Difference between Load testing, Performance testing and Stress Testing


Could you please explain me difference between these three types, it would be great if you can explain it with example.

Many Thanks,

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Here is an old but useful blog entry , which hopefully should give you a heads up...


please remember that as with all terms in the field of software development these are very subjective and depend on your context of applying them .

if you want to differentiate between the three from an application point of view then the above link should make sense to you .

good luck

Load testing is the testing of application with heavy load to check at what point the application fails.
Stress testing is the testing of application with heavy load to check with which point the application can stand with.
Load ,Stress testing the type of performance testing.

The popular answer I heard is:-

-Load Testing: Stretching the application beyond the limits it was designed to handles. Mostly to identify the breaking point at which it becomes unusable.

-Performance Testing: The application is tested under various load conditions and the focus here is on the response time required by the application to respond to a request from the user under varying load conditions.

-Load Testing:Similar to load testing, to identify the breaking point at which the system becomes unusable. The additional point here is that the system under test is subject to some unusual stress that could rarely happen in real world cases.

Please feel free to challenge my understanding.
Performance testing is conducted to evaluate the compliance of the system with the performance requirement specifications with acceptable response times and resource utilization (memory, processor, network).

Load and stress testing are types of performance testing with distinct goals.

Example: Consider an online shopping web application, with a maximum of 500 concurrent users at peak hours.

Load testing:
Load means, the number of concurrent users acting on the application.
Load testing is done to determine the capability of the system to handle the anticipated number of concurrent users without much degradation in system performance.

Based on our example, the anticipated amount of load for load testing would be 500 users, concurrently acting on the system performing different activities.

Stress testing:
Stress testing is conducted to determine the amount of load the system can handle before breaking down or to identify the peak load handled by the system.
Stress testing is conducted by increasing the concurrent users beyond the expected number of users acting on the application.

Considering the example above the stress testing will be conducted on the application by increasing the users beyond 500 in small steps (say 100) till the application starts to degrade or breaks down.

In load testing we use a heavy load to check when will the application fails. In web testing mostly the load is no. of users up to which the website can support at a time.

In stress testing we look for the deviation up to which the load is allowed. Like some applications has a user manual that say it can support only X no. of load. In stress testing we test with loads beyond this limit X, to verify at what point the application will break.

In Performance Testing we test for apps environmental factors over functionality. Like CPU usage, Memory consumed, etc, and find out the bottlenecks of coding/ designs.
Performance testing- Performance testing is used to show that after testing there is no defect in the system or application. Load testing and stress testing are the parts of performance testing.

Load testing- Load testing is used to test the application under a range of loads in order to determine at what point the system's response time degrades or fails.
For ex- I f an application is supports 500 users then test whether it supports the no of users as specified.

Stress testing- This testing is used to push the system beyond the limits of its specified requirements to find the potentially harmful bugs.we can say that-"How much is too much for the system".

Don't mind, you didn't get the answer in google.com?

If you want to learn more about these instead of diff b/n them, then this link might help you,


Could you please explain me difference  http://www.billigembt.com/mbt-maends/mbt-maends-tilfaeldig.html between these three types, it would be great if you can explain it with example.

1.    Stress testing is subjecting a system to an unreasonable load while denying it the resources (e.g., RAM, disc, mips, interrupts, etc.) needed to process that load.  The idea is to stress a system to the breaking point in order to find bugs that will make that break potentially harmful.  The system is not expected to process the overload without adequate resources, but to behave (e.g., fail) in a decent manner (e.g., not corrupting or losing data).  Bugs and failure modes discovered under stress testing may or  may not be repaired depending on the application, the failure mode, consequences, etc.  The load (incoming transaction stream) in stress testing is often deliberately distorted so as to force the system into resource depletion.

2.    Load testing is subjecting a system to a statistically representative (usually) load.  The two main reasons for using such loads is in support of software reliability testing and in performance testing.  The term "load testing" by itself is too vague and imprecise to warrant use.  For example, do you mean representative load," "overload," "high load," etc.  In performance testing, load is varied from a minimum (zero) to the maximum level the system can sustain without running out of resources or having, transactions suffer (application-specific) excessive delay.


To know more visit - http://agiletesting.blogspot.com/2005/02/performance-vs-load-vs-str...

Performance Testing is performed to determine how fast some aspect of a system performs under a particular workload

Load Testing is conducted to check whether the system is capable of handling an anticipated load

Stress Testing is conducted to check the systems capability beyond the anticipated load


Software Testing College

Gr8 Arun. These are the practical oriented definitions. I would like to add into it.

Load Testing: Related with the no. of users accessing any appln.

Stress : Beyond the limit.

Volume: Related with the data base.

Performance: The response time/throughput required for any transaction  


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