Is there a better diagnostic than Activity Monitor?
I’ve owned a Mac for less than three weeks and have just bought my first copy of
I used Windows for over 10 years and got used to fiddling around ‘with the hood up’. Windows 8 has some very useful reporting and monitoring tools built into Task Manager. So far in Mavericks there doesn’t seem to be anything in the same league; Activity Monitor only offers extremely limited graphing. Is there anything I’ve missed? Alan Portman Activity Monitor is as good as it gets in the default OS. There are third party utilities that offer prettier graphs – Stater (£5.99, App Store), iStat Menus (about £12, bjango.com) and MenuMeters (free, ragingmenace.com), for example. However, installing them isn’t always the best idea. More data is not the same as more information. Don’t be fooled by pretty graphs into thinking that the data presented is useful. I have iStat Pro on my dashboard, but I never use it. Few of the dozens of problems I encounter for MacFormat readers are solved by using these tools. I can imagine scenarios where I might need them (hence me leaving iStat Pro installed), but in practice I rarely do. If I don’t need them, you probably don’t either. Bear in mind this is something I recommend for Windows users, too!
If you run low on disk space, then it can be helpful to know which files and folders are taking up the most space. I use DaisyDisk (£6.99, App Store). But I don’t run it unless my disk is getting full. I use Activity Monitor up to see if anything’s chewing up my bandwidth, but nothing fancier than that. We did look at monitoring tools in MF278, though, if you are interested.