Check Performance of Your Computer With Windows Task Manager and Resource Monitor
Microsoft Windows Task Manager provides information about applications and processes that are currently running on a computer, and also provides real-time performance information about the processor, memory, and network usage. You can start Windows Task Manager in the following ways:
- Right-click any open space on the Windows taskbar and click Task Manager.
- Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE and select Start Task Manager.
- Press CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE.
The main tab in the Windows Task Manager window that measures performance is the Performance tab
The Performance tab is divided into the following sections:
- CPU Usage indicates the percentage of processor cycles that are not idle at the moment. If this graph displays a high percentage continuously (and not when there is an obvious reason, like such as a big application), your processor may be overloaded. If your computer has two processors, two graphs are shown.
- CPU Usage History indicates how busy the processor has been recently, although the graph only shows values since Task Manager was opened.
- Memory indicates the percentage of the physical memory that is currently being used.
- Physical Memory Usage History indicates how full the physical memory has been over time, although it also only shows values since Task Manager was opened.
- Physical Memory (MB) indicates the total and available physical memory, as well as the amount of memory in the system cache.
- Kernel Memory (MB) indicates the memory used by the operating system. Paged kernel memory is available only to system processes. Non-paged kernel memory can be used by applications when necessary.
- System provides totals for the number of handles, threads, and processes currently running. A process is a single executable program. A thread is an object within a process that runs program instructions. A handle represents a specific input/output (I/O) instance. A process may have multiple threads, each of which in turn may have multiple handles.
Monitor Your Computer Performance With Resource Monitor
On the Performance tab of Microsoft Windows Task Manager, you will also notice a button named Resource Monitor. Click this button (and enter your credentials when prompted by Windows Vista User Account Control(UAC) to open Resource Monitor
The Resource Monitor window is divided into several sections:
- Resource Overview. This section shows graphs that are identical to those shown in the Task Manager Performance tab.
- CPU. This section lists processes that are consuming CPU cycles, much like the Processes tab in Task Manager.
- Disk. This section shows in real time what processes are reading and writing to disk.
- Network. This section shows in real time what processes are sending and receiving on the network.
- Memory. This section shows in real time what processes are committed to memory.
- Learn More. This section features links to various information in Windows Help about monitoring resources.