If you are running the "torture test" it should be using 100% CPU.  Does the
screen say "Test 1, 400 Lucas-Lehmer iterations of ..." etc.  If you are
using an SMP machine make sure to set the affinity appropriately.

This has been a well documented tool for stability testing in the
overclocking community.  Whether it's a useful tool in your eyes is your own

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Karavidas [mailto:tony@;encoreelectronics.com]
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 5:58 PM
To: 'Protel EDA Forum'
Subject: Re: [PEDA] [OT] memory testing and benchmarking - programs

I wasn't referring to usage of disk space. Obviously usage of disk space
has nothing to do with memory bandwidth or processor stress testing.

OK, so I downloaded it and it seems to float around 93% CPU, and 15MB.
Still, doesn't seem like it's very stressful on this system. When
Outlook checks for mail it uses more than that! ;)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt Daggett [mailto:mdaggett@;mcnc.org] 
> Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 1:36 PM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] [OT] memory testing and benchmarking - programs
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Karavidas [mailto:tony@;encoreelectronics.com]
> Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 1:15 PM
> To: 'Protel EDA Forum'
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] [OT] memory testing and benchmarking - programs
> I looked at the link you provided about prime95, and if you 
> read the "how it works" section here 
> http://www.mersenne.org/works.htm it says:
> "The program runs at the lowest possible priority. You should 
> not see any impact on your system's performance. The program 
> will use about 8MB of memory and about 10MB of disk space."
> That doesn't seems like much torture to me. :)
> <snip>
> Use of disk space has nothing to do with memory bandwidth or 
> processor stress testing. The program's original function is 
> to search for Mersenne primes. Its part of a distributed 
> computing project just like Bovine, Seti, Genome, Intel's 
> Cure, etc.  Therefore since the client is supposed to run at 
> the same time you are using your computer it is set to the 
> lowest CPU priority so that it does not lag the system while 
> you are using it.  When your machine goes idle then the 
> program will use all of the available system resources.  The 
> "torture test" mode is what is to be used for testing.
> Below are comments from the release notes as to the 
> usefulness of the program for stress testing:
>                       STRESS TESTING YOUR COMPUTER
> ----------
> Today's computers are not perfect.  Even brand new systems 
> from major manufacturers can have hidden flaws.  If any of 
> several key components such as CPU, memory, cooling, etc. are 
> not up to spec, it can lead to incorrect calculations and/or 
> unexplained system crashes.
> Overclocking is the practice of trying to increase the speed 
> of the CPU and memory in an effort to make a machine faster 
> at little cost.  Typically, overclocking involves pushing 
> their machine to the limits and then backing off just a little bit.
> For these reasons, both non-overclockers and overclockers 
> need programs that test the stability of their computers.  
> This is done by running programs that put a heavy load on the 
> computer.  Though not originally designed for this purpose, 
> this program is one of a few programs that are excellent at 
> stress testing a computer.
> ---------
> This program is a good stress test for the CPU, memory, 
> caches, CPU cooling, and case cooling.  The torture test runs 
> continuously, comparing your computer's results to results 
> that are known to be correct.  Any mismatch and you've got a 
> problem!  Note that the torture test sometimes reads from and 
> writes to disk but cannot be considered a stress test for hard drives.
> You'll need other programs to stress video cards, PCI bus, 
> disk access, networking and other important components.  In 
> addition, this is only one of several good programs that are 
> freely available.  Some people report better finding problems 
> only when running two or more stress test programs 
> concurrently.  You may need to raise prime95's priority when 
> running two stress test programs so that each gets about 50% 
> of the CPU time.
> Forums are a great place to learn about available stability 
> test programs and to get advice on what to do when a problem is found.
> The currently popular stability test programs are (sorry, I 
> don't have web addresses for these):
>       Prime95 (this program's torture test)
>       3DMark2001
>       CPU Stability test
>       Sisoft sandra
>       Quake
>       Folding@Home
>       Seti@home
>       Genome@home
> Several useful websites for help (look for overclocking 
> community or forum):
>       http://www.hardocp.com
>       http://www.anandtech.com
>       http://www.tomshardware.com
>       http://www.sharkyextreme.com
>       http://www.overclockers.com
>       Also try the alt.comp.hardware.overclocking Usenet newsgroup.
> Utility programs you may find useful (I'm sure there are others - look
> around):
>       Motherboard monitor from http://mbm.livewiredev.com
>       Memtest86 from http://www.memtest86.com
>       TaskInfo2000 from http://www.iarsn.com/
> ---------------------------------
> The exact cause of a hardware problem can be very hard to find.
> If you are not overclocking, the most likely cause is an 
> overheating CPU or memory SIMMs that are not quite up to 
> spec.  Another possibility is you might need a better power 
> supply.  Try running MotherBoard monitor and browse the 
> forums above to see if your CPU is running too hot. If so, 
> make sure the heat sink is properly attached, fans are 
> operational, and air flow inside the case is good.  For 
> isolating memory problems, try swapping memory SIMMs with a 
> co-worker's or friend's machine.  If the errors go away, then 
> you can be fairly confidant that memory was the cause of the trouble.
> If you are overclocking then try increasing the core voltage, 
> reduce the CPU speed, reduce the front side bus speed, or 
> change the memory timings (CAS latency).  Also try asking for 
> help in one of the forums above - they may have other ideas to try.
> -------------------------
> Ignoring the problem is a matter of personal preference.  
> There are two schools of thought on this subject.
> It is likely that most programs you run will not stress your 
> computer enough to cause a wrong result or system crash.  A 
> few games stress your machine and a system crash could 
> result.  Stay away from distributed computing projects where 
> an incorrect calculation might cause you to return wrong 
> results.  You are not helping these projects by returning bad 
> data!  In conclusion, if you are comfortable with a small 
> risk of an occasional system crash then feel free to live a 
> little dangerously!
> The second school of thought is, "Why run a stress test if 
> you are going to ignore the results?"  These people want a 
> guaranteed 100% rock solid machine.  Passing these stability 
> tests gives them the ability to run any program with confidence.
> --------------------------
> Q)  My machine is not overclocked.  If I'm getting an error, 
> then there must be a bug in the program, right?
>       A)  Unfortunately, no.  The torture test is comparing 
> your machines
>       results against KNOWN CORRECT RESULTS.  If your machine cannot
>       generate correct results, you have a hardware problem.
> Q)  How long should I run the torture test?
>       A)  I recommend running it for 24 hours.  The program has been
>       known to fail only after several hours of operation.  In most
>       cases though, it will fail within a few minutes on a 
> flaky machine.
> Q)  Prime95 reports errors during the torture test, but other 
> stability tests don't.  Do I have a problem?
>       A)  Yes, you've reached the point where your machine has been
>       pushed just beyond its limits.  Follow the recommendations above
>       to make your machine 100% stable or decide to live with a
>       machine that could have problems in rare circumstances.
> Q)  A forum member said "Don't bother with prime95, it always 
> pukes on me, and my system is stable!".  What do you make of that?
>       or
> We had a server at work that ran for 2 MONTHS straight, 
> without a reboot I installed Prime95 on it and ran it - a 
> couple minutes later I get an error. You are going to tell me 
> that the server wasn't stable?
>       A)  These users obviously do not subscribe to the 100% 
> rock solid
>       But since they are not presently running any programs 
> that reveal
>       the hardware problem, the machines are quite stable.  As long as
>       these machines never run a program that uncovers the 
> hardware problem,
>       then the machines will continue to be stable.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Matt Daggett [mailto:mdaggett@;mcnc.org]
> > Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 6:10 AM
> > To: Protel EDA Forum
> > Subject: Re: [PEDA] [OT] memory testing and benchmarking - programs
> > 
> > 
> > Tony,
> > 
> > Check out SiSoft's Sandra for a full suite of system
> > benchmarks.  Also if you feel that you might have some faulty 
> > memory I'd suggest running a program called "Prime95" for a 
> > few days.  The program is very memory as well as CPU 
> > intensive because it tried to factor large numbers to find 
> > mersenne primes. If your system can withstand the "torture 
> > test" feature then you know you have a stable system as far 
> > as memory timing, CPU cooling, etc.  The torture test works 
> > by factoring numbers of known primes and if the answers 
> > computed doesn't correspond with the known solution then you 
> > know you have a memory issue.  Its been used widely in the 
> > overclocking community (which I used to be a part of for a 
> few years).
> > 
> > Sandra - http://www.sisoftware.demon.co.uk/sandra/
> > 
> > Prime95 - http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
> > 
> > Hope that helps.  If you are really into memory performance
> > you should get out your BIOS manual (assuming you have a good 
> > BIOS) and learn about some of the advanced memory features.  
> > On my workstation at home I have some PC100 running at 133Mhz 
> > (Crucial RAM is top notch on the fab) and just by modifying 
> > the CAS Latency, Bank interleaving, etc I was able to boost 
> > my memory performance just under that of DDR266.  Not bad for 
> > a no cost upgrade.  Oh yea... and my system will run Prime95 
> > till the cows come home... this is where it pays to get high 
> > quality RAM and not the cheap stuff.
> > 
> > http://www.crucial.com <-- arguably the best RAM on the market
> > 
> > matt
> > 

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