It’s cleverly named System Monitor, and other than how it looks, it’s the best way ever to get all the technical data details so you can see how your Mac is behaving (or, misbehaving).
Based on my day job I know that most Mac users don’t really care about what’s going on inside the Mac until something inside doesn’t work right.
For example, the fan on a MacBook might indicate a problem, or simply too many Flash ads on web pages.
System Monitor brings so much information about your Mac’s internals– storage, activity, network, memory– you’ll be dazzled and perhaps a bit perplexed.
The app simply monitors a whole bunch of the Mac’s functions– hard disk activity, network activity, temperature, storage space, CPU load, and much more.
All the visible data can be perplexing but it’s all useful. Mostly.
You won’t have all of those menus open at once, of course, but you get the idea.
System Monitor monitors more than you probably knew your Mac was actually doing.
Storage volumes are monitored for used and free space. Total RAM is tracked by application, inactive, reserved, and free.
There’s a nifty graph which displays fan RPM, process load, and which apps are using how much of the CPU.
The network data menu can be useful, too, as it includes all network interfaces, including Wi-Fi, how much bandwidth has been used, incoming and outgoing, and graphs it accordingly.
For my MacBook the processes that put a drag on the CPU and RAM are often Flash-based, usually advertisements embedded into webpages, but System Monitor won’t tell you which ones.
It’s well done, not very expensive, and very useful to massage your geek gene or satisfy a curiosity about what’s going on while your Mac’s fan goes crazy.