Task manager had a limited performance tracking. Perfmon was a complicated tool to gather stats. Microsoft create something in-between.
With Windows Vista and Server 2008 a new tool was created call Resource Monitor.
The look changes slightly from version to version but it functions the same. The later versions have additional capabilities.
How to get to the tool
- Open Task Manager
- Switch to the Performance Tab
- Click the button labeled “Resource Monitor or the link “open Resource Monitor. Usually found at the bottom of the screen.
The five main sections are Overview, CPU, Memory, Disk and Networking.
The Overview section
Quick look at the system, there are subsections with more details but it’s better to go to the specific tab.
The CPU usage numbers reflect all CPU. It is important to check individual CPU usage to see if one CPU is overworked.
The CPU section
Main use is to find what processes are using your CPU.
The main sort columns are CPU and Average CPU.
Tips for the CPU section
- Under Monitoring you can stop the monitor meaning it will pause the constant refreshing allowing you to look at details.
- Processes listed in Red are Non-Responsive, right click on them and choose End Process.
- Click the checkbox will use the process as a filter for the other sections listed as Associated Handles and Associated Modules
The Memory Section
Typically the most used section for the tool.
Typically sorting by Commit is most common but the Hard Fault column is important for diagnostics.
You will also see a simple memory map showing several generalized but important pieces of information.
Tips on the Memory section
- The B in KB/sec is “Bytes” not “bits”
- Memory isn’t like other I/O and percentages don’t matter as much as actual numbers.
- You can be at 98% usage and a well designed system will work perfectly fine if the Hard Fault numbers are low.
- A system with 50% usage but hundreds of hard faults per second is exponentially worse then a system with 98% usage and 1 fault per second.
The Disk Section
Shows the read/write activity by active process and shows it by general disk activity.
Use this to find out what processes are hyperactive or thrashing your disk heads. You can also see what storage is attached and find out its size, free space, active time and Disk Queue Length
The main sort column is total as it sums both the read and write columns
Tips for the disk section
- Clicking the checkbox will filter Disk Activity section to the specific process
- The B in B/sec is “Bytes” not “bits”. Disk I/O is measured in bytes per second unlike peripheral I/O or network I/O which typically uses bits.
The Network Section
Displays details about network activity
In the age of the Internet understanding network activity can help identify why an application is slow.
The main sort columns are Image and Total for the Processes. For network activity best to sort by Address and Total. For TCP connections best to sort by Latency or by either port column. Listening Ports its best to use Port and Firewall Status
Tips for the Network Section
- The B in B/sec is “Bytes” not “bits”. Network I/O which typically uses bits but Microsoft standardized on Bytes
- Clicking the checkbox will filter TCP Connections and Listening ports
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