Furmark is capable of putting so much stress on your video card that it may crash. While this may sound bad, it allows you to test your video card’s stability in a controlled environment. Furmark also helps you track video card temperatures to troubleshoot possible cooling issues.
Running a Furmark Graphics Card Stability Test
Furmark creates a worse-case scenario. In most cases your games won’t place as much stress on your video card as Furmark does. Only games like Crysis, when ramped up to maximum detail, are as demanding. However, this worse-case scenario allows you to rule out your video card’s stability a possible issue. Using Furmark to test your video card’s stability will help you ensure that your card is rock solid.
Start Furmark and click the Stability Test option under Run Mode. A graphics card stability test is a test which runs constantly until you decide to shut it down. Click the Go! button in the lower right hand corner of the application.
You many want to sit and watch the stability test, but it isn’t really necessary, and will be rather boring as you’ll want the stability test to run for around thirty minutes and you shouldn’t run any other programs during the graphics card stability test. This will make sure that you are provided with solid temperature data which reflects how your video card is working when playing a demanding game for hours on end.
There are two possible results from your Furmark stability test. One is that Furmark crashes, and the other is that Furmark runs without issue. Each result gives you important information about your video card.
The Results: If Furmark Crashes
If Furmark crashed it means that your video card wasn’t able to handle the load that Furmark was sending to it. Data became corrupted and the video card started sending out erroneous data, which caused Furmark to crash. If you do decide to sit down and watch Furmark in action during testing you will find that just before a crash the Furmark image starts to look very odd. Small dots starts to appear across the image. These occur because the video card is becoming too hot and the data being sent out from the card is corrupted.
The most common reason for Furmark to crash is a graphics card overclock which is too aggressive. If you have overclocked your video card you”ll need to back off a bit on your overclock in order for your video card to be stable. If you have no overclocked your video card, however, the crash is probably happening because your video card’s cooling is inadequate. Check the card to make sure that the fan is working and that dust has not clogged the card’s cooling.
The Results: If Furmark Doesn’t Crash
If Furmark runs for thirty minutes without crashing it is safe to say that your video card will be stable when running any game you throw at it. Any crashes which occur will most likely be due to the program’s coding, no your hardware’s inability to handle the strain.
That doesn’t mean we can’t gather some interesting information from our test, however. Before exiting Furmark take a close look at the GPU Temperature graph located at the bottom of the Furmark window. This graph shows a timeline of your video card’s temperature as the benchmark progressed. This graph should show a fairly linear increase in temperature up to a certain temperature ceiling, at which point the temperature stays essentially the same for the rest of the test.
If there are any major hiccups, however, you may want to check you video card’s cooling anyway. It is possible that the fan is not working as it should, causing spikes and dips in the temperature. This behavior may not be a stability problem yet, but it can become a problem if it worsens.
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