Overclocking a CPU is a strategy used by many PC owners to squeeze the most performance out of their CPU.
Some say it’s harmful to the CPU, some say it doesn’t affect the health at all, and I am here to debunk these questions.
So the question still stands. Does overclocking your CPU decrease its lifespan?
Overclocking your CPU can decrease its lifespan, but the decrease in lifespan is so small that you won’t notice it, and by the time the CPU dies, it will already be outdated technology. The lifespan of a CPU can however decrease by a lot of cooling is not sufficient because the CPU will overheat and get damaged.
Therefore, if you are worried about damaging or ruining the lifespan of your CPU because you want to overclock it for better performance, don’t be.
How To Keep Your CPU Safe When Overclocking
When overclocking your CPU, in order to keep it safe and long-lasting, you should make sure that the cooling in your computer system is up to par with the amount of stress you are about to give your CPU when you overclock it.
The reason for this is that when you overclock your CPU it uses a lot of energy which in turn creates a lot of heat. If the CPU creates too much heat from overclocking the CPU will begin to overheat which can damage the CPU and shorten its lifespan.
Here is an article that talks about Managing Your CPU Heat.
Overclocking is only dangerous to your computer if heat is not managed well so making sure you have proper cooling for your PC is essential.
How Long Will An Overclocked CPU Last?
Typically an overclocked CPU will have about the same lifespan as a normal CPU that is not overclocked. However, the CPU is being overclocked so it is using more power and voltage to increase performance.
This will cause the CPU to overwork itself and could cause it to have hotspots inside even with sufficient cooling.
Although this is very unlikely these factors can still shorten the lifespan of an overclocked CPU.
An overclocked CPU can typically last around 5-7 years. As there is no exact answer because all CPUs are manufactured differently and so many different aspects come into play when overclocking a CPU.
Now you can compare this to the typical lifespan of a stock CPU, which can last around 6-8 years.
As you can see there isn’t a very big difference between the lifespan of an overclocked CPU and a base CPU, so I would recommend giving overclocking a try if you are thinking about it.
Does Overclocking a CPU Increase FPS?
Overclocking a CPU will increase performance and FPS, but since it is a CPU and most games rely on the GPU or graphics card for a bigger FPS increase the increase you will see from overclocking your CPU won’t be that substantial.
Getting a performance increase from overclocking your CPU can vary from CPU to CPU. Even having two of the exact same CPU builds you will see that the overclocking capabilities are different for both.
When overclocking a CPU the boost you get comes down to a few different factors.
First is the silicon lottery. The silicon lottery is the overclocking potential a CPU has. This determines how far you can take your CPU when overclocking.
Every CPU has a different threshold for overclocking so it comes down to luck to determine how fast you can overclock your CPU.
Next, you have cooling. The better your cooling system the better the overclock can be and the more performance you can squeeze out of your CPU.
Having a better cooling system such as liquid cooling can help you overclock your CPU higher than using water cooling.
The reason for this is because overclocking creates a lot of heat and if the CPU gets too hot it won’t be able to perform, thus you can’t overclock it as much when you can’t cool your CPU.
The last thing that comes into play when overclocking is the game you are playing. Different games require different CPU usage. A game that requires more CPU usage can get more out of the CPU when overclocked than a game that doesn’t require as much CPU usage.
If you like to play games that require a higher CPU usage then you will benefit more from overclocking.
Here is the full guide on How to Improve CPU Performance.
How Does Overclocking a CPU Work?
Overclocking a CPU works by increasing the speed of the CPU cores. This is measured in GHz.
The higher GHz a CPU has the faster it is, so if you have a CPU with a base core speed of 3.5GHz, overclock it to 4.0 GHz you will get that much more performance out of your CPU.
Here is an article that talks about How Ghz In a CPU Work and How It Increases performance.
When overclocking a CPU you can overclock the whole CPU which will switch its base GHz to one speed, or you can be more technical and overclock each individual CPU core.
By doing this you can get the maximum performance of each individual core.
What Reduces The Lifespan of a CPU?
Something nobody wants is a dying CPU, so I will go through the factors that reduce the lifespan of a CPU and how to fix it.
Overheating is the main issue when it comes down to the lifespan of a CPU, so in order to prevent this, you need to have a really well-cooled PC.
This can be done by upgrading your stock CPU cooler to a better one or switching your cooling to liquid cooling.
Liquid cooling is the most efficient type of cooling and allows for a lot of overclocking potential. Although it is very expensive it is something I recommend doing if you are looking to overclock your CPU.
Another thing you can do to sustain your CPU cooling is to get more case fans and set them up in a way that allows air to freely travel from one side of the case to the other.
This will allow for a more effective air cooling solution and should prevent your CPU from overheating, which will increase your CPU lifespan.