keep track of
my computer’s performance. I almost always have the Task Manager
icon in the System Tray. At a glance, I can see if my CPU is being
taxed to the extent it will slow down everything I am doing.
other important performance metrics?
from the Internet is slow, is it because my bandwidth is maxed out or
is it because the server at the other end is slow?
I hear my
hard disk chugging away, it might just be some small, low priority
background task. Or it might be something bigger that can slow me
down when I am trying to load a 600MB Photoshop file for editing.
do I know if
memory is over 95% in use? That could certainly cause major slowdowns
when I load a big program.
Entropy6 is a great little free program that monitors four metrics;
CPU, Storage, Network,
and Memory. It
loads into the system tray on the taskbar where you can see the
status at a glance.
the XMeters section of the taskbar to customize the configuration.
You can turn off any of the 4 metrics you don’t want to monitor.
Each metric can be displayed as text or a chart (bar or pie). Colours
are customizable. Additionally, the metrics have some further
display either total utilization or it can separate out system
and user processes. You can opt for separate
displays for each
processor core and even each logical core.
shows read separate from write.
You can have it display
a combination of all disks or a single physical drive.
splits out send from receive.
If you have multiple
network interfaces, you can choose which one you want to monitor.
simply displays the percentage of memory used.
explanation of the tray icons.
the left is
CPU, shown here as an aggregate of all
cores in a single
yellow bar chart. It is showing over 80% utilization. If I saw this
constantly, it would be cause for concern.
which I set to display as text. It is showing 138 KB/sec read
in green and 1 MB/sec write in red.
also set to display as text. It is showing 75 KB/sec send
red and 208 KB/sec receive in orange.
is set to a pie chart and is showing about 50% in use in purple.
to let you know when you have an issue, but it won’t help fix it.
If you want to dig deeper into what is causing a bottleneck,
left-click on any part of the XMeters section of the system tray and
Task Manager will load, which provides a wealth of information on
“XMeters is designed to be as lightweight and battery-friendly as
possible.” It doesn’t show up in Task Manager, so it is hard to
quantify memory and CPU usage. Even Mark Russinovich’s Autoruns
and Process Explorer are unable to find it. The
XMeters told me XMeters is an out-of-process COM server loaded by
Windows Explorer and therefore the CPU and memory usage are a portion
of what is reported for Windows Explorer. I can happily report that
XMeters uses a trivial amount of CPU and memory.
of XMeters only supports refresh rates between 3 and 10 seconds. If
you want a version that you can set to refresh more frequently, it is
a mere US$5.
is a v1
program and is impressive as-is. But I can see some possible
enhancements that would be nice.
would be handy
to have user-configurable thresholds. If a threshold is passed,
change the display colour or make it flash to draw your attention.
For example, if CPU utilization exceeds 80%, display it in flashing
shown in the
screen shot of the tray icons, with Storage
displayed as text,
an up-pointing triangle indicates read and a
triangle indicates write. With Network
text, an up-pointing triangle indicates send and a
down-pointing triangle indicates receive. Both Storage
and Network are similar in appearance, making it
know what you are looking at. It would be nice if, rather than using
triangles, XMeters used R and W to indicate read
and S and R to indicate send and receive.
word (yet) from the author as to whether he agrees that these
changes are worthwhile.
nit-picking! I think XMeters is a very useful addition to my computer
that enables me to monitor its performance. As long as its usefulness
holds up, I will be sending in my $5. Not because I need the
capability of adjusting the refresh rate to faster than 3 seconds,
but because it is a great program that deserves to be supported.
Free version: max update every 3 seconds
version: allows more frequent updates
Windows 7 through 10
published: September 2018
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