I am often asked about what hardware diagnostics software I use and recommend for testing both new and existing systems. For general purpose hardware diagnostics and testing I use and recommend the following:
These are bootable CD collections of useful free diagnostics tools and utilities, including diagnostics, testing and benchmarking software that are ideal for testing both new and old systems. Both of these collections can also be installed on USB flash drives using the following instructions for UBCD
The term "Burn-in" testing is often used to describe running tests on a new piece of equipment to screen for failures. The idea is to flesh out early failures, so burn-in tests are usually designed to be as stressful as possible. This usually means running tests that are as hard as possible on the equipment and/or running them under high ambient temperatures.
Two of the programs I use for burn-in testing are:
When running Prime95, under the Options menu select "Torture Test". That will cause the program to fully load all of the processor cores in the system for maximum stress testing.