Occasionally, my PC grinds to a halt, and by the time I get any monitoring tools open (don't forget my PC is slow at this point), performance has picked up a bit.

A friend recently told me he uses iPulse, which is awesome since it's always running, and you can just glance at it when there's an issue to see what is happening. Unfortunately it's only for the Mac.

Does anybody know of a good Windows system monitoring tool similar to iPulse for the Mac?


Process Explorer is pretty nice.

  • I'm familiar with SysInternals, but want something that's always running. I've adjusted my question so clarify. Thanks anyway. – John MacIntyre Dec 7 '09 at 21:07
  • I start it on startup and leave it running in the tray. It has some CPU info on mouseover as well. – moshen Dec 7 '09 at 22:50

Anvir Task Manager might be what you're looking for (can be set to start with Windows).

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Icons and tooltips in tray for CPU, memory, network, disk load, HDD temperature, recently opened folders/programs and battery stats.

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Free and portable editions are available from the download section.

If you think Anvir is somewhat of an overkill, have a look at MooO SystemMonitor:

Moo0 SystemMonitor lets you keep your eye on system resource usages of your PC. It currently supports 36 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.

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A nice feature is the warning when a bottleneck occurs.

MooO SystemMonitor is freeware, are portable version is available.


Some time ago I wrote a severely cut down knock off of iPulse for XP in C++ using GDI+. Later, I thought it might be fun to rewrite it for WPF in C# and learn the platform along the way. At that time WPF wasn't performing well enough under XP, so I abandoned it. Your post prompted me to try it now, on Windows 7, and I have to say things look much better. It's only rarely going above 3%, most of the time idling at 0%.

If you want me to, I can send either of the two versions your way, but be warned that they only include the basic iPulse functionality, i.e. display of disk/cpu/network/memory status, and no configuration options whatsoever. Oh, and you can use the original jackets, downloaded from iconfactory's website, provided you can find a way to extract them from the .dmg files.


A popular one is Rainmeter. It's free and Open Source.

Rainmeter displays customizable skins, like memory and battery power, RSS feeds and weather forecasts, right on your desktop. Many skins are even functional: they can record your notes and to-do lists, launch your favorite applications, and control your media player - all in a clean, unobtrusive interface that you can rearrange and customize to your liking. Rainmeter is at once an application and a toolkit. You are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Rainmeter is open source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU GPL v2 license.

Or you can use Open Hardware Monitor and it Gadget function. I find myself Open Hardware Monitor less resource hungry and also very capable. It's also open source.

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