What are some good free stress testing programs?

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What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:33 am

I'm pretty much brand new to overclocking, but I have a 2700k so I know it shouldn't be too hard. I need to know what some good programs for testing an OC are though, not only on the CPU but also the GPU. Also, do you guys have any advice when it comes to overclocking a GPU? I have a Radeon 6950 2GB with a stock cooler, I bought it off of Craigslist and i believe it's already been flashed to a 6970 BIOS. Thanks for any help you can provide :)
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:01 am

Prime95 is pretty solid CPU stress-tester and can handle multiple threads for modern chips.

Furmark used to be a handy GPU stress tester, but IIRC Nvidia/AMD drivers intentionally throttle the GPU to prevent it burning itself.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:12 am

Latest prime seems to work better for me than the latest AVX IBT, for cpus/ram. Running it for a half day would be ideal.
http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/

That said I'd still run the latest IBT. Maximum for 30 loops, standard for 100 loops. For w/e reason the cycling between low and high load on standard can bring out errors on SB.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Benchmarks/IntelBurnTest.shtml

If despite passing stability tests you still crash try more vcore/vccio/vram. These 1155 chips can get hard to stabilize at lower loads like browsing the net sometimes.

This is the BSOD code guide I use. I ripped, merged, and organized it from too many posts to count.

BSOD Codes for 1155/1156/1366:
0x101 = Add more vcore.
0x1E = Add more vcore.
0x3B = Add more vcore.
0x3D = Add more vcore.
0x124 = Add/remove vcore or QPI/VTT voltage (usually Vcore, possibly QPI/VTT).
On i7 45nm it usually means too little VVT/QPI for the speed of Uncore.
On i7 32nm SB it usually means too little vCore.
0x0A = Add QPI/VTT voltage or vcore.
0x9C = QPI/VTT most likely, but increasing vcore has helped in some instances.
0x50 = RAM timings, frequency, or uncore multi unstable. Increase RAM voltage or adjust QPI/VTT, or lower uncore if you're higher than 2x.
0xD1 = Add/subtract QPI/VTT voltage. Possibly RAM voltage.
0X109 = Add/subtract RAM voltage.
0x116 = Low IOH (NB) voltage - GPU issue (most common when running multi-GPU/overclocking GPU).
0x7E = Corrupted OS file. Possibly from overclocking. Run sfc /scannow and chkdsk /r


As for the GPU you're pretty much boned. The only thing that worked was OCCT, and that only sort of worked. It was impractical for cards with weak cooling/vrms that were otherwise fine. Now it's gimped because modern cards clock down to protect themselves when it runs. By far the most reliable GPU stress test I've found is Crysis 1; 99 loops using the benchmark tool. Which is unfortunate since it costs money. If someone says furmark ignore them forever and ever. You have to be so unstable you'd crash just sitting there for that thing to detect **** on a modern card. It's just going to heat it up.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:07 am

Hello There,What kind of MB case and CPU cooling are you using?
Do you think you can post a cpuz snapshot of that 2700k i am curious of the stepping/revision ect.
As for your 6950 GPUz will show you how many shaders are running 1536 is 6970.
As for the stock cooling on your gpu,if you plan on overclocking it can get very loud,the only good thing with the stockcooler is it vents the hot air out the back of your case.You might want to add a Arctic Accelero Extreme Plus II gpu cooler,it will trim your load temps by a good 20c,plus even on max speed its about as loud as the stock cooler is at 30%,also it will make your card a triple slot.But remember you need decent case ventilation/airflow and thats good for your whole pc:)
Enjoy and keep your cpu voltage under 1.4v I imagine you want it to last :) It can take it with the right cooling but running 24/7 might make it degrade prematurely.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:25 am

vargis14 wrote:Hello There,What kind of MB case and CPU cooling are you using?
Do you think you can post a cpuz snapshot of that 2700k i am curious of the stepping/revision ect.
As for your 6950 GPUz will show you how many shaders are running 1536 is 6970.
As for the stock cooling on your gpu,if you plan on overclocking it can get very loud,the only good thing with the stockcooler is it vents the hot air out the back of your case.You might want to add a Arctic Accelero Extreme Plus II gpu cooler,it will trim your load temps by a good 20c,plus even on max speed its about as loud as the stock cooler is at 30%,also it will make your card a triple slot.But remember you need decent case ventilation/airflow and thats good for your whole pc:)
Enjoy and keep your cpu voltage under 1.4v I imagine you want it to last :) It can take it with the right cooling but running 24/7 might make it degrade prematurely.


I'm using a Fractal Design Define Mini, so I know my cooling isn't all that great but I have my CPU being cooled by a corsair H80, and it's in an ASUS P8P67M-PRO
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:20 am

For stress testing I generally run an instanceof Prime 95 for each core. You can set each instance's affinity then go to town. Keep a speedfan window open to keep an eye on temps and you're good to go.

Folding@Home also is a fairly simple method but there at least was at one time an ethical debate as an unstable system could cause incorrect results (Prime95 will just out and tell you when a number doesn't match what it should be - not sure if that's the same with folding)

as for GPU stressing, I'm not sure if there's a FAH client for your card, but I expect the same would apply.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:46 am

I found that intelburn caused higher temps than prime 95.

Prime 95 would run for an hour and not report an issue while intelburn only ran for 10 mins and produced temps 10-15F higher before it found an issue.

Personally I would use both prime 95 and and intel burn.

If prime 95 runs for a couple of hours and intel burn bombs out then you are probably on the edge of what you can do with that chip.
If you are just playing games and your games run fine leave it.
If you are doing mission critical stuff then I would make sure that intelburn gives you a clean bill of health as well.

In my case I have a q6600 that will only pass intelburn with a 10% voltage overclock but prime95 runs fine with only a 7.5% overclock.
The stock speed on this chip is 2400mhz and I have it running at 3600.

I suspect I can go higher but I would need water cooling to get there.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:48 am

Prime 95 is the only way to go for CPU stress testing as far as I'm concerned.

I use MSI Kombustor to stress test my GPU for overclocks. Watch for "snow" (little white dots, this means the core clock speed is too high) and "artifacts" (usually jagged/horizontal lines or flashing objects, this means the memory clock is too high)

If you plan on overclocking out of the realm of AMD Catalyst Control Center (you can set the card to default settings then let CCC do an auto tune, that should get you in the ballpark), MSI Afterburner Utility or Sapphire TriXX Tweak Utility are good programs to use because they allow you to increase clocks above what CCC allows, and they can adjust GPU voltages to achieve further overclocks. (I wouldn't recommend increasing voltages on the CPU or GPU for "everyday" use as this will shorten their life expectancy)
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:58 am

DPete27 wrote:Prime 95 is the only way to go for CPU stress testing as far as I'm concerned.

I use MSI Kombustor to stress test my GPU for overclocks. Watch for "snow" (little white dots, this means the core clock speed is too high) and "artifacts" (usually jagged/horizontal lines or flashing objects, this means the memory clock is too high)

If you plan on overclocking out of the realm of AMD Catalyst Control Center (you can set the card to default settings then let CCC do an auto tune, that should get you in the ballpark), MSI Afterburner Utility or Sapphire TriXX Tweak Utility are good programs to use because they allow you to increase clocks above what CCC allows, and they can adjust GPU voltages to achieve further overclocks. (I wouldn't recommend increasing voltages on the CPU or GPU for "everyday" use as this will shorten their life expectancy)


I would not recommend using the CCC Auto Tune ... frankly I think AMD should remove it from the drivers completely. It takes hours, has a good chance of crashing and will probably give you an incredibly aggressive overclock that doesn't work. You're much better off just googling overclocks for similar GPUs and testing from that point manually. It worked alright when they introduced it, but I think it's been broken for maybe two years now.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:50 pm

Sorry to dig this thread back up, but I came across the EVGA OC Scanner today and it really looks promising. Not only does it stress test but it also counts artifacts (so you dont have to do the eyeball method). Only problem I see is that the website states its for GeForce cards, which I dont like since I have an AMD GPU. Has anybody used this program and liked it? Anybody tried it with an AMD card?
Just thought I'd share my discovery with everyone.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:58 pm

I agree with most here that Prime95 is great for CPU test.
I use RTHDRIBL to stress test my GPU. It seems to do well at showing artifacts / errors without causing hard system locks.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:24 pm

OCCT with error detection enabled is still the best for GPU

IBT or LinX if you're seeing how hot the CPU will get.

Prime95's Blend test is still the most reliable for testing both the RAM and CPU, although you really need to run it for 12+ hours to be sure.
Last edited by TDIdriver on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:48 pm

If a full cycle Memtest86+ and a half hour of Prime95 do well for me, I'll just fire up 3dMark and let it run. As long as the score winds up in the "normal" range, I know I'm good to go. I don't spend as much time stress testing as lots of folks do, though - I'm not much of an overclocker anymore.
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Re: What are some good free stress testing programs?

Postposted on Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:01 am

I usually start with IBT because it tends to find errors MUCH more quickly than Prime95. After it passes an hour or so of IBT, I run Prime95 blend for many hours (usually overnight). I don't think any single program is conclusive though. I've had overclocks that pass Prime95 and not IBT, or vice versa.

OCCT is the best for GPU testing. It will run your GPU far hotter than any game, so if you pass OCCT you should easily be able to handle games.

MemTest, I generally only use if I suspect it to be a memory problem. I don't bother overclocking my memory though (not worth the 1-2FPS max gains), so the only time I've really had to use it is when I have a faulty/dying stick of RAM.
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