is System Monitor?
System Monitor is an application for the menu bar of Mac OS X, designed to
inform you unobtrusively about the activity of your computer. You can retrieve
up-to-date technical data any time, like process load, CPU temperature, main
memory consumption, storage space, disk activity, communication on network
interfaces, etc. By positioning the app in the menu bar, as least screen real
estate as possible will be wasted. The program monitors your system continuously
and is readily available when you need it.
If desired, System Monitor can also simulate the flickering activity lights
of hard drives or network sockets in the menu bar. This is possible either
in color or —perfectly integrated into the design of Mac OS X— in inconspicuous
black-and-white. PC switchers who miss this feature on Macintosh computers
can easily retrofit this function with System Monitor.
System Monitor allows you to monitor the following metrics of your computer:
- Load of the total system, separated in load of the operating system, user
programs, and programs with reduced priority
- Display of the top 5 processes currently putting the most load on the system
- Number of processes currently in the system
- Uptime since the last start of the system
- Characteristic CPU temperature, measured as close to the first processor
- Revolution speeds of all air blowers which are controlled by the computer
- Memory use of the operating system, separated into reserved, active,
and inactive memory
- Display of the top 5 processes which consume the largest parts of the memory
- Number of swap-ins from disk storage into main memory
- Number of swap-outs from main memory to disk storage
- Size of the currently used swap space
- Used storage space on disk volumes currently connected to the system. The
set of volumes to monitor can be customized freely.
- Current transfer rates and bandwidths for connected hard drives. The set
of disks to monitor can be customized freely. Statistics include the amount
of read and written data, the number of read and write events, the peak performance
transferring to and from a drive, and all accumulated data since the last
start of the system.
- Display of the network interfaces currently active and operating with TCP/IP
- Display of the public Internet address (IPv4), even if your computer uses
a router to connect to the Internet
- Automatic tracking which network interface is currently connected to the
- Current transfer rates and bandwidths for active network interfaces. The
set of interfaces to monitor can be customized freely. Statistics include
the amount of sent and received data, the number of packets, the peak performance
of data transfer, as well as all accumulated data since the last start of
- Read and write activity of hard drives, and standby mode of hard drives
- Send and receive activity of network interfaces
For specific items, the history of the last 30 seconds can be visualized by
graphics updated live. System Monitor always tries not to interfere with the
activity of your computer as far as possible, and also respects the energy
saver settings for your hard drives.
To use System Monitor, the following components are required:
- The operating system Mac OS X Version 10.6.8 or higher. Alternatively,
a matching version of Mac OS X Server can be used.