Measuring the stability of a PC

Posted on 2003-12-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Is there a way to test and grade the stability of any given PC?

Every one SAYS and EXPERIENCES that a 7000$ supermicro's system is much much more stable than a 250$ UNKNOWN's (with maybe fake components) system

But how can it be tested in a laboratory environment.

From my short experience Burnin (Softwares and HW cards) can not.
Question by:zolpo
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LVL 48

Assisted Solution

dbrunton earned 60 total points
ID: 9910533
From your short experience you have determined that.

You stress the components by hammering them.  Run the processor at maximum, run the hard disk at maximum, run the network card at maximum, etc.

This is what the manufacturers do and then they check the components and measure how well they have worn.  They have better measuring tools than you have.  For example, hard drives have a MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) of a 100,000 hours.  No manufacturer runs his hard disk for a 100,000 hours.  They run and stress and test and then measure the wear and then estimate a value.

If $7,000 computer systems start failing often then that manufacturer isn't going to sell more.  It's in his own interests to make sure that the parts and assembly and quality make the components last.  That's a reflection of the price.

As a rule of thumb if a computer component is going to fail, it will usually (not always) fail in the first six months.  That's probably proved 50% true in most of the computer systems I've played or had experience with.  Some components have notorious fail rates.  Never buy a Realtek network card.

Author Comment

ID: 9910661
dbrunton! Thanks!

In "My short experience" I took a some low end PC's and some very highend PC's. Than I run a multi hour burnin test (HW + SW). (I am using UXD and other burnin tools). Believe it or not those cr*p PC's PASS ALL TESTS.

BUT when I install OS + Office + Apps and put it in front of the secretary, the low end crashed twice a day while the high end not even once. (maybe the seretary is the best burnin tool :) )
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

slink9 earned 180 total points
ID: 9911480
You are runnning the burnin software on the hardware minus OS.  The cheapie hardware is probably not XP compatible.  Therefore when you install XP on it you have probelms.
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Author Comment

ID: 9912180
Hi slink9

Thanks for your comment. But I asked GENERALY. how do you know that x stable than y (without using a secretary :) ) How can you measure that?
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

slink9 earned 180 total points
ID: 9912271
You look at history.  Your experience is that the systems with the crappy components are unreliable.  That is the experience of many in the computer industry.  If you order a Dell it works.  If you buy all of your parts from the cheapest vendor at pricewatch and assemble it yourself it doesn't.  That's a fact, Jack!!
That isn't to say that you can't do the reasearch and build your own quality system.  I have done that myself many times.  People here can tell you the best components to put together for a quality system.

Author Comment

ID: 9912798
History. hmmmm. and what if I don't like history? :)

HEY! You cann't measure history!

We here to quantify how much asus stable than biostar and vice versa...
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

slink9 earned 180 total points
ID: 9912904
If you put the exact same parts on the exact same mobo all will perform the same as long as the parts and pieces are all good.  That is the advantage of mass production such as Dell.  If you change one component you can change the performance greatly.
By the way, the testing you did in the past week or two is history.  I can't measure your results or verify them, but I accept them because they agree with the historic performances.  If you tell me you randonly slapped together twenty systems and all performed excellently as servers and desktops then I will have reason to doubt your results.
You may not be able to quantify or verify but you accept because it makes sense.  Accept it, don't accept it.  No biggee to me.  I have been doing this stuff and have a bit more than "short experience."  You learn that you can't understand everything, but you can accept it based on the qualifications and experience of those doing the testing.
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 60 total points
ID: 9914078
If you want real-life experiences, then you can only go by statistics on vendors.  Find sites that specialize in feedback on hardware and you will find your answers.  For example, has consumer feedback on internet stores - by and large, the ones with a lot of feedback will tell you where they stand as a seller.  Gather a few well-known websites and do the same for parts and you should be better off than you are now.  Even your own burn-in and stress testing software cannot tell you as a whole how well a manufacturer builds parts - you need numbers from many people under different circumstances.

Author Comment

ID: 9952841

Althogh I did not hear what I wanted, your answers gave me another point of view

I have splited the points according to your participation


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