Right guys myself and our technical guys have spent the entire weekend and this morning in discussions with Intel regarding the alarming amount of reports of Sandybridge CPU's dying and have been conducting our own testing as have Intel to find out what is a definite no no.
Sandybridge maximum safe voltages
- Not recommended too exceed 1.38v, doing so could kill the CPU, we therefor recommend a range of 1.325-1.350v if overclocking.
- Intel recommend 1.50v plus/minus 5% which means upto 1.58v is the safe recommended limit. In our testing we have found 1.65v has caused no issues.
BCLK Base Clock
- This is strictly a NO, anyone using base clock overclocking could/will cause damange to CPU/Mainboard. (Set manually to 100)
- Do not exceed 1.9v!!
- Basically we recommend customers not to exceed 1.35v to play it safe, all our bundles are set at 1.3250v or lower, any competitors offering bundles above 4.6GHz you should be enquiring as to what voltage they are using as we believe anything over 1.38v will limit CPU lifespan and anything over 1.42v will likely kill the CPU or severely limit its lifespan.
- Intel recommend 1.50v plus/minus 5% which means 1.60v is the ideal safe maximum, but we have found in our testing all 1.65v memory is fine. We have also found most new 1.65v like Corsair XMS3 will run at its rated timings with just 1.50-1.55v which is well within Intel specifications. So people upgrading to Sandybridge you can still use your old DDR3, but we do recommend you run it at 1.60v or less. We are shipping most of our bundles which feature Corsair XMS at 1.50v-1.55v at rated timings. We've also discussed with Asus and MSI regarding voltages for memory and they also confirm in their testing 1.65v caused no issues with reliability.
- To put it simple if you value the life of your components, do not overclock using base clock!
- Again do not exceed 1.9v!
These are just guidelines we recommend you follow, if you want to push more voltage through your CPU's then just be aware they could die on you. Your warranty is un-affected and we will honor any CPU's that die, we just won't ask questions as to how you killed them.
Not all CPU's are as fragile as others, we have experimented upto 1.50v Vcore and 1.70v memory and had zero issues with reliability, so it seems some of fine when pushing hard.