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"With the grown ease of video card overclocking, it has become hard to avoid overclocking your prized Quake3 video powerhouse."

With the grown ease of video card overclocking, it has become hard to avoid overclocking your prized Quake3 video powerhouse. With easy to use overclocking programs freely distributed over the Internet, it almost raises the question "Why not?" When heat becomes too much for your video card, the beautifully rendered games that once flew by, will get texture corruption, discolored, and cease to run all together.

While the chipset rarely has a problem, much like the RAM it can prevent you from hitting a higher FSB. Rarely will you see a motherboard equipped with any more chipset cooling than a small heatsink, dubbed "The greenie."

The Tests

Processor testing has the widest variety of options. Including standard benchmarks like Sisandra, to specific stability programs, as well as distributed computing like SETI, and Distributed.net. Used in this guide, is a handy programmed by Passmark titled BurnIn, and a distributed computing client named Prime95. BurnIn is designed to specifically test different CPU operations, so that all elements are stressed and tested, such as high L2 cache usage, and integer operations. The stability of L2 cache needs closer attention on older processors, with on-die cache, this tends to no longer be a problem. Katmai Pentium 2's and Pentium 3's have off-die cache, which tends to be unstable at higher speeds. After these two tests you will know that every aspect of your CPU is stable. To insure absolute stability, it is recommended that you run this high stress application for 24-hours. This process is commonly called "Burning in". In some situations, there have been reports of burning in allowing lower voltage levels at the current overclocked speed as well.

While Prime95's formal function is to participate in a community distributed computing program, it has a function dubbed "Torture Test". This option does just that, tortures the CPU with incredibly high stress levels. Prime95's torture test has been known to find instability were all other programs fail. Many professional OEM Computer builders use the torture test as a stability guaranty.

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