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I'm overclocking my Radeon HD 3850 using ATI's Catalyst Control Center. I let the Auto-Tune feature run and kept the settings. I was pushiing 110 C while running Starcraft 2 on High with the Auto-Tuned settings. Is this too high? What should I aim for?

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110 C = scary. You hear a lot that 60 C is the point above which damage can occur. That's not quite it, a more accurate assessment would be that 60 C is the point above which your graphics card starts getting gray hair, meaning its service life gets shorter. I'd try to keep it below 65-75 as much as possible, depending on how willing you are to replace it in 6 months. I think at the 110 point, though, you would be looking at artifacts or complete failure in a month or two.

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Most graphics cards are actually made to withstand temperatures up to about 120 degrees, but putting one through that on a daily basis is just asking for it to die a very swift death. – Sasha Chedygov Dec 31 '10 at 4:16
60C is for CPUs, not graphics cards – Billy ONeal Dec 31 '10 at 4:21
nvidia lists the maximum operating temperature of most of their graphics cards as 105 C. ATI unfortunately does not publish this information (at least nowhere easily locatable). That temperature is worked out to be the temperature below which they will get a certain target mean time before failure (MTBF or MTF). I can't remember where I heard this, so take it with a grain of salt, but I believe that the target MTBF is only 1 year. Assuming the reality works out like the math, 110 C thus ensures a failure in less than one year. I figure in reality it's a good bit sooner. – jcrawfordor Dec 31 '10 at 4:26

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