While Mac owners don’t have quite the same array of options for customizing their computers in the same way their PC counterparts do, there’s nevertheless a large section of Apple users who love tweaking their machines and keeping an eye on performance.
If that sounds like you then iStat Menus (opens in new tab) may well be $10 well spent, with the app offering up a veritable smorgasbord of data on your system.
In basic terms, the app is a supercharged version of MacOS’ very own Activity Monitor, providing a clean, yet exhaustive amount of system info that’s handily available directly from your menu bar.
Able to throw up real-time CPU graphs and provide an immediate list of your top five current CPU resource hogs, it can also give you quick-fire pie charts, graphs, and bars detailing memory, hard drive and network usage.
A turbo-charged Activity Monitor
As well as its super-handy system monitoring, it also provides potentially invaluable info on the physical health of your Mac’ components, offering up real-time readings from your computer’s sensors, including hard drive temps, fan usage, voltage and current draw, plus detailed battery analysis.
There’s a wide array of options for setting up alerts and banners for readings, such as sending a notification if your CPU usage rises above 60% for more than 10 seconds, while for good measure the app also provides at-a-glance weather and time zone information.
Unlike many programs and plugins of this type, iStat Menus is impressively lightweight, managing to provide its stats without being a further burden on your Mac’s performance, while the long-running app has been consistently updated by its developer Bjango for well over a decade, with solid support for Apple Silicon machines.
Deeply customizable and perfect for pinpointing the culprit of memory leaks and system resource drains, its an app no self-respecting Mac tweaker will want to be without.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist.
He started out as a music writer in the late 1990s, before moving to the Daily Mirror to become the newspaper’s technology editor, during which time he wrote a weekly column that saw him chart the boom of consumer tech and gaming as well as the resurrection and rise of Apple Inc.
He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com (opens in new tab) and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards.