Prime 95 stress test


Nov 30, 2008
Ok, so after reading up on a bunch of toms hardware reviews, I noticed that they often/almost always use Prime 95 to test for system stability under load. I've been running my PC just fine for the better part of six months and I never had any problems with random system crashes during normal multitasking or intense gaming (I play Call of Duty 4, Crysis, Medieval 2, Supreme Commander, etc.) but curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see how my PC would perform under this stress test. I downloaded version 25.6 or something like that because it said it did multi-threaded stress testing and I do use a dual core Athlon. I hit the run button and went to make some tea, because surely it would take a while for my system, which had been running flawlessly for months, to have even the slightest of problems, especially while running my CPU at stock settings. Not three minutes later, I had to run back into the room and shut down the test. The log didn't report any errors, but I knew something wasn't quite right when I smelled the fresh aroma of burning electronics two rooms away. I've looked at my system and my CPU is fine, my RAM is fine, my Video Card is fine (thank God, because I payed more for it than the rest of the system combined) everything was fine except the motherboard. Now I have random crashes during games and multi-tasking.

Good news is the stress test works.

Bad news is I'll be needing a new motherboard.

Thoughts and suggestions appreciated, thanks.

My system is an AM2 and my RAM is working at DDR2 800MHz.


Your power supply probably caused the problem. If you're smelling something that's burning it was most likely caused by your power supply, which in turn fried your motherboard. Motherboards don't fry by themselves, a power supply has to fail to cause that to happen. I can almost guarantee that it needs to be replaced too.

Be thankful that your other components did not fry as well! You're lucky because when a power supply goes it often takes all the other hardware with it.

If your power supply does turn out to be the culprit, don't replace it without doing your homework!! Power supplies are THE most important component you put in your computer and they're the most overlooked. I get tired of people running off to the forums to complain about their computer problems that were caused by the power supply that came with their $50 computer case, or that they picked up on newegg for $30 because they figured all power supplies were the same. They aren't so don't be that guy. :)

Buy a quality power supply. Depending on your needs it will probably cost you at least $75.00. If you're playing games like sup com and COD4 than I'd suspect you'll need something around 500w or bigger because you've probably got a decent size graphics card, so you'll probably have to spend more than $75.00 to get something truly adequate.

Antec, OCZ, Silverstone, Thermaltake, Tagan (ABS), Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair and Cooler Master make good power supplies. Some versions of Rosewill are good too, as are Fortron (FSP). Don't buy an off brand power supply. It may work ok, but it's not worth taking a chance. I personally use OCZ and I love them!
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