- 1. WebLOAD — Best for simulating realistic user behavior
- 2. Tricentis NeoLoad — Best for rapid performance testing with CI/CD integration
- 3. Apache JMeter — Best for remote testing
- 4. PCMark 10 — Industry-standard benchmark testing software for PCs
- 5. BlazeMeter — Best commercial stress testing software
- 6. Core Temp — Best for real-time monitoring of processing core temperature
- 7. HeavyLoad — Best portable stress testing software for PC system components
- 8. MSI Afterburner — Best overclocking utility with in-game GPU monitoring
- 9. MemTest86 — Best for RAM diagnostics
- 10. HWiNFO64 — Best hardware analysis, monitoring, and reporting functionality
The true measure of an application isn't how well it handles a slow, ordinary day, but how it performs under pressure. Ensuring that your solution can tolerate stress and still succeed is important to creating an application or hardware device with staying power.
The onus is on developers and quality assurance teams to ensure that these applications can withstand the high pressures of real-world usage. This is where the critical practice of stress testing comes into play, serving as an invaluable tool in the software development arsenal.
Recent studies have underscored the paramount importance of stress testing, highlighting the tangible risks and potential financial implications of neglecting this crucial step. A comprehensive report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated that inadequate software testing costs the U.S. economy between $22.2 to $59.5 billion annually. A significant portion of these costs could be mitigated through proper stress testing, which ensures that software can handle peak loads and perform optimally under stress, preventing costly downtimes and system failures.
The reality is stark: software failures have led to a 45% loss in market capitalization for affected companies within a period of 180 days, according to a study conducted by Tricentis. This data point highlights the direct correlation between software performance, company reputation, and financial stability. By investing in comprehensive stress testing practices, businesses can not only safeguard their software from unexpected failures but also protect their bottom line and uphold their market standing.
In this article, I've done some digging and found the best stress testing software available on the market today. Below you'll find the details of what each platform has to offer, some information on my selection process, and the answers to the most common questions about stress testing software.
What is Stress Testing Software?
Stress testing software helps organizations verify the stability of their applications and hardware under extremely heavy load conditions. IT teams can gain insights into their system’s robustness and error handling capabilities to prevent crashes during critical business operations.
Different types of stress testing software exist, covering a range of operating systems and hardware components, including CPU cores, graphics cards, and RAM. Testers have the ability to simulate thousands, or even millions, of users to exercise the resources on their network beyond normal operating points.
WebLOAD is a SaaS product from RadView that's designed simulate heavy loads and stress conditions to see how your software holds up. WebLOAD allows you to set thresholds for metrics such as response times, throughput, error rates, and resource utilization. If any threshold is exceeded, WebLOAD can trigger alerts or automatically stop the test, helping organizations identify performance bottlenecks and areas of concern under stress conditions.
WebLOAD also features a robust scripting language that lets you create complex load scenarios, helping you to simulate real-world conditions more accurately. It uses a feature called Smart Capacity Planning to leverage real-time feedback to dynamically adjust loads during the test. It also allows users to define virtual user behavior that closely mimics real-world usage patterns. Users can simulate various user actions such as browsing, searching, and submitting forms in order to provide more meaningful and realistic results.
WebLOAD integrates well with Jenkins, Selenium, TeamCity, Bamboo, Eclipse, Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Dynatrace, New Relic, and Splunk.
Tricentis NeoLoad is a performance testing tool designed to assist enterprises in assessing the performance of their applications. It provides a range of features including end-to-end mobile testing, application delivery acceleration, and multilingual support. The tool is designed to simplify and scale performance testing across various applications and protocols, offering both GUI and code-based options.
One of the key strengths of NeoLoad is its ability to facilitate quick performance test construction and result capture through RealBrowser. It also supports the execution results from other testing tools like JMeter and Gatling. The tool is cloud-ready and DevOps ready, making it suitable for modern software development environments. In addition, NeoLoad offers integration with CI/CD tools, allowing for automated performance testing as part of the software development and delivery process.
Integrations include Dynatrace, Worksoft Certify, Tricentis Tosca, Jenkins, qTest, DataExchangeApi, SAP Solution Manager, and JIRA.
Apache JMeter is a 100% pure Java application that offers load testing of functional behavior and performance measurement. Testers can simulate different load types on many application, server, and protocol types, including Web, SOAP/REST web services, mail, and FTP. The system also has a comprehensive IDE, enabling quicker test plan recording and debugging.
JMeter offers remote testing for machines that can’t generate enough users to stress a server. This feature allows testers to control multiple remote JMeter engines from a single client machine. Tests can then be replicated on several low-end computers, simulating a large server load.
JMeter supports integrations with Maven, Gradle, and Jenkins. It can also be integrated with Selenium to perform automated testing.
JMeter is free to use.
PCMark 10 is benchmarking software with tests for everyday tasks performed in the workplace. It includes tests for daily activities, like web browsing and video conferencing. Users can also run more demanding graphics and physics tests focused on GPU and CPU performance. PCMark produces a score after each benchmark run, allowing testers to compare multiple systems.
PC Mark 10 also serves as a benchmarking tool for battery life performance. The platform’s Battery Life Profiles analyze performance across five categories: modern office, applications, video, gaming, and idle. Software teams can use these profiles to better understand each of their PC device’s strengths and best use cases.
PCMark 10 is compatible with Windows 8.1, 10, and 11. It also integrates with Microsoft Office.
Pricing starts at $1,495/year for PCMark 10 Professional Edition.
BlazeMeter is a stress testing tool that offers an intuitive and uncluttered user interface, making it easy for anyone on your team to view the results and test cases for your applications. The tool aims to carry out load testing, and allows you to import existing projects, providing you with accessibility to all your required projects in one place. BlazeMeter works well alongside JMeter and Selenium. BlazeMeter provides you the ability to carry out script recording, and allows you to convert it to jmx so it can be imported into JMeter. The tool also provides you the ability to upload locally created and run tests from JMeter, which allows you to test against large traffic applications. BlazeMeter’s reporting feature allows you to generate your results in a logging or chart format, allowing you to view your results at a higher level, or delve into the particulars should you need to. Aside from JMeter, BlazeMeter provides integrations with platforms such as Bamboo, Jenkins and TeamCity.The cost of BlazeMeter starts at $99/per month for the basic package. The tool also offers a free version.
Core Temp is a compact Windows gadget that monitors processor temperature and load, frequency, and VID settings. The tool can provide temperature readings for the individual cores of every processor within a system during stress testing. As your system’s workload changes, Core Temp displays temperature fluctuations in real-time.
Temperature readings are collected directly from a digital thermal sensor located near the hottest part of each processing core in your system. Digital thermal sensors don’t rely on external circuits located on the motherboard to report temperature, resulting in highly accurate readings.
Core Temp supports Intel, AMD, and VIA processors and is also motherboard agnostic. Developers can also leverage plug-ins, like Core Temp MC, which can display the status of a processor directly from the Windows Media Center UI.
Core Temp is free for all users, with apps available for Android and Windows devices to monitor your system on the go.
HeavyLoad is a free stress testing tool developed for PCs. The system is compatible with Windows 8.1 or higher and aims to stress all resources of a PC device. Users can perform stress tests on processors, RAM, hard drives, and graphics cards together or individually. Testers also can install HeavyLoad on a portable external drive to perform stress testing on different devices.
Each of the system’s stress testing methods can be customized to fit your organization’s needs. For example, HeavyLoad offers custom memory allocation when executing RAM stress testing. Users can define how much memory to keep free and how fast it should be allocated. Also, if you have a multi-core processor, you can select how many available cores to use during testing and specify how quickly HeavyLoad should write the test files on your hard drive.
HeavyLoad is free to use.
MSI Afterburner is a popular tool among gamers for Windows GPU monitoring and overclocking. Users can monitor critical information like GPU voltage, fan speed, and temperature on-screen during game play. Afterburner is also available for Android devices so you can monitor and overclock your machine from a phone or tablet.
Afterburner’s video recording tool, Predator, allows gamers to capture their performance during games or overclocking in a variety of file formats, qualities, and frame rates. Predator also supports desktop recording and image capturing.
Gamers can download Afterburner for free and use the program with graphics cards from any of the leading brands.
MemTest86 is memory testing software for x86 and ARM computers. The software boots from a USB drive, offering a portable method for testing the RAM of multiple computers. As such, it’s widely used by PC repair stores, manufacturers, and system builders as a memory diagnostic tool.
MemTest86 utilizes 13 different testing algorithms to diagnose or rule out RAM issues, including the row hammer flaw. This vulnerability allows cyber attackers to manipulate your system’s memory to extract sensitive information, like passwords. Results are displayed immediately after each test and available for download as an HTML report.
Testers can boot MemTest86 onto any version of a Windows, Linux, or Mac operating system. The tool also supports all RAM types.
Users can download MemTest86 for free or purchase the professional version for $44.
HWiNFO64 is a comprehensive solution for hardware analysis and monitoring. It allows users to scan PC components and receive in-depth information about the operating system, processor, RAM, and storage. HWiNFO64 supports various operating systems, including DOS, Windows 95, Windows 11, and WinPE.
Real-time monitoring allows users to quickly diagnose and take action on issues, like overheating or system overload, affecting their PC’s performance. HWiNFO64’s monitoring tool covers CPUs, GPUs, mainboards, drives, and peripherals. Users can create customizable reports and alerts for any monitored PC component.
Add-ons are available to expand HWiNFO64’s functionality, including plug-ins for Rainmeter, Samurize, and Elgato Stream Deck.
HWiNFO64’s base-level software is free for all users. HWiNFO64 Pro starts at $25/per user, with licenses available for commercial and non-commercial use.
Need expert help selecting the right Testing Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Testing Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
Best for simulating realistic user behavior
30-day free trial
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for rapid performance testing with CI/CD integration
Free trial available
|From $20,000/year for up to 300 virtual users||Website|
Best for remote testing
|Free to use||Website|
Industry-standard benchmark testing software for PCs
Best commercial stress testing software
Best for real-time monitoring of processing core temperature
Best portable stress testing software for PC system components
Best overclocking utility with in-game GPU monitoring
Best for RAM diagnostics
Best hardware analysis, monitoring, and reporting functionality
Best for test parameterization
Offers 200+ stress tests for computer hardware and kernel interfaces
Best lightweight graphics card utility for Windows computers
Best for simulating millions of simultaneous users
- QA Wolf
End-to-end testing solution with a team of QA experts for support
How I Selected the Best Stress Testing Software
Are you wondering how I choose the best stress testing software for this list? Let's take a closer look at my methodology.
My process began by creating a long list of the most popular stress testing software out there based on user rankings. I looked at each software vendor’s website to make sure their software covered all the basic features that a QA team would need to manage their processes from end-to-end.
Next, I turned to my selection criteria below to help me make my final selections. Using these criteria as a framework, I was able to compare each stress testing software to see how it measured up to the rest of the tools. That's how I finalized the shortlist.
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best stress testing software for this article:
- User interface (UI): Simple point-and-click GUI interfaces help you quickly run stress tests and download results.
- Usability: Good software usability ensures your team can learn and perform the necessary steps to conduct stress testing.
- Programming language: Stress testing tools with lightweight code won’t add an extra burden to your system.
- Portability: Portable stress testing software allows you to transfer the program to multiple computers and operating systems.