Simulation is a growing and very relevant field today. With many application domains and increasing computational power, simulations are solving an increasing number of real-world problems in a safe and efficient manner. The aim of this study is to make an experimental comparison among popular open-source discrete-event simulation frameworks, selected through a thorough survey. The experimental comparison considers numerous parameters, the most important of which were studied via an operational experiment of performance, as well as a survey of surface level characteristics and usability. We initially surveyed 50 frameworks for high-level parameters relating to corresponding implementations, filtered by the generality of domain, license, popularity, etc. As a result, we shortlisted five frameworks, which we then performance-tested in an operational experiment. We discovered significant performance differences under the given loads. We also completed a usability survey to provide a holistic impression of the frameworks, further identifying key differences.