Can processors wear out?


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Sir Topham Hatt

I know it seems like a silly question but can they wear out / slow down over time?

 

Had my current build for about 3 years or so now. It's a Ryzen processor.

 

Did some video encoding (converting from one format to another) and since, when I look at a folder of video files, it seems to take some time to read each file and it's details, then provide me with a list of them. We're only talking 10 or so seconds here but it used to be pretty instant.

Only seems to do it with video files.

 

Haven't done any "cleaning" in ages, so the recycle bin is pretty full. 

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dipsylalapo
1 minute ago, Sir Topham Hatt said:

I know it seems like a silly question but can they wear out / slow down over time?

 

Had my current build for about 3 years or so now. It's a Ryzen processor.

 

Did some video encoding (converting from one format to another) and since, when I look at a folder of video files, it seems to take some time to read each file and it's details, then provide me with a list of them. We're only talking 10 or so seconds here but it used to be pretty instant.

Only seems to do it with video files.

 

Haven't done any "cleaning" in ages, so the recycle bin is pretty full. 

I'm not sure about your question, but if they did, I don't think 3 years would be the time frame. 

 

I've had a number of machines that are older. 

 

Are the video files on an SSD or a mechanical drive? To me that just sounds like it's taking a bit of time to read from the drive. 

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Elliot B.
3 minutes ago, Sir Topham Hatt said:

I know it seems like a silly question but can they wear out / slow down over time?

 

Had my current build for about 3 years or so now. It's a Ryzen processor.

 

Did some video encoding (converting from one format to another) and since, when I look at a folder of video files, it seems to take some time to read each file and it's details, then provide me with a list of them. We're only talking 10 or so seconds here but it used to be pretty instant.

Only seems to do it with video files.

 

Haven't done any "cleaning" in ages, so the recycle bin is pretty full. 

They can't wear out in that sense.

 

Your problem sounds more to me like a potential storage issue, or possibly out-of-date drivers.

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Steven P.

There's a number of things that can cause a slowdown of a PC, the first thing I always go to in these cases is to check if a PC is able to ventilate properly with ample space around the case, and then if a PC's internals haven't been cleaned out for 3 years since you built it, there's a possibility of a dust build up on the components, in that case you can open both sides and give it a good blowout with an dust cleaner air aerosol.

 

Lastly, it could be software or drivers related, one or more programs that got installed along the way might be slowing things down. I consider myself to be a power user but even I am facing some problems with Chrome that I can't track down the issue (a tab on a specific website keeps freezing and I can't isolate why) so I am considering doing a fresh install of Windows. Ensure drivers are up to date and that you have the latest firmware installed for your products too.

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shockz

Yes, they can... however three years is pretty extreme. CPUs should last decades, and even then we’re talking fractions of performance. It’d have to be subjected to extreme variable heat levels with really bad thermals constantly... I.e abuse/improper install/bad OC, and even then, you’d have to have some pretty lousy cooling and/or dirty case for your time frame. As well as multiple startup/shutdowns in a short amount of time, over and over causing significant temperature differentials that cause wear faster. Wear as in actual physical connections within a CPU, physically contracting, expanding with temperature. Maybe check thermal paste, fans. If anything the motherboard would go first. The symptoms you’re describing don’t sound like any of that though. Basically heat is the enemy when it comes to CPUs. 
 

Sounds more like a OS issue to me. Maybe physical drive as well. Check drivers, crummy software. Or for updates. Clean OS/install up. 

Edited by shockz
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Steven P.
12 minutes ago, Riva said:

If you are overclocking or have an ASUS motherboard that actually overclocks automatically then you will read the fine print saying the components will last about 2,5 years - written in hours. 

Can you provide some sort of proof for this, because that sounds like it is made up.

 

Also what overclocking do you mean, because my Gigabyte Aorus also has an XMP overclock so that the memory operates at 3200Mhz (default is 2100MHz). Manufacturers aren't automatically overclocking components to break.

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Sir Topham Hatt

Thanks.

Some great thoughts here.

 

I didn't think it would wear out like that. I'll do some physical cleaning (although it's pretty clean!) and look ar drivers and such. Here's a video:

 

 

To be honest, I think it may have stared when I updated Windows.

 

These will be on a mechanical drive.

Edited by Sir Topham Hatt
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Skiver

Have you opened Task Manager/Resource Manager to see what's being taxed when you run this process?

 

I agree with others, this to me seems more storage relate, especially if it's on a HDD.

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Jim K

As others have mentioned ... I *highly* doubt it is an issue with the CPU.  CPU degradation is usually from overclocking where at some point in the future it may become unstable, needs more voltage to maintain the overclock (or the overclock needs to be tuned down with lower voltages).  Anyway, I believe that main sign of an CPU issue would be stability vs. taking a longer time to list files in Explorer.  :) 

 

In addition to monitoring task manager ... I would also see if Windows is throwing any errors/warnings in Event Viewer.

 

What kind of HDD is that?  Is it a slower 5400 RPM one?  

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Sir Topham Hatt

Hmm.

 

Well, Explorer says it's running at about 2% CPU.

The HDD is a 7200 one - https://www.scan.co.uk/products/2tb-wd-black-wd2003fzex-35-hdd-sata-iii-6gb-s-7200rpm-2ms-64mb-cache

 

I'll run Malwarebytes and see what it finds.  It doesn't look like there's anything out of the ordinary that's running though (although it started scanning and found an old driver updater program but I've had that / not used it in years).

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Mockingbird

If you overclocked the processors w/ high voltages, then sure, otherwise, no.

 

The processors would be long obsolete before they "wear out".

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Mockingbird
1 hour ago, Sir Topham Hatt said:

sounds like upgrade time...

 

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1J3C23

 

WD Black SN750 1TB

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M64QXMN

 

Seagate Barracuda 510 1TB

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZPRK68X

Edited by Mockingbird
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goretsky

Hello,

Although processors are solid-state electronic devices, they can actually wear out or fail permanently.

Perhaps the most well known of these is with Intel's Atom C2000 series of processors, which, according to this advisory from the NSA, will fail after 18-36 months of operation due to a defective clock component inside the processor.

 

As for other types of damage, electrical overstress, static electricity and excessive temperature ranges can cause them to fail prematurely.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

 

 

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+John Teacake

I would suggest that Software gets better over time... BUT Better for new hardware. So the software might be making use of new instructions, better pipeline prediction etc. OS might get better but only for newer hardware. Then after that the processors get slower but not so much the processors they just have a harder time keeping up with optimizations in software vs hardware. 

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Sir Topham Hatt

Well, I ran Malwarebytes which found some things.

Emptied the 50/60GB of stuff in the recycle bin and cleared out some other stuff.

Also ran HD Sentinal short self test, which didn't find anything.

Updated drivers for a variety of things.

 

Haven't tested yet as I have to go to work but will try in the next few days.

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+warwagon
On 8/24/2020 at 3:11 AM, Sir Topham Hatt said:

Haven't done any "cleaning" in ages, so the recycle bin is pretty full. 

Please don't be one of those people who puts stuff in the recycle bin if you aren't absolute positivity sure you want to delete it. Some people put stuff in there and leave it in there and then at some point empty they it. When they are absolute sure they don't need X file anymore 

 

The fact that you said it's pretty full, instead of just emptying it right there and then, tells me this may be the case.

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Astra.Xtreme

A CPU probably won't wear out on it's own terms.  Excessive heat is the top killer of any electronic and a CPU that's exposed to high temps is no exception.  If the heatsink fan gets clogged or burns out, the higher heat exposure will definitely affect it's lifespan.

What's more likely to happen is a component on the motherboard (such as a capacitor) failing and inducing noise and transients going to the CPU.  A high enough jolt of voltage and current can easily burn up the traces on the CPU.

A motherboard failing could be caused by the voltage regulators on your PSU failing, so it's most likely to be a cascading effect of failures rather than just your CPU failing.

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neufuse

that looks more like a failing drive or a disk controller issue......

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Steven P.
On 8/24/2020 at 11:25 AM, Riva said:

If you are overclocking or have an ASUS motherboard that actually overclocks automatically then you will read the fine print saying the components will last about 2,5 years - written in hours.

 

17 minutes ago, Riva said:

Where does your link state that ASUS says in documentation that using their hardware means the components only last 2.5 years?

 

The statement you made is not "Electronics 1-0-1".

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adrynalyne
1 hour ago, Riva said:

Deflection "1-0-1". Lets see the statement from ASUS, because nobody here said your component life wouldn't be shortened by overclocking...I wanna see that "fine print" from ASUS.

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Sir Topham Hatt
On 8/25/2020 at 2:44 PM, warwagon said:

Please don't be one of those people who puts stuff in the recycle bin if you aren't absolute positivity sure you want to delete it. Some people put stuff in there and leave it in there and then at some point empty they it. When they are absolute sure they don't need X file anymore 

 

The fact that you said it's pretty full, instead of just emptying it right there and then, tells me this may be the case.

Most was a bunch of photos I'd not long deleted from years back 😋

 

 

Did cleaning. Malwarebytes found a couple of bits it didn't like, got rid and the PC seems a lot happier now. 

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adrynalyne
On 8/24/2020 at 2:25 AM, Riva said:

If you are overclocking or have an ASUS motherboard that actually overclocks automatically then you will read the fine print saying the components will last about 2,5 years - written in hours. Otherwise it might be a thermal issue i suggest you change thermal paste, clean and replace fans as needed. Also do some hardware monitoring with hwinfo and see where the high temperature comes in. Might be worth looking at background processes as well in case you have something sneaking in.

We are still waiting for a link to this alleged “fine print”. 

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corrosive23

There is no fine print. He is pulling it out of his ass. The manual for my ROG Strix B-450-F has nothing like that at all.  Just a warning that using the advanced options in the UEFI may cause malfunction.

 

 

https://www.asus.com/Microsite/motherboard/Intelligent-motherboard/AI-Overclocking.html

 

 

Hmmm nothing like that there either.

 

 

I mean I ran a Celeron 300A @ 450 for almost 5 years 24/7 and it still boots and runs fine. My q6600 I had overclocked for years still works. He is just full of it. Some of us have been overclocking for 20+ years

 

 

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corrosive23
19 minutes ago, Riva said:

 

https://event.asus.com/mb/5000hrs_VRM/

Oh look, 5.7 years for heavy loading and gaming, since the scientific explanation in the previous article wasnt enough.

That is not talking about the processor, that is talking about the VRM on the motherboard. Dude, just take the L and admit you are wrong. Not to mention that is talking about a motherboard that came out in 2008 and capacitors and VRMs have improved vastly in 12 years.

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adrynalyne
46 minutes ago, Riva said:

 

https://event.asus.com/mb/5000hrs_VRM/

Oh look, 5.7 years for heavy loading and gaming, since the scientific explanation in the previous article wasnt enough.

We didn’t ask for your scientific explanation, but instead this so-called fine print. Is reading difficult for you?

 

Let me also point out that those capacitors are not the CPU. Wanna try again, instead of being snarky?

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