The right stress tests put your CPU to work in ways that real world usage probably never will. After all, we don't want a real world workload, we want the absolute max it can take to see if it fails. It is still used by computer repair shops and even the Genius Bar today. It's not a test that puts a CPU through its paces, but if anything it will test the cooling system and show you if it's able to keep the CPU from overheating. The concept is simple: Give the CPU a command that evokes an affirmative "yes" response over and over and over. To kill the process, go back to the Terminal window and type " killall yes " without the quotes and hit enter.
This puts only a single CPU core at work, so you want to repeat the command as often as you have cores, then again to hit the virtual cores. For a 4-core CPU that has 8-cores total with the virtual cores included, the command becomes:. To abort the test at any time, type " killall yes " followed by enter and quit Terminal.
Chances of it failing such a simple test are slim, so if you want to step it up, try the following:. Prime95 was created to help find new Mersenne prime numbers, but so many people started using it to stress test their CPU's that the app's creators built a dedicated stress test into the app. Called the "Torture Test," it certainly lives up to its name and taxes your CPU and subsystems to its maximum capabilities.
Running the Torture Test for several hours hours recommended by the communities will prove, without a doubt, your CPU is either a number crunching monster with an endless appetite or ready for recycling heaven. Without it, you'd just be staring at a blank screen. Of course, games can't live without it; and, if you use any of the Adobe, Final Cut or other graphics intensive apps, then you most certainly need it. It runs hotter and consumes a lot more energy, so the chances of it failing are much greater.
How will you know if your GPU is able to provide you with the power you need when you need it? Here are a few options:.
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As with the CPU benchmarking, these tests are pretty short, so it would have to be run a few times to get an idea of the performance and cooling. Here are a few that do a good job of benchmarking your GPU: Cinebench , Geekbench , and LuxMark. Read each of the pages for a description and how-to operate. There's really only one application that comes to mind for this: The "basic" and "extreme" presets can be used, but a "custom" option is also available that really lets you go all out.
The test will render game scenes at the quality and resolution you set; a higher quality and resolution will mean more work for your GPU and thus a better stress test. You will have to re-start the test when it finishes to get a few loops out of it the free version , but at insanely high settings your GPU will probably take a long time to finish a single run anyway. There are utilities that can read out and test these sensors, but only Apple and their Diagnostics really know what the correct value ranges are and if a sensor passes or fails a test.
However, if you'd like to take a closer look at the sensors to make sure their measurements are what you want them to be, or just to satisfy your curiosity, there are a few options available. A lot of continuous checking is going on inside your Mac to make sure all these readings are what they should be, and while you typically never need to know these readings, they can help you verify your Mac's hardware is working properly.
The one application that can read out all these sensors is TechTool Pro. It is a pretty comprehensive system test suite that includes sensor testing. We've covered pretty much all the internal components of your Mac, but there are a few things that are often overlooked in system testing. These are as follows:. If there is an issue with your mouse or trackpad, you will find out during normal use, so I won't suggest any tests for those. The firmware-damaging virus is an impractical creation, though, as it is extremely difficult to code, has to be tailor-coded for each specific hard drive and lacks motivational intent because it would disable a computer instead of steal information.
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There is a hypothetical way that a virus could contribute to an existing action that can break a hard drive. When a computer doesn't have enough RAM to handle all program demands, it falls back on a virtual memory extension on the hard drive. When the virtual memory size is insufficient, the computer can engage in disk thrashing.
Disk thrashing means the hard drive is constantly reading and writing information, which can contribute to wearing down the device hardware. It is unlikely a virus would cause disk thrashing, but several viruses running a computer that's already disk thrashing can increase the severity of the issue and contribute to hard-drive wear. Dan Stone started writing professionally in , specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television.
Skip to main content. Virus Disable, Not Break A computer virus is a self-replicating, malicious computer program classified as a type of malware. Boot-Sector Viruses Boot-sector viruses are among the most damaging viruses and the most difficult to remove malware.
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Hypothetical Firmware Damage According to Computerworld, Western Digital Vice President Gary Meister said there is a way to build a virus that can damage a particular hard drive's firmware and disable the device. Disk-Thrashing Aggravation There is a hypothetical way that a virus could contribute to an existing action that can break a hard drive. References 9 Ask Leo!: This method always gets better results. Question 5 months ago on Step 4. Answer 4 months ago. Question 1 year ago on Step 4. Reply 2 years ago. As with any prank you need to pick your targets carefully. If you prank someone without a sense of humor, you could get into big trouble.
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