If you’re worried about your PC’s RAM or CPU usage, then installing a system monitor can sometimes be useful. This will usually give you an on-screen display indicating when there’s a high demand for your system’s resources, so alerting you to potential problems as soon as they happen, and perhaps helping you to figure out the cause.
Having this extra on-screen display can be a problem, though. Usually you either have to free up a little space for a desktop gadget, or you’re left to peer at some tiny system tray indicator. So it’s good to see RAM CPU Taskbar take a different route, by using your entire taskbar as a CPU and memory meter.
Download and run the program and it’ll add an icon to your system tray, and a couple of bars to the right of your taskbar. The top one highlights CPU usage, starts green, turns amber and then red as the figure approaches 100%; the lower bar alerts you to RAM use and works in much the same way.
We wondered if this would be intrusive or annoying, but our tests didn’t show any problems. The bars are visible below your taskbar buttons, but they don’t obscure them or otherwise get in your way. And the default refresh rates – once every 10 seconds for RAM, every second for CPU usage – mean that the bars aren’t constantly moving around, so distractions are kept to a minimum.
If you are unhappy with some aspect of the display, though, you can probably tweak in in the program’s comprehensive Settings dialog. There are options to disable either of the bars, for instance; set them to be left or right-aligned; set their positioning, refresh rate, colours and more.
But, if you are looking for a simple memory and processor meter, then the program’s ability to display system information without requiring any extra screen real estate is a major plus. Take a look.