PDA

View Full Version : Explain the nuances of Overclocking please...


Vanzagar
07-16-04, 05:29 PM
I don't quite get why everyone seems to be overclocking their PC's and cards. I'm a fairly long time PC user and was always told, if you over clock your component and it fails you can void the warrenty (some vendors can tell). Also, that over clocking your component WILL add considerable stress to the part and quite probably shorten the product life. Can also produce more heat thus damaging surrounding components. Not to mention if it does fail having to pay for return shipping and the down time :scarey:

So I don't quite see the trade off or I'm not understanding everything fully here :screwy: Most overclocking only seems to get you 10% maybe 20% improvement gain. In return adds instability to your system, possibly damages your system and/or component and only gives you a slight increase in performance. I mean wouldn't it be wiser to just turn down your settings a bit. Can you really tell the difference between,

4X AA , 8X AF @1600x1200 -vs- 2X AA, 4AF @1152X864 :bugeyes:

where both give you, say 50 FPS (maybe also changing some setting down like "medium shadows" or "medium draw distance" to maintain equal FPS. I can't really tell the difference maybe I need to get my eyes checked :cry:

I don't really see the benefit of adding this instability and risk for the amount of added performace to image quality. Now if you were overclocking to go from 640x480 to 1024x768 or going from 20fps to 50fps this would make complete sense to me, but for these GF 6800, I think we will be able to play DOOM3, and Farcry very nicely at a very nice resolution, with bells and whistles turned on and decent FPS... :p :beer: :thumbsup: :clap2:

So please someone enlighten me as to the logic here, cause I'm just not getting it... (crazy) when everyone is doing the overclocking is this a permanent change or just a temporary change to see how high you can get your 3d Mark score?

Thanks,

rhuala

ps. Not to mention if a game or your system starts screwing up you've add another level of trouble shooting headache to the equation...(bur)

Demigod
07-16-04, 05:44 PM
Your lookking at it the wrong way. In overclcoking you can gain as you say 10-20 fps in games. I get 10fps avg in far cry when I overclock my gt to ultra speed.
Now the instability you mention does not happen to me. I have my card and cpu overclocked 24/7 The trick to overclocking is first finding the highest safe overclcok. i.e where errors occur and going down until they stop. Then finding the sweet spot as it were where no probs occur and everything is stable. In my case I can run my axp2800 @2200mhz perfectly stable with slight probs at 2250 due to my memory so I dont go there. My gt runs perfectly well @ 400/1100 but throttles @425/1150. If you know what you are doing. i.e. if you are carful you wont get problems.
I get a higher minimum fps so I can run everthing higher at the nicest settings and yess I can see the diff and I wear glasses. I could smear the lenses for cheep aa I suppose :)
(sorry for the spelling)

ssj4goku887
07-16-04, 05:50 PM
it will shorten the life of your product but it wont fail in the lifetime your using it as long as you overclock responsibly overclock to max and back it down a tad and keep it cool.

OWA
07-16-04, 05:51 PM
It's a boost in performance that is essentially free. Sometimes it can make a big difference sometimes it doesn't. If you're having marginal mins, it may help keep you in the smooth-zone. I never worry about the warranty or shortening the life because I don't plan on using the card for 5 to 10 years. A lot of enthusiasts will upgrade every year or even every 6 months so they're usually not too concerned about long-term use. It doesn't make your system unstable if you take precautions or don't try to overdo it. I also do it because I like to tweak my system. I enjoy it. Besides, I've never had a card give me problems, even older ones, and I keep mine oc'ed all the time.

CaptNKILL
07-16-04, 06:19 PM
I don't quite get why everyone seems to be overclocking their PC's and cards. I'm a fairly long time PC user and was always told, if you over clock your component and it fails you can void the warrenty (some vendors can tell). Also, that over clocking your component WILL add considerable stress to the part and quite probably shorten the product life. Can also produce more heat thus damaging surrounding components. Not to mention if it does fail having to pay for return shipping and the down time :scarey:

So I don't quite see the trade off or I'm not understanding everything fully here :screwy: Most overclocking only seems to get you 10% maybe 20% improvement gain. In return adds instability to your system, possibly damages your system and/or component and only gives you a slight increase in performance. I mean wouldn't it be wiser to just turn down your settings a bit. Can you really tell the difference between,

4X AA , 8X AF @1600x1200 -vs- 2X AA, 4AF @1152X864 :bugeyes:

where both give you, say 50 FPS (maybe also changing some setting down like "medium shadows" or "medium draw distance" to maintain equal FPS. I can't really tell the difference maybe I need to get my eyes checked


OK, overclocking may shorten the life of hardware. It MAY. Most of us wont ever know because hardware lasts a LOONNNGGG time unless its defective from the start. I personally havent heard of anyone burning anything up by overclocking. The thing that kills components is modding them. For example, screwing up a voltage mod, or improperly installing a new heatsink.

And instability is only caused by too much overclocking. If its unstable, then it obviously is overclocked too much. I doubt many people here overclock and run at settings that crash their system. The idea doesnt even make any sense.

People overclock to levels that are stable, and then most will even back down a bit to make absolute sure its stable. The 10% to 20% increase you are talking about is HUGE considering its free and rarely has any negative side effects. The 6800 GT and 6800 Ultra have far less than a 20% performance difference between them (usually) and the Ultra still costs $100 more.

The only reasons not to overclock in my mind are:
Dont need it (all of your games run perfect at the highest settings... unless you only play 5 year old games on brand new hardware, i highly doubt this is the case)
Dont see it (if you dont see the difference between 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF and 1152x864 2xAA 4xAF, then theres no point in running at higher settings... obviously, theres a huge difference, but if you dont see it, dont use it.. this may also be the case if your monitor or the rest of your system are limiting your video card)
Cant do it (your card doesnt overclock at all, or your house temp is 110 degrees and your hardware already runs at 80C without overclocking)

And thats about it :p

Vanzagar
07-16-04, 06:34 PM
1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF and 1152x864 2xAA 4xAF, then theres no point in running at higher settings... obviously, theres a huge difference

ok I guess that's where my confusion lies. I really don't see a big difference in these settings and you do... hmmm, maybe if I'm stationary and staring at the same area for a long time I may notice a slight, very slight more jaggedness (is that a word). But when I'm moving around and shooting things or just looking around the difference isn't really that noticable. I have 20-20 vision and don't wear glasses. I also have a nice 19" Viewsonic monitor.

Right now if I do go up to 1600X1200, my FPS drop to 10 so maybe I need to see a game running at 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF @ >50FPS to really appreciate this... anyone know where I can see this, none of my friends own a system that could play a game like farcry this well. Fry's and BB don't have decent demo's or machines either that I have seen able to run these settings on a nice monitor at 50 FPS . I live in Portland, OR, US, by the way, maybe an internet cafe or something...

Vanz

BYUNews
07-16-04, 06:44 PM
It's a boost in performance that is essentially free.
That is EXACTLY why I overclock. The thing with high-performance parts is that you pay exponentially larger amounts of money for progressively smaller leaps in speed. Why shell out $180 for a Athlon 3200+ when you can get that speed for $100 cheaper by overclocking a 2500+? Why pay $400 for a graphics card that will net you 10k 3DMarks when you can get that performance by overclocking a $300 card? By overclocking, you beat the exponential price increase that comes with the progressively smaller performance gains in high-performance parts.

Vanzagar
07-16-04, 06:57 PM
It's a boost in performance that is essentially free.
That is EXACTLY why I overclock. The thing with high-performance parts is that you pay exponentially larger amounts of money for progressively smaller leaps in speed.

I guess... but it's not really for FREE, that card may only last you 2 years instead of 5 or 8. Now I'm not going to use my card probably past 3 years but I do usually pass it on to a brother or nephew or someone less into high end gaming and they may use it for another 10 years.

Now I realize no one knows how much damage goes on, but if you are exceeding the manufactures limits and exceeding their tested specs then you really don't know what's going on or what damage is being done. My point being, why not just kick back your settings a bit since it's not that noticable and just preserve your card and other components. Like I said if it was a 20FPS difference to a 50FPS difference I would understand but not a 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF to 1152x864 2xAA 4xAF difference where both are at 50FPS...

Vanz

CaptNKILL
07-16-04, 07:12 PM
I guess... but it's not really for FREE, that card may only last you 2 years instead of 5 or 8. Now I'm not going to use my card probably past 3 years but I do usually pass it on to a brother or nephew or someone less into high end gaming and they may use it for another 10 years.

Now I realize no one knows how much damage goes on, but if you are exceeding the manufactures limits and exceeding their tested specs then you really don't know what's going on or what damage is being done. My point being, why not just kick back your settings a bit since it's not that noticable and just preserve your card and other components. Like I said if it was a 20FPS difference to a 50FPS difference I would understand but not a 1600x1200 4xAA 8xAF to 1152x864 2xAA 4xAF difference where both are at 50FPS...

Vanz
Well if it helps, I had a Visiontek Geforce 2 GTS 32Mb that I ran overclocked all the time. I bought it in late 2000 (i think) and about a year after i bought it the fan got broken so i had to run it without a fan for a little while (i had a PCI slot exhaust fan though). After I got a replacement fan, i overclocked it again. I didnt buy another card until late 2002 when I got my Geforce 4 Ti 4400. I sold the card (with a computer) to a friend. I recently got the computer back to do some repairs, and the fan had died (the card was showing artifacts). I fixed it and the card is running great again. Thats a 4 year old card that ran overclocked most of its life and without a working fan for more time than any card should, and it still works perfectly fine (UT2K3 and BF1942 play pretty good on that machine).

I also had a Voodoo 3 2000 PCI in 1999 that I overclocked quite a bit, and it still works as well.

tieros
07-16-04, 07:14 PM
Think of it this way. The manufacturer doesn't know anything about your environment. They have to assume the worst, so they underclock components to a lowest common denominator that they are willing to support.

A good overclocker will go to great lengths (and costs) to create an environment designed to showcase the component's full potential.

We would rather spend the money on the environment once, and then maximize the performance of affordable components as they are released. The other route is to buy the highest performing parts, which always come at a huge premium. Personally, I always buy the second or third fastest part, and use the savings to update my computers more frequently.

CaptNKILL
07-16-04, 07:30 PM
Think of it this way. The manufacturer doesn't know anything about your environment. They have to assume the worst, so they underclock components to a lowest common denominator that they are willing to support.

A good overclocker will go to great lengths (and costs) to create an environment designed to showcase the component's full potential.

We would rather spend the money on the environment once, and then maximize the performance of affordable components as they are released. The other route is to buy the highest performing parts, which always come at a huge premium. Personally, I always buy the second or third fastest part, and use the savings to update my computers more frequently.
That works too :D
Ive got a pretty fast computer and all my parts (besides motherboard) were NOT high end when I bought them (obviously the 6800GT is but I got it with the $300 Best Buy deal). Hell, my CPU cost $50 a year and a half ago and its been running overclocked 600Mhz ever since :p

BYUNews
07-16-04, 10:01 PM
Now I realize no one knows how much damage goes on, but if you are exceeding the manufactures limits and exceeding their tested specs then you really don't know what's going on or what damage is being done. True enough, but an overclocker will usually use special cooling to bring temperatures to a safe level. My Athlon has a Thermaltake Silent Boost heatsink, and my Geforce 6800 came with a stock 6800GT fan. Both run at very safe temperatures (50 degrees under load and 65, respectively). I don't see what damage is being done if appropriate cooling is used.