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A hardware monitor is common component of modern motherboards, which can either come as a separate chip, often interfaced through I²C or SMBus, or as part of a Super I/O solution, often interfaced through Low Pin Count (LPC). These devices make it possible to monitor temperature in the chassis, voltage supplied to the motherboard by the power supply unit and the speed of the computer fans that are connected directly to one of the fan headers on the motherboard. Many of these hardware monitors also have fan controlling capabilities. System monitoring software like SpeedFan on Windows, lm_sensors on GNU/Linux, envstat on NetBSD, and sysctl hw.sensors on OpenBSD and DragonFly can interface with these chips to relay this environmental sensor information to the user.
Software monitors occur more commonly, sometimes as a part of a widget engine. These monitoring systems are often used to keep track of system resources, such as CPU usage and frequency, or the amount of free RAM. They are also used to display items such as free space on one or more hard drives, the temperature of the CPU and other important components, and networking information including the system IP address and current rates of upload and download. Other possible displays may include the date and time, system uptime, computer name, username, hard drive S.M.A.R.T. data, fan speeds, and the voltages being provided by the power supply.
Less common are hardware-based systems monitoring similar information. Customarily these occupy one or more drive bays on the front of the computer case, and either interface directly with the system hardware or connect to a software data-collection system via USB. With either approach to gathering data, the monitoring system displays information on a small LCD panel or on series of small analog or LED numeric displays. Some hardware-based system monitors also allow direct control of fan speeds, allowing the user to quickly customize the cooling in the system.
A few very high-end models of hardware system monitor are designed[by whom?] to interface with only a specific model of motherboard. These systems directly utilize the sensors built into the system, providing more detailed and accurate information than less-expensive monitoring systems customarily provide.
- Activity Monitor
- hw.sensors on OpenBSD and DragonFly BSD
- KDE System Guard (KSysguard)
- Motherboard Monitor
- Process Explorer
- Resource Monitor (resmon)
- Sar in UNIX
- sysmon/envsys on NetBSD
- System Monitor (sysmon)
- Vigilo NMS (Community Edition)
- Windows Desktop Gadgets,
- Windows Task Manager
- Application performance management (APM)
- Application service management (ASM)
- I²C and SMBus
- Network monitoring
- Mean time between failures (MTBF)
- Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)
- System profiler
- Website monitoring
- Wiesen, G.; Bailey, Heather (1 December 2010). "What Is a System Monitor?". wiseGEEK. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
A system monitor is a program or piece of hardware that monitors various aspects of a computer system and then displays information regarding the status of that system. This sort of monitor typically takes the form of a software program provided with an operating system (OS) or used as a standalone program. Hardware system monitors are also available, though these are fairly specialized devices and not as frequently used as software monitors. A system monitor will typically track various aspects of a computer system, including what programs are running, how resources are being used, and certain details regarding the hardware installed on a computer.
- Constantine A. Murenin (2007-04-17). Generalised Interfacing with Microprocessor System Hardware Monitors. Proceedings of 2007 IEEE International Conference on Networking, Sensing and Control, 15–17 April 2007. London, United Kingdom: IEEE. doi:10.1109/ICNSC.2007.372901. ISBN 1-4244-1076-2. IEEE ICNSC 2007, pp. 901—906.
- Kaskavalci, Halil (22 October 2015). "Installing system monitor conky on Ubuntu". Archived from the original on 22 October 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
What is a System Monitor? System monitors show various system indicators like HDD, Network, and CPU usage. If you want to learn more about your computer, it’s a must have tool.
- Constantine A. Murenin (2010-05-21). OpenBSD Hardware Sensors — Environmental Monitoring and Fan Control (MMath thesis). University of Waterloo: UWSpace. hdl:10012/5234. Document ID: ab71498b6b1a60ﬀ817b29d56997a418.
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