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Stress-testing my new PC...good or bad idea?


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#1 Dave Finlay

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:36 AM

So I bought me this desktop for video editing purposes last week:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883220514

ASUS M51AD
Intel Core i7 4770 (3.40GHz)
16GB DDR3-1600 RAM
Windows 8.1
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 1GB
1 TB SATA 7200 RPM HDD

 

which I'm glad to say destroys what I had been working with up until now:

 

HP TouchSmart HQ504
Windows Vista Home Premium SP2
Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T5750 (2.00 GHz)
Integrated Graphics
4GB DDR2-5300 RAM
300 GB SATA 5400RPM HDD

 

Still, I'd like to test this new PC to see what it's made of, and to see how it will handle heavy gaming and video editing down the line. I've read a bit about stress-testing and programs such as Prime95, could anyone further fill me in and otherwise suggest me any programs? Thanks.



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#2 czarboom

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:58 AM

That depends on what type of testing you want to do.  Windows has tests for the Hardware in BIOS, and it will stress the memory and RAM. 

Are you looking for a overclocking test?

3D editing?

 

That makes a difference when doing these.  If you render in 3D testing for 2D or use is not going to give you the same results as the real thing. 

NVIDIA uses 3Dmark and PC mark Vantage for their tests.  Both are good tests and give different modes like extreme of normal.

 

You can see results for your hardware if you search in Google benchmarking (and vendor here)

so for NVIDIA,

benchmarking NVIDIA

or for i7

Benchmarking Intel i7

 

Hope this helps

cz


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"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#3 killerx525

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 05:35 AM

Stress testing your PC is good way to know whether the system is stable under maximum load and to check if the temperatures are within appropriate range. Prime95 generally stresses the CPU but can also do memory stress test. For the graphics card, Furmark pushes the graphics card to its maximum limit, so it's best to keep an eye on the temperatures as it is getting stressed.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#4 OldPhil

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 07:33 AM

Great idea I always run a few stress tests, I want any possible failure to happen during the warranty.


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#5 jonuk76

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

If you want to give it a try, this program is even more demanding than Prime 95 - Intel Burn Test.

 

My system (using an i5-4670K) was happily sitting in Prime 95 @ 4.2 Ghz for hours with no errors, nowhere near overheating.  It throttles with this Intel Linpack based program.  Really pushes it to the limit.

 

EDIT Have managed to fix that by dropping the "voltage offset" setting.  The vcore was getting to 1.4v - much too high without serious cooling.  And unnecessary for the speed it's running at. That's auto overclocking for you.... Have adjusted it to run at 1.3v max. It now runs the Intel Burn Test without throttling :)

 

Use something like HW Monitor to monitor CPU core temperatures.  Abort the test if it starts bouncing off 100 degrees like mine did!!


Edited by jonuk76, 12 July 2014 - 09:01 AM.

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#6 hamluis

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 10:08 AM

With an I7 processor...your system will never be stressed to do any video rendering/transcoding...if stress is anywhere near approaching maximum CPU cycles.  It will use more cycles and generate more heat than it will run all other apps...but that's just normal computing-task byproduct.

 

Like everything else...if it makes you feel better running stress tests...then do so.  I've never quite figured out why such would even be desireable with today's modern CPUs.

 

As for predicing potential failures of key components...well, if it makes you feel better about the system to do such, then do it.  Me...I find that when a major component fails, it's fairly obvious and easily overcome by purchasing replacement parts or using such that I have on hand.

 

I'm extremely unaware of the reasons why some think that this is necessary or desireable in the absence of a known problematical computer situation.

 

But...I'm just a novice user with no technical background or understanding of such.

 

Louis



#7 jonuk76

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

Louis, here are some reasons why I think it could be useful to stress test a system.  It's probably less usual for a person who buys an off the shelf pre-made system to want to stress test it (one may assume that the manufacturer should have done this already), but for a self built system it's something I would always do.

 

1) To test stability.  A stress test will reveal an underlying stability problem in hours or less, while the same stability problem might take a long time to reveal itself in normal use.  But the thing is, they generally do reveal themselves eventually (as random crashes or shut downs when doing certain tasks, for example).

 

2) To test cooling is sufficient.  Yes the tests artificially apply an extreme workload to the part you are testing.  It's arguable that no real world software applies load in the same way as the Intel Burn Test and Furmark do (which are purpose designed to stress the components).  However you can have some confidence that if temperatures are kept under control with those running, it should stand up to anything that normal use can throw at it.  Just putting a system together, installing Windows and looking at the temperature from your desktop will give no clue whatsoever as to what sort of temperatures it can get to when asked to work hard.  Video encoding can be a fairly high stress use (Handbrake encoding for example runs my CPU nearly as hot as Prime 95).

 

3) To test overclock stability.  Obviously overclocking is pushing a part beyond it's rated performance.  Overclocking may involve pushing a part beyond the level where it's stable, which varies on an individual component basis, and it's important to find out if you do this.  You can argue that over clocking is unnecessary for most people, and I'd agree, but some components are marketed with ease of over clocking as one of their benefits - AMD Black Edition and Intel K processors for example.  They are aimed at people who want to overclock.

 

4) Controversial one.  To "set" thermal interfaces, e.g. thermal paste between processor and heatsink.  Some argue that heating and cooling cycles are necessary to achieve full cooling performance.  If you think it helps then fine.

 

At the end of the day it's a pro-active approach rather than a reactive one.


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#8 OldPhil

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:50 AM

I re-do the tests every few months, if I see changes I know something may be going by by.  Gives me the opportunity to research and change out a failing item before it dies.


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#9 hamluis

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:51 PM

Appreciated, Phil...and understood :).

 

My perspective is just that of a novice...who has managed to move from purchasing my first system in 1996 with lots of uncertainty...to assembling my own systems since Win 98 days without any major need or satisfaction from "stress-testing".

 

I periodically run such...just to see what the appeal might be...for me, it's just a meaningless something to do that I do to satisfy myself that there is no inherent value in it for me.

 

My experience tells me that there are certain computer situations where it's wise to be proactive...malware, overheating, general maintenance.  I expect a system that I assemble to be without defect...but I know that defects occur every day relative to PSUs and hard drives (the two most notable components likely to be suspect, IMO).  If those occur...I just replace and I suppose that if stress-tests enables one to anticipate those component failures...that is good.

 

The basics of system building...don't change much whether you game or not...whether you overclock or not...but I can see where such might be employed by overclockers or resellers

 

But...looking at the content of the initial post...I see no benefit from stress-testing that system, with projected use as stated.  But, as I said, I have no technical competence or background...I only use "common sense" from what I've learned from others and my miniscule own experiences.  I know that the proponents of stress-testing believe there is value in such...while I just want to indicate that I honestly don't share that opinion and give my dissenting opinion to the OP :).

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 12 July 2014 - 01:54 PM.





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