If you’re looking for some simple hardware monitoring tools that don’t clutter up your screen real estate but are right in front of you when you need them, Taskbar Meters sit unobtrusively right on the Windows taskbar.
Open source, lightweight, and portable Taskbar Meters is actually a set of three applications. There is one for monitoring memory use, one for CPU use, and one for disk activity. Using the application is as simple as running the specific app for the monitoring you want (we have all three running in the screenshot here) and adjusting the sliders to set the update frequency and the percent utilization at which the meters turn from green, to yellow, to red.
If you’re testing software loads and benchmarking Taskbar Meters doesn’t offer the kind of fine-tooth-comb view into system performance that you’ll need but for casual “What’s going on with my machine?” monitoring, it’s unobtrusive and effective.
Taskbar Meters is an open source set of portable applications, Windows 7 only.
Taskbar Meters [Codeplex]