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First, my PC specs:

  • Intel Core i5-2400
  • Intel motherboard
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 2 SATA-2 7200 RPM HDD
  • 1 DVD Writer
  • Thermaltake 500W PSU (70% efficiency)

I'm planning to buy a graphics card soon. My preference highly goes to GeForce 560/Radeon HD 6870. Their minimum recommended power supply is 450W and 500 W respectively.

As soon as I buy the new card, I'm planning to run a stress test. I haven't decided which software to run, but Furmark comes to my mind.

I'm as curious as afraid to run stress test. I've heard both good and bad against stress testing hardware. Specifically, I don't want to damage my hardware, yet I want to test if the PSU can serve up the PC good enough as I will be gaming ~10 hours every holiday.

What's the possibility of damaging hardware from stress test? How long should I run stress test? What software should I use?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unless you start overclocking everything you are quite safe to run stress tests. Stock settings on GPU/CPU are normally meant to be able to endure these tests.

Once you start overclocking you need to watch voltages and temperatures.

Programs I use:

  • 3D mark vantage
  • prime 95
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i won't overclock. how long should i run stress test? – Donotalo Mar 30 '12 at 8:47
Well, 3D mark Vantage has a set of levels it runs through. They each take between 5 and 10 minutes. In the end it gives you a score and you can compare it to other systems. If you are using furmark, about half an hour should be good to see if your system is stable. Remember these tests are aimed at overclockers to see if their system stays stable. – Lucas Kauffman Mar 30 '12 at 12:37

Your power supply should be fine, but while stress testing running a monitoring program to keep an eye on your voltages would be a good idea. Furmark is an excellent GPU stress testing tool and prime 95 is great for CPUs.

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