From time to time, PC owners should run stress tests on their machines. People often purchase high end hardware for their computers. They often want to put their machines through the paces to see how they perform.
However, ordinary usage doesn’t produce benchmarks showing a machine’s full potential. It’s often recommended to run a stress test on everything from the CPU and GPU to the RAM.
A variety of software are available to achieve this goal, and the following 15 software produce excellent results when doing stress testing for your Windows PC or Laptop.
Note that the software below are not listed in any particular order.
CPU Stress Test Tools:
Intel Linpack allows users to stress their computer hardware to the limit. In fact, the test can bring the most powerful computers to a standstill in some cases.
Linpack causes extreme power usage in order to stress hardware, so temperatures can rise to dangerous levels. Keep a CPU heat monitoring app open in any case. For better or worse, Linpack alone is quite difficult to use.
IntelBurnTest simplifies this entire process and makes Linpack simple to navigate. The program features a smooth and simple interface with real-time error checking.
Plus, results display on the screen in real time. There’s no guesswork involved here, and nobody should struggle to utilize this program to access Linpack’s full potential.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the heat generated by this test, as adequate cooling is vital.
Overclockers and system builders tend to love Prime95. Unlike Linpack, Prime95 focuses specifically on a processor’s floating point instructions and integer instructions.
Users can track every area of the processor that undergoes stress. They can then see results and test the stability of their machine with ease.
On top of that, Prime95 makes use of all cores in a given processor. Users won’t have to worry about inaccurate or incomplete results here.
Prime95 is one of the most popular CPU stress tests on the market, and it’s available for free. After performing a stress test, the collected data can be used for various purposes.
PowerMax tests a computer’s CPU and GPU separately, and a combined test is available. The program aims to offer the most comprehensive stress test on the market.
By running both CPU and GPU tests concurrently, users receive the most comprehensive results possible. Extreme caution is recommended while using this burn in test.
Nonetheless, PowerMax isn’t a benchmarking tool and doesn’t provide scores. The software aims to stress the CPU and GPU in conjunction with other reporting software.
Users should keep this in mind before starting a test. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves frying their computer’s components with no data to show for it.
Another free stress-test utility coming from Novawave Inc. In addition to CPU, you can also stress test Graphic Cards (Direct3D 11 and OpenCL compute tests), memory (RAM) transfer speed tests and even hard disk tests (read and write speeds).
The nice feature of this free tool is that you can compare your own computer system with other systems in the world.
CPU Load Test tracks the performance of a computer processor in an online setup. Therefore, users don’t need to download a program to run this stress test.
They can simply pick how many threads they want to test and how much power they want to use. The test then taxes the CPU under those parameters and tracks various metrics.
Tracked metrics include the overall speed of the processor and power consumption. A benchmark score is generated specific to CPU Load Test.
Finally, a frames per second score is generated based on the CPU’s performance alone. A more simple online tool might not be available, and it’s convenient to access and utilize.
GPU Stress Test:
With Unigine Valley, PC owners receive a powerful GPU stress test. The test focuses on the GPU, power supply, and even the cooling system.
The test runs a pre-set valley scene while maximizing the visuals to test the graphics processing unit. Currently, Unigine Valley provides frames per second as a benchmark with other information.
Unigine Valley is quite customizable based upon the user’s needs. In fact, VR stress testing is available to test how well the GPU handles virtual reality scenarios.
Unigine Valley is a quick download away and is available free of charge for the base program. Various Unigine tests are available and will be covered shortly.
Despite its strange name, FurMark provides a full stress test for a computer’s video card. The program renders and runs a scene involving millions of individual furs.
Users receive a report on the FPS throughout the test as well as other metrics. For video cards, rendering individual hairs and fur can prove quite taxing to say the least.
During the test, users can track the GPU core clock and memory clock. They can also see the overall temperature and fan speed as well as load figures.
Most users will care most about the frames per second. Typically, FurMark can put even the most powerful graphics processors to the test.
3DMark is perhaps one of the most popular stress tests available today. The program includes an entire suite of CPU and GPU tests and benchmarks.
After firing up the program, a user selects which tests they want to run. They can run as few or as many tests as possible, and all of them will run in sequence to provide full results.
Millions of people, from amateurs to professionals, entrust 3DMark to provide benchmark results. When users see CPU and GPU reviews online, they’ll often see 3DMark benchmarks more than any other test.
For that reason, users can trust 3DMark for excellent results and a proper stress test more so than the average benchmarking tool.
Like Unigine Valley, Unigine Heaven stresses the GPU, computer cooling, and power supply. The heaven-inspired theme renders on a GPU and provides real-time results for users to track.
Unigine Heaven remains quite similar to Unigine Valley, although each test provides slightly different results due to differences in rendering and scene.
Unigine Superposition renders an incredible scene to really tax a computer’s GPU. Users might find themselves mesmerized by what they’re seeing.
However, the GPU will feel the pressure with an incredibly stressful test. The same results in the other Unigine benchmarks are tracked here, and users won’t miss a metric.
RAM Stress Test:
Memtest64 installs onto a computer and benchmarks a PC’s RAM performance. The program is compatible with recent versions of Windows and both Intel or Ryzen processors.
With that in mind, most users will be able to test their RAM with this program. They won’t need administrator privileges or DOS-mode access, either.
Through Memtest64 can test the overall performance of their system’s RAM. They can even check the RAM modules for various faults detected through stress testing.
In that vein, Memtest64 is perfect for both troubleshooting and benchmarking alike. A more simple and easy-to-use program might not be available on the market right now.
Then again, Memtest86 is quite popular for RAM stress testing as well. This particular program boots from a USB flash drive, though.
Users can expect a bit more of a challenge in running Memtest86 compared to Memtest64. Then again, each program comes with its strengths, and Memtest86 truly stresses RAM modules to their limits.
For a comprehensive analysis of a system’s RAM, almost nothing surpasses Memtest86. The program provides 13 different testing algorithms and supports most types of consumer RAM.
Secure boot is available with this program, and Memtest86 has been around for years providing benchmarking and troubleshooting results to PC owners.
Overall Computer Stress Test:
For full PC stress testing, HeavyLoad is an excellent option available free of charge. The HeavyLoad stress test hits every area of a system’s hardware as hard as possible.
Users can test the capabilities of individual CPU cores, or the entire CPU. A GPU test is included here as well. Still, HeavyLoad provides many other stress tests today.
This includes a write test file that taxes available disk space. A memory test reduces available memory and tests how the PC responds.
With HeavyLoad, users can help discover how their computers perform at maximum load. Such information is useful in determining peak performance for a machine before the overall performance begins to degrade.
Passmark Burnintest is utilized by everyone from overclockers to PC builders and repair shops. Through this stress test, users can quickly identify potential issues with PC hardware.
They’ll also receive detailed reports of complete system performance from the CPU to GPU and RAM to power supply and more.
The Passmark Burnintest succeeds by offering detailed reports and a fast runtime. Passmark Burnintest starts and finishes within minutes rather than hours.
Therefore, users can get the results they want without letting their hardware sit idle. A dedicated user base prefers Passmark’s Burnintest over the competitors’ solutions.
Perhaps no other stress test is better known than PCMark10. Millions of Windows computers are tested using this software every year.
Unlike some benchmarks, PCMark10 attempts to benchmark real world performance with tests that mimic the real world. More accurate results enable testers to truly understand how their PCs run under stress.
PCMark10 provides a suite of tests, and users only need to hit Run. A wide variety of data is collected in individual benchmarks, and they’re all easy to understand.
By using PCMark10, PC users obtain a full picture of real world performance related to their machines. A better benchmark program might not be available right now.
Why Should You Give These Programs A Try?
Everyone can benefit from PC stress testing software today. Ordinary users could test the limits of their machine or engage in basic troubleshooting.
On the other hand, overclockers and professional builders can maximize performance and stability. PC repair shops would use these programs for troubleshooting and repairs. A use case is available for almost all types of PC users and related professionals.
It’s important to keep in mind that stress tests place hardware under load. Testers should exercise caution before running these tests.
For safety reasons, optimal cooling and caution are required to avoid fried components or other types of damage.
Nobody should download these programs and hit Run without understanding how they work. They’re incredibly powerful software and tools that cannot be overlooked.