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.
Determine how far you can push the limits of your machines and software with these top stress testing tools.
Here are helpful criteria you can use to evaluate different stress testing software:
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.
Stress Testing System: Key Features
Look for these key features to get the most value from your stress testing tool:
Robust User Simulation: Tools that can simulate a large number of users with varying attributes provide a realistic view of your computer’s stability during extreme conditions.
Real-Time Monitoring: Testers can quickly identify and debug issues with real-time monitoring.
Add-ons: Many stress testing applications offer add-ons that testers can use to expand the software’s functionality.
Remote Testing: Remote testing enables you to exercise computers with limited network capabilities that can’t simulate large volumes of users.
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Overviews Of The 10 Best Stress Testing Software Solutions
Here’s a brief description of each stress testing platform to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to provide a snapshot of the user interface.
1. LoadTracer – Lightweight stress, load, and performance testing software for web applications
LoadTracer is a free GUI-based tool for load, stress, and performance testing of web applications. The software was developed in C language, making it a lightweight tool that won’t put an extra burden on your operating system’s performance. Testers can generate thousands of virtual users to execute simulations and follow up with LoadTracer’s analyzer tool to assess their system’s stability and performance.
With LoadTracer’s parameterization functionality, testers can generate different attributes for each virtual user. It makes load tests more realistic since real-world users behave as individuals rather than clones of each other. Duplicating tests across different platforms is also easier. Instead of re-scripting a test for each new environment, testers can simply change one parameter value.
LoadTracer is proxy-based, enabling testers to utilize the tool on any browser.
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.
3. PCMark 10 – Industry-standard benchmark testing software for PCs
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.
4. HeavyLoad – Portable stress testing software for all PC system components
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.
5. Core Temp – Monitors temperature of processing cores in real-time
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.
6. HWiNFO64 – Hardware analysis, monitoring, and reporting software for Windows and DOS
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.
7. MemTest86 – Provides RAM diagnostics with the help of algorithms and test patterns
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.
8. Stress-ng – Offers 200+ stress tests for computer hardware and kernel interfaces
Stress-ng provides users with more than 200 tests designed to stress core components of a computer and the various operating system kernel interfaces. Among the many stress tests available, test coverage is provided for your system’s CPU cache, file system, and memory. Stress-ng is also written in C, enabling its installation on many operating systems, including Linux, Android, Mac, and Haiku.
Stress-ng is known for its large selection of CPU stress tests with exercises for bit manipulation, floating point, and control flow. Testers can run a set of tests in parallel or sequentially. Stress-ng can also report the temperature of your machine after each test run if your computer supports thermal zones.
9. GPU-Z – Lightweight graphics card utility for Windows computers
GPU-Z is a free tool for Windows computers that displays detailed information about your GPU. A light GPU stress test is also available, enabling users to simulate a slight 3D load on their system. GPU-Z is compatible with Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD graphics cards, including the AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce series.
Users can monitor their GPU’s components in real-time with measurements captured by the software’s many sensors. Among the information provided, users can view their GPU’s temperature, memory clock speed, load, and fan speeds. It also displays CPU temperature, giving you an even better idea of how effective the cooling system is on your machine.
GPU-Z integrates with GPU Tweak, which handles GPU optimization, monitoring, and overclocking of gaming graphics cards from ASUS, ROG, Strix, and TUF.
10. MSI Afterburner – Overclocking utility with in-game GPU monitoring and video recording
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.
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Here are a few more stress testing tools that didn’t make the top list.
Locust – Open-source load testing software that can simulate millions of simultaneous users.
BlazeMeter – Commercial load testing platform compatible with Apache JMeter.
Load Multiplier – Load testing software with affordable automation framework.
BurnInTest – Tests subsystem components of Windows computers for endurance, stability, and reliability.
Prime95 – CPU stress testing tool with torture test to detect PC subsystem errors.
Cinebench – Cross-platform test suite for evaluating hardware performance.