Hexagora Performance Monitor: a monitoring app that makes system load visible

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Hexagora Performance Monitor is a light and customizable freeware application that displays four important system load values – CPU, memory, disk and network traffic.

It requires no user input to work out of the box and is portable.

[Editor’s note: this review was written by reader Rarst from the Ukraine; check out his tech blog here]

If you’re looking for a small, practical program that displays system information (in this case CPU, memory, disk utilization, and network traffic), this little program which combines a lightweight footprint and a nice, customizable interface may be exactly what you are looking for. Here are more notes on this app:

hexagora-performance-monitor-screenshot

  • Program components: the program consists of four floating windows (one for each stat) that stick to screen edges and to each other. Any of four can be disabled as well.
  • General look-and-feel: the main dialog has two pre-set sizes to choose from (large and small), which affects all windows. Dragging the CPU dialog drags all of them together when combined. There are three visual styles available – two have a glassy look and one is a plain graph. Right clicking any window gives access to the program settings.
  • Colors and graphs: the background and foreground colors can be set separately for each window. Graph mode can be set to sketchy “Line” or filled “Plane” view.
  • Transparency: can be set from 20% to 100% (fully visible) in 10% increments. Combined with “Always on top” and “Forward left mouse clicks” it can be as unobtrusive as needed.
  • Tooltips: hovering with the mouse on any of graphs makes a small tooltip appear show some extra values for each graph, including exact current value in percent.
  • System tray: each value can be shown as an icon in the system tray.
  • Off-screen: the program offers dual monitor support, but in case you get any of windows outside of visible screen space (that’s easier than it sounds with small floating stuff) you can run program with “CHECKPOS” (without quotes) command line argument and positions will be reset. There is also a “PerfMon CheckPos.bat” file present in the program directory that does exactly this.
  • Memory usage: application consumes around 10Mb of memory, which is stable and doesn’t seem to go down if disabling some of graphs.

Wish list: what could be better

  • Setting size in pixels: graphs seem to be easily scalable and it feels strange that there are only two size options.
  • More tooltip info: tooltips give very little information. Some extra like name of process that causes biggest load at moment could be nice.
  • Network info: network value seems very jumpy. Even minor 0.5-1.5 Kbit/s traffic makes graph move a lot.
  • More values: ones used are probably most important and obvious but it’s less than monitor programs usually offer.

The verdict: unsuitable for troubleshooting purposes but perfect for simply displaying system load. Customizable to fit any desktop as well.

Version tested: 3.8.15

Compatibility: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win2003+

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.5 megs).