How to Stress Test Your CPU
Stress testing also called torture testing is very important for overclocking. Without stress testing your CPU, you can’t be sure that your CPU is fully stable at overclocked speeds. Stress testing software applications provide the highest and unrealistic work load to hardware components that if an overclocked component is stable during stress testing, it can take any other type of load.
So how to stress test your CPU?
What you need
How to stress test your CPU
OCCT is an excellent application to stress test your CPU, GPU and Power supply. Download and extract it somewhere (like Desktop). After overclocking, do the following to stress test your CPU;
- Open OCCT.exe
- Select CPU Linpack
- On “Test Type” select Custom
- Enter the desired time. I usually enter just 10 mins when I first overclock a CPU to find the max overclock to save time. Once I find the max OC, I stress test the CPU for 2 hours.
- On “Test Mode” select Max (90% free mem)
Once the test is over, OCCT will report whether there was any error during the test and also generate very useful graphs. These graphs report CPU usage, CPU temperature, ripple on power lines and CPU VCore etc.
If you see an error during the stress test, you may have to up the CPU v-core a notch. If you have done that already and still getting error, you either have to adjust the memory settings or have already reached the OC wall.
If you think the CPU gets too hot while stress testing, stop the test and provide more cooling. Check out the manufacturer website to know the maximum temperature your CPU can run at.
I’m planning to update the post with graphs and show how to analyze them in future.
Before overclocking and stress testing, make sure you have a good power supply (PSU). Using cheap ones will only result in burnt system components. If you don’t have one, never try overclocking and stress testing. I have also seen people overclock their processors and stress test without even knowing what PSU they have. If you don’t know which one you have, open the cabinet and check for yourself. Never trust those Chinese PSUs as they are not even capable of providing 50% of the total power they are rated at.
Secondly, get a good third-party CPU cooler if you don’t have one. Stock Intel and AMD heat sinks are good for stock clocks. Anything more than the rated clock speed is only going to increase the temperature. Increasing the v-core worsens the situation. To ensure you get good overclock and your CPU lasts longer, buy a good CPU cooler. Thermalright and Noctua make some of the best coolers. Couple it with a high CFM 120mm fan and you have a winner at hand.
last but not least, the thermal interface you use also plays an important role in overclocking. Each and every degree of heat counts while overclocking. I use Arctic Cooling MX-2 which I recommend.