Very few things in life are more satisfying than assembling all the parts to a new PC, hitting the power button, and watching it boot up properly.
But even if your build starts up and seems to work without problems, you might want to make sure all the components are fully functional. Does your graphics card pump out pretty pictures at the level promised by the manufacturer? Does your RAM operate consistently for hours on end? Does your CPU process the desired number of ones and zeroes under intense loads without overheating?
To answer these questions, we turn to stress testing: Making sure that all of your parts can handle the work that they’re designed to do (or overclocked to do). They might be fine under normal use, but you want to know that they’ll be able to handle heavier tasks down the road, such as high-end gaming or media editing.