Open Hardware Monitor – A Great Start On A Modern Product

Those of us that grew up using Motherboard Monitor came to rue the day its development stopped. I know I would have gladly paid for the continuance of the development, as it was discontinued at a time when hardware monitoring was becoming more and more important to just about everyone.

Speedfan is a great alternative, but it has its own level of quirks, and can’t always be counted on for support of certain items. The developer, because he charges nothing for the product, obviously feels no duty to support things he does not feel like supporting.

Now there is another application, which brings a new level of help to the user, as it combines monitoring of motherboard hardware, graphics card sensors and also brings the ability to read from any sensors that are included in the hard drives, along with the SMART information from those drives.

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Some computer hardware parameters change regularly while the computer is running. This includes the hardware temperature, clock speeds and voltages which should be monitored regularly to ensure that they are running in their allowed limits. It becomes even more important after building a pc and running it for the first time or when errors are encountered during operation.

It can for instance happen that a PC crashes regularly because of overheating issues. Open Hardware Monitor is a portable software program for the Windows operating system that displays various realtime information about the installed components and can be used as a hardware and temperature monitor.

The following hardware sensors and components are supported by the software program:

CPU core sensors

  • Intel Core 2, Core i3/i5/i7
  • AMD K8 (0Fh family), K10 (10h family)

Mainboard sensors

  • ITE IT8716F, IT8718F, IT8720F, IT8726F
  • Fintek F71862, F71869, F71882, F71889
  • Winbond W83627DHG, W83627DHG-P, W83627EHF, W83627HF, W83627THF, W83667HG, W83667HG-B

GPU sensors

  • Nvidia
  • ATI

Hard disks

  • S.M.A.R.T. sensors (optional)

Fan controllers

  • T-Balancer bigNG (direct acces to USB-Serial driver, no T-Balancer Server needed)

The application  lists the computer hardware and displays temperatures, voltages and other related information in its main interface. Both the current value and the max value are displayed which can give the user an indication if the hardware is running within its limits or if it could be the cause for (future) problems.

The portable nature of the software makes it an ideal companion for portable devices or repair disks. Open Hardware Monitor can be downloaded from the developer website. It is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows and requires the Microsoft  .net Framework. The source code of the program is also offered on the webpage.

The application shows a very complete, and well thought out plethora of information. It is easily read, and there is nothing that is difficult to decipher. All is easily understood. Since it is a new product, it should continue to add any new hardware as it comes along. Unfortunately, for users of older hardware, yet not archaic enough to actually be covered by Motherboard Monitor, you may be in no man’s land, and not have anywhere to go but one of the paid alternatives.

For those of you with newer hardware, it looks as though the monitoring is getting easier, and much more complete for those who are not buying motherboards with thee own monitoring applications (Asus, for example).

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Once you’ve invested in a quality motherboard and attending hardware, you certainly don’t want to be oblivious to things, like heat buildup, that could demolish your investment.

This amount, and kind, of memory is quite an investment, you certainly don’t want a failing PSU to take out all of that expensive stuff.

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