Contents of the CPU24.TXT file
CPU 24-Hour Burn-In Test Program v.1.10 by Peregrine Graphics Systems
======================================= (c) 1991 William Ip
CPU24 is a "industrial grade" burn-in test program for use in testing the
ability of system-boards to withstand heavier-than-normal operations in
order to locate any possible manufacturing/engineering defects.
The testing involves all aspects of system-board resources, from CPU, FPU,
BIOS ROM, system cache, RAM, and even video.
The program has been named CPU24.BAK so that you must read this file before
using CPU24. As a result, you now have the obligation to read the following
instructions, warning, notice and disclaimer. To setup CPU24 for its
executable, enter the following at your DOS prompt:
COPY CPU24.BAK CPU24.EXE
Type CPU24 to run.
Proper implementation of month change has not yet been done. As a result,
using CPU24 on the last day of a month may yield and improper end time.
This limitation will be addressed as soon as possible and registered
users will certainly be the first to know (more on registration later).
- implementation of proper month change on the last day of month
- more involvment of video sub-system in testing
- implementation of floppy/hard drive testing, either integrated with or
as a companion module, to CPU24
- user-selectable time frame for testing
1.10 - Released: June.21.1991
- bug fix: v.1.00a tended to stop after 1 second before 10 hours due to
a misplaced data type
- implemented full IEEE standard double precision floating point
- removed introductory text from executable
- replaced 72-hour executable version with a batch file
- implemented filling/moving of 32K memory blocks
1.00a - Released: June.01.1991
- implementation of 24 hour time frame
- addition of a 72-hour executable version for manufacturing use
- minor equation alteration to prevent illegal values
1.00 - Released: February.14.1991
- implementation of full double precision floating point calculation
- first full-scale distribution
0.01 - Released: December.01.1990
- beta version
- minor bug fix
0.00 - Released: November.01.1990
- beta version
- initial release
WHAT CPU24 Is All About
This program's purpose is simple and straight-forward: to burn-in system-
boards and their components.
This program works on the premise that most computer system problems arise as
a result of:
1. poor engineering design, or
2. manufacturing defects.
A minute number of problems may arise due to electrical problems from thunder-
storms, or just plain electrical wear and tear. These latter are not
considered problems as they occur as a fact of life. The first two, however,
CPU24 performs tests in passes, each pass calculating 8 IEEE-compliant floating
-point operations of a complex equation, with an additional 8 additional
calculations, 4 to calculate timing and 4 to write the sums of the first 8
calculations into a 32K memory block. Each 32K memory block is filled, then
its data is flushed out and refilled again. As a result, this test will use
all system-board resources: CPU, FPU, RAM, BIOS ROM, system cache, chipset
modules and even video. This type of intensive testing will bring the system-
board components to maximum operating temperature. Any engineering and/or
manufacturing flaws will certainly show up during this exercise, usually by
hanging the system or spontaneously resetting the system.
Some manufacturers install CPUs which are improperly rated (ie. 286-10 CPUs
boosted to 12MHz, or 386-25 CPUs to 33MHz, by means of a faster crystal).
This test will almost always reveal the shaky reliability of such boards,
causing them to hang/reboot about 60%-80% of the time. As a note, even if you
have such a 'souped-up' system within the lucky 20%, I don't find it morally
or ethically acceptable for retailers/manufacturers to sell such units. Hoping
your 'souped-up' system-board falls within 20% is not a chance I'd risk.
From personal experience, I've notice two types of such 'souped-up' boards.
The first are the standard boosts with faster crystals. The boards usually
have massive heat sinks on the CPUs and sometimes even chipsets to try
cooling these components down. The second type are called 'Factory Pre-
Sorted' CPUs. These essentially faster chips which fail the CPU manufacturer's
(usually Intel, Harris, AMD or Siemens) stringent quality control tests but
are still much better than the normal properly rated CPUs. Thus, in the vast
majority of standard usage, these 'Factory Pre-Sorted' CPUs tend to not give
The most approriate time to use this program would be right after you bring
your brand-new machine home or to the office from the store, even before you
take the time to pack away the boxes. Prepare a batch file to run CPU24 for 3
days (72-hours). One such batch file is included, called CPU72.BAT.
Sure, you won't have use of your brand new system for 3 days, but I'm sure
you'll agree that 3 days now would be better than 1 week in the shop 6 months
down the line!
If a system passes without a hitch, you can be darn sure it will keep running.
You should also examine if your case and power-supply provides adequate air
ventilation/circulation to cool your system. Overheating may cause problems
in the future. Again, it is better to catch the problems now, rather than
later. If you do find that your system hangs or reboots, especially if you
run the test 3 or 4 times, you can be sure there is something wrong with the
system. This test has been tested on a wide range of systems and on a
system-board with good components, you can run this test for weeks on end
without causing any crash.
After your initial test, you may give your system the occasional run-through
whenever you have the time to spare. However, when the final week of your
warranty is approaching, run the test another 72-hours, just to make sure
you can get any potential problems fixed before warranty expires. Any system
that runs for a year or more will continue to run.
This program can also be used to benchmark various configurations. CPU24
depends on the configuration of the system-board in general in completing
each pass it cycles through. Naturally, systems-boards with FPUs and system
caches will certainly increase their ability to do more calculations in a
time frame. Please note that CPU24 is not designed for true benchmarking as
no provisions have been implemented for actually assessing the fine
differences between CPU types. CPU24 is designed to test the ability of a
system-board to do heavy computational work over a long-than=average time
Most people interpret benchmarks improperly. Some people (retailers, manufacturers,
and buyers alike) throw around Norton SI or Landmark CPU speed ratings left,
right and center.
One very classic case is the use of the Landmark CPU Speed Test on the Intel
486 class system-boards. Some retailers enjoy quoting seemingly spectacular
speed ratings with version 0.99 of the Landmark CPU Speed Test, with figures
going up to 155MHz on 486-33MHz systems. I'd like to inform everyone now that
the version 0.99 Landmark does not have any provisions for CPUs as high as a
386-33, let alone the 486-33. The proper version of Landmark is version 2.00
which gives most 486-33 systems a speed of 115MHz. In fact, when you run
version 0.99 on a 386-33, the speed bar wraps around the screen several times.
On a 486-33, version 0.99 hangs, since its algorithms to calculate a speed
rating is simply blown away by the 486-33's response. The 155MHz reported
speed is simply the last figure version 0.99 prints out before it dies.
The same applies to Norton SI and a host of other such benchmark programs.
Versions are very important and you must make sure a particular benchmark
offers the correct results. A benchmark reported by Norton SI version 3 is
not the same as a Norton SI version 4.5. The same holds true for CPU24.
A benchmark must be compared against two systems, each with only one factor
different, whether it be CPU speed or video display type. When using CPU24 to
benchmark CPUs, you should have two machines with the same configuration
exactly (hard drive type, video type, RAM) except for the system-board and CPU
WARNING: The testing performed will run your system-board to its maximum
capacity. Although it has yet to occur, the high temperatures generated by
your system-board during the tests may cause damage to improperly designed
components. SYSTEM-BOARD COMPONENTS WHICH ARE OF ANY HALF-DECENT QUALITY AND
PROPERLY DESIGNED FOR THEIR RATED OPERATION WILL NOT BE DAMAGED FROM THIS
TEST. Many components will generate extreme heat which may cause severe burns
if in contact with bare skin. Do not touch components during testing. (I
found out the hard way and nursed a number of blisters for some days.) You are
urged to read the intructions and disclaimer in the introduction to CPU24
before running either test programs.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Peregrine Graphics Systems, as the manufacturer/producer
of this program, offers no guarantees, explicit or implied, with regards to
the fitness or usefulness of this program except for the following: this
software, CPU24, has been written and fully tested on systems manufactured by:
Abax Communications Group
2091 Dufferin St. Toronto, Canada, M6E 3R3
(416) 658-3989, (416) 658-3992 FAX
CPU24 was designed primarily for burn-in testing and a method of quality
control of Abax computer systems.
DISCLAIMER: Peregrine Graphics Systems shall not be responsible for any damages
caused by the use, or misuse, of this software. No modifications of this
software by any means is allowed.
If you like this program and find it of much use in maintaining the working
operation of your computer, or find that it helped you locate a fault in your
system, please send $10 to register your copy. In addition to acknowledging
the usefulness of this program, the registration fee entitles you to future
versions and/or burn-in softwares produced by Peregrine Graphics Systems.
If intend to use this program to burn-in systems which you will resell, you
Send registration and/or comments to:
Box 428, Station W
Toronto, Canada, M6M 5C1
I can also be reached on Compuserve at 70670,737, or Canada Remote Systems
798-7730 (2400 baud) or 798-7733 (14,400 USR dual).