So you overclocked your pcdesigner and feel happy about it. But the problem is you don’t know when your overclocked CPU will become unstable. When you run a CPU at more than its rated speed, chances are there that your system will randomly reboot, throw BSODs, hang etc. So what do you have to do to prevent it? Just make sure it doesn’t happen. To do so, there are many stress testing tools available, like OCCT, Prime95, IntelBurnTest etc.
Out of these apps, I prefer OCCT for its versatility. It can be used to check CPU stability, GPU stability and even that of power supply. Moreover it gives you very nice and useful graphs after a test is over so that you can analyze them. So far, I have used it to check for max temperatures and stability of CPU and GPU, ripple on power lines and CPU VCore and CPU and GPU throttling.
So how do you torture test your CPU? Fire up OCCT, select Linpack optio and under Test Type, select Custom. Under Custom Test Duration, enter the desired duration. Entering just 15 minutes is enough if you didn’t push your CPU too much, otherwise a thorough torture test is required. Under Test Mode, select Max (90% free mem) and press ON. This will stress your CPU to the max.
Once the test is finished, you will get a few graphs where you can see CPU temperatures, ripple on 3V, 12V and 5V power lines and CPU VCore. OCCT will also report if it detects instability.
When you overclock your new CPU for the first time, you may not be sure of what extent you can push it to. I have seen many folks ask for the exact settings so that they can apply them at the BIOS for easy overclock. But what they don’t understand is that each and every piece of hardware is different and that what works for others may not work for them.
So, when you start overclocking your CPU, do it step by step and for each step, run a quick stability test just as explained above. Once you find the max overclock (CPU is no more stable, no matter what you do), run OCCT for 2-4 hours.
CPU Stress testing can easily be done with OCCT or other stressing tools. But always make sure that you have a good power supply (PSU) otherwise, the stress made by these CPU stress test programs can harm your PSU. In many instances, using cheap PSUs only resulted in burnt system components.