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I'm looking for a lightweight CPU usage monitor, something that can sit in a corner of my screen telling me how much of my CPU is getting used. Anyone know of one?

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closed as off-topic by slhck Jul 24 '14 at 6:01

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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for what operating system? – John T Aug 27 '09 at 3:16
Windows. Retagged to reflect this. – RCIX Aug 27 '09 at 3:17
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Moo0 SystemMonitor lets you keep your eye on system resource usages of your PC. It currently supports 34 kinds of information including CPU, Memory, Network, and detailed HDD usages. Using this software, you may discover what is limiting your system performance in each occasion.

Available as installer or portable, and pretty lightweight too - it's using only 7MB RAM.

enter image description here

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Wow. 34 kinds? sounds like an ice cream establishment... – RCIX Aug 27 '09 at 3:07
BTW, what theme is that? – RCIX Aug 27 '09 at 3:48
the theme is called Flagship by The Skins Factory/Hyperdesk. it ain't free though they do offer two promotional themes for free (Crysis: Warhead and Sony Esricsson Onix). XP thmes only, The Skins Factory is probably best know for the work they did for Alienware (AlienGUIse). – Molly7244 Aug 27 '09 at 12:50

Sysinternals' ProcExp.exe (the Process Explorer which can replace the Task Manager itself).

enter image description here

ProcExp.exe takes about 15MB Private Bytes and almost 70MB of VM.

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Process Explorer can also be minimized (or start minimized) to the system tray, to display nice and compact CPU/IO/Memory monitor icons. – arathorn Aug 27 '09 at 3:42
While Process Explorer is excellent (and I run it all the time), I wouldn't describe it as lightweight. – Richard Aug 27 '09 at 10:01
... it uses significant CPU (more noticable on slower systems) and the memory just grows as it holds more and more history (I've seen it reach >200MB VM after a a couple of weeks). – Richard Aug 27 '09 at 10:02
Exactly, it's a great program, but hardly lightweight, it takes its space in memory, and uses a regular amount of CPU time for its refreshes. – Gnoupi Aug 27 '09 at 10:04
Oooh... I hadn't noticed you could put different monitors in your tray. I was lookign for a memory monitor and this is perfect (I already used it, just hadn't noticed this feature). +1. :) – Chris Mar 3 '11 at 10:03

There is TinyResMeter:

enter image description here

TinyResMeter takes less than 3MB Private Bytes and about 40MB of VM (typically). It is quite configurable too.

Notes from the site:

A small tool that displays useful information about system resources in real time, but it also gives much more detail when you right-click on the displayed fields

  • It is written 90% at pure API level to keep it as small as possible.
  • It does not require any extra non standard DLL.
  • It does not modify/write inside the Registry (except if you set it to autorun).
  • It uses less memory and resources than most tools of its kind.
  • It uses a very simple but efficient small display interface.
  • It does not use any installer that could increase EXE size; once downloaded you can use it immediately.
  • It can be simply copied and executed on any machine with no need for an installation procedure.
  • It use very small screen space.
  • It's perfect tool for low-end computer or NetBooks
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For OS X, there is the iStat Pro dashboard widget.

enter image description here

Each of the modules are drag-and-drop, and you can have more that one widget open at a time, so it can be customized perfectly to your needs.

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Windows 7 has a CPU meter desktop gadget.

And task manager's notification area icon shows current CPU.

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Vista has as well, or you could download one from the (tiny) official gallery I think... – Oskar Duveborn Aug 27 '09 at 11:06

CPUMon is also a tiny application that can sit in the corner of your screen or in the system tray.

enter image description here

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Light and unobtrusive, cpu load at a glance: CUIT


Variants of its looks in the tray:

cuit cuit

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