50 Mac Essentials #17: iStat Menus

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There are some people who simply don’t care what their computer is doing in the background; and there are others who can’t live without that kind of information.

For that second group of people, iStat Menus is a no-brainer.

Version 3 brought in a number of important changes to this much-respected application. The first was that it became a stand-alone app in its own right, the second was that it was no longer free. That might have upset a lot of people, but the price for the new app is a very reasonable and affordable £16 – which, if system resources mean that much to you, isn’t too much to pay.

You get a lot for your money. There isn’t much happening inside your computer that iStat Menus can’t show you in one way or another. It comes with loads of widgets, each one dedicated to a particular dataset. One for CPU, one for Date & Time, and so on. But inside each one there are loads of options. You can choose how the data will be displayed, how much space you’ll allow it on your Menu Bar, what sort of icon it will have. You get an enormous amount of flexibility, so you can make iStat Menus do exactly what you want it to do.

If you’re just curious about your Mac’s system performance, you can get a lot of this information from the built-in Activity Monitor app. But iStat Menus offers so much more, and in a far more attractive package. For occasional peeks under the hood, stick with Activity Monitor. But if your curiosity extends any further than that, $16 spent on iStat Menus will be $16 well spent.

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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