I have know about iStat Menus from bjango software for quite some time, but I have never tried it. If you are the very detailed, pedantic type then iStat Menus 6 will be right up your ally, if you are not already using it! iStat Menus monitors every known piece of hardware on your Mac, and I man ALL of them. iStat Menus costs $14.99, but since I could get it on sale for $8.99 I decided to go for it and see why people like this App so much.
Typical iStat Menus Setup
When you first install iStat Menus (using the new version 6) it puts a ribbon like interface in your menubar. Here is a graphic of the possible ribbon configurations from the bjango website:
You can choose what to have showing in those strips. It only puts one strip up there, the image shows examples of varying ways to setup this menubar ribbon. I am going on record right now to say I do not use iStat Menus this way. I have so much stuff in my menubar right now I lose stuff. There is another way to setup iStat Menus which I will cover in a minute. First, lets look at the Preferences area:
When you open the iStat Menus App itself you get this window. You can turn on or off any module in the left sidebar. When you click on a module there are copious settings for how to setup that particular module. This program is super detailed. If you do prefer to view iStat Menus with the menubar ribbon feature, you can drag the modules you prefer up into it and out of it as desired.
My iStat Menus Setup
Here is how I setup and use iStat Menus. I open the App and click on “Combined” which produces this window:
The “Combined” area is for setting up a combination of what appears in the menubar and what appears in the drop down menus. So, here is what I do. I move everything off of the menubar display except the Weather module. iStat Menus 6 comes with a new weather module. Then, I move all the stuff I want to monitor into the “Items To Show In Dropdown” area. When I click on the weather module in the menubar it drops down a menu like this:
As you look down the list you can see what I choose to monitor, stuff like Memory Usage, CPU Usage, Network, etc. So that is pretty cool right? We have not touched the tip of the iceberg yet folks.
Menus Upon Menus
If I move my mouse over a module within this dropdown window, I get another pop out window with further detail on that module. Here is the CPU module:
I am not going to show you this here, but you can roll your mouse over stuff in the pop out window and get even more specific data on that area. This is statistical monitoring to the sub-atomic level!
I want to show you the pop out for the rest of these main modules. This amount of detail is a bit of overkill for me personally, YMMV. However, some of the detail in certain pop outs does interest me. For example, I do like to have more detail in the Memory Module area:
Here is the Disks area:
Here is the Network area:
Here is the Sensors area, especially useful for monitor temps on Laptops:
Lastly, here is the new Weather area which is very nicely done:
And, if you want a little more detail for Today’s forecast:
As you can see, there is detail upon detail in iStat Menus 6. You almost cannot exhaust the granularity of the program. You can go as deep into each module as you wish.
I have only covered the basics of iStat Menus 6. You can get more detail on their website. It has very colorful charts and graphs so it is easy to read. Even though I would not put this App in the ‘must have’ category, I think it would be helpful in monitoring the state of your Mac, especially if you have an older machine. They have a 14 Day free trial, what have you got to lose. Download, install it and give it a test drive for a few days. If you decide to buy, their licensing allows you to use iStat Menus 6 on up to 3 computer.