CPU Stress Test

You can run a CPU stress test anytime you need to check the stability of a computer system.  Although it's most commonly used for overclocking, I often do a stress test on brand new computer builds to ensure that they will run completely flawlessly since it really is a great stability test for any computer.

Before we go any further, you'll need to get 2 small programs.  Both are free but a must to do a system stability test.  You can find both by doing a search on Google.

  • RealTemp - this is my personal temperature utility of choice, you can use anything else you prefer, but you must use something especially if this is a new computer build.  As you can see, it also monitors all cores independently which is a real benefit.
real temp
  • Prime95 - this little program is my stress test utility of choice since it won't just get the CPU but it will stress the RAM as well.  This will stress the computer to the max which is really important since it will show stability problems at full system load.

  • As you can see from the screenshot below, the CPU is now at full work load.  To run this program, click on options then select torture test.  To stop click on test, stop.  No need to change anything, the defaults have always done the trick for me.

prime95

TIP! For confidence that you have a stable system, I recommend running a CPU stress test for a minimum of 4 hours at full load.  This will typically find any problems.

Now that you have your programs set up and making your computer system work, stick around for at least 15 minutes to make sure the temperatures stay in safe limits.  Even on stock cooling you should be okay as long as you're not overclocking.

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Updated October 14 2013

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