Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Real-time PC performance monitoring software with a monitoring window / GUI

  1. Feb 4, 2016 #1


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm frustrated with several of my PCs' performance. The issue may be with their Internet connections, or with other processing issues. Is there some software package that I can run to give me a GUI window showing Internet bandwidth, memory usage, etc, to help me debug the sometimes slow response times of my PCs and laptops? I've tried using the standard Windows Cntrl-Alt-Delete performance monitors, but they are not showing me anything useful. My PC or laptop can be totally unresponsive after startup, and the Windows process monitors show nothing above 5% CPU utilization. Right.

    For example, during the startup/wakeup of most PCs,their response to clicks to open programs and browsers is very much delayed. I would like to know why. What processes are taking my PC out after startup? It would be very helpful to see in real time what the heck my PC is doing, so I could decide how to optimize it... Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Iarsn Taskinfo 10

    Not terribly expensive and a really excellent package
  4. Feb 5, 2016 #3
    Try this first.

    Click Start> In the search box type in msconfig > then click open msconfig utility
    Click on the boot tab and then turn on Safe boot, then Network, like this.

    Then click OK. This will boot your computer into safemode with networking (internet).
    In safemode, all extra non-essential programs/services will all be turned off. You will be running barebones windows, almost.
    Then test your computer in this environment.

    If you computer responds quickly and seems to work fast, then the problem is that you have programs that are starting with your system that are using up all of its resources.
    In this case do the following
    • Go into your programs and features and uninstall any program that you are not actively using.
    • Then go back into msconfig, uncheck safeboot this time click on the Startup tab. Then look at each item in the list, if you dont know what it is, google it and find out what it is, then decide if you need it running ALL the time or not. Example: Skype, you dont need running all the time, itunes, same thing. Antivirus yes you need it all the time. That sort of thing.
    • You just did a mini tune up. Reboot your computer and test again. Hopefully, its fixed.
    If your computer still behaves poorly in safemode, then we're probably dealing with some system error, a malware infection or a hardware issue.
    If this was my computer, I would simply wipe it (format the hard drive to erase everything and reinstall the OS). This will rule out system error/malware infection. If the problem doesn't go away, then your computer has turned into a lemon (the hardware is the problem)

    EDIT: If the issue is ONLY with going to the internet, then it might be worth your time to speak to your ISP
  5. Feb 5, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  6. Feb 5, 2016 #5

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Why do you find that impossible to believe? What if it's not the CPU that's limiting you, but memory or disk?
  7. Feb 5, 2016 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Good question, but their monitor windows also show low utilization during this startup delay phase...
  8. Feb 5, 2016 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Vanadium 50's question made me think that you could be low on disk space. If you haven't defragged in a while or you are under 10% of disk space, it could be having to do a lot of swapping. Beyond that, I usually disable or remove services <cough>Google Earth Updater</cough> that I don't need.
  9. Feb 5, 2016 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I have a utility call "CleamMem mini monitor" (free), which gives a real time note of percentage of memory in use. It also makes room by removing files from memory that are not needed. It can be gotten from SnapFiles.
  10. Feb 6, 2016 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    On my windows 7 pro I use resource monitor (%windir%\system32\perfmon.exe /res)

    Also you can configure msc files to show graphical view of everything you can imagine in performance monitor.
    To configure those try %windir%\system32\perfmon.exe

    You can configure graphs of internet, cpu, disk reads, disk writes, memory utilization, etc all graphing in real time.

    Another wild tool is processExplorer from Microsoft SysInternals. It will tell you everything about everything running on your machine. How much memory, Internet, disk, etc. Every thread. It's fantastic.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook