Activity Monitor

Version: 4.1 || Release Date: 2007-11-14 || License: Included with OS Developer: Apple Computer Inc. | App Owner: tristan

Activity Monitor is a GUI application included with Mac OS X. It provides graphical representations of your computer's CPU, system memory, disk activity, disk usage, and network processes. This little utility is easy to overlook, but it can help you manage your memory and processing power when running lots of applications. If you prefer to work in the text-only Terminal application instead, you can view much of this information by using the top command.

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4 Opinions

I always have a ton of apps and a browser full of tabs open. Currently, I have this sitting on my dock showing a pie chart of my RAM. It's good to know how much memory I have left in real-time. Just customize the colors and it's not bad to look at either.

atMonitor is an alternative to Activity Monitor and can renice, send any signal to any running process.

all things considered it is not bad, but i wish you could renice or kill -9 a process from inside the app

This is more handy than many people realize. After trying and rejecting several third-party solutions for monitoring my Mac, I decided to have Activity Monitor run from startup, with the dock icon showing available RAM, and a floating window (that I move to the Menu bar) showing CPU usage:

View > Dock Icon > Show Memory Usage
Window > Show Floating CPU Window > Horizontally