What’s a good system monitoring tool?
If you want fan speed, clock speed, stream speed, and more information about your desktop gaming PC, you will need the best system monitoring tool. My recommendation for this HWMonitor– it’s simple and clear. Though I’d also like to share a lesson I’ve learned over the last few years of professional PC tuning: sometimes you have to let go of these things.
First, my recommendation: HWMonitor is fast, simple, logs all the information you might need, and keeps track of every vital PC statistic you could reasonably keep an eye on.
HWMonitor reports various vital statistics from your PC’s numerous sensors, including:
- VRM voltage
- Chipset temperature
- Fan speed
- Pump speed
- Memory usage
- Processor load
- GPU Usage
- Processor clock speeds
- GPU clock speeds
- GPU temperatures, including access points and other settings if available in the hardware.
- GPU Power Consumption
- video memory clock
- SSD temperature
- Remaining SSD Capacity
For each of these statistics, you will often find the current value, the minimum value for any given period, and the maximum value for any given period. This is very handy if you’ve just installed a new CPU cooler and want to know if it’s doing its job.
You can also save monitoring data if, for some reason, you need it.
HWMonitor is a simple package that does what it says on the tin. You don’t get any fancy features or any built-in controls to let you do anything with the data it presents to you. But that’s what I like about him, he does his job, and he does it very well.
Another system monitoring tool worth mentioning, and in keeping with the spirit of minimal fuss, is Windows’ own Task Manager. The Performance tab with built-in tools currently offers a wealth of data without the need for any third-party tools and even reports your graphics card temperature.
I would also like to pay tribute to the old hand that MSI Afterburner software. While it’s pretty much the same in terms of monitoring, the handy GPU overclocking tools and the live graph view really makes it easy to understand the monitoring data presented to you over time. This helps when you are actively working with the system and want to monitor the impact of these changes in real-time, such as overclocking, for example.
HWMonitor is fast, simple, logs all the information you might need, and keeps track of every vital PC statistic you could reasonably keep an eye on.
Although what I’ve never been a fan of is manufacturer-specific generic system monitoring tools, you won’t find any recommendations here today. There are plenty to choose from, basically, every manufacturer has one, but they all achieve something like system monitoring with a few extra features. These additional features are usually always associated with proprietary lighting or manufacturer product features that you may not be able to easily control elsewhere. So sometimes, you get a little stuck with one of them.
Even I’m stuck with some of them, and I’m not really happy with it. In contrast, you may find that you can get the same functionality from third-party tools such as OpenGL. It’s something of an all-in-one open source RGB control app that not only simplifies the many apps you need to install and keep up to date but also lets you ditch proprietary monitoring software in favor of something simpler.
Now my second recommendation is that you may not always need to keep an eye on every electrical action of your PC. I used to be very obsessed with checking the temperature and fan speed, which annoyed me, and while I’m sure not everyone will want to check their PC’s temperature in the middle of a game, I definitely did. In any case, for the time being.
Nowadays, I tend to monitor my computer less. When I replace a component, of course, I check if the new kit works properly, and if I replace my PC case, I will monitor the temperature. Although now that I can clearly see what is happening there, I do not let sleeping dogs in after that. Your PC is pretty good at regulating its case temperature, and if your components did get too hot, you’d know about it before any harm was done.