My other rig wont stay clocked @ 890 anymore and only wants to clock at 850 or so. grrr. Temps are mid 70's c. That is 2x5970.
Electromigration will degrade & kill chips that are run at too high voltages and frequencies for extended periods of time. Happens to CPUs as well. Temperature is not necessarily relevant (but can accelerate the EM process)
You were running an approx. 20% OC on the 5970 cores, on the verge of long term stability (I wouldn't, because it's a quite expensive card)
Note that you would earn much more in the long term by running GPUs at moderate OC's (5-10%) than running them at 20-40% OC and killing the chips in a few months, having to buy new cards