19 Best Tools To Stress Test Your PC [CPU, GPU and RAM] In 2024

Hitting the power button of a new PC and watching it boot properly is one of the most satisfying moments of life (at least for computer geeks), especially if you’ve spent days researching, purchasing, and assembling all parts.

Usually, everything works great when you use your new PC to run everyday applications such as MS Office, Chrome, media player, and PDF reader. But how will it perform when you load Fortnite at the highest settings while streaming to YouTube Gaming for hours?

Are you sure the CPU will process all tasks under extreme loads without overheating, the RAM will operate consistently for hours, and the GPU will deliver the desired frames per second?

To answer these queries, we turn to stress testing, which puts PC hardware under excessive levels of stress to ensure system stability when used in a normal environment.

This article shares valuable stress testing tools and benchmarking software so that you can easily monitor how your PC behaves in extreme conditions. These tools aim to test stability by forcing the PC to fail and determine the maximum performance possible at a given task.

Before we start, we want to warn our readers about the intrinsic dangers of executing stress tests. The tools listed below might push things beyond the limits defined by the hardware manufacturer. We advise you to continuously monitor all parameters, including CPU clock and temperature, with genuine utilities and abort testing immediately if you notice something unusual.

Did you know? 

Hard disks have higher failure rates (1.53%) compared to any other PC components, followed by Power supplies (1.45%) and RAM (0.81%). 

19. OCCT 

Price: Free | Pro version costs $4.9 per month 
Available for Windows  

OCCT (short for OverClock Checking Tool) can test every component of your PC, including CPU, GPU, and PSU. It runs intensive calculations and simulations, pushing the processor to its limits. This allows you to assess the stability of your processor under heavy workloads and find potential issues like overheating or instability. 

The tool includes several 3D tests designed to test all the latest GPUs, including Nvidia A100, in a single click. It also features a new Latency and Bandwidth benchmark for Memory and CPU Cache, enabling you to compare your results effectively.

As of 2024, OCCT has surpassed 34 million downloads and garnered support from over 1000 Patreon members.

18. Linpack Xtreme

Price: Free 
Available for Windows  and Linux

Linpack Xtreme is one of the most aggressive stress testing tools available for free. It can crash unstable PCs in a shorter duration compared to other tools. 

It solves a dense system of linear equations, monitors the time required to analyze and solve this system, and converts this time into performance metrics. 

The best thing is Linpack does all of this with high accuracy and precision. It is compatible with a range of processors including AMD’s and Intel’s latest series. 

17. MEMTEST86

Price: Free | Pro version costs $52
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux

MEMTEST86 is a memory diagnostic tool for x86 and ARM computers. It performs comprehensive tests on RAM modules to detect any potential errors, defects, or faults. 

The tool applies substantial stress to RAM modules by continuously accessing and manipulating data. More specifically, it employs 20+ test patterns and algorithms to thoroughly exercise different aspects of the memory subsystem. These include row hammer tests, moving inversions, and walking bit tests, among others. 

These rigorous tests help uncover latent defects or instability that may only manifest under heavy workloads. 

The pro version of MEMTEST86 comes with additional features like ECC error injection, DIMM/Chip error decoding, and Intelligent Memory Surveillance failure prevention. 

16. Core Temp

Price: Free
Available for Windows and Android

Core Temp is a lightweight yet powerful tool that monitors processor temperatures and other critical information. It can display the temperature of each core of every processor in the system in real time with varying workloads.

All giant manufacturers (including Intel and AMD) place a Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) in their x86 processors, which gives higher-resolution and more precise temperature readings than traditional onboard thermal sensors.

Core Temp collects data directly from DTS, eliminating inaccuracies introduced by external sensors and motherboard circuits.

15. FurMark

Price: Free
Available for: Windows

FurMark measures GPU performance by using fur rendering algorithms, which are designed to overheat the graphics card. It works on all OpenGL 2.0-compliant graphics cards: Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000, MD/ATI Radeon 9600 (and higher), and NVIDIA GeForce 6 (and higher).

FurMark’s interface is quite easy to use, and it provides complete information whether you want to know how well a new system performs or want to upgrade your system. If you are performing tests on multi-GPU configurations, you need to run FurMark in full-screen mode, as windowed mode only uses the primary GPU.

14. Tsung

Price: Free 
Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS

Tsung is designed for developers to stress test MySQL, SOAP, WebDAV, PostgreSQL, HTTP, and XMPP servers. It has the potential to simulate hundreds of concurrent users on a single system.

With Tsung, you can keep an eye on your processor, RAM, and network activity using SNMP and munin-node agents. It also lets you create HTML reports while the server is under load. These reports help analyze things like response time, server CPU usage, and other important stats.

13. PassMark BurnInTest

Price: Free | Standard edition costs $59
Available for Windows

PassMark BurnInTest allows you to stress test all the major subsystems for endurance, stability, and reliability. It tests CPU, GPU, RAM, SSDs, hard disk drives, optical drives, printers, network ports, and sound cards.

The professional edition comes with various additional tests, including USB ports, webcams, microphones, and tape drives. Its interface shows the number of test cycles and error(s) encountered in each test along with warnings and detailed information.

12. HeavyLoad

Price: Free
Available for: Windows

HeavyLoad can be customized according to users’ needs. For instance, users can choose how many of the available cores shall be used on multiple processor cores or set the speed at which text files should be written on the hard disk drive.

The tool carries out complex calculations to simulate the heavy load on the processor and employs 3D-rendered graphics to simulate a high load on GPU.

Plus, users can allocate a specific amount of memory to see how the system performs with scarce memory.

11. UserBenchmark

Price: Free
Available for: Windows

UserBenchmark tests your PC within a minute and compares the outcomes to other users with the same subsystems. It’s one of the best free tools to quickly detect hardware issues and explore appropriate upgrades.

The tool tests four major components of the system: CPU, RAM, GPU, and drive.

To test the CPU, it executes complex calculations involving integers and floating-point numbers. For the GPU test, it runs six 3D game simulations. RAM tests measure multi-core bandwidth and latency, while drive tests involve performing numerous read, write, and mixed IO operations.

10. MemTest64

Price: Free
Available for Windows

Memtest64 is an extremely lightweight tool for checking your RAM for issues at the hardware level.

In Windows, memory problems can cause data corruption, crashes in important applications, and the dreaded blue screen of death. These issues often arise from incorrect memory frequency settings or faulty hardware.

Memtest64 fills physical memory with test patterns and frees up memory for testing by pushing other programs into the pagefile. Overclockers can use this tool to maximize memory performance by altering frequency and DRAM speeds.

9. MSI Afterburner

Price: Free
Available for Windows and Android

MSI Afterburner gives you full control over your GPU: you can increase the GPU’s voltage,  clock frequency, and fan speed to find the perfect balance between temperature and performance.

The tool provides detailed insights into hardware and lets you run in-game benchmarks, take in-game screenshots, and record gameplay. The on-screen display gives you real-time data of your system’s performance, so you can monitor the effects of overclocking configurations while gaming.

8. Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool

Price: Free
Available for: Windows

As the name suggests, the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool checks for brand identification, verifies the functionality of Intel microprocessor, and subjects the CPU to a stress test. It also verifies the processor’s operating frequency and specific features.

The tool has three preset configurations:

  • ‘Quick Test’ runs a frequency test,
  • ‘Functional Test’ runs stress tests for several minutes, and
  • ‘Burn-in Test’ executes a 2-hour stress test. 

7. HWMonitor

Price: $22 for the Pro version
Available for Windows and Android

HWMonitor reads your system’s main health sensors and provides detailed information on CPU temperature, power consumption, utilization, GPU and motherboard voltage, fan speed, and hard disk drive temperature.

The Pro version gives you the ability to transfer monitoring data over a local network so that you can view information on another device. The current version lets you monitor up to 10 systems from your Android smartphone.

6. Intel Extreme Tuning Utility

Price: Free
Available for Windows

For Intel systems, this is one of the best performance-tuning software available in the market. It allows you to overclock, monitor, and stress test the CPU, memory, and GPU.

The interface shows an array of robust capabilities along with new features available on Intel Motherboards and Application Processors. You can use the graph function to continuously monitor package temperatures, maximum core frequency, CPU utilization, thermal throttling, and power limit throttling.

5. PCMark

Price: Free | Advanced edition costs $30
Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

PCMark benchmarks determine the system’s performance by executing tests based on real-world applications. These tests include everyday activities, such as playing games, editing photos and videos, and browsing websites.

Each benchmark run creates low-level workload scores, mid-level test group scores, and high-level benchmark scores, which can be compared side by side within the tool.

In short, it’s an accurate and unbiased tool for comparing systems and selecting upgrades.

4. Prime95


Price: Free
Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

Prime95 is one of the oldest CPU stress-testing utilities. It throttles the CPU to find the Mersenne prime (2n − 1) by implementing two algorithms: Lucas-Lehmer and Probable prime.

Usually, if your system can run this application for a straight six hours (without any interruptions or errors), it will be less likely to have issues over its usable lifetime.

Prime95 comes with a ‘Torture Test’ mode, specifically for testing PC subsystems for errors. You can configure the software to better test different components of your system by changing the size of the Fast Fourier transform.

With the ‘Small’ mode configuration, you can test the CPU’s caches and floating-point units. To test the entire system, including RAM, you can switch to ‘Blend’ mode.

Prime95 doesn’t completely stress all processor threads if the number of threads is greater than 64 in the Windows 64-bit version. In this case, the operating system will handle the processors in groups, with each group containing a maximum of 64 threads.

3. 3DMark

Price: Free | Advanced edition costs $30
Available for Windows, Android, and iOS

3DMark is a powerful benchmarking tool designed for system builders, gamers, and overclockers. It can be used to determine CPU workload processing and 3D graphics rendering capabilities of a wide range of devices, from notebooks and tablets to the latest 4K gaming PCs.

It automatically scans the hardware and suggests a suitable benchmark for your device. Once you start the test, it displays GPU and CPU temperature, frame rate, and clock speeds in real-time. It also compares your device with other models to help you decide if it’s time for an upgrade.

2. Unigine Heaven

Price: Free | Advanced version starts at $15
Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS X

Unigine Heaven hammers GPUs to the limits. It is one of the most powerful and accurate tools to determine the stability of a graphics card under intensively stressful conditions. At the same time, it also checks the potential of a cooling system under maximum heat output.

The tool creates true in-game rendering workloads across all machines and yields unbiased results. It extensively uses hardware tessellation — a scalable technology for automatically subdividing polygons into finer pieces — to provide accurate FPS and GPU scores.

Read: 12 Best Machine Learning Tools

1. AIDA64

Price: Starts at $40
Available for Windows, Android, and iOS

AIDA64 is a comprehensive system diagnostic tool designed for professionals. It is packed with many unique features and can be used to stress test every PC component, including GPU, CPU, and RAM.

AIDA64 can detect fake NVIDIA graphic cards with counterfeit PCI identifiers and reflashed BIOS images. It also features an advanced RGB LED module for monitoring CPU and memory temperatures, utilization, voltages, fan speeds, and network traffic on RGB devices.

AIDA64 Extreme version can support up to 1280 simultaneous processing threads, and multi-processor, multi-core, HyperThreading enabled systems. Moreover, it supports all the latest hardware technologies, including LSI RAID controllers and SanDisk X600 SSDs.

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Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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2 comments
  • Steven Galvin says:

    Why use Unigine Heaven? Isn’t that a bit old for new parts?