I see people doing 2.9v or even more on their memory voltages but my IC-7 (latest Bios) only has options up to 2.7v or 2.8v, if I'm not wrong. What do you guys think would be the max. safest voltage for mem.? What about for the video card?
I don't know about video cards but for DDR anything above 2.9 volts starts to get chancy.
I ran a stick of generic pc2100 on a volt modded board at 3.5 volts for about 6 months (176mhz fsb ) but I had an 80 mm fan blowing air directly on it. A few months later it blew (R.I.P.) at 3.0 volts.
I remember a quote from corsair saying that you should not need over 2.8v. When you hear this from a manufacturer, it says:
1. There's no reason not to overvolt your ram to 2.8v
2. Anything over this is risky.
The need to cool your ram is questionable. It is notable that all the top of the line pc3500 and pc3700 from major manufacturers has it. Of course the major manufacturers put it on pc2700, too. Then again, plenty of smaller name companies make pc3200 ram or better without heatspreaders, and some of it goes over 217fsb, too.
I have played around with the AGP voltage setting in the BIOS of my IC7. Extra voltage seems to help a tiny bit when try for extreme overclocks. I've ran my 9700 Pro at 1.65v for several hours. It did seem to get warmer than normal. Not sure what the long term effects would be. I think to be safe, I'll just run mine at 1.55v for long term. That extra MHz or two don't seem to be worth $300 to me.
RAM really don't need sinks or spreaders up to 2.8v or so (BTW the IC7 allows up to 2.8v in the BIOS). Above 3.0v you probably better have them, although I personally would not exceed 3.0v for any extented period of time (I'm a little cautious). RAM sinks really won't help increase your overclock by much, but they will help keep the chips cooler for longevity purposes. Besides, if they even help a tiny bit, them I'm going to use them. Oh yeah, plus they look really "cool" too.