why do u want to stress test if u r not having any trouble with ur card.do a stress test only if ur having problem.becoz those card runs hot and stress program can make them run even hotter.
For many reasons... To figure out load temps, or to make sure an overclock is stable.
Are you overclocking it average?
1. What fan speed should I set my card to or do I just leave it at auto/my own settings?
Depends on how hot your card gets, and how much noise you're okay with. Adjust the fan speed and watch your temp graph until your pleased with your max load temp.
2. How long should I run the program?
For temps, watch the graph until it levels out completely and that is your max load.
For stressing it, I usually just run it for 15 mins or so, but some do more.
3. At what temperature is the GPU too hot and I should immediately stop the testing?
The cards are perfectly fine in the 80's, 90's is even acceptable, but don't push it. Try to keep it loading below 80 or something, shouldn't be too hard.
4. During the test, how can I tell if there's a problem?
Try to watch it the test carefully, especially once its temps are at their peak. You need to watch for any artifacts. [Random dots, polygons, etc.]
Or it will blue screen I guess.
Lower the clock or up the voltage and you'll be fine.
Heh, I deleted it after reading your last sentence. For some reason I mistakened it for your signature xD
Well, according to the on-screen display from MSI afterburner, it never hits 70C while gaming because I'm using my own user-defined fan speed setting. That should eliminate the possibility of overheating being the problem...
Well, with my current card, yeah... so far. That's why I think it might just be some conflict between the game and my GPU driver.
Another thing I noticed with all 3 of my 470s is that DiRT 2 will run perfectly fine for the first minute of a race, then starts to lock-up and stutter every few seconds. It runs perfectly fine on my GTX 260 though, I just play it on my other computer.
I just ran Kombustor and my GPU temperature seemed to peaked at about 74C with fan speed at 75%. I didn't test it for long, it reached that temperature after about 2 minutes and stayed at 74C for the next 3 minutes so is it safe to assume that 74C is the peak temperature with my fan speed settings?