LOADING ...

The Best System Monitor for Mac OS X

Apr 27, 2015. 16 comments

Mac OS X already comes with a solid system monitor, but it’s not that great to just glance at your overall system health. For that, we like Monity, which sits in your Notification Center for easy access to a wealth of information.

Monity

Platform: Mac OS X
Price: $2.99
Download Page

Features

  • General system monitoring in the Notification Center
  • Monitors systems stats, memory, battery, and disk usage
  • Data is easily accessible from anywhere in OS X
  • Easy to rearrange panels and customize the appearance
  • Detailed space usage for each disk
  • Battery information for Bluetooth devices
  • Detailed breakdown of memory usage

Where It Excels

Monity’s real appeal is the fact it manages to hit the Goldilocks zone of system monitors. It’s lightweight and cheap, offers a solid amount of monitoring data, and doesn’t overwhelm you with options. The fact it’s in your Notification Center (as opposed to the menubar, like many other options), means it’s out of your way unless you really need it. It also means you can easily pull it up with a keyboard shortcut. Really, Monity’s main appeal is the fact it packs a lot of information into a small space without being too intrusive. If you’re really just looking for a simple system monitor that stays out of the way, Monity works perfectly.

Where It Falls Short

Monity doesn’t have a ton of options and if you’re more interested in graphs instead of stats, you’re out of luck with Monity. The only way it displays data is with numbers, so while the design is certainly acceptable, it’s nothing to write home about it. Similarly, you can’t customize the data you see on a very granular level, so if you’re only interested in monitoring specific processes, Monity will fall short for you. Likewise, it’s missing temperature data. Monity only works in the Notification Center, so if that’s not something you’re interested in, then you’ll want to take a look at other options.

The Competition

Activity Monitor, the utility that comes with Mac OS X, is a pretty solid system statistics monitor. You can see CPU, memory, network, and disk activity/usage, plus it breaks down everything by task. You can (force) quit tasks as needed, investigate what they’re doing, and organize them however you want. For the most part, Activity Monitor will be enough for most users so it’ll do the job just fine if you don’t need to constantly monitor your system activity.

If you’re looking for a seriously powerful, customizable, and tweakable system monitor, iStat Menus 5 ($16) is exactly what you need. It sits in the menubar, has a ton of dropdown menus, monitors everything you can possibly think to monitor, and even has app-specific statistics. It’s extremely powerful, but isn’t really necessary for the average user. If that’s too much for you, iStat Mini ($2.99) works similarly to Monity by sitting in your Notification Center, but doesn’t have quite the same amount of data.

MenuMeters was our previous pick here and it’s still a solid system monitor if you don’t mind the fact it takes up a ton of space in your menubar. It can do everything Monity can do and more, with custom display options and a ton of different meters. It’s a bit on the ugly side, but it’s also free and open source.

16 Comments

Suggested posts

iTunes Is Dead, Long Live iTunes iTunes Is Dead, Long Live iTunes

The application that revolutionized and upended the music industry lived long enough to see itself become the villain. Thanks to the new macOS Catalina update, iTunes has finally been laid to rest.For the dozens (dozens!) of you who still used the bloated, buggy, mess of an application to manage your music or sync your mobile devices, there’s nothing to fear....

How to Find Out What Woke Up Your Computer Last How to Find Out What Woke Up Your Computer Last

I occasionally let my desktop computer chug on a task throughout the night, and it can be jarring when it wakes up for no reason—blasting my room with light from my 34" monitor. Whether you’re confronted by random wakeups, or you enter a room to find out that your computer is on when it shouldn’t be, don’t just shrug...

Check for Incompatible Apps Before You Install macOS Catalina Check for Incompatible Apps Before You Install macOS Catalina

Apple’s latest operating system update—released yesterday—comes with plenty of new and exciting features . However, macOS Catalina also comes with one big drawback: Apple won’t let you run 32-bit apps anymore. If that’s a big issue for you, or you’re concerned that critical apps you need won’t be supported in the latest OS, you have a few easy ways...

The Best Apps to Use When Your Teen Starts Driving The Best Apps to Use When Your Teen Starts Driving

Two months ago, my teenage son passed his driver’s test with flying colors. Though the initial terror of watching him drive away has passed and our son is proving to be a competent driver, we are still working out the kinks.Because students in his high school are allowed to leave campus if they have earned high academic standing, our...

The Best Apps for Reading Books, Audiobooks, and Comics in 2019 The Best Apps for Reading Books, Audiobooks, and Comics in 2019

It’s never been easier to read, thanks to our phones—we’re all carrying entire bookstores around in our pockets. In the video above, I share our favorite apps for reading books, listening to audiobooks, and purchasing comics.Purchase books and audiobooksKindle (iOS, Android)Audible (iOS, Android)Apple Books (iOS)Google Play Books (iOS, Android)Scribd (iOS, Android)Borrow books and audiobooks from the libraryLibby (iOS, Android) Overdrive...

Quickly Scan and Transcribe Business Cards With This App Quickly Scan and Transcribe Business Cards With This App

I hate business cards.I like the whole getting someone’s contact information part of them, but the actual paper cards are the worst. Inevitably I always manage to lose the most important business cards I’m handed seconds after I receive them. If I do manage to make it home with them, they then get lost in the garbage fire that...

How to Opt Out of All Android Betas at Once How to Opt Out of All Android Betas at Once

If you’re a big Android fan, odds are good you’ve probably opted into several app beta tests, pre-registered for a few upcoming games or apps, and built up a hefty wishlist of apps you’d like to download or purchase at some point. If you’re ready to tame your obsession a bit, Google is making it easy to cull some...

Install NES Emulators and Alternative iOS Apps With AltStore Install NES Emulators and Alternative iOS Apps With AltStore

As someone who uses Android as their primary mobile OS, I tend to focus on alternative apps/service to Google’s products , but that doesn’t mean I don’t also enjoy the third-party replacements for Apple’s apps on iOS and iPad. Unfortunately, Apple’s “walled garden” approach to its products means there are far fewer third-party and/or open-source app alternatives available on...

Where Do I Find My Clipboard History on a PC or Mac? Where Do I Find My Clipboard History on a PC or Mac?

Tech 911Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? We'd love to answer it! Email david.murphy@lifehacker.com with "Tech 911" in the subject line.  Welcome back to another installment of Lifehacker’s tech-advice series, Tech 911. You write in with your tough questions, and we provide the hard answers, a little humor, and a bit of head-scratching if you...

How to Boot From a USB Drive or CD on Any Computer How to Boot From a USB Drive or CD on Any Computer

When you’re troubleshooting your computer or installing a new operating system, you may need to “boot from a disc” or USB device (like an external hard drive or flash drive). Here’s what that means—and how to do it.When you press the power button on your computer, it boots up from its internal hard drive, where your operating system (usually...

Language