Core Duo – monitor processor(s)

  • August 19th, 2006

menumetersOftentimes, the dual processor setup within this svelte MacBook of mine eludes me. Once you’ve accustomed yourself to the dual core Intel processors for daily tasks, you come to the realization that previous incarnations of an application on older processors loaded at a gut-wrenching pace. In order to manage every bit of performance from each processor, I utilize an invaluable utility know as MenuMeters.

menumeters preferences

MenuMeters offers a handful of performance monitoring utilities in a compact footprint within your Apple Menu bar.

  • CPU Meter – Display system load both as a total percentage, or broken out as user and system time.
  • Disk Activity Meter – Displays disk activity to local disks on the system (anything that is a IOKit BlockStorage driver).
  • Memory Meter – Display current memory usage as either a pie chart, thermometer, history graph, or as used/free totals.
  • Net Meter – Display network throughput as arrows, bytes per second, and/or as a graph.

As a visual-aid, MenuMeters offers users – oftentimes – more information than is absolutely necessary. If the optional percentages, graphs, or thermometer-like visuals are not informative enough, clicking on each respective graph will display a drop down window providing even more exhaustive performance details.

menumeters detailed information

Personally, I utilize MenuMeters to keep an eye on processor(s) performance and memory consumption. Core Duo users may want to take note of the option under the CPU preference pane. Notice the “Show averages for multiple processors at single display”? Activating that will display a single graph in your menu bar rather than two.

I prefer to keep that option unchecked in order to see how hard one processor is working independently of other. Load Photoshop CS2, or any other application running under Rosetta, and watch as one processor takes the brunt of the action. I can’t wait for CS3 to come out – hopefully utilizing both processors efficiently to improve performance.