CNET Editors' review
iStat Menus is a comprehensive set of system monitoring tools, providing a quick-access view of system activity in your menu bar.
Formerly a free preference pane, iStat Menus is now a paid, standalone app--but it offers a lot of functionality to justify its price, along with a clean interface and very low system overhead. You need to open iStat Menus when you're configuring it, but most of the time you'll only see the app in an array of highly configurable menu-bar icons. iStat Menus can help you track CPU activity, memory usage, disk usage, disk activity, network activity, sensors (such as fan speed and temp), date and time, and battery. In addition to at-a-glance readouts in the menu bar, you can also click on each item for quick access to related data, apps, and preferences--so for example, clicking on CPU will show you active processes without having to actually open Activity Monitor.
If you're new to iStat Menus, it's easy to miss the fact that you can customize the content and visuals of each menu-bar item extensively. For example with Sensors, you can choose to display over 20 individual voltage, temperature, and current readouts. Less extreme and perhaps more widely useful, the Battery preferences let you customize the menu-bar display for different battery states--so you can show, for example, a percentage while charging, but time remaining while draining. Most menus also give you the option for different graphic representations, with pie graphs, horizontal and vertical graphs, etc.
iStat Menus is incredibly useful for anyone who wants fast, comprehensive visibility into their system, but even casual users can find a lot here to like--such as the app's Date & Time, which improves on the Mac OS's built-in Date & Time display, letting you see a monthly calendar, a "fuzzy" clock, and the day and time in user-specified cities. iStat Menus' free trial is definitely worth checking out.
iStat Menus provides real time CPU graphs and a list of the top 5 CPU resource hogs. CPU usage can be tracked by individual cores or with all cores combined, to save menubar space. A realtime graph to keep on top of being sent and received for all network connections. Date & Time. A highly configurable date, time and calendar for your menubar, including fuzzy clock and moon phase. A world clock with sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times for over 20,000 cities. See used or free space for multiple disks in your menubar. More detail for all your disks is only a click away. Detailed disk I/O in your menubar, displayed as a graph, a variety of different read and write indicators, or both. Realtime listings of the sensors in your Mac, including temperatures, hard drive temperatures (where supported), fans, voltages, current and power. Fan speeds can be controlled, with different rules when on battery power, if you'd like. Detailed info on your battery's current state and a highly configurable menu item that can change if you're draining, charging, or completely charged. Memory stats for your menubar, shown as a pie chart, graph, percentage, bar or any combination of those things. The memory dropdown menu shows a list of the top 5 memory hogs, as well as other useful info. Each menu extra comes with many different display modes, customizable colours, font sizes and widths.
What's new in this version:
- Added CPU Core temperature sensors and CPU power sensors for some Sandy/Ivy Bridge based systems.
- Improved performance.
- Improved support for Cisco VPN connections.
- Fixed incorrect connection state problems with VPN connections.
- Fixed an issue where invalid/unsupported temperature ... See all new features
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All versions:3.3 stars
out of 9 votes
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Results 1-9 of 9
"Object to mandatory upgrade"
Version: iStat Menus 4.04
None worth mentioning.
V3 worked fine for me. I was not given the option to upgrade to 4, it just swooped down from the cloud and replaced 3, which then no longer worked. I made some inquiries to iStat but they did not give me the courtesy of a reply. Had they done that I probably would have upgraded (not sure if that'f the right word in view of the many bug complaints) to 4, but I don't like being strong-armed so I just deleted the program.
Get lost, iStat
"Upgrade is dumb!!"
Version: iStat Menus 4.01
None as my 3.0 stopped working when it did upgrade to 4.0 without permission
Now iStat 3.0 doesn't work and I can't find original program that I paid for. I did not want to download 4.0--it did it automatically.
"Very Buggy and Support is Hopeless"
Version: iStat Menus 4.01
None at all. Version 3 was useful.
Few if the features work as advertised. Most are missing or buggy
Version 3 used to work OK. This paid upgrade is worthless. Calendar displays incorrect month, date and appointments. Color schemes don't work. World cities in Date and Time can't be added, deleted, or changed. Search for world cities doesn't work. Old preferences from version 3 persist across both scripted and manual uninstalls.
Support just says "sorry." Not helpful
"Helpful app but has become intrusive"
Version: iStat Menus 3.21
Lets you know what your CPUs are doing and also the temp at many sensor points throughout your Mac. Valuable to see what is loading down your CPU, RAM and other factors. Good for people doing video editing or 3D rendering.
Intrusive and annoying prefs page pops up when you don't want it to with no way to disable it.
Very helpful app and I like it's functionality. However, the prefs page pops up all the time. That can be annoying if not embarrassing if you're playing back a video presentation or doing something where your screen needs to remain clear. I've just about had it with that "feature" and have contemplated unistalling the app for that reason. The rest of the time, it displays very helpful info. I've written Bjango Apps, the parent company, with no response. It's a definite bug that needs to be addressed, and Bjango needs to show it can deal with issues that are not just the simple ones on its website.
"Better than a car display. Informs me of relevant data"
Version: iStat Menus 3.10
Is always there. Let's me know what's going on with my computer.
Difficulty with ordering ikons across the toolbar
I think this is the month that I may have enough $ to pay for the app.
"pushy sales tactics along with poor service an..."
Version: iStat Menus 3.01
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
In the past, iStat Menus proved to be a very useful application. However, I find several troubling aspects of the new paid version.
1) If you opt to stay with the previous version, a nuisance warning repeated shows up.
2) There is no real documentation accompanying the new version, at least none that I could find (for Intel Mac).
3) With other paid applications, there is real email help. I had a problem (see #4) and emailed through their contact page, where they state "Send us bug reports, suggestions, praise or harsh criticism" and received back only the most trivial one line response. I can only conclude that they are not really interested in helping, only selling.
4) Be careful with the Fan Speed Control in Sensor settings. Easy to get in trouble here and, as noted above, the folks who sell iStat are not much help. Specifically, to have a change in Fan Speed Control setting take place, you have to log out and then back in after making the change. If you are unhappy with the higher fan speed setting, there is no way to go back to the original setting without an SMC reset. Here is how you do it: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964?viewlocale=en_US .
So, despite my appreciation of the software, I do not like the marketing tactics, the lack of documentation, the terrible email support and the fact that they include low level system alterations without proper information for performing a reset. Absolutely terrible way to do business. iStat folks --- you asked for harsh criticism, now you have it. Let's see how you respond before the rest of us pay our user license.
"It's everything that reviewers claim (many elsewhere)."
Version: iStat Menus 2.0
Just beautiful -- informative, tidy, elegant.
Made me part with old friend Menu Meters.
I've never kicked in the donation bucks so fast or been more please to do so.
"Couldn't have asked for more of this program"
Version: iStat Menus 2.0
- Has all the system readouts you could ever need of your Mac
- sits conveniently and easily read-able in your menu bar
Doesn't have a CPU temperature readout. For that you can look for a program called Temperature Monitor (it's on download.com and worth checking out for an accurate temperature of your computer.
In summary,I would say that this program is perfect for anyone that is looking for hd temperature, ram used and available, hd space, etc. I look up to my menu bar very often, so I can see how my computer is doing. I recommend this program for anyone who cares how their computer is running.
Version: iStat Menus 1.3
This shows how hot me everything i need to know instantly. Like if it is getting to hot or how much memory or if the computer is running to fast. My laptop gets hot and I need something to tell me the temp and this is perfect cus it's always up at the top where i can see it.