Skip to main content

How to Stress-Test CPUs and PCs (Like We Do)

System: MSI Kombustor & OCCT

MSI Kombustor Does It All

MSI’s Kombustor comes with a CPU stress test, but it doesn't leverage AVX instructions. As a result, Kombustor only generates about 110W, which is similar to the loads generated by demanding games. That's simply not good enough for a pure CPU test, so we're only trying it out in conjunction with Kombustor’s GPU stress test.

We like that the CPU and GPU test threads run simultaneously through the same application, which automatically gives them the same priority. Nevertheless, continue running the GPU stress test in windowed mode, unless you have a multi-GPU configuration.

MSI Kombustor GPU Core Burner

We start by generating the highest possible load for the GPU and running the CPU stress test concurrently. The results end up exactly as expected based on what we know about Kombustor.

CPU Package(PECI)Core AverageSensorSocketGPUDiodeCPU(Watts)GPU(Watts)System (Watts)
Measurement73°C65°C76°C64°C108W101W259W
Compared to Maximum85.9%76.5%73.1%100%63.5%100%72.5%
AssessmentMedium package temperatureMedium socket temperatureAverage memory temperatureMaximum GPU power consumptionSlightly higher than game-level CPU and system power consumption
Use forNormal system loadSimulation of the most challenging games

MSI Kombustor Memory Burner

MSI’s Kombustor with Memory Burner shifts the focus towards extensive graphics memory utilization, which is why we recommend it for enthusiasts looking to see if their system can handle the power consumption and heat generated by today's most demanding games.

CPU Package(PECI)Core AverageSensorSocketGPUDiodeCPU(Watt)GPU(Watt)System (Watt)
Measurement67°C66°C78°C64°C109W100W260W
Compared to Maximum78.8%77.6%75.0%100%64.5%99%72.8%
AssessmentSomewhat lower package temperatureMedium socket temperatureAverage memory temperatureAlmost maximum GPU power consumptionSlightly higher than game-level CPU and system power consumption
Use forNormal system loadVery good simulation of the most challenging games

OCCT Power Supply

OCCT Power Supply generates CPU and GPU loads capable of taxing your PSU. At least that's the idea.

Tests like this one, which generate game-like power-consumption numbers, are used to optimize cooling solutions and fan curves. If everything in your PC works well up through this point, then OCCT Power Supply can be used to help minimize noise levels by guiding you in the direction of optimized ventilation. Any task that pushes a PC harder than this can be dealt with by setting fan curves that get more aggressive under higher loads. Establishing the system’s absolute limit comes first, after which you can fine-tune performance with less-demanding tests like this one.

CPU Package(PECI)Core AverageSensorSocketGPUDiodeCPU(Watts)GPU(Watts)System (Watts)
Measurement64°C64°C68°C63°C108W98W266W
Compared to Maximum75.3%75.3%65.4%98.4%63.9%97%74.5%
AssessmentLow package temperatureMedium socket temperatureAverage memory temperatureGame-level GPU power consumptionSlightly higher than game-level CPU and system power consumption
Use forNormal system loadVery good simulation of the most challenging games


MORE: Best CPUs


MORE: Intel & AMD Processor Hierarchy


MORE: All CPUs Content