The Best Tools to Stress Test CPU, RAM & GPU (2021)

There are a lot of tools available that you can use to stress test your computer’s components, including the best RAM stress test tools, the best GPU stress test tools and of course the best tools to stress test CPU as well; and in this article, we are going to see them all!

Since you landed on this page, I am assuming that you already know what stress test is but if you don’t, then don’t worry because I have covered it briefly in the next section of this article. But I am assuming you know it because you are not looking for what is stress test, but you are looking for the best stress testing tools.

Mostly, people who’ve just got a brand new PC build are interested in this particular topic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a pre-built computer, or you got all the parts yourself and assembled it or you got it custom-built. None of that matter because stress testing your system’s component is quite an important thing to do and everyone who’s recently got a new setup should do it without fail.

Whenever we build a new PC setup, we should push it through a stress test for all the core components such as CPU, RAM, and GPU. Why do we do that? What’s the purpose behind it? What are the best tools that you can use to do all the tests successfully? I’m pretty sure you have way more questions, and that is why this article will cover what stress testing is as well as list down the best tools to stress test CPU, RMA and GPU that you can use!

Stress Testing: What Is It And Why You Should Care About It?

Stress testing, as the name suggests, puts your PC components through a high level of stress. It’s more of a benchmark test that calculates the components’ performance at different levels.

Since you’re going to be using your new PC build for many more tasks, you need to make sure that it can handle them. For instance, one moment, you might just be browsing on the web and the next minute, you might be playing graphics-intensive titles or rendering some new animations.

In such scenarios, stress testing gives you more clarity over your component and what they can handle. It contains various aspects such as extreme workloads, tasks, memory usage, thermals, clock speeds, and much more. We generally stress test three of our main components namely CPU, RAM, and GPU.

So, why should you care about stress testing your PC build? For those who have just built a new PC setup, you get the clarity of how capable your new build is.

If there’s an issue with your component, you can quickly get it replaced. For those who have an aging system, you get the idea of whether it is working stable or not. Lastly, I am sure many readers like to overclock their build. With overclocking, stress testing becomes reasonably necessary, and you should do it very often.

Best Tools To Stress Test CPU, RAM & GPU

In this article, we will talk about various software that you can use to stress-test multiple components on your PC build. As mentioned earlier, there are three primary components that we will stress test.

While many software are capable of testing multiple components, some are just designed for one particular purpose. That is why it’s better to look at the list of software depending on the PC component.

Tools For Monitoring Your System

Before you start stress testing your PC components, you also need a set of suitable tools that can help you monitor them during the process. Using these tools, you will see temperatures, load levels, and more while your build is going through the stress test.

Here are some of the best monitoring tools that you can use to achieve that exactly.

HWiNFO64

hwinfo64

HWinFO64 is one of the more popular monitoring tools out there that is available for the Windows operating system. It offers compressive hardware analysis, monitoring, and reporting.

It is freeware software, meaning you can use the free version with a limited set of features. For our purpose, the free offering would be just enough.

Using this software, you can monitor various components, all through a single and user-friendly window. You can find different information related to CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, and Memory. You can even monitor their clock speeds, temperatures, consumption, and more. If you’re looking for some in-depth and advanced information, then HWiNFO64 is the proper monitoring tool for you.

Download HWiNFO64 from the official website.

Core Temp

core temp

If you are not looking for advanced statistics, Core Temp is the more straightforward monitoring tool for you. It’s a compact software with no fuss and a small footprint that delivers all the essential statistics to your screen. The thing is Core Temp only works for the CPU or processors.

The simple small window screen of the software will display all the essential information about your processor. We’re looking at total cores, threads, model, frequency, TDP, and more. Coming to the monitoring aspect, the tool will also showcase power consumption, temperatures at which each core is running, and much more.

Download Core Temp from the official website.

CPUID HWMonitor

cpuid hwmonitor

Lastly, we have yet another tool that is designed to monitor your CPU or processor. CPUID HWMonitor is a hardware monitoring software that gives you voltages, temperatures, fans, and speed information. Apart from CPUs, the program can also determine temps for hard drives and video cards or GPUs.

It’s a great software that does exactly what it is designed for with a minimal footprint and a straightforward user interface.

Download CPUID HWMonitor from the official website.

Honorary Mentions

There are many monitoring tools, and of course, we can’t talk about each of them over here. That’s not what this article is all about. Here are a few of the tools that have been quite popular among PC builders.

  • MSI Afterburner
  • GPU-Z
  • CPU-Z

Tools To Stress Test CPU

With monitoring tools out of the way, it’s time to talk about the software that will help you stress test your components. We’ll start this list off with CPU.

Prime95

prime95

One of the software that we use pretty frequently for CPU stress testing is Prime95. Developed by GIMPS, the tool might look very simple and old for the user interface, but it is powerful. Initially, the software was designed for finding Mersenne prime numbers, hence the name Prime95. Well, the stress that this software puts on your CPU to crunch those numbers makes it a perfect software for stress testing.

It’s a standard software that is quite popular among overclockers and stress testers. A feature in the software called “Torture Test” puts maximum stress on your CPU and RAM.

It gives you complete control, meaning you can either put the entire focus on CPU or RAM or just strike a middle ground between the two. If you have done overclocking, then Prime95 can detect errors within minutes. If that happens, then the overclocking is not stable.

Download Prime95 from the official website.

OCCT

occt

OCCT is another one of the CPU stress test tools that we generally use whenever we want to do some hardware tests. The software has around six thorough hardware tests that you can use to test various components.

The program is capable of testing your CPU, Memory, GPU, and even power supply. OCCT can also monitor your computer’s reading, so you don’t need a monitoring tool with this. The software also delivers real-time graphs covering temperatures, voltages, fan speed, frequencies, component usage, and power consumption.

By the way, OCCT uses HWiNFO as its engine for monitoring data (just something we wanted to mention). Another exciting thing about this software is the built-in protection feature to set the maximum temperature threshold. If the temperature reaches the threshold during any of the tests, the software will stop itself.

Download OCTT from the official website.

IntelBurn Test

intelburntest

Are you looking for software with no fuss and a simple user interface? InterlBurn Test is what you should look at. It’s yet another free stress testing tool that allows you to push your process to the edge.

The software uses the popular Intel Linpack, but it simplifies it even further. If you’re unaware, OCCT also used Linpack to test your processor. There’s an Xtreme Stress Mode that delivers improved testing accuracy.

It is worth noting that the software was last updated on June 21, 2007. Since then, there have been no improvements or additions to the software. IntelBurn Test still works pretty well and should be more than enough for your CPU stress testing.

Download IntelBurn Test from the official website.

Aida64

aida64

If you’re looking for some paid solutions, then Aida64 is the way to go. It’s a CPU stress tool that shares the same popularity as that of Prime95. Those who are looking for a solid alternative to Prime95 generally settle with Aida64.

The reason why people prefer Aida64 is because the tool takes a much more practical approach during stress testing. The software can stress test your CPU with 100% load to see how it manages to perform.

Of course, the software is not free and is on the expensive side. You will have to shell out at least $34.99 for a basic license that will give you up to 3 computers support. If you’re thinking of settling down with Aida64, then you might want to take a 30-day free trial to see if it meets your expectations or not.

Download Aida64 from the official website.

Tools To Stress Test RAM

Alright! It’s time to stress test your memory or RAMs or DIMMs (whatever you prefer to call them). It’s pretty standard for RAM to turn out wholly faulty or simply degraded. Using these testing tools, you’ll be able to find out whether your RAM sticks are working perfectly or not.

MemTest86

memtest86

If you ask any hardware enthusiast about stress testing your RAM sticks, you’ll hear the words MemTest86 coming from their mouth. It’s one of the oldest and reliable tools to stress test RAM.

It’s not your ordinary program that you install on your Windows and simply run it. It runs as a bootable program which is what makes it quite popular. You boot the software into your thumb drive and merely use it like installing any operating system.

The benefit of this method is that you can even use this tool whenever you cannot boot into your operating system. MemTest86 uses various algorithms and test patterns to check for your RAM’s stability. It uses XMP as the performance memory profile to test the memory sticks.

The software supports all kinds of RAM sticks from DDR2 to DDR4. MemTest86 is a free stress testing tool, but you can also opt for the Pro version, which will cost you $44.

Download MemTest86 from the official website.

MemTest64

memtest64

MemTest64 is just like MemTest86 but with one significant difference. Unlike the latter, the former comes with Graphical User Interface or GUI. You run the software on your Windows instead of running it as a bootable program.

It’s a modern and lightweight program that delivers somewhat the same testing experience. Unlike MemTest86, the GUI version doesn’t have complex stress tests. However, that does not limit the software’s capability.

You will still be able to find out whether your RAM or memory sticks are faulty or not. To top things off, the software can also sync your DRAM speed along with your overclocking frequency to churn out maximum performance from these memory sticks. By the way, it’s completely free software, so you don’t need to shell out extra money to enjoy some additional features.

Download MemTest64 from the official website.

Karhu’s RAM Test

karhu's ram test

A solid alternative to MemTest86 is Karhu’s RAM Test. It offers the same level of complex stress tests paired with the goodness of the GUI interface.

Looking at the UI, you might think of this software as a regular one, but that’s not the case. It’s one of those programs that are much more powerful than they appear to be. Just like all the RAM stress test tools, you can use Karhu’s RAM Test to find out whether your memory stick is faulty or not.

It also has some extra features such as RtlGenRandom and XORWOW that disables the CPU cache. They also enable sequential writing on the memory block. If you’re not kicking off with MemTest86, then Karhu’s RAM Test is what you need. It’s a super-powerful RAM stress test software that will suit your every single requirement.

Sadly, it’s a paid software, and you will have to shell out $10.99 to make it your own.

Download Karhu’s RAM Test from the official website.

Honorary Mentions

There are some other RAM stress tools that we have mentioned in the previous CPU sections. These software are capable of running a reliable stress test on RAM or memory sticks.

  • Prime95
  • Aida64 Extreme

Tools to Stress Test GPU

It’s time for the last stress test that you need to do – GPU. For GPU, the stress tests are a bit different. We need to check whether the graphics card can handle heavy renders, meaning the software will render random graphics on your screen. While it does that, you just need to wait for the tests to end.

Here are some of the tools and software that can help you do exactly that.

3DMark

3dmark

3DMark is a popular benchmark tool that can help you test your gaming performance. It also compares your performance with other graphic cards model out there.

3DMark supports a variety of graphics cards, covering almost every single one. You can run the benchmark tool on any device, namely PC, laptop, phone, or tablet. The benchmark software monitors the clock speed, frame rate, load, and of course, temperature during the stress tests.

Since the software is top-rated, it also comes in the pro version what will set you back around $30. For the most users out there, the basic version would suffice.

Download 3DMark from the official website.

FurMark

furmark

Another standard stress test tool out there is FurMark. It’s a lightweight benchmark software that is capable of running a very intensive GPU stress test.

Unlike 3DMark, the user interface is more on the older side, so you might find it a bit ancient-looking. Furthermore, the software is entirely free, and you don’t need to shell out any money to use it completely.

For some reason, FurMark didn’t manage to enjoy the same success as that of 3DMark. If you want, give this one a shot as it might suit your needs perfectly.

Download FurMark from the official website.

Unigine Heaven & Valley

unigine heaven & valley

Lastly, the Uningine’s Heaven and Valley Benchmarks are also a reliable option to stress test your GPU. We’re looking at two different benchmark tools, namely Valley and Heaven.

The preset renders a fantasy universe, pushing your GPU under maximum load allowing the tool to measure real-time performance. Another good thing about Unigine’s benchmark tool is that it can also determine VR performance. All in all, Unigine offers an excellent GPU benchmark tool that you should give a try at least once.

Download Unigine Benchmark from the official website.

Conclusion

With that out of the way, we will conclude our comprehensive piece on the best tools to stress test CPU, GPU & RAM. Throughout this article, we’ve talked about this stress testing your PC components in much more detail.

We talked about how useful it can be to do a stress test on your PC build, new or old. We also discussed how important it is to stress test if you’re overclocking your components. Using a stress test, you can quickly determine whether your overclocked components are unstable or not.

For CPU stress test, we generally stick with Prime95 or Adia64. For GPU, we generally stick with 3DMark and Unigine Benchmark Tool. Lastly, MemTest86 is what we prefer for RAM sticks. With that said, all the mentioned tools are some of the best ones out there. You don’t have to use the same ones as us. We always recommend exploring each software and play around with it. Doing that will help you settle down with your favorite one.

With that said, we hope that you found this comprehensive listicle very helpful. If you think we missed any reliable stress test tools, you can share that with us by using the comments below.

Leave a Comment