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All CPU Meter: A Simple Windows Gadget to Monitor Cores



All CPU Meter is a very simple sidebar gadget available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. It allows developers and users to check the microprocessor's usage and it shows an independent graph for each available logical core (hardware thread).

No matter the resolution of your display, if you're developing software optimized for multicore microprocessors, your screen (or screens) won't have free space. One of the big problems related to multicore programming is that, as the number of available logical cores increases, you need more space to monitor their activity.

All CPU Meter is a very simple and useful sidebar gadget for multicore programmers using Windows Vista or Windows 7. You will still have to work with Process Explorer, Windows Task Manager and the Resource Monitor. However, this gadget offers very useful information using a small 128-by-130 pixels canvas to display the information for 4 logical cores (4 hardware threads), as shown in the following picture:

All CPU Meter displaying 4 idle hardware threads.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 offer the same default gadget. A CPU Meter that displays the overall CPU usage and the memory usage. The great disadvantage of this gadget is that it doesn't let us know what's happening with each logical core (hardware thread). All CPU Meter also shows the overall CPU usage, but it also displays the activity for each logical core (hardware thread) and this information can tell you whether the thread affinities are working as expected or not. Some programming languages, libraries, APIs and compilers offer the possibility to tell the operating system scheduler to run a certain software thread on a specific hardware thread.

However, many high-level programming languages, like C# or Java, don't offer this possibility. In these cases, we will be able to see how the operating system's scheduler changes the logical core (hardware thread) running each software thread. All CPU Meter is very useful to monitor these situations using just a few pixels of your screen.

Using this simple gadget, you'll be able to monitor your software without having to open and close many huge Windows many times. You'll still need more information. Nonetheless, you'll be able to check what's going on with each logical core (hardware thread) and you'll see a tiny graph, as shown in the following picture:

All CPU Meter displaying 4 hardware threads with full activity.

The following picture shows a comparison between this gadget and the default Windows CPU Meter.

All CPU Meter shows detailed information.

If you develop and run software prepared to take advantage of multicore microprocessors, you'll find this gadget more useful than Windows default CPU Meter. All CPU Meter's latest version supports can display information of up to 8 logical cores (hardware threads).

You can download and install All CPU Meter from its Windows Live Gallery web page


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