When we have just spent a large amount of money on an entirely new PC build or upgrade, we want to make sure these new components are working as well as they could be. When you turn on your system, it may all be working fine, but you may want to make sure it performs when you are streaming on twitch while simultaneously playing a triple-A title.
Stress testing isn’t just for new systems though; it can also be a great way to test an aging system. Your system could be overclocked, so putting your components through these tests can give you a good idea as to how stable they are and where a potential problem can be coming from.
In this guide, we are going to outline the different tools that can be used to stress-test your CPU and RAM. We will go into detail why we think each tool can be useful, how to use them, and where to download the CPU/ RAM test online. We will also be including some hardware monitoring tools in this article so you can keep track of how your system is behaving. If you need some advice on how to stress test your GPU, then you can check out our separate article covering this.
Stress testing puts computer hardware under high levels of stress to ensure stability when the components are being used in its day to day life. These types of stress can include extreme workloads, tasks, memory usage, thermals, clock speeds, and more.
CPU stress testing is carried out to check the performance of the component while running it at full speed and maxing its temperature. When a CPU is being tested, all the cores of the chip will get used too to ensure a thorough test. It is best to download a CPU test online, rather than going off your task manager as these tools offer much more.
RAM stress testing is the first thing that you should perform if you are facing any problems like a bluescreen or random system reboots. Testing the RAM can help identify memory defects and behavioral failures
It is always a good idea to monitor your system when performing stress tests. Monitoring tools are a good way to keep track of temperatures, and load levels and some of these tools can be used in unison with benchmarking software allowing for better tracking.
A handy tool for component temperatures is HWMonitor. This tool is straightforward to use and will give you real-time info on thermals, clock speeds, and power usage.
While each component has varied max temperatures it can operate at; it is always good to keep your CPU under 75°C.
This tool is quite advanced when compared to the other two. With HWiNFO64, you can monitor multicore components in a user-friendly manner. When running this tool, you can track temps on your CPU, GPU, RAM, and motherboard, while also tracking fan speeds and load times.
Core temp is a relatively simple tool, but it does exactly what it says on the tin. You get real-time temp readings, and you can easily see load percentages for your CPU. Core Temps is a bit more advanced for the Intel CPU users out there as you can see the information for each core of your processor however with AMD you can only see an overall temperature.
This tool also lets you see a bit more information on the CPU you have installed and displays voltage and the frequency.
Whether you want to check the stability of your CPU after overclocking it or want to see how hot it is running, you are going to want a CPU stress test tool. The tools we recommend below are the best you can use for this job and are well worth a download so you can start monitoring your CPU.
When it comes to CPU stress testing, the most reliable and widely popular Prime95 is a go-to tool. This tool finds the Mersenne prime number using the CPU and generates a heavy workload. If you can run this tool for around 5 to 6 hours without any interruption, it gives you a good indication that the CPU is running well.
There are a few different tests you can run when you want to stress your CPU. You can run small FFT’s to reveal potential issues early on. The blended test could be very useful as it will stress your CPU and RAM at the same time.
IntelBurn Test is another free stress test tool that will enable you to push your processor to the limit. You can use this tool to check how stable your component is, however, it has had similar negative feedback to the Prim95 tool for maybe pushing it a little far.
Aid64 is the only stress test tool for your CPU on the list that will cost you money. The package starts at around $39.95, which isn’t that expensive but for most out there its completely unnecessary with the free tools offering enough. That being said Aida64 will put your CPU through more realistic paces rather than torturing it like Prime95.
Aida64 needs to be paid for you to get full system diagnostic utility when compared to the free ones. This type of kit is aimed more towards computer engineers, Professionals in the IT industry, and enthusiasts.
RAM can sometimes be forgotten about when it comes to stress testing, but for a thorough system test, it is highly important. With a RAM tool, you can diagnose potential issues from your components and also check for stability, especially when overclocking.
Prime95 is best suited for CPU testing; however, its Blended test can be useful for stress testing RAM and checking for stability when overclocking. When torture testing within the program, you will see an option to Blend, but it is worth noting that this tool won’t check your RAM for potential errors. If you are looking for a better diagnostic tool for your RAM, then the ones below are a much better solution.
The best tool available for checking RAM stability and potential RAM issues is MemTest86+. Once MemTest is loaded it will automatically begin stress testing your RAM, and it will indicate clearly if you have any current hardware issues or if your RAM is unstable from a recent overclock. It is worth noting that this tool needs to be downloaded to a USB pen as it isn’t a windows application. You will want to set your system to boot from the USB drive then as mentioned the software will automatically begin on reboot.
The reality is all of these tools will work for you; it just comes down to picking what is best for you. Make sure before you begin, you download one of the monitoring tools online to give you an idea of your system’s current status and to see what the stress testing does to your components.
These tools will come in handy for anyone looking to overclock and max the performance of their system. You will be able to push these components until they become unstable without worrying that you may break something. These tools can often give a good indication as to the health of your components and will help you diagnose the issue.
If you have any questions or concerning PC issues, feel free to comment below or head over to the WePC community and we’ll do our best to help you.