Can someone please explain the importance of Stress test please?
Could someone please explain the importance of stress testing an overclock and what a stable overclock is?
I have an extremely stubborn friend who wants to "quickly jump his friends new i5 2500k to 5 ghz while he isn't looking". I explain to him this is not a safe or smart thing to do and it has to be properly stress tested and most likely slowly stepped up to 5 ghz. He follows up with responses like "psssssssssht" and "meh" when I tell him to properly stress test and step it up slowly since he's no expert overclocker. He then proceeds to say stuff like "I run Starcraft 2 for 12 hours" or "you can stress it in the bios" which is apparently how he made sure his was stable. From what I have read all over the net this is wrong.
I am just hoping to have some of the experts clear things up for me and him and our other friend because he clearly won't listen to me since I am a n00b and new to all this. I'm sure the 3rd party dude with the shiny new 2500k machine would also really appreciate it if anyone can chime in to knock some sense into the fool.
Thanks a bunch.
Stress testing is to be sure your overclock is stable in the ABSOLUTE LIMITS of what the CPU can do...
HOWEVER under MOST real world situations it will NEVER hit the limits.
But on another hand, if your in the midst of playing starcraft at the 11th hour and your blue screen without doing any sort of stress test, how do you REALLY know that the cpu oc wasn't at fault?
On the other hand, i believe ALL cpu's will fail stressing after a certain amount of time.
Short and sweet, Stressing is about making you comfortable, and your overclocking path valid for you and others to discuss.
on that point, with any world record of overclocking, what do they do to show a stable overclock?
Well if you don't run a minimum 24 hour stress test you could blue screen while playing bf3 causing much rage and frustration.
As much as 'faster is better', rock solid stability is always trump because a blue screen while in the middle of something is the ultimate inconvenience.
The other hand with 'ninja' overclocking a friends machine is that he may not even notice a performance difference while heat and power consumption jumps way up.
On the topic of world record overclocking, stability is not even in their dictionary. If it can get into windows for a screenshot of CPU-Z and bluescreen a nano second after the screenshot it's still good!
The importance of the stress test is to know for sure that your PC isn't going to blue screen on you when you're in the middle of something important. If you test the machine at 100% for hours, you can be sure that it's not going to BSOD on you when you're doing up an important document.
While the computer could be stable enough to run normally, you never know if it's stable enough to run properly. It could give out on you at the worst time.
Also, it's to test temperatures, running it at 100% lets you know how much temperature head room you have, how capable your cooling is. Gotta factor in running video cards at 100% also to make sure your case can dispense heat.
I wouldn't run an overclock unless it was stress tested for at least an hour, depending on your goals. If it's a folding machine, test it for longer, 24hrs even, since it's going to be running at 100% often.
An hour just isn't enough.
My smexy 2600k passed 8 hours 100% load but would still blue screen occasionally at random when I had it at 5.2ghz. Again with my test bench 2600k on low voltage it could run 4.6ghz folding but blue screen maybe once every 4-9 days.
It find 100% confidence in stability you need a week of use IMO. 8 hour stress tests, I would say, is good for 99% confidence in the stability.
You cannot stress test via the BIOS.
An improper setup may lead to an over-heating condition as other have stated, but more important an unstable OC can lead to a corrupted OS and data.
The amount of time required to validate a 'stable' OC varies from one oc'er to another; I personally stress test using Linx (5 passes, max. mem), then use the Folding @ Home SMP client to confirm on 24 hours.
Using this method I never had a failed OC.
Stress testing makes sure your OC is super stable. Very bad if you're in the middle of something important and your computer randomly blue screens or restarts without warning. Stress tests will push the hardware to it's maximum set limits the only thing I can think of for testing via bios is mem testing but that's only to make sure that your memory has no errors. But it's an absolute must to stress test your CPU and GPU via programs in windows to make sure they will perform properly no matter what you're doing. I'm kinda like charlie I'll stress test with prime95 for a day then folding at home whenever I'm not using my computer. Prime is a good initial stress tester but I find folding needs a much more stable machine(I've passed prime and failed folding in 5 mins fixed with one notch up on the voltage). Also make sure your friend stays within safe(recommended) temps and voltages for the specific hardware because hot temps and/or too much voltage will damage components.
All good answers here. If you are looking to overclock for gaming purposes only, there isn't much gain above 4 ghz anyways, unless your running multiple videocards. And any sandy will do 4 ghz without any issues. But if none of you know much about overclocking, research and go slowly and make sure the Cooling is adequate. Quick and dirty test for me on intel processors is intel burn test. Set it to maximum and run while monitoring temperatures. Set it for longer runs once you think you are where you want to be.
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