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How Exactly Does Cooling efftect OC's?

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Sep 28, 2002
Juneau Alaska
I know this is a dumb question, but I never knew exactly how sub zero cooling helps OC's.

I mean, I know the cooler it is, the better it runs and such.

but I mean things like...
increasing the voltage make it more stable right?
does sub zero cooling make it more stable at lower voltages so its easier to OC farther?

I guess thats a main question.

"does sub zero cooling make it more stable at lower voltages so its easier to OC farther?"

most of the heat happens in the core right?
so if the core is too hot, then it's not likely to be stable?

I know how to OC and the tricks to make things work, and still I just never heard exactly why sub zero cooling helps.
I mean the details...

like how does sub zero temps effect the core?
is electricity more effective in low temps?

basically I am just very curious about why it helps.
yet I don't know what to ask...



Jul 30, 2002
This is somewhat oversimplified, but it covers the basics.

The main factor is the resistance of the transistors that are switching in the cpu. The resistance of the transistors increases with temperature.

Transistors are the building blocks of logic element within the CPU. These logic elements have inputs and outputs.

The output of one logic element drives the input of one or more other logic elements. The basic issue is how fast the outputs of one logic element can change the input of some other logic element from a 0 to a 1 or vice versa.

The inputs to the logic elements require a certain amount of electrical charge to get them to detect a 1 instead of a 0.

The resistance of the output transistors limits how quickly one logic element can provide enough charge to another logic element's in order for a transition from 0 to 1 to be detected.

Increasing the voltage applied across the ouput transistor's resistance increases the rate at which charge is transferred, through the transistor resistance, to an input. Result faster switching of logic states.

For a particular voltage, cooling the device also increases the rate at which charge is transferred to an input, by reducing the resistance. Again faster switching of logic states.

These logic elements only pay attention to their inputs when the clock ticks. When the clock ticks they look at their inputs spend some time deciding what to output, and start transferring charge to another input downstream. As long as the necessary charge gets transferred before the next clock tick everything runs smoothly. But, when the resistance is too high, or the voltage is too low, for one logic element to transfer charge fast enough to the next logic element before the next clock tick occurs, the next logic element will detect a bogus input state.