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Best utilities for stress testing in 2020

Level 7
New threads related to unstable overclocks and defective hardware pop up on a regular occasion. It is often asked how to stress test some component. Below you'll find my top picks after weeks of testing - updated for 2020.

Unigine Heaven
FurMark / MSI Kombuster
*GPUs tend to clock down due to power and thermal limits when running FurMark*
*Lower resolutions put more stress on the VRMs*

Video RAM
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark
*Set to maximum quality and run in a loop*

Memory modules (configuration, timings and overclock)
HCI MemTest (one instance per thread)
*Best run from safe mode without a pagefile*
Linpack Xtreme

Memory modules (physical integrity)

Linpack Xtreme
Prime95 small FFTs

Integrated Memory Controller
Prime95 custom run of FFTs from 512K to 1024K with 90% of RAM
Linpack Xtreme

Northbridge, bus and PSU
Prime95 custom run of FFTs from 512K to 1024K with 80% of RAM + LuxMark or FurMark running in the background at 720p.
Used to run Now just a professional troll.

Level 12
No Aida64 😞

Level 40
RealBench and Karhu RAMTest will reach the parts other stress tests cannot reach...and quicker, without current degrading your CPU

Level 13
I think of Aida64 as a functional exercise. It can run through some functions to see that the rig is basically working and to check cooling without much risk. However it is neither stressful nor a test -- the results are not checked. Only the memory bandwidth benchmarks are accepted as meaningful tests.

I'm also down on Prime95 for the reason that it does not test -- doesn't check the math results. After all that stress, the CPU and RAM can still be unstable. I have experienced the degrading that Arne mentions after running a CPU at high stress. It's real and Prime95 is known to be hard on CPUs.

My favorite is y-cruncher (look it up on HWBOT or google it). It's highly effective for all the above areas except GPU and video RAM. It catches the slightest bit error in memory or computation. Memory use is intense enough to kick up errors that are not shown by anything else but HCIMemtest. CPU processing uses all the computation capability of the CPU, including AVX - it picks different code modules for different generations back to Sandybridge plus a generic legacy version up to AVX-512 in latest generation XEs. As such it runs the CPU hot for a satisfying stress test and good cooling is essential.

Test time is proportional to the number of threads. I used it for memory tuning on the M12A last week - 45 seconds with 16 threads for the 1 billionth digit of Pi. That scales to a minute and a half for 8 threads in a 4-core CPU. Compare one minute typical test time that covers CPU and memory stability to hours for Prime95 plus HCIMemtest.

When using y-Cruncher for memory tuning, be sure to have a fully stable CPU profile and vice versa -- be sure to have a stable memory profile when testing CPU overclock. The test behaves the same when errors from either component are caught. Isolating the cause depends on trying one thing at a time so you know what to undo if/when the overclock or memory tweak fails. One memory tweak at a time isn't so tedious when the test only takes a minute.

Super Moderator

Realbench remains the most practical use case for stress testing a system without subjecting the CPU to copious amounts of current.
13900KS / 8200MT CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Silent Scone@ASUS wrote:

Realbench remains the most practical use case for stress testing a system without subjecting the CPU to copious amounts of current.

Realbench "Unable to properly parse system spec. Please report in RealBench forum"..... on this score it never changes. I have system score 247636 is that good - who knows the program does not work ?

Level 11
Adia 64 is unreliable you pass 8 hrs of adia 64 and get a whea error in a game waste of time .

Cincbench r15/20 - 10 runs
Occt default - ( large / avx2 )
Asus real bench 2.56
Prime 95 29.8/6 - blend / small.ffts
Blender benchmark .
HCI mem test 1000- 2000%
I never use 3d mark/heaven for gpu as pass those and crash in games . I play 12 different games if those all pass with out crashing to desk top I'm happy .

Adia 64 is for people that cant run prime 95 or Asus real bench and pass them .
13900 ks @ 6.0 GHZ | 5.1 R | 4.5 E | DDR4 32GB @ 4,400 c16 G1 | RTX 4090 | XG27AQM 27" 270Hz G-Sync

... and for checking HW-Info, temperatures, fan-speeds, ... HWiNFO64

Especially during overclocking tests ...

Level 12
You forgot Prime95 112k-112k AVX Disabled. AIDA64 Stress FPU is not bad for gamers for a realistic AVX test. It's harder to pass than Prime95 AVX disabled small FFT. Realbench 2.56 is harder to pass but if you're temp limited, it can be a problem. Aida64 "Stress CPU" is useless however.

Level 7
RealBench isn't brutal enough for absolute stability. But it is useful in test scenarios of LLC, C-states, dynamic voltage.
Used to run Now just a professional troll.