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Best tools to stress test CPU and RAM in 2024 – CPU & RAM stress test

Stress testing is an important part of ensuring PC system stability and fault finding. We teach you how to do it with a plethora of different software.

Updated: Feb 15, 2024 8:34 am
Best tools to stress test CPU and RAM in 2024 – CPU & RAM stress test

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When you’ve just dropped a substantial amount of money on a brand-new gaming PC, you should always make sure it’s working as intended. A PC stress test can help you achieve this. but you might be asking, how to stress test a PC? What are the best tools to stress test CPU and RAM? In this article, we will be covering the best CPU and RAM stress test tools to push your components to the maximum while testing component stability in the process.

Stress testing isn’t just for new systems, stress testing is a valuable tool for older systems to ensure everything is running smoothly and performing as it should. Stressing your system can be especially useful to test overclock stability on newly overclocked components, and to make sure older parts remain fully functional.

In this guide, we are going to outline the best RAM and CPU stress tests to perform along with where to download them online. We will also be including some hardware monitoring tools, to allow you to keep track of your system and how it’s performing.

Please note that we do not cover the GPU in this article, if you’d like to know more about GPU stress testing then please visit our dedicated GPU stress testing page.

VIDEO: How to stress test your CPU and RAM – PC stress test

Best CPU stress test tools

Stress testing your CPU is essential for ensuring its stability and performance, especially if you’ve overclocked it or want to assess its thermal management capabilities. Testing your CPU is easy, and we recommend doing a stress test at least once annually, or whenever you change components in your PC to ensure they are working properly. Below are some of the best tools available for stress testing your PC’s CPU


prime95 CPU stress test

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 very heavy workload. If your PC can manage running this stress test for a couple of hours (1-2) we’d make a pretty safe assumption that your PC is working as it should.

There are a few different tests you can run when you want to stress your CPU. You can run small FFTs 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. However using this method to fault find can be a bit of an issue due to the multiple components tested, leaving you unsure where the fault lies.

How to stress test your CPU using Prime 95

Download and extract Prime 95, when the program opens, select “just stress testing”, From there it will bring up a “torture test” box where you can select how many CPU cores you want to test (including hyperthreading) and some cache options. If you want to test everything, you can just select the “blend” option. We will be using this later.

From there, you can hit “ok” to start the test, the test will run for as long as you let it, stressing the system as much as possible. To stop the test, go to “Test” and then select “Stop”

IntelBurn Test

image 5

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, due to this software having very few in-but failsafe, it’s led to some negative feedback over the years with users reporting damage due to their CPUs. This isn’t exclusive to Intel Burn Test, all of the stress testing tools on this list have the potential to cause harm if your overclocks aren’t properly configured.

Don’t let that put you off, The IntelBurn test is still a very well-renowned CPU stress testing tool.

How to stress test your CPU using the IntelBurnTest

Download and extract the IntelBurnIn test, once launched, the window will appear where you can select all your settings and start your test. The IntelBurnIn test is very easy to use. Select the level of stress you want at the top and the number of threads. When you’re happy with your selection, hit “Start”. The test will then run indefinitely until you hit “Stop”

Make sure you monitor your system temperatures at the same time, to ensure none of your components reach critical temperatures.



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 it’s completely unnecessary with the free tools bringing enough capabilities to the table. That being said Aida64 is one of the most reliable and in-depth CPU stress testing tools available today.

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. but you can get a free trial that lasts a limited number of days with limited features, and the trial does indeed include the stress testing suite.

How to stress test your CPU with Aida64

Aida64 is a more comprehensive testing suite. Download and install Aida64, when you open the program, you will see the main hub containing information about Aida and what it can do. You want to click the “graph icon” on the top bar, this will take you to the stress test portion of Aida. Here, you can select the CPU components to include in the test, you can also monitor temperatures, and Aida will even tell you by what percentage your CPU is throttling.

To start the test, select “start” in the bottom right, once you’re satisfied with your test, select “stop”. Aida64 even comes with the ability to save logs to your PC for further analysis.

Aida is by far the best tool to stress a CPU on, it’s our personal favorite.

Best RAM stress test tools (memory stress test)

RAM (or memory) is a critical component of any computer system, playing a vital role in storing and accessing data for active processes. While it’s often overlooked in stress testing discussions, ensuring the stability and reliability of your RAM is crucial for maintaining overall system performance and avoiding potential issues.

Memory issues can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, sometimes even masquerading as faults with other components in the system. This is why it’s important to use a RAM stress-testing tool to decipher what’s really at fault. Granted these presentations are somewhat rarer than the system outright failing to boot when met with a memory error, but it does happen.

Here are some of our best RAM stress test tools for your PC

Checking RAM physically

Corsair 5000T 22 best tools to stress test your PC

When it comes to checking your RAM, the best approach is to do it physically. This means you don’t need to be a tech expert – just having one working hand is enough to perform the test (usually)

If you have two RAM sticks and your computer shows memory-related boot errors, try this: Take out one stick and see if the problem persists. Then, switch the sticks and test each one separately. This helps you figure out if one of the RAM sticks is causing the issue or if it may be something sinister with the motherboard, or even a memory controller.

If the problem continues, it’s a good idea to check the memory slots on your motherboard. Try using a single RAM stick in different slots to see if any of them are causing trouble. Repeat this for all slots to make sure they’re working fine. If none of the slots work, ensure you try a different stick of RAM below the supported speed of the motherboard before deciding the motherboard is at fault.

RAM problems often show up as difficulties during startup, most of the time if the PC has a memory error, it won’t boot at all. This is because RAM is crucial for storing essential processes needed to start and run your computer smoothly. So, making sure your RAM is working properly is important for your computer to function well.

Prime95 (Blend Test)

prime95blend best tools to stress test your PC

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.

How to stress test your RAM with Prime 95

Prime 95 is primarily a CPU stress test tool, but it does have the option to include FFT to test RAM stability. To do this simply, you can just select the blended test as you may have done for the CPU test, but make sure the FFT size is set to at least 2/3 of your total RAM capacity (you need to leave around 4GB for Windows to function correctly)

Download Prime95 here.


Memtest86 screenshot best tools to stress test your PC

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.

Just make sure you have a couple of hours to spare, this test is thorough and takes a long time to complete.

How to test RAM using MemTest86+

Using MemtTest86+ is a little different than the other pieces of software on the list, this is because you have to create a bootable USB of it as it runs outside of the operating system. This allows it to test the whole memory, without having to keep any spare for the operating system.

To create a bootable USB of MemTest86+, you need to use a tool such as Rufus, it’s not a complicated endeavor, but make sure you check out the Rufus tutorial if you get stuck.

Once you have made a bootable MemTest, you can plug the USB into the PC and boot from it in the Bios. You will then be met with a black minimalist screen displaying the test options of Memtest86+, it’s here that you can configure your CPU core selection, memory selection, and other test options. Then you can hit “start test” when you are ready to perform the test. MemTest 86+ will take around 60 minutes to complete, depending on your hardware.

MemTest 64+

best tools to stress test your PC memtest

MemTest86+ is always recommended for RAM stress testing as it is simply the best out there. However, MemTest64+ offers a more user-friendly solution. MemTest64+ works within Windows, making it more appealing to some. And is available for 64-bit systems, most computers in this day and age are based on 64-bit systems.

How to stress test your RAM using MemTest64

MemTest64 is different from 86+ in the fact that you do not have to load the application from the Bios, you can do it in the operating system. Download and extract MemTest64, then open it. You’ll be met with a pretty self-explanatory and very simple interface. You can configure the test time and amount of cores and threads right there on the home page. When you want to run the test, just hit “begin test”

This test doesn’t take too long if your PC doesn’t freeze or Blue screen during the test, your RAM should be okay.

What is a stress test?

A stress test relating to computers is a performance test that puts a computer system under a heavy workload to evaluate its stability and performance under maximum load conditions. Stress tests can involve pushing the CPU, GPU, memory, storage, and other computer components to their limits to see how they perform under heavy loads.

A stress test aims to identify any weaknesses or bottlenecks in the system that may cause it to malfunction or crash when running demanding applications or tasks. Stress testing is commonly used by system builders, computer enthusiasts, and overclockers to ensure that their systems are stable and reliable under heavy workloads.

Stress testing tools typically run a series of tests that simulate heavy workloads and measure the system’s performance and stability under those conditions. The tests may include tasks such as running multiple applications simultaneously, encoding videos, compressing large files, or rendering 3D graphics. The stress test may run for several hours or even days to ensure that the system is stable under sustained heavy loads.

What’s the difference between synthetic testing and real-world stress testing?

There are two main types of testing and both are required in different scenarios. There are both advantages and disadvantages to both. The exact dynamics of stress testing can become pretty complex, but we will aim to give an easy-to-understand explanation for both.

Synthetic testing

Synthetic testing is when a piece of software creates a set of defined instructions that do not differ or alter during the testing process, this is designed to provide repeatable results with very few software-oriented variables. An advantage to synthetic software testing is that the component can be reliably loaded to 100% load constantly.

For example, Aida64 has an in-built stress test tool that loads the CPU at 100% constantly and consistently. This is achieved by asking the CPU to complete complex instructions, whilst maintaining a steady stream of uninterrupted instructions that never differ from one another, to eliminate any software-related performance anomalies.

Real-world testing

Real-world testing is designed to create a ‘real-world’ representation of performance and is essentially mimicking your PC during normal usage conditions. Often real-world testing incorporates more than one component and is usually much less targeted than synthetic testing.

For example, a Prime95 test is a synthetic workload and targets the CPU specifically. Meanwhile, a gaming session is a real-world stress test and targets most PC components, mainly GPU, CPU, and RAM.

The idea here is to test how the component performs collectively with the rest of your system, this test is mainly for fault detection within the system as a whole, or to test a specific component’s reaction, thermals, or power draw in a real-world scenario.


Can I do a CPU stress test online?

Yes, there are some tools online for stress testing your CPU within your browser. However, for the best benchmarking results we do recommend downloading a program for the job.

Can I do a RAM stress test online?

For stress testing your RAM, we’d download a program which is dedicated to performing stress tests. This is the best way to test your RAM other than physically checking it.

Does stress testing damage the CPU?

Stress testing can potentially damage a CPU if it is not done properly or if the CPU is already damaged or defective. When a CPU is subjected to stress testing, it operates at higher-than-normal temperatures and voltages, which can cause it to degrade or fail if it is not designed to handle such conditions.

Final word

There we have the best tools to stress test your PC, really all of them will work for you; it just comes down to picking what is best for you. Make sure before you begin, that 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.

We recommend Aida64, this is our favorite stress-testing tool for CPUs and it does have a very generous trial version for you to sink your teeth into. You can purchase Aida to get access to more features and support the developers should you see fit.

If Aida isn’t tickling your fancy, any of the tools we suggested will come in handy for anyone looking to overclock and maximize the performance of their system. You will be able to stress your CPU and RAM to reveal or diagnose issues with the components before complete failure sets in. These tools can often give a good indication as to the health of your components and help you stabilize your stem like a PC engineering pro. We hope you enjoyed the best tools to stress test your CPU and RAM article.

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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