Prism HUD: lightweight system monitoring software offers a unique visual interface

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Prism HUD (heads up display) is a free, lightweight performance and resource monitoring software.

It provides a wealth of information in real-time right on the desktop. Although there are many free system monitoring tools out there, what is unique about Prism HUD is the way it displays information: it does not display continuous chart; rather, colorful icons appear on the desktop in a designated area of the screen only when events are taking place, and disappear altogether when the event has passed.

The five performance areas include CPU (total usage and each core’s load); Memory (total usage and hard faults); Disk (used space, utilization and transfer rate for each drive); Network (each interface’s transfer rate); and Process (the CPU usage, memory usage, page faults and IO transfer rate for each process). If you only care for a subset of these metrics you can customize the program to show exactly the ones you want.

If you’re interested in what’s going on inside your computer Prism HUD is an excellent resource and performance monitoring software. Here are a more notes on this program:

prism hud screenshot3 Prism HUD screenshot1

  • Drill down: which is to say it doesn’t just report the macro level but individual performance data for each process (memory usage, CPU usage, etc.; see screenshots above).
  • Prism HUD screenshot2Customizable: metrics are displayed within 3 invisible floating panels on the top right of the screen by default. You can add or remove panels or move them around, and you can specify which performance measure (or submeasures) to be displayed in which panels (see image to the right).
  • Lightweight: around 10 megs in memory.

The verdict: if you’re looking for a visually appealing system monitoring software then by all means give Prism HUD a try. It is very light on resources and will let you make the little visualizations as large or small as you want, and place them exactly where you want them to be. If there is one feature that I would have asked for, however, it would be for some sort of logging support, which some people would find crucial for this sort of app.

Version Tested: 1.x0

Compatibility: Windows XP or higher.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 242K).