File: README

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cpuburn 1.4a-1
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N E W   burnK7 for the AMD Athlon/Duron has been released. 

These programs are designed to load x86 CPUs as heavily as possible for
the purposes of system testing.  They have been optimized for different
processors.  FPU and ALU instructions are coded an assembler endless loop.
They do not test every instruction.  The goal has been to maximize heat
production from the CPU, putting stress on the CPU itself, cooling
system, motherboard (especially voltage regulators) and power supply
(likely cause of burnBX/MMX errors).

burnP5   is optimized for Intel Pentium w&w/o MMX processors
    P6   is for Intel PentiumPro, PentiumII&III and Celeron CPUs
    K6   is for AMD K6 processors
    K7   is for AMD Athlon/Duron processors
    MMX  is to test cache/memory interfaces on all CPUs with MMX
    BX   is an alternate cache/memory test for Intel CPUs

TO USE:  root priviliges are NOT required.  It has been designed for ELF
	 Linux, but also tested under FreeBSD. and a.out.  Burn Testing 
	 is best done from a ramdisk distribution (tomsrtbt) or with 
	 filesystems unmounted or mounted read-only.  untar the source 
	 in a convenient directory:
`tar zxf cpuburn`
	 compile excutables 
`make`
	 run desired program in background [ _repeat_ for SMP]:
`burnP6 || echo $? &`   

Monitor progress of cpuburn by `ps`.  When finished, `kill` the burn*
process(es).  If you have temperature probes (fingers) or the lm-sensors
package, you can check your CPU temperature and/or system voltages.

If an error occurs in calculations, it will be preserved, and the
program will terminate with error code 254 for an integer/memory error,
and error code 255 for a FP/MMX error.  Error checking happens every
10-40 sec for burnP6/K6/K7 and I haven't seen any CPU errors in testing
[lockups occur first].  burnBX and burnMMX check for error every 512 MB
(4-10 sec), and error termination is frequently seen, lockups are rarer.

burnBX and burnMMX are essentially very intense RAM testers.  They can
also take an optional parameter indicating the RAM size to be tested:

  A =  2 kB   E =  32 kB   I = 512 kB   M =  8 MB
  B =  4      F =  64      J =   1 MB   N = 16   
  C =  8      G = 128      K =   2      O = 32
  D = 16      H = 256      L =   4      P = 64

`burnBX L` (4 MB) and `burnMMX F` (64 kB) are the default sizes.
A-E mostly test L1 cache, F-H test L2 cache, and H-P force their way
to RAM.  But even A-E will have some cacheline writeouts to RAM.

In spite of it's name, burnBX can be run on any chipset [RAM controller]
and tests alot more than the RAM controller.  Unfortunately, burnBX is
not optimal on AMD processors. burnMMX is preferable for any CPU that
has an MMX unit.

burnBX/MMX needs about 72 MB of total RAM + swap to start (not necessarily
free), but doesn't use this much unless you request it.  They will
throw a `Sig 11` if you don't have enough swap.  If you don't want to
add more, you can adjust the .bss section downward as indicated in the
source comments.  I use very simple memory management. They can also
test swap, and at least on my system, I can run 2*`burnBX 8` with 128
MB SDRAM with some use of swap, but no excessive thrashing[seeks]. YMMV.

If sub-spec, your system may lock up after 2-10 minutes.  It shouldn't.
burn* are just an unpriviliged user processes.  But it probably means
your CPU is undercooled, most likely no thermal grease or other interface
material between CPU & heatsink.  Or some other deficiency.  A power
cycle should reset the system.  But you should fix it.

Robert Redelmeier
redelm@ev1.net

*** WARNING ***    This program is designed to heavily load CPU chips.
Undercooled, overclocked or otherwise weak systems may fail causing data
loss (filesystem corruption) and possibly permanent damage to electronic
components.  Nor will it catch all flaws.   *** USE AT YOUR OWN RISK ***