Kim Barloso

Best programs for CPU stress testing


In this tutorial we take a look at the best tools for performing CPU stress tests.

Stress testing allows you to find out how a processor behaves when performing demanding tasks. If you have purchased a new CPU or would like to see how well your current "stone" performs, our stress-testing programs are indispensable.

In this selection we will mention the 5 best CPU stress-testing programs: 4 free of charge and one paid, but with evaluation version:

    Some of these utilities, by the way, are suitable for complex testing and performance monitoring of the main computer components. Install it, use it and tell us what you think about it in the comments!

    Note . Make sure you monitor processor temperature during the test! These utilities will help you do it.


    The stress test is performed with a multithreaded stress-module which is 100% utilization of the CPU. Unlike similar utilities, the tests in Aida64 are the closest to real tasks, they use the CPU in real time, simulating almost full CPU load.

    We should warn you that Aida64 is not free (about $40 for the home version) but you can test the program functions fully, for 30 days, without paying.

    How to use Aida64

    1. The stress test can be done through Tools > System stability test.
    2. Leave all settings at default
    3. Click on Start button to start the stress test.
    4. In the given time you will receive the results.

    Note . Be sure to monitor the processor temperature, in some situations overheating may occur, so if in doubt it is better to abort the test forcibly.

    Download Aida64

    Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

    This utility is suitable for Intel CPUs only (for specific CPU models please check here for compatibility information.) Windows 8 version and higher are supported.

    Besides testing (functionality test) the Processor Diagnostic Tool functionality is useful to obtain information about processor frequencies, cores and other parameters. The utility can check the validity of the characteristics and find out if a certain function is supported.

    The 32 and 64 bit versions of the installer are available and can be downloaded from the Available Downloads section.

    How to use the Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

    1. The test is started automatically with the software.
    2. The console utility dgemm.exe (located in the program folder located at c:\Program Files\Intel Corporation\Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool 64bit) can be used for CPU stress testing.

    Download Intel® Processor Diagnostic Tool

    IntelBurn Test

    IntelBurn Test is another small utility to test the stress tolerance of a processor. It works on the same principle as Aida64: it creates an artificial workload during which the program studies the CPU's behavior.

    The program works with X86/X64 CPUs. You may use it only at your own risk. If your CPU is extremely overclocked and/or has cooling issues, it is possible to simply burn the processor.

    How to use IntelBurn Test

    1. In the IntelBurn Test settings you can specify the level of stress and the number of threads (up to 128).
    2. If you want to log, check the option "Output results...".

    Note . During the test you will most probably not be able to work at your PC because of the extreme load of the processor.

    Download IntelBurn Test


    HeavyLoad provides the measurement of the CPU usage at maximum load. The program can also be used to test the graphics processor (i.e. video card) and RAM.

    How to use the HeavyLoad Software

    1. Launch the program and enter Test Options.
    2. Choose the option Stress CPU.
    3. Click the Play icon - Start selected tests.
    4. Launch the test results.

    In the HeavyLoad setup you can indicate the number of cores to test and the priority.

    Download HeavyLoad


    OCCT is the less obvious choice, the program is not so well known as a benchmark tool. In addition to the stress test for the CPU, there are test modules for the graphics card, power supply and RAM. Detailed reports generated during testing are also available in OCCT.

    How to use OCCT

    1. Open the program and go to the Test > System boot.
    2. Click on Play icon to begin the stress test.
    3. For a detailed description go to Info > Processor.

    Download OCCT

    Which program is the best for CPU stress testing

    There is no clear answer. The one with the best functionality is Aida64 but it is a paid tool. A simpler tool such as IntelBurn Test or OCCT would probably do the job for you.

    If you would like to obtain a more reliable result try several programs. At the same time make sure the processor is resting between tests and make sure the CPU is well cooled.

    “Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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    Kim Barloso