Stress Testing You Raspberry Pi (for Cooling and Overclocking)

Sam just shared a new tutorial: "Stress Testing You Raspberry Pi (for Cooling and Overclocking)"

Part of the joy that is Raspberry Pi is getting stuck into it at a slightly lower level and finding out exactly what you can do with it if you take a look under the hood. One of the most popular experiments to do with your Raspberry Pi is o…

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Sam, This is perfect for what I’m looking for, I want to check the temperature of the main chip with and without a heatsink under stress, which programme do you suggest for best results? Thanks Peter

Hi Peter,

@Josh recently did a great comparison between the old/new Pi 3. Take a look at what software he used:

Thanks Graham, I stress tested th B+ with the programme from this video -

I ran the test six times to get a comparison of different heat sinks - it now doesn’t work - do you think I may have over-stressed it, I thought it was throttled around the 80c mark?


Hi Peter,

The short answer is “I don’t know”. Perhaps explore using a new uSD card (as they can sometimes stop working). Normally though, the CPU will be throttled to accommodate a rise in temperature. This isn’t a full-safety, there are some scenarios where CPU temp could continue to rise, but it’s really rare.

At the bottom of the article, the link to the next article in the series (Overclocking Your Raspberry Pi) is missing. I had to use the ‘overclocking’ tag to get to it.

I’m using the ice tower cooler. I cant get 3b+ to 60 degrees using the instructions in this article.
Very happy.

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How to stop this script? Because it is endless…

to stop stress: ctrl + c in terminal

No, after stopping it starts again automatically. Just test it…

only temp reports, but i closed terminal and opened up again, no more reporting. and cpu usage 0% temps go down after ctrl+c. idk.

type ‘fg’, press enter, then ctrl-c to stop the temp and frequency updates


Ah yes, a keyboard interrupt should do the trick!

The other option is to find the ID of the running script by entering ps -A and then simply kill <ID GOES HERE> from there you should be able to stop the running process and if it starts up again afterward then we’ll need to identify which process or daemon is causing that.

hmm you could have top running in a prompt and read it id that way as well but i like your thinking just for the old timers i posted this…

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Ran the test with heatsink & decent fan about an inch away from the CPU, averaged 115F/44C before test, spiked to above 150F/60C
(For comparison, 150F/60C starts hurting after several seconds of being touched.)

Tested for several minutes with 2 fans, and a temperature of 150 - 155 was averaged, which slowly went up over time, eventually reaching 157 before going down to about 156 again. CPU usage was at over 90% most of the time, the lowest it got to was 82%.
To those worried about me destroying/damaging it, my program had an auto-shutoff temperature of 164F to prevent any damage from occuring and any unusual operation would lead to an immediate shutdown

Hey Gogle,

Thanks for throwing your results up! 60 degrees is definitely ok, the Pi will throttle itself once it gets to 80, with anything less than that running at full speed!

Let us know what you end up using all that performance for!

I tried while true; do vcgencmd measure_clock arm; vcgencmd measure_temp; sleep 10; done& stress -c 4 -t 900s after setting arm_freq=1600 but it reads 600MGz when it should read 1600MGz. Can anyone tell me what is going on?
I have a RPi 3B+ with Raspbian installed.

Hi Oision,

I’m not sure why your clock speeds are reading low.
Which version of Raspberry Pi OS were you using, thenew Bullseye or Buster? We might be able to do some testing here with a Pi 3B+ to try and replicate your issues.

We do have a newer Stressberry guide on the site which is a bit easier to run and gives you a nice graph at the end of it. You can find it here:

Maybe give our new guide a shot and see if your issue is repeated with that and please post the output of your tests so we can have a look.

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ok. I’m a bit busy right now but I’ll check that out, post the output, and find out what version OS I’m using in a little while.

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