How to perform a stress test of the processor and the system as a whole, does it hold the frequencies, is there any overheating (AIDA 64)

Good day!

Often you need to find out about the state, capabilities and reliability of the hardware of a computer or laptop (for example, after overclocking or if you suspect that something is wrong ...).

This can be done using a stress test, which allows you to:

  1. find out the real frequency of the processor, video card (useful when buying a new laptop, for example, or when replacing components);
  2. see if the processor keeps frequencies under prolonged load (note: if the temperature goes out of the optimal range, it can start to skip clock cycles and reduce performance, the so-called throttling);
  3. evaluate the cooling system, whether it can cope, evaluate the operating temperature ranges (it may be worth installing an additional cooler, for example);
  4. check the reliability of the device: it is not uncommon for a stress test to reveal all the weak points ✔.

In this article I will suggest one of the methods, which I often resort to myself. It is, of course, not perfect, but very convenient. Perhaps someone will be of kind help.


👉 To help!

AIDA also has analogues (in case this utility refuses to run on your OS). I talked about them in the article on the 4 best programs for stress testing the CPU.


How to perform a stress test

STEP 1: choosing a program

There are a lot of programs for testing and diagnosing the system now: OCCT, AIDA 64, ASTRA, Prime95, LinX, etc. I am still a supporter of using AIDA 64 (in fact, I recommend it to you).


Link to the official. website: //

Description of the program: //

What are its main advantages:

  1. during the test, it loads all the components of the computer well;
  2. in one window you can observe the temperature (max., min., average), the frequency of the CPU, and other characteristics;
  3. allows, in addition to the test, to quickly find out almost any characteristics of iron;
  4. there is a portable version that does not need installation (this means that it can be written to a USB flash drive and checked on any PC / laptop);
  5. works stably and reliably with any hardware.

I will show my further actions in AIDA 64 Extreme v5.8.

STEP 2: run the test

I will assume that you have installed the Russian version (note: there are simply versions in English, German, etc.) ... I also note that before the test, you must close all resource-intensive applications: games, editors, archivers, etc.

To open the testing window in AIDA 64, click on the " Service / System stability test " (see screenshot below).

System stability test

Next, pay attention to the upper left corner (I will decipher a few abbreviations) :

  1. Stress CPU - check the central processor;
  2. Stress FPU - check math. coprocessor (note: performance in floating point calculations, creates a high load on the CPU) ;
  3. Stress cache - cache;
  4. Stress system memory - check system memory;
  5. Stress local disk - disk check;
  6. Stress GPU - video card check.

By default, usually the first 4 items are selected (in principle, this is enough for testing the system and the CPU). To start checking - click on the button "Start" at the bottom of the window.

Important! The CPU load should immediately reach 100%, the temperature will start to rise and the hum from the cooler will get louder (at the first minute of the test). Keep a close eye on the status and behavior of your PC.

Test start / Clickable

First of all, watch the temperature of the CPU (most often it is it that goes beyond the optimal values ​​and the processor starts to drop frequencies). It is impossible to give a specific value: because each model range will have its own.

For example, for Intel Core i3 ÷ i7 (7-8th generations) it is considered a critical temperature of ~ 100 ° C (degrees Celsius). Therefore, if the temperature has exceeded 85 ° C, stop the test!

To help!

Intel processor temperature: how to find it; which is considered normal and which is overheating - //

STEP 3: control and results. What to look for

Many experts advise you to test your PC for at least 30 ÷ 60 minutes, in my opinion even 15 minutes. will be sufficient (usually, if everything is in order with the system, then after the first 4-5 minutes the work stabilizes and the graphs turn into straight lines) .

Usually, of special interest is the "Clock" tab (and "Statistics", more about it below), which displays the frequency of the processor. Ideally, it should be maximum for your CPU model *, and the graph should be "straight" during the test (ie, having reached, say, 3092 MHz, as in my example below, it should not sag below ... ).

CPU frequency

By the way, if anyone does not know the exact model of their CPU and at what frequency it should ideally work, you can read my article, the link to which is given below. As a rule, it is enough to go to the manufacturer's website (for example, Intel), and look in the characteristics of the line "Processor Base Frequency"  (base frequency) and "Max Turbo Frequency "(frequency with Turbo Boost enabled) .

To help! How to find out the exact model of your processor (CPU), see its specification, characteristics - //

Processor frequencies (Core i5-7200U)

It is quite convenient to monitor power, temperature, and frequencies in the tab "Statistics" (see screenshot below). AIDA 64 displays several values ​​at once: current (Current), minimum (Min.), Maximum (Max.), And average (Average).

Statistics (AIDA 64)

By the way, after stopping the stress test, the current CPU clock (CPU Clock) and its load (CPU Usage) on the graph should decrease (see the screen below).

Also pay attention to the load graph (on the inscription CPU Throttling) - ideally it should be "green", like in my example.

After completion of the test (note the graphs of the load and the frequency of the CPU)

However, if during the test there was throttling(i.e. the CPU was skipping clock cycles (slowing down its performance)) , you will see, "red", an inscription, like "CPU Throttling - Overheating Detected ...".

CPU Throttling - Overheating Detected

Brief theses and conclusions:

  1. warning: during a stress test, do not leave the computer unattended (there is a risk that the temperature of the device may go beyond the optimal values, and it is highly advisable to manually stop the load in a timely manner);
  2. during the test: the computer should not restart, hang tightly, there should be no strange sounds (except for the hum of the cooler), the temperature should not go beyond the optimal values;
  3. in addition to the temperature and frequency of the CPU, pay attention to the load graph: was there throttling;
  4. the same processor model can produce different * performance on different machines. For example, if your PC / laptop does not have a balanced cooling system, it may prevent the CPU from reaching its maximum;
  5. if you are faced with overheating, the first thing to do is to clean the computer from dust, replace the thermal paste. For how to do this, see this note: //
  6. if cleaning the components from dust did not help to solve the problem, pay attention to the following recommendations: //
  7. also I can't help but note that you can lower the temperature of the CPU (and, as a result, increase its performance) using Undervolting - //


Add-ons are welcome ...

Good luck!