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Q: Test a CPU ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Test a CPU
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: solar12123-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Dec 2002 17:54 PST
Expires: 04 Jan 2003 17:54 PST
Question ID: 120077
How can I find out if my CPU is damaged.  There is some phyisical
damage to one of the corners but i need to know if it is affecting my
computer's perfomance.  I can't spend more than $10 on the solution.
Subject: Re: Test a CPU
Answered By: brightshadow-ga on 05 Dec 2002 18:10 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Physical damage to the green or amber PCB will not affect the CPU's
ability to function. Physical damage to the core of the processor
(depending on your CPU, you may or may not be able to actually see it)
would result in a total failure of the system to function.

If the computer is booting and operating, then you have nothing to
worry about.

If you would like to verify that your CPU is in fact operating
properly, you can check the speed of your processor with a number of
different programs. Two that I would recommend:



This is a free utility that displays more information about your
system's processor than you care to know. Among other things, it will
show you the CPU's operating clock speed, which determines how fast
the CPU functions.


SiSoft Sandra -

This is another free utility (a trial version of Sandra) which will
show you even more information about your entire system; it will give
you a comparison of your system's CPU performance versus other
standard system setups, including a CPU performance benchmark.

Hope this helps!


Request for Answer Clarification by solar12123-ga on 05 Dec 2002 21:07 PST
These programs do as you say, but that is not what i need.  The core
is in fact physically damaged but it is identified properly by the
software (and my windows xp insallation never crashes).  Is there some
reason that I should think that a proper identification of the proc is
evidence that it is functioning properly?  If so I need to hear it
from an expert.

Clarification of Answer by brightshadow-ga on 05 Dec 2002 23:57 PST
Sandra's CPU arithmetic logic and floating point benchmarks will load
the CPU well enough to determine whether or not any physical damage
resulted in actual damage to the CPU core.

I've been building systems myself for the better part of a decade, and
my most recent full time job involved troubleshooting faulty and/or
damaged PC hardware, primarily CPUs, and can state with confidence
that if you're not seeing any stability problems, that you have
nothing to worry about.

What sort of physical damage are you talking about? I'm not sure what
type of processor you've got, but I'd venture a guess and say that
it's a newer AMD chip (their cores are a little easier to chip than
Intel's latest chips with exposed cores.)

If you're concerned about the possibility of a stability or
reliability problem (or perhaps a fire hazard), I would recommend
performing some sort of burn-in test on the CPU. Install a distributed
computing client, for example -- try using the client,
which will keep your CPU under a full load constantly
( If the system stays functional after a
few days of running the client, regardless of whether
the system is being used or left idle, then it's safe to say that the
CPU is perfectly fine, despite any physical damage it may have
appeared to sustain.

Another way to look at it would be that if you're concerned enough
about the damage that you'd like to get it replaced, most resellers of
AMD processors refuse returns of chipped processors because they're
very delicate, and seeing a chipped or even a completely crushed CPU
core does happen from time to time, and AMD doesn't cover it under
their warranty...

"Examples of 'User-Induced Damage' and unacceptable returns:

 * No visible thermal compound
 * Cracked package
 * Cracked die
 * Die chip.."


"Die Chip

 This picture shows a processor with a portion of the corner or (sic)
the processor missing. When handling a processor with damage,
additional handling of the processor can cause further damage, and in
turn, cause the unit to cease proper functioning. This, too, is
considered user damage, and would not be an accepted return.

 Please note that a microscopic level of chipping is considered
acceptable and does not affect the proper function of the processor.
Please do not return units with this level of chipping."

The PDF also displays pictures of the different example conditions,
and shows a picture of what they consider to be unacceptable damage,
and what they consider to be acceptable "microscopic" damage, which
they will ship CPUs with, as it does not affect performance.

If it isn't an AMD processor, the situation is likely similar with
Intel, but Intel's dies are generally tougher to physically damage, as
their heatsinks are typically smaller for the exposed core chips
(specifically socket 370 PPGA/FCPGA, as opposed to the socket 423/478
P4 packages, which include heat slugs over the die) and their die is
less fragile. If I've incorrectly assumed, please accept my apologies.

Hope this helps. :)

solar12123-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
I guess I am looking for somthing that doesn't exist.

Subject: Re: Test a CPU
From: funkywizard-ga on 05 Dec 2002 18:12 PST
you might also want to try running a program such as seti at home or
genome at home for a day or two straight. if the pc doesnt crash in
this time, certainly the cpu is not damaged

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