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I'd like to be able to view my cpu and memory usage in real time. Not as a desktop widget or window application, but as a widget in the menu bar. Is this possible?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

iStat Menus has the functionality you are asking for. While iStat Menus 3 is available for $16, the older version 2 was released for free and can still be found as a download on third-party sites.

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+1 I really like this one. can customize how much is shown and it seems to perform very well. I may actually buy it. –  spong Sep 8 '10 at 11:27
I also like it and I still use the old free version. What I don't like is that it invites you to upgrade without informing you that it costs money afterwards. –  robcast Sep 9 '10 at 10:16
Does this work with the new memory management in mavericks? –  AlikElzin-kilaka Feb 23 '14 at 16:56
Sorry, I switched to the paid version of iStat Menus 4 some time ago. This one works fine on Mavericks. I can't comment whether the old versions 2.x or 3.x still work. –  Raim Feb 24 '14 at 16:07

I use MenuMeters for this functionality, and have a hard time living without it. How do other people know when their web browser is finally done downloading a page, or YouTube stalled out, or iPhoto still working, or ...?

MenuMeters is freeware, but well worth the donation.

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I wasn't able to get this to work. After unzipping, running installer, and logging out/in, it doesn't appear on the menubar. –  spong Sep 8 '10 at 11:28
@sunpech: Did you enable them from the Menu Meters Preference Pane? By default they don't enable until you say you want them. –  Chealion Sep 8 '10 at 16:06
What Chealion said: Did you go to the MenuMeters pref pane (at the bottom, in the "Other" category in System Preferences) to turn on the meters you'd like? –  khedron Sep 10 '10 at 6:36
I love MenuMeters. I'd vote it up, but I'm out of votes for today. :-( –  daviesgeek Oct 19 '11 at 19:01
Does this work with the new memory management in mavericks? –  AlikElzin-kilaka Feb 23 '14 at 16:56

Or you can try some geeklets from the internet (or make one yourself) on Geektool. I find it more customizable than menu bar apps, and prettier when I get to use the fonts and sizes I like.

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I did that! I had a nice weather.com geeklet on my desktop. And then I upgraded to Mountain Lion, and the geektool is failing for mysterious reasons, and I have to debug it. :-/ –  khedron Nov 8 '12 at 19:38

I prefer SystemPal. iStat itself consumes too much CPU and RAM. SystemPal is quick, tiny, configurable, neat, and powerful. It's available on Mac App Store.

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