This is the most commonly used utility for seeing what is going on behind the scenes when Windows is running and the latest version in Windows 10 is very good.
Right click the taskbar and select Task Manager or press Alt+Ctrl+Del or press Shift+Ctrl+Esc. All of them open the Windows tool.
The Process tab shows the applications that are running, including ones that do not have windows and are running in the background. Click a column heading to sort the apps by that attribute, such as CPU, memory, disk and network.
The Performance tab shows the system resource usage graphically and you can see live charts of the CPU usage, network usage, disk and memory. Right click the CPU chart and select Change graph to, Logical processors. This shows how much work each CPU core or virtual core is doing.
In the bottom left corner of Task Manager’s Performance tab is a link to Open Resource Monitor. Click it.
Resource Monitor takes system monitoring to a new level and it provides highly detailed information about what Windows is doing.
There are live scrolling charts on the right and tables on the left showing CPU, disk, memory and network usage. There is a huge amount of information here and you can really dig deep and see what is going on.
The problem is that Task Manager is a bit too simple and Resource Monitor is a bit too complicated. SysGauge sits between the two and It provides more information than Task Manager, but it is not as complicated as Resource Monitor.
The main view for SysGauge shows a large speedometer style gauge and a live scrolling chart. The bottom third of the window contains a list showing activity for the CPU, disk, memory and other things.
Click the Add button in the toolbar and you can choose what you want to see in the list section at the bottom of the window. The items are organised into categories and you just select and item and click Add.
The speedometer and chart show whatever item is selected in the list below. Select memory and the memory usage is displayed. Click Disk Activity and the disk workload is displayed. You can choose to show the current, average or maximum values, and choose the chart update speed.
The Profiles button in the toolbar provides ready made collections of monitors. For example, there is a Default profile that shows CPU, memory, disk and network, a CPU profile that shows five CPU attributes, a Memory profile and Network profile. Each is tailored to showing multiple monitors for each item.
There are also ready-made layouts, so you can show any combination of the monitors, speedometer gauge and live chart.
At first sight it looks a bit confusing, but it takes only a few minutes to master. Once you know how it works, it is a great tool for monitoring the system.
Use it just out of curiosity to see what is going on under the surface, or to solve problems, such as programs hogging the CPU, disk or memory.
Verdict: A useful free tool for monitoring Windows PCs