List of stress tests for different components:
- This is a CPU stress test that is based upon the good old Prime95. It can stress your CPU and memory. Orthos or Prime95 are typically the immediate go-to tests for overclockers after tweaking their system. It is considered by many the best single application to check overall system stability (minus 3d graphics). (freeware)
- This is a memory only tester. It is typically executed by burning an ISO to a CD and then booting from it. It will show if your memory has errors. If there is an error, typically the memory is at fault, but it can also point to a potential problem with the motherboard due to memory compatibility or possible failure. (freeware)
- FurMark is a video card benchmark and stress test. It is OpenGL based and is a great application for checking overclocks on your GPU and video card memory. Since it is OpenGL, it may not reflect issues that may arise in Direct3d applications. (freeware)
- 3dMark has long been a gamers benchmark. It is often criticized due to not using any particular game engine, but it still holds a place on every video card review. Regardless of the relevance of it as a benchmark, it can be a very useful stress testing application in 'loop mode'. 3dMark Vantage is the latest iteration that utilizes DirectX 10 and as such requires Windows Vista. 3dMark06 is the latest version for those who use operating systems prior to Windows Vista and only requires DirectX 9. It is not free for those who wish to run custom benchmarks or plan on using it in 'loop mode'.
This is all that comes to mind for now. If anyone else has a useful application for stress testing, then add it to this list. Maybe it can get a sticky if we are comprehensive enough.