Your thoughts on CPU/RAM Stability Testing Software

I've been running some stress tests on my CPU and RAM for a few hours every day, ever since my computer randomly hanged and I had to hard reset it several times to get it to boot / POST again. As far as I can tell, I've never seen an episode on the YT channel where you guys discuss stress testing software for the RAM or the CPU.


What are your views on Memtest86/Memtest86+, Prime95, IntelBurnTest and the AOD Stability Test? Would you be comfortable declaring your system stable after it passing all these tests? How many passes / runs would you deem adequate or reasonable?

By the way, I enjoy watching your channel a lot; keep up the good work.

If memory passes Memtest86+, it's usually stable. I had trouble with BSOD's and freezing as well on a new build I'm working with AMD's new AM1 Sempron, and sure enough, I fire up Memtest86+, and the memory fails on the first pass. I ran the test again, 3 passes, and 3 errors. The more passes, the better. The newest build of Prime seems to work well. I tested my Core i7 4810MQ with Prime95 v27, and haven't noticed any funny business besides Prime labeling my CPU as "unknown Intel." With version 27, my CPU didn't Boost, so I didn't have to worry about Boost over-volting my CPU or anything, so the newest version or Prime95 should be safe for Haswell testing.I don't much experience with the other two tools

If you want a stability test of both the CPU and Memory, run a Prime95 Blend test for 24 continuous hours. If it gets through 24 hours without error, BSOD's, or freezing, the system is rock solid. I'd also closely monitor the first 15 minutes or so, for clock speed and voltage variance, as well as temperatures, especially on Haswell, just in case. If those are clocks and voltage are stable, and temperatures aren't too high, then it should fine to continue for 24 hours.

I'm not an expert on all these stability testing software, but from my experience and what I've gathered:

Memtest: Just tests  your ram if its good or bad, quite reliable from my experience.

Prime95: Very good stress tester for your CPU. Good for burn-ins and bringing your thermals up to the max. For me I consider ~12-18hrs stable. I would like to aim for 24, but rarely do I have the time to do so.

IntelBurn Test: IBT a nice quick and dirty test that is generally good at catching large errors but usually not as thorough as Prime95. I have had numerous cases where my cpu was able to pass multiple runs of IBT but failed around 30min to 1hr of IBT. Personally I like to run this as a first test to see if it fails. If so I can save myself a little time before committing to hours of something like Prime95.

AOD Stability Test: I have not tried this so I cannot comment.

The best way to run tests and benchmarks is to let your system go at it for a long, uninterrupted period of time, rather than doing it every so often in short increments. The idea is to ensure that your system will at least be stable during regular use, for however long you ran the test for. Also it is good not to use your computer at all when you are stress testing. If you are still having BSODs or other stability issues, I would go back and re-test your system.

Yes I know it is time consuming and not being able to use your computer sucks, but this is the best way to ensure stability. And after you do it right once you won't have to do it again.

I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong about anything above. Just keep in mind that stability is arbitrary and the rigor of testing really depends on what level you deem stable. Also if you're not already aware, even programs that test for the same thing will do so differently. So often it is good practice to run an assortment of stability tests to make absolutely sure that your components are stable.

All these are stability tests are completely artificial and generate artificial workloads for your system, often stressing it to levels that are not accurate representations of actual use. So at the end of the day the best way to gauge how stable your system is will be to actually use it (playing games, rendering things, etc).

Hope this was helpful.

I think Linus has some memory and cpu testing videos/guides.

Yeah, here's one:

Those test you mentioned are pretty good. The longer you go the better, they are not perfect but get most of the problems. If your having trouble with hanging it could be so many things. I usually will go back to stock for awile and if I dont get any hanging then I know its the overclock. In the past when I was having random hangs and it wasnt the overclock it was the hard drive. Check the smart data for the drives. 

Just out of curiousity, would you guys consider a system that can do 25 Hours Prime95 Custom Blend (with 95% of the RAM being uses) as a stable system?

That is overkill compared to how I stress test. So yes, I would consider that very stable.