happen?

    -Yes.

    #3.5- Lets say someone has an air cooled 1080, with a load at 80 degrees, and someone has a water cooled, with the voltage cranked, and on a load its at 80 degrees, will the Overclocked one live as long as the air cooled, and if not what's the most likely difference?

    -If your idea is to "crank" the voltage then please do not overclock anything. Trying to peg where a piece of hardware will die isn't going to be possible. If I could do that I would work in a server farm getting paid a massive amount more than your average tech because I am psychic.

    #4- Can It damage anything else?

    - Yes.


    If you are worried about your hardware lasting as long as possible then stock voltage with the highest overclock you can get would be your safest bet.

    Certain things in your post made me feel like you don't really understand most core concepts of over clocking and you should do a lot more reading. (Start with the Tom's guides they are pretty good.)

    I am certainly an advocate for the joys of over clocking, so do not take it as I am against it in any way. It is extremely fun.

    Just learn the basics before jumping in head first on a brand new top of the line rig.

    I am not sure what your rig isn't doing that you want it to anyway though -_-
  2. Thanks for the reply Faktion, pretty much the answer I was looking for. I will read up on it some more. I found out that picture I took is an OC Panel. Easier to find out information on it when I found out what its actually called.

    Don't worry I didn't want to just crank it, and you're right I really don't know much about it at all. I wanted to make sure I'm not going to destroy my card after turning it up %20, was just surprised that a 1080 couldn't run everything on ultra and get 60fps (It was 25fps), so just trying to get as close to that as possible with out doing damage. The temp was fine as well, so I just wanted to know if that can still be damaging.

    But the main reason I wanted to is for working in Unity, with multiple monitors, and multiple views of the game running(Game view, scene view, and the debugger). Its nice to be able to get a good and steady frame rate when testing. Eventually I will get another card to spread the load for the 3 monitors I'm running.
  3. I updated my drivers with DDU, and my performance is way up, I kinda thought something was fishy. My performance is more then 5x faster. I won't be over clocking.
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