What is a GPU stress test? How to perform a GPU stress test?


GPU, the graphics processing unit, is an important part of a PC. It is used to render images in a frame buffer for sending them to a display device. GPU is designed for parallel processing and helps in several applications that involve graphics and video rendering. With the help of a good GPU, your system can create more interesting visual effects and realistic graphics. For checking the max capability of a GPU, people perform a GPU stress test to understand how much workload a GPU can handle. In this article, I will explain the GPU stress test. I will also make a list of the best GPU stress test tools.

What is GPU stress test?

A GPU stress test is a process of putting a heavy load on the GPU to test its stability and performance. This is done by running demanding tasks, such as 3D rendering or gaming, for an extended period of time. The purpose of a GPU stress test is to identify any potential issues with the GPU, such as overheating or instability, that could cause it to fail under normal usage.

You should understand that doing a stress test can cause serious damage to GPU. So, you need to keep checking the CPU temperature during the stress test. Abort the test if the temperature approaches the maximum limits set by the manufacturer. You should also not perform the stress test for a long period of time.

To monitor GPU stress during a stress test, you can use a variety of tools such as:

  1. GPU-Z: This is a free tool that provides detailed information about the GPU, such as its temperature, clock speeds, and power usage.
  2. MSI Afterburner: This is another popular tool that allows you to monitor the GPU’s temperature, clock speeds, and other performance metrics.
  3. EVGA Precision X: This tool is specifically designed for EVGA graphics cards and allows you to overclock the GPU and monitor its performance.

You mainly need to monitor GPU temperature and GPU usage. When the GPU usage spikes to 100%, you can expect the GPU temperature to go beyond 80°C. Approaching 90°C can be dangerous and may damage the GPU if the temperature remains high for an extended amount of time. When you see a rise in temperature boost the fan speed or turn down the GPU clock speed.

Best Tools for GPU Stress Test

For a GPU stress test, you need a good GPU stress test tool. Here is a list of the best GPU stress test tools.

1. FurMark

FurMark is a popular stress testing tool that is specifically designed for graphics cards. It can be used to test the stability of the GPU and identify any potential issues with overheating. FurMark is a free OpenGL benchmark/stress test and has been the top GPU stress tool for years. It features an easy-to-use interface and can push GPU to its limits.

Download FurMark


This is a comprehensive system stress testing tool that can be used to test the stability of both the CPU and GPU. This tool can torture the GPU to use its max power. In testing, this tool helped in finding. major design flaws in the architecture of the GPU chipset. It can also detect GPU errors and monitor active readings. OCCT is free for personal use but charges for professional usage.

Download OCCT 

3. Unigine Heaven

This is a benchmarking tool that can be used to test the performance of the GPU. It’s a great way to test the performance of the GPU under demanding conditions. This GPU stress tool performs a few popular tests Superposition, Heaven, and Valley. I recommend Superposition for putting the best load on the GPU. It is the most demanding test that renders advanced visuals and also includes 900 interactive objects along with VR module testing. This tool also calculates a benchmark score to compare your GPU performance with others. Unigine Heaven is a free GPU stress test tool but you need to spend a bit for using features like automated benchmark looping.

Download Unigine

4. 3DMark

This is a popular benchmarking tool that can be used to test the performance of the GPU in a variety of different scenarios, including gaming and 3D rendering. 3DMark brings several benchmark tests including Time Spy, Fire Strike, Tomb Raid, and more to find out the capacity of a GPU. This tool can test DirectX 12/11, 4K resolution, ray-tracing performance, DLSS, and more.

Download 3DMark

5. MSI Kombustor

MSI Kombustor is MSI’s popular software for stress testing and benchmarking the GPU. This software has been designed to push the limits of a graphics card and test its ability of it. It can also measure thermal performance. You need to use MSI Afterburner along with MSI Kombustor for getting the best results. MSI Afterburner lets you control the graphics card’s components such as fan speed, clock frequency, and voltage. Kombustor supports all major graphics APIs. So, it can test the GPU in all environments.

Download MSI Kombustor

Wrap Up

It is important to note that GPU stress test can be demanding and can cause your GPU to heat up quickly. It is recommended to perform the stress test on a well-ventilated area, and also to monitor GPU temperature, clock speeds, and other performance metrics during the test. It is also important to keep your GPU drivers up-to-date to prevent any issues during the stress test.