We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Best software for  testing CPU & Motherboard

Priest04 asked
What is the best software for testing AMD & Intel CPU's from DOS? I know it can be difficult (if not impossible) to test motherboard, but is there some kind of software for it too that can give some diagnostic info - like if AGP/PCIE slot, memory slot, cpu slot, etc are not working properly? I had several occasions where memory diagnostic tools reported bad RAM, but in fact it was the MB phase unit on the motherboard that lead to RAM slots not functioning properly.

Watch Question

Top Expert 2007
Actually software isn't the way to go here. The motherboard is too complicated an electronic device to easily say its one component or the other. The best way is to swap known working components  into a system to see how it reacts. For instance, with the ram issue you have mentioned. If you had swapped in known working ram and it didn't work, then you would suspect the motherboard .
Thats why the software tests are just a starting point when diagnosing a problem. I have found in the past that a good troubleshooting flowchart can take you in the right direction faster as it makes you do things in a logical fashion, excluding things as you go.
Here is a link to such a flowchart.
Top Expert 2007

A bootable cd like the Ultimate Boot CD has plenty of testing software like CPU burnin and Mersenne Prime Test that can be used, and many other diagnostic software.

It still doesn't take the place of swapping hardware as they tend to have issues when multiple problems exist on a troubled PC.
Distinguished Expert 2019
you can use the normal diagnostics : pick the one you like :
http://www.pc-doctor.com/                                    PC doctor
www.tufftest.com/tt01-lite.htm                        free      TuffTest lite


Sorry guys for not answering sooner, I was kind of busy lately, so I didn't have time to look at the links and test the software. I totally agree that there is nothing better than swapping hardware, but sometimes I am in a situation where I don't have a particular model cpu to swap (mostly on older motherboards), and pc can boot, so I wanted to know if there is some good software that I am not aware of, that can give me some clues.

Considering the flowcharts, I didn't have chance to see them before, so it was interesting to read it, but that is the stuff I learned in practice long time ago, only maybe its is not that well organized in my head as is on paper. :) I am using ultimate boot cd on every day basis, mostly for diagnosing memory & hdd.

Thanks for the links, I will read about that software as soon as I have more free time.