How do you know when your Mac is over stressed? When it’s working too hard? When it’s maxed out? For me it’s easy.
When the little spinning rainbow beach ball of death haunts my Mac’s screen, I know something is wrong somewhere. I could open up Activity Monitor and check it from time to time. But that’s so 1999. To see if your Mac is stressed there’s an app for that.
One Click Health Test
One of my favorite Mac apps ever for checking on things like CPU usage, network, disk and memory is MenuMeters. It resides in the Mac’s Menubar (taking up more real estate than donation ware should) and tells you at a glance what’s going on inside.
Another favorite is the equally expensively priced donation wareMiniUsage, which is more informative, and more diminutive than MenuMeters.
What you get is a one click look at basics, then a bunch of detail behind the basics.
Basics? MiniUsage displays CPU usage, battery status, network usage, and processes with a click. Easy peazy, so to speak. One click. Donationware. What’s not to like?
Get your Mac geek hat on. Here comes the rest of the story.
Right up there at the top of MiniUsage’s open menu might be the answer to your spinning rainbow beach ball of death. One click and you know how hard the Mac’s CPU is working.
Below that? Now it gets interesting.
There’s the aforementioned network and battery usage. But as you drag the mouse down and around the drop down menu, all sorts of interesting data takes form.
Total threads. Unix and Mach System Calls. How much perspiration each Intel core is sweating. How much disk space is used and remaining.
You may not find out exactly what’s causing the spinning rainbow beach ball of death, but it’s a good start. MiniUsage is simple to install, stays out of the way until needed and doesn’t hog the Menubar, leaving only a total of the CPU usage visible.
Nicely done, inexpensive, useful, suitable for Mac notebooks as it barely sips electricity, relying more on an annual sprinkling of finely ground albino unicorn tail hair.