Is Overclocking New Hardware Bad?

What is up, readers? A new mail from a friend got me wondering, is overclocking new hardware like processors or video cards killing it too soon? It got me riled up because I have always thought this in the back of my mind, but years and years of being in the industry without actually being questioned about it just put it to sleep without any conflict.

But, what if everytime we are overclocking a brand new piece of PC hardware, we are just destroying its lifespan? I mean, I have had to upgrade my processor multiple times in the last two years, I have to wonder if I am putting way too much stress on it. Of course, the kind of stuff I do on my computer is very intensive but that could be the byproduct of using too much power from my PC parts.

Overclocking new hardware
Overclocking early on may possibly shorten your hardware’s lifespan

Is Overclocking In the First Place Harmful?

In short, no. Overclocking is meant to just suck out the extra juice from your hardware that was not available by the manufacturer for precautionary reasons. By all means, overclocking, as long as you do it right and don’t get greedy, is completely safe and probably recommended by me as well as a whole range of experts on the subject.

I overclock all my hardware as soon as I get them — probably the main reason I am writing this post and speculatively one of the reasons my hardware burns out so quickly as compared to other people’s hardware performance and life spans –. I do this solely to get the most power of the hardware I bought. Obviously, if I am buying something as expensive as PC parts, I want the full capabilities of the device, not some lower, cautionary level that the manufacturers want to impose on me simply because I am a consumer.

So that is why I overclock. But the question remains; is overclocking right when you purchase a new card or processor taking away from its overall lifespan?

Delving deeper into the situation

New Radeon CardSo if we analyze this, we have to go deeper. When you buy a brand new piece of hardware, understand that you are not necessarily the first person to use it. By all means are you the first consumer to try it, but keep in mind that manufacturers test run their products all the time. I personally do not mind this because I definitely want the quality that comes with ensuring parts are not defective.

When you buy it, it is already used and has been run already. So overclocking the device when you buy it is not equivalent to overclocking an absolutely brand new piece. Theoretically, I would assume that doing something along those lines would give a ton of error feedback in terms of hardware failure.

But still, I think overclocking can ruin your devices. Here is how:

  • Putting an unusual amount of stress on relatively new parts can send a shock to the hardware, especially if it has not undergone that stress in a long time or will not undergo that stress in the near future
  • The hardware may not have gotten enough burning in, resulting in a brand new device going maximum power all of a sudden

Those are just theories, of course, but I do not see a reason why they would not work in the real world.

Think about it. You do not go running all out in brand new basketball shoes because the rubber on the soles is not “primed” so to speak for full out basketball performance. You want a little bit of run on the shoes so that the grip is better suited for those high-intensity, fast paced turns and cuts you would be making on the court.

Similarly, the old-fashioned people (if I may) used to always run their car just for a little bit just so it can get warmed up before they go on their drive. Nowadays, of course, you no longer have to do this, but the point is that older cars used to have to be warmed up before, you guessed it, people put stress on the engine.

So what do you guys think? Are my theories possible? Is this something that only I am thinking about? Let your voices be heard!

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