iStat Menus review

Ever wanted to track a Mac’s performance while you work? iStat Menus gives you CPU, RAM, temperature, network, drive RPM and fan stats, in real time direct from your machine. Configured in System Preferences, your chosen statistics become accessible from the menu bar.

Clicking on any of these menu bar add-ons gives extra detail. For example, the temperature menu has a live display of how hot the Mac’s CPU is running, then a click on the icon reveals individual core, drive and ambient temperature.

iStat can also show the date and time on your menu bar. Mac OS X already does that, but this version’s highly configurable, with an array of different display formats and one-click access to a pop-out calendar. There’s even a world clock built in.

The network menu displays traffic speed coming in and out, alongside your IP address, peak bandwidth and one-click launch of the Network Preferences panel. Every individual tool offers similar access to integrated tools. For example, the memory menu icon enables you to quickly open your Mac’s Activity Monitor – a useful operating system utility you may not have realised was there.

The temptation for anyone of a remotely geeky persuasion to have every menu item available in iStat Menus is high – but you can choose to have as many or few on display as you like.

OUR VERDICT

With easy installation and simple configuration, our only worry was that the check boxes enabling you to add menu items appeared to be greyed out. This, it became apparent, was not the case. Just goes to show, deviating from standard usability design can confuse even the most seasoned computer users.

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