What We Don’t Like
The CPU Meter Windows gadget for Windows 7 displays two dials – one that tracks your system’s CPU usage (the one on the left) and another that tracks physical memory usage, both in percentage format.
If you like to keep track of how much memory and CPU is being used at any given time, give the CPU Meter gadget a try.
This is a pretty basic Windows 7 gadget in that there are no fancy options, but it does what it does well.
What We Like
Provides useful information.
Takes up little screen space.
Provides shortcuts to drives.
The DriveInfo Windows 7 gadget monitors the free space available on one or more of your PC’s hard drives. It displays the free space in both GB and percentage, and works with local, removable, network, and/or media drives.
If you frequently check the free space available on your hard drives, the DriveInfo gadget will definitely save you some time.
The DriveInfo gadget is very easy to configure and is an especially attractive addition to your other Windows gadgets. Plus, you can customize the background and the icon theme set.
The DriveInfo gadget is available as a free download from Softpedia for your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
The System Control A1 gadget is a fantastic resource monitor gadget for Windows 7. It tracks CPU load and memory usage over the last 30 seconds, and even tell you how long it’s been since your computer was last shut off.
The best thing about the System Control A1 gadget is that it supports up to eight CPU cores, making it fully compatible with the latest multi-core CPUs. The interface is superb as well which helps balance out the fact that there are absolutely no user options.
The System Control A1 gadget is freely available from the gadget developer.
The best thing about the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget for Windows 7 is that it looks cool. You can see available wireless network connections, verify wireless coverage, and lots more in a unique interface.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor packs a lot of useful information into a single gadget, maybe too much. For me, the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget seems a bit “heavy” with the radar display running all the time and the huge Xirrus logo. Still, it’s powerful gadget and you might find it really useful.
The Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget is a free download from Xirrus.
What We Like
CPU data for up to 2 cores.
Displays multiple system information.
Lots of information in a small space.
The margu-NotebookInfo2 Windows gadget has a funny name but it’s serious about packing a lot of system monitoring into a single gadget.
With the margu-NotebookInfo2 gadget, you can track system uptime, CPU and RAM use, wireless network strength, battery level, and much more.
A lot can be customized in this gadget but the great thing is that you don’t have to make those changes if you don’t want to. For example, while it’s useful to be able to change which wireless and wired interfaces are to display, and whether to use GHz or MHZ, you can also enable/disable the built-in clock and calendar.
margu-NotebookInfo2 is put together very well and should be an excellent addition to any Windows 7 or Windows Vista PC.
The iPhone Battery Windows 7 gadget has to be one of the coolest gadgets around. The battery indicator is an excellent knock-off of the glowing battery level indicator on the iPhone, and looks great on a Windows desktop.
With the iPhone Battery gadget, you can also mimic an antique meter, a Duracell® battery, and a sphere battery, among other cool things.
If you’re on a laptop or other portable Windows 7 device, the iPhone Battery gadget should definitely help you keep a closer eye on your available power.
The iPhone Battery gadget is free from Softpedia and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
The Network Meter Windows 7 gadget provides all kinds of useful information about your wired or wireless network connection like current internal and external IP address, current upload and download speed, total bandwidth usage, SSID, signal quality, and more.
There are several useful configurations available with Network Meter including background color, bandwidth scaling, network interface card selection, and more.
If you’re troubleshooting a local network issue or are always checking your external IP, the Network Meter gadget could be very useful.
The Network Meter gadget is a free download from AddGadget and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
The All CPU Meter gadget keeps track of CPU usage and your used and available memory. What makes ALL CPU Meter stand out from the crowd is its support for as many as eight CPU cores!
There are only a few options but background color is one of them. That might seem like a small advantage, but if you’re a regular user of Windows 7 gadgets, you know that making it fit with your desktop scheme is an important factor.
I also like the quick one second update time and well designed graph in All CPU Meter.
The All CPU Meter gadget is available for free from AddGadget for your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
What We Like
Simple, yet informative interface.
Customize color scheme.
Uses little system resources.
The Memeter Windows 7 gadget monitors all sorts of things about your CPU, RAM, and battery life. It’s a great gadget to use to keep track of the major hardware resources currently being used by Windows.
If your memory, CPU, or battery usage is something you need (or like) to watch, the Memeter gadget will really come in handy.
The only thing you can customize is the theme color to make it yellow, purple, cyan, black, etc.
The Memeter gadget is also freely available from Softpedia.
The GPU Observer gadget for Windows 7 gives you a constant look at your video card’s temperature, fan speed, and more.
GPU Observer shows the GPU temperature and, if reported by your card, the PCB temperature, fan speed, GPU load, VPU load, memory load, and system clocks.
Most NVIDIA and ATI desktop cards are supported by GPU Observer, plus some NVIDIA mobile cards. No Intel, S3, or Matrox GPUs are supported.
Multiple cards are supported but not simultaneously. You’ll have to choose which video card you’d like stats displayed for in the GPU Observer options.
If keeping tabs on your GPU is important, as it is to most serious gamers, then you’ll love GPU Observer.
What We Like
Very simple and clean gadget.
Red values alert you to potential problems.
CPU, HDD, and RAM stats in single window.
What We Don’t Like
Very basic gadget.
CPU Meter III is, you guessed it, a CPU resource meter gadget for Windows 7. In addition to tracking CPU usage, CPU Meter III also tracks memory usage.
There’s nothing that special about CPU Meter III – it only tracks one CPU and the meter display isn’t quite as polished as other similar gadgets.
However, there is one redeeming feature – it’s responsive. Very responsive! It appears to be live and not a one or two-second update like other gadgets. This, we love.
The other thing we like is how big the gadget is. Some CPU meter gadgets are so small it’s hard to see what’s going on.
Definitely try CPU Meter III out. We think you’ll like it.
The Drive Activity gadget for Windows 7 graphs the workload of your hard drives. Seeing how hard your hard disks are working could be useful in determining where you might have performance issues.
There are a few options in the Drive Activity gadget – you can choose the type of graph to display (polygon or lines) and also which of your hard drives to include in the display (you can choose more than one).
My biggest issue with this Windows gadget is the inability to change colors. Blue on black is unlikely to satisfy many users… personally, we find it hard to see.
The Drive Activity gadget is a free download from Sascha Katzner.
The AlertCon gadget is a unique one. AlertCon provides a visual representation of the current state of security across the internet. Large scale issues like fast spreading malware and major security holes would prompt an increase in the threat level.
IBM’s Internet Security Systems group operates the AlertCon system.
If you’d like a DEFCON-style representation of internet-wide issues right on your desktop, the AlertCon gadget fits the bill. Just don’t expect it to swing up and down regularly – the internet as a whole isn’t typically under serious threats.
The AlertCon gadget is a free download from Softpedia and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
This gadget installed fine the last time we tried but it didn’t display anything. It’s left here for you to try because you might have better luck.