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Voltages killing chips... Fact or fiction?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Paulieg, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, I'd like to start a discussion on this, since it's always been a controversial subject. I was always taught that it was only heat from voltages that would kill a processor, regardless of whether it's vcore, PLL or FSB Term V and not the actual voltage itself. I've personally never experienced any degradation or killed a chip of my own, despite high voltages...with appropriate cooling. So, the question is...can voltage actually kill or degrade a chip if temps are acceptable. If so, HOW does it destroy the chip if it's not heat related?
  2. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Personally, I think voltages do degrade chips in the same way higher temperatures do. But by the time it is noticeable, the chip has long outlived its usefulness.
    Crunching for Team TPU 25 Million points folded for TPU
  3. theonetruewill New Member

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    There seems to be a general consensus (80-90%) that agrees with the idea that above 1.45v seems to be a bad idea with the E8X00 series (and other 45nm). How true this is, and how much of this has to do simply with what Intel has told seems to be hard to see (there is some idea about 'damaging the gates' floating around). If you want to take it cynically Intel may only have said that to stop us overclocking our chips to 4.5-5GHz. however, cynicism and realism are different things. Personally However high I shove up voltages (max 1.5v) I can't get my chip stable at higher than 4.5 so I have left it at 1.31v at 4.4 GHz. If you're asking yourself this question you may want to think about how much of a risk overclocking and overvolting is anyway. My conclusion is, if you need 1.4v+ on one of these chips you're probably pushing it too much anyway- unless your a a real pro bencher - in shich case you should be well aware of the huge risks you are taking anyway.
  4. magibeg

    magibeg

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    Because of how small of a scale the chips operate at stray electrons can actually cause erosion inside the chip. Increasing voltage increases the amount of flowing going through the chip and hence increases erosion.
    Paulieg says thanks.
  5. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    What I'm looking for is the HOW do voltages kill chips...a factual explanation, not just urban myth.
  6. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    Now we are getting somewhere. Any scientific evidence of this actually occuring?
  7. magibeg

    magibeg

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    Electro migration is what you should be researching then.
  8. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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  9. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    Simple fact, higher voltage will degrade the life span of a chip. This has been proven over and over. Running at higher voltages on the athalon 64's will eventually kill the memorycontroller on the chip and it will not be able to run as high a frequency.

    Lower voltage equates to lower temperature as well, so its win win really. Though if your a tweeker you always like to run it right at the edge anyways, that is when you start the juggling act.
  10. suraswami

    suraswami

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    I would say its a slow painful death, but not seating the cooler properly is instant death, so heat and dumb people are the main enemies.
  11. niko084

    niko084

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    Its quite true...

    Everyone knows if you take a car lightbulb and give it 110 volts it blows...

    Voltage is the speed at which electricity moves, when you increase the speed...
    Amps is the amount of power that voltage is carrying.

    Watts obviously being the amount of power its using.

    When you send more power into a device then it was designed to use it will undoubtedly cause wear at a faster rate. Now the rate at which it does it is another question.

    Lets be honest here, if you could just keep popping up voltages, why hasn't someone modded a board to send 2 volts into your chip and remove the IHS and drop a chunk of DICE on it... Its because if you pumped 2 volts into your nice E8600 it would probably last about 5 minutes.

    Same thing with anything else electrical, try to use a power supply on an old portable cassette player sometime, set it to the proper voltage *most the time 3-4.5* and pop it up to the next voltage, gets louder, tape sometimes plays too fast, turn it up a few more and give it say 9 volts.... Before you even get to turn it on you will fry it, so heat is out of the calculation there.

    As said above, Heat is the main issue for about everyone. Although too much voltage will kill your chip also.
    Everyone can pretty much agree that overclocking your chip will diminish its life span quicker, well that wouldn't be true if it was just heat, because my chip runs cooler overclocked than it would normal clocked on an intel board with a intel HSF..
    infrared and phanbuey say thanks.
  12. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    I thought the speed of electricity was constant e.g 1/4th of a mile per hour or the alternate theory that it is the speed of light.
  13. Steevo

    Steevo

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    electromigration.


    Look it up. It happens and is very real. My dads old 78' dodge had all new HEI ignition and would go through a set of plugs in about 3-4 thousand miles.
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  14. niko084

    niko084

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    I may have misstated slightly..
    Electricity does have a rate at which it physically moves.

    **
    voltage
    noun
    1. the rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a circuit; expressed in volts

    If you could find a laser cut in half and microscope pictures of 2 equal chips one over volted and one not you would see a difference.

    Here is a more in depth explanation.
    http://www.overclock.net/faqs/19390-info-why-does-too-much-heat.html
  15. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    I didn't even know what voltage really was until this thread lol is it like how many electrons are present idk
  16. niko084

    niko084

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    Basic old school comparison.
    Voltage is a lot like water pressure.
  17. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    good comparison lol i get it now.
  18. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    [​IMG]

    STOP

    There are some of the WORSE and INCORRECT "definitions" of electricity and voltage in this thread.

    I know that niko is trying to talk in laymans terms, but for the LoG, ignore his definitions. If you want to know, start here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage

    voltage is NOT a rate
    voltage is NOT a speed
  19. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    you just pissed on my fire .... I'm gonna stick with the water pressure thingy because wikipedia has equations and shit on it.
  20. niko084

    niko084

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    Lol its an easy analogy... But it is a little more complicated when it gets down to it.
    Thankfully I'm in school for electrical engineering.
  21. v-zero Guest

    Voltage alone can certainly kill a chip, especially as the scale on which this processors are produced gets closer and closer to nuclear radius sized distances between pathways. It has been a widely observed fact that as the fabrication process advances its march for miniturization, increased electron leakage is occuring. This is a little messy to get into, but what it boils down to is stray electrons wreaking havok if too many escape their usual confines - and when you chuck a load of extra voltage down the pipes that's exactly what will happen. They don't cause erosive damage, as was alluded to earlier - an electron, even travelling very quickly, doesn't have the momentum to cause real damage to massive lattice structures made from heavy sub-atomic particles. No, what happens is more akin to a mental breakdown...
  22. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    I just left highschool and I don't know shit about electricity but I'm very good at chemistry.
  23. niko084

    niko084

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    They do indeed cause erosion, its just again at a sub-atomic level, extremely minute, but it is there. Shooting matter into other matter does cause damage, more force = more damage.

    But other than that what are are saying is pretty much dead on.
  24. niko084

    niko084

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    Well then we need to talk :roll:

    Ya electricity can get pretty complicated at times, we don't want to start getting into resistance and current on top of voltage here that would go way over most peoples heads.
  25. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    /walks out the room lol :)

    I'm just going to standby and observe this discussion from now on lol :p

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