[Review] SysResources Manager

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

Fotis Software’s SysResources Manager

Version reviewed:

v11.0

System Requirements:

Windows XP and higher

Download size:

5 MB

Price:

$21.90 (USD)

Software description:

SysResources Manager is a system utility for watching the current state of the system such as CPU usage, RAM and Virtual RAM availability, Disks, Processes, Network Monitoring (Processes accessing Internet, Network Traffic/Speed), Services, StartUp Programs.

SysResources Manager can optimize system performance by defraging physical system memory.

{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Allows users to monitor many aspects of one’s computer including but not limited to CPU usage, RAM usage, hard drive usage, network usage, running processes, etc.
  • Can free RAM by defragging it.
  • Has the ability to export data into TXT files.
  • Allows users to easily search (Google, Altavista, Yahoo, and ProcessLibary) for information.
  • Provides quick access to native Windows tools/settings.
  • Has a floating widget/window showing CPU usage, RAM usage, hard drive activity, and network usage.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Cannot monitor/show computer temperatures.
  • Floating widget/window cannot be locked into place.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”8″}Point and click for the most part; however do note some element of computer knowledge is needed to understand the program.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”10″}Works well for what it does.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”4″}The usefulness is fairly polarizing. Many “regular” users probably have no need for such a program, while I am sure some “advanced” users would appreciate it.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”7″}$21.90 USD is fairly reasonable in my opinion.
{/for}
{for=”Final Score” value=”8″}
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

SysResources Manager is a program who’s primary focus is to allow you to monitor different aspects of your computer:

SRM (SysResources Manager) monitors the following on you computer:

  • CPU usage
  • Disk (hard drive) activity
  • RAM (physical and virtual) usage
  • Network traffic
  • Hard drive capacity/usage
  • Currently running processes/tasks and the registry keys/’modules’ associated with that process/task
  • Current open network connections (ports, etc.) and the registry keys/’modules’ associated with that open connection

Really the only one thing I can think of that SRM is missing is the ability to monitor computer temperatures, which, depending on if you are on a laptop or desktop, may make or break this program for you.

In addition to being able to monitor all that is mentioned above, the program also does/has the following:

  • Built in Windows Services control (the same thing you would get if you accessed Services from under Control Panel)
  • Startup program/process manager.
  • A list of IE addons
  • A list of drivers on your computer
  • A list of ‘special folders’ (not sure how the program determines what is a ‘special folder’ or not, but most of them are program data folders and stuff like documents, pictures, etc.)
  • The ability to create a ‘short cut list’ where you can easily add/remove your favorite programs and launch them with a click of a button
  • RAM defrag feature
  • Ability to ‘lock’ your computer
  • Quick access to a handful of native Windows features/settings, such as Control Panel, screen saver settings, and screen resolution settings.

For all the drivers, addons, processes, services, etc. SRM provides two handy features:

  1. The ability to search for information on drivers, addons, processes, etc. on Google, Yahoo, Altavista, or ProcessLibrary
  2. The ability to export lists (of drivers, addons, processes, etc.) into a text file.

Although all the features of SRM perform as expected, the one feature I would like to particularly comment on is the RAM defrag feature. Typically I am an opponent of RAM defraging as a method of freeing up RAM because the method involves using 100% (or near 100%) CPU and a whole lot of RAM during the process of defragmentation and the results aren’t very stellar. SRM also uses up similar amount of CPU/RAM while performing the defrag (so make sure you aren’t doing anything important/resource intensive when running the defrag in case your computer freezes); however SRM’s RAM defrag results are unusual – in a good way. When I first reviewed SRM almost two years ago, using the RAM defrag feature would result in very minimal RAM recovery, such as 10 or 15 MB. This time, though, I found that SRM was able to free up almost 200 MB of RAM. Considering that I was only using about half of my 3 GB of RAM at the time, this is fairly impressive. Now, of course, results will vary and you won’t free up 200 MB of RAM every time you run the defragger, but I have never before seem a RAM defragger that works so well. (In the past only programs like CleanMem have impressed me in regards to freeing up RAM.) I still dislike the process of freeing the RAM, but I like the results.

Anyway, often developers bundle many features in their programs but drop the ball when it comes to user interface and usability.  Fortunately, SRM does not. Now, SRM is not the most aesthetically pleasing program out there but it is fairly point-and-click in terms of usage; there aren’t too many (if any) tricks required to use SRM, although some technical knowledge is needed to comprehend the information SRM gives you. The following is a breakdown of the different sections of SRM:

  • System – under this button you can view CPU usage, RAM usage, and hard drive activity.

  • Bandwidth monitor – view your network activity, and details about your connection (including WAN and LAN IPs).

  • Drives – view information on your hard disks/partitions (such as current capacity).

  • Task manager – view current processes/tasks and the registry keys/’modules’ associated with those tasks. I am not 100% sure what the program means by ‘modules’ but looking over the list it seems ‘modules’ are just critical files that the process/task uses such as DLL files.

  • Network connections – view the current open network connections (what port is open, what program is using it, IP addresses, etc). Also view the registry keys/’modules’ associated with the programs that are using the open ports.

  • Services – displays all Windows services, allowing you to do everything that the native Windows Services tool allows you to do, such as start a service, stop a service, etc.

  • Startup Manager – manage startup programs/processes from here. The startup manager is fairly simplistic in the sense that you can remove programs/processes but you can’t delay-start them. You can also view IE addons and drivers from here.

  • Program Launcher – think of this as a shortcut list. Here you can add your favorite programs to a list and launch them from this menu. It would seem logical that you should be able to launch all of them at the same time (to save you the time of having to open one at a time), but you can only launch one at a time. You can set each program to launch with custom parameters.

  • Special Folders – not sure exactly how the program comes up with this list, but here are folders such as Program Data, Documents, Desktop, Pictures, etc. that are listed. You just double click on one and browse it.

  • Options – you have options such as change the skin, enable at windows start up, enable/disable automatic RAM defrag, and change lock computer password.

Options 1

Options 2

  • Lock computer – locks your computer so no one has access to it without your password. This seems to be highly inefficient in the long run compared to how you could just password protect your windows and sleep/hibernate your computer whenever you are not using it. However, in the short run, if you want to lock your computer while you are, lets say, getting up to grab your coffee from the counter, this is a good feature (although Windows’ native lock feature pretty much covers what SRM’s lock computer does).

Along with all that I mentioned above, if you right click on the SysResources Manager system tray icon (or click on the “Extra” drop down menu in SRM’s main program window), you will get a menu where you can do things like change desktop resolution, run the RAM defrag, access your “Program Launcher” list, etc.:

Out of the “Extra” list of features, the one feature I would like to point out is “Monitor”. “Monitor” is a floating widget/window that displays CPU usage, RAM usage, hard drive activity, and network activity:

While you can make the widget/window always appear on top of other windows, you cannot lock it into place (which can get annoying). Also, note that if you have dual core, the “CPU Usage” shown here is the average of the usage for both cores. If you have quad core, I am sure it works the same way.

Lastly, I would like to point out SRM is not too bad on computer resources it uses (with the only exception being when it is defragging your RAM). On average SRM uses 0-2% CPU and 5-8 MB of RAM, which is not bad, not bad at all.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

AnVir Task Manager

AnVir Task Manager gives full information about process, services, TCP/UPD connections, drivers, DLLs. It has descriptions for 70 000+ startup programs and services. It detects new and unknown Trojans using security analysis and alerts on new startups. It can speed up boot time (Delayed Startup), balance CPU usage, optimize memory. Tray icons shows status of disk, network, memory, CPU. Tray menu keeps last launched programs and folders. Also users can hide windows to system tray, set windows ‘always on top’, and change windows transparency.

-Developer

Rainmeter

Rainmeter is an excellent resources monitor. It is actually a very old project which has only recently been resurrected.

Samurize

Samurize is an advanced system monitoring and desktop enhancement engine for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista. IT professionals, overclockers, gamers and desktop modders alike use Samurize for system information, weather reports, news headlines and much much more. And best of all, Samurize is 100% free!

-Developer

CleanMem

CleanMem is the best RAM/memory management/freeing tool you will find.

HWMonitor

A standalone program that monitors your computer temperatures.

Windows Process Manager (thx Lee)

“Right click desktop, create short cut input ‘C:/Windows/System32/perfmon.msc’ without quotes into ‘type the location of this item’, then hit next and name it ‘Performance Monitor’ without quotes and hit finish.

Nice icon appears on your desktop and if you want information then double click it.” -Lee

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}SysResources Manager is a good tool. Sure it can improve in terms of aesthetics, and many people probably won’t find much use for it, but for people who have a need to monitor activity/resource use on their computer, this program performs the job fairly well. However, while SysResources Manager is good, other programs are better. Programs like AnVir Task Manager and Rainmeter simply dwarf SysResources Manager; if I were in the market for a computer monitoring software, I would definitely go with AnVir Task Manager or Rainmeter over SysResources Manager.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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9 comments

  1. prying1

    Hey Ashraf,

    Good review. Sure appreciate your work. I have a question concerning this program and some others on my machine. Perhaps you have already addressed it and can link to the posting/article. If not and you think that others might be helped with the answer perhaps you might write a new post about it.

    I’m wondering how many redundant and clashing programs I have running and the various effects that might have on my computer. (Slowing down, hangups/temp freezes, forcing restarts.)

    I have Spybot’s Teatimer, AnVir Task Manager, Bitsum’s Process Lasso, AVG is running 7 processes (tray, wdsvc, rsx, chsvx twice, & AnVir.exe itself) and Lord knows if some of the MS windows (I’m running 7-home) processes might also be in the mix. I can see a MS “Diagnostic Policy Service” for example.

    Anvir shows Windows Firewall running and My ISP ‘claims’ to provide a firewall at their location. Everything works so I don’t think I’d change that but once again I wonder about redundancy and resources.

    The thing about this program that interested me is the line “Network Monitoring (Processes accessing Internet, Network Traffic/Speed)” Any (hopefully free) programs out there that do this without bells and whistles?

    Appreciate any and all replies. – Paul – prying1 -

  2. Billy

    Seems to (in some cases) bring together tools that many will already have but the idea is sound. The RAM increase is impressive.

    CPU temperatures? Well, I tried Ashampoo’s HD Controller and it told me my CPU was too hot (Laptop: ASUS G1 gaming machine with Vista 32 HPEd.). Since it sits on a stand with an extra fan, I was a bit miffed. Uninstalled programme:)

    Was going to d/l this offering but now I’m wondering if I should try Anvir instead?

    Choices? Hate them.

    BTW: If on Vista, all should try the disc defrag from Piriform called Defraggler. It is a miracle worker. Slow on ‘normal’ but I’ve never seen so much FREED Hard Disc space, plus total defragmentation. German Computerbild says it’s best on Vista and I agree totally. Try it and see!