Earlier this week news hit the wire that NVIDIA forced EVGA to remove the EVBot connector for its GeForce GTX 680 Classified. Legit Reviews received a statement from NVIDIA that clarified why they asked their hardware partners to remove all forms of user voltage control. The company claims they've prohibited increasing the voltage beyond the specified limits because doing so will result in an early death of the GPU:
"We love to see our chips run faster and we understand that our customers want to squeeze as much performance as possible out of their GPUs. However there is a physical limit to the amount of voltage that can be applied to a GPU before the silicon begins to degrade through electromigration. Essentially, excessive voltages on transistors can over time "evaporate" the metal in a key spot destroying or degrading the performance of the chip. Unfortunately, since the process happens over time it's not always immediately obvious when it's happening. Overvoltaging above our max spec does exactly this. It raises the operating voltage beyond our rated max and can erode the GPU silicon over time."
But what about Kepler's GPU Boost, doesn't this lead to premature wear on the GPU? No, it doesn't. NVIDIA also explained that GPU Boost only increases the voltage and clock speed applied to the GPU within the safe, recommended limits, thus maximising GPU performance while maintaining its longevity.