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Pretty much the title - what was the first GPU that reduced clock speeds when it started to overheat instead of simply locking up? Bonus points for first Intel and AMD CPUs too.

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    Counterquestion: Were there GPUs that overheated to the point of locking up, when used within their specifications? – Michael Graf Mar 21 at 22:39
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    @MichaelGraf I strongly doubt it if we're taking GPU strictly as meaning the chip itself. If we're talking about the entire card (so including factory-overclocked models) then I actually have first hand experience with one that did, though it throttled for several minutes before crashing entirely. But with regards to this question, I'm thinking more about user overclocking or maybe dried-up thermal paste resulting in inadequate cooling. – Sam Mar 22 at 0:13
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    @MichaelGraf It does not matter if they were. The gist of the question is, what was the first GPU which employed graceful degradation in order to stay functional, should the external cooling prove inadequate for any reason for functioning at the full frequency. – Leo B. Mar 23 at 0:42
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    Well it wasn't the ATi R300 (Radeon 9500) or nVidia 400MX as I had cooler fans on those fail and got to observe how they failed when taxed and overheated! (ATi started getting geometry errors, the nVidia was like a vortex out from a central point in the middle of the screen.. cool!) – bjb Mar 24 at 1:22
  • @bjb I actually had a Sapphire 9700 with three-year warranty with a fan failure in the 37th month, and that kept running in Windows but 3D games would crash it pretty fast. But even before the fan failed, I used to get long black triangles stretch out from the centre of the screen - is that the kind of vortex you're talking about? I remember people blaming it on bad VRAM chips but not sure how accurate that was. (I also owned an MX460, first card I bought with my own money!) – Sam Mar 24 at 20:50

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