Reviews

Hardware Sensors Monitor

Developer: AB Software
Compatible with: Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/x64.


  If you are like me you will like to get the best performance possible out of your PC, but not at the expense of toasting your CPU! Your processor could easily be the most expensive single component in your system so, probably as I do, you would prefer to know that your system was running within safe limits even if you are pushing the limits a little farther than is recommended!
For overclockers it is helpful to know just how well your computer's components are coping with the extra load caused by running them faster. If you have just turned up the clock speed of your CPU, for example, a constant check on how hot (or how cool!) it is getting is reassuring. The feedback on conditions inside your computer can then be used to determine if any extra cooling devices need to be installed in order to keep things cool. You can't always tell whether a cooler has failed either, until it is too late, but this tool will give you the feedback you need from your fans. In these areas Hmonitor proves to be a valuable aid.
HMonitor allows you to check the temperature of any component on your computer that has a sensor. More than that, it shows fan speeds, and voltages too; all on one small form. If your hard disks are S.M.A.R.T. enabled you can check on those as well. The display is constantly updated giving you live coverage of your system's state. Some other useful features have been incorporated too.
The program was tested mainly using an Abit KV8 /AMD64 2800Mhz system running Windows XP and Windows XP Professional x64 edition. Hmonitor installed (and performed) without a hitch on both set-ups.

HMonitor - BIOS Info
Figure 1. Hmonitor will give you some info on your bios



HMonitor - CPU Info
Figure 2. as well as your CPU


A Useful Tool

  Many system boards now come packaged with their own diagnostic software which will supply you with similar data that Hmonitor does. So why would you want Hmonitor as well?
For one thing, you get all the important data in one neat little window. It is small enough to keep in one corner of your screen while running some benchmarking software in another window, for example, and you can watch the CPU temperature rise or fall under changing conditions.
Hmonitor has other uses too. I was testing a system that had been suffering with irregular start-up errors - often a symptom of a power supply fault. A glance at Hmonitor's voltages section confirmed it the +5V supply was down as low as 4.2V. Armed with this information I replaced the power supply unit and the problem was cured!

HMonitor
Figure 3. The main display.


Installation

  No problems here. Once you have downloaded the setup program just open it, select the location where you want the program to be installed and that's it.

Setting Up

  Before you can make the most of this tool you will need to spend a few minutes adjusting some of the settings to suit your particular hardware. The setup screen for the temperature gauges can be seen below.

HMonitor - Temperature Settings
Figure 4. Temperature Settings


  You can make as much or as little use of these settings as you like. You can alter the preset values for the temperature 'yellow zone' and 'red zone'. You can (if you like) specify a sound file (.wav) to for an audible warning; handy for those times when you just have to leave your system unattended for a time, but don't want to miss that moment when your PC is about to become a desktop toaster!
If your system monitoring hardware does not supply information for any of the labelled items Hmonitor can't display it it is only as good or as useful as the information it has to work with. The Hmonitor website (www.hmonitor.com) carries a list of the motherboards and sensor hardware that the program supports. The list is extensive, but check first whether your board is included; new ones are being added regularly. If you happen to have a system using the older sensor types adjustments can be made to compensate for inaccuracies in those methods of monitoring; so no-one is left out.

HMonitor - Hardware Setup
Figure 5. Hardware Setup


Full Throttle

  I have not tried out this function to see how it affects performance but you can use Hmonitor to turn down the speed of your processor. It is temperature dependent so if things get a little too hot in there Hmonitor can reduce the CPU speed to a preset percentage of full rate. The system will continue to run at the slower setting until it cools to a level that you have pre-set.

HMonitor - Thermo Control
Figure 6. Thermo Control


  If you need to record the data you can set-up the program's logging facility which will save any number of events in a file. You can even output the data in CSV format for importing into a spreadsheet (I haven't found a use for this yet). The possibilities are many but for most, I suspect, the temperature monitoring would be the most used function. I use it frequently as I am often experimenting with different bits of hardware and it is handy to be able to see at a glance what effect it is having on the system. You will probably find a use for it too.

Download Hardware Sensors Monitor!

Steve Driscoll July 18 2005

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