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Is stress testing bad for the CPU?

Last response: in Overclocking
October 14, 2009 10:37:22 AM

hey guys i am new to the forums. recently overclocked for the first time and am now testing to see if my overclock is stable. just in case you want to know i have the Q6600. i have been told that i need to do at least a 7 hour stress test but it seems strange to me. when overclocking all guides say you need to keep the temp down, but also to stres test which raises the temp and pushes the CPU to it's limits, is this not bad for the CPU?

i am just worried because my CPU needs to last, i am a full time student with no income so if my CPU dies on me it will be a long time before i have £150 again.


More about : stress testing bad cpu

October 14, 2009 10:58:28 AM

There's always a risk with OC'ing

Stress testing a CPU (especially an OC'ed one) is too see if the CPU holds and stays stable with your settings. It will indeed push the CPU to its limits, more than most normal applications you'll use will do. This means stresstesting is a good way to see if your settings and cooling is adequate. As long as the temperature (and your voltage setting!) doesn't exceed the manufacturer's specifications it's fine. If the temperature does exceed it, immediately shut it down and turn your settings down or go for better cooling. Actually scrap that part about exceeding max temps, stop the test when it comes even close to your max and lower your OC or change your cooling.

I always like to stay quite a bit below the given max temp. For example my Phenom II X3 720 max is 73c, according to AMD. While OCing I try to keep it under a cool 40c. Of course, every chip is different and Phenom II's tend to be rather cool, you could push your Q6600 closer to its max.
October 14, 2009 11:04:24 AM

i have been stressing it for 1:32 now and my temp has reached 60 but never stays at 60, normally goes back down to 55-59 within a minute. i an using prime95 full blend 4 threads.
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October 14, 2009 11:11:50 AM

Thermal specification according to Intel is 71c, so keeping it below 60c should be okay. What voltage are you running it at?
October 14, 2009 11:14:46 AM

CPU voltage is 1.28, NB and SB are at min 1.10. i haven't defined other voltages i left them on auto because i dont know what they should be.
October 14, 2009 11:23:15 AM

Seems pretty decent, perhaps you could use a better cooler but it's not totally necessary.

Perhaps you could also try to lower your CPU voltage step by step - if you didn't go up step by step:)  - and see what the minimum is for 3,2GHz. Test it longer and if there's no errors you're set!
October 14, 2009 11:27:36 AM

thanks for the help man.

for cooling i am using this:

does a higher RPM always mean it's the better cooler because i also have a OCZ Vendetta 2 lying around, though it seems to be a tad bent...dont know how i figured best not to use it since it is bent.
October 14, 2009 11:35:25 AM

Higher RPM does not always equal better cooling (it depends on the heatsink/fan), it does often equal more noise. So basically for comfort I'd like to use a cooler that also cools well at low RPM's.
You could try and look for a couple of reviews on the net, there's lots of comparisons.

That said, your current cooler should be okay even at low speeds. Too bad you can't use your OCZ Vendetta 2 though. It's a great cooler and likely to be better than the Zalman. Enjoy your free extra performance.
October 14, 2009 11:39:29 AM

thanks again man!