Originally Posted by Targonis
Stable is where you don't run into problems with whatever load you want to throw at it. For computer sales, you want to be able to throw EVERYTHING at it, full load for 24 hours without any crashing or other problems. Intel Burn Test is one test for that task. I consider stable anything that lets me run my machine at high/max loads for 18 hours a day and then go for two to three weeks without any sort of crash. Now, that may or may not work if Windows drivers or other programs cause problems, and then you need to figure out if your overclock is the cause of the problem, or the other programs are the key.
For many, the way I do it is probably "stable enough".
Its going to depend on every situation.
Around here you're not stable unless you run intelburntest at maximum for a million hours. Ive done all my rigs and customer rigs the same way. 15-30min run of realbench/intelutility (still uses linpack btw) then i will run it all day just on to check for idle/background task stability, in the process ill check for WHEA errors then change offset/voltage accordingly. After all thats done, ill game on it solid for a couple days and run photoshop to edit some raw/jpeg files. Thats my baseline, when i change OC i repeat the process.
My 1700x at 3.8ghz is doing it fine at 1.199v under load, hasn't crashed once, hasn't 8 coded once, ZERO WHEA errors in my final setup so for me in my case its stable.
The people running IBT for 24hrs (and unless your PC is actually maxing out all cores at 100% for 24/7 then yea) all you are doing is slowly degrading your chip. I know musmus will argue with me to the death but i really don't care. Ive been doing it this way for 15years ive never had a customer or my pc have an unstable OC. Then again its also based on usage, if someone is folding then ill run the pc folding for 36hrs and change voltage accordingly. Its all dependent, just like audio and video are.