Projects - Performance Hare


Performance Hare is a tiny system monitor for Windows (circa XP). It is the other extreme from administrative tools or from fancy desktop gadgets: a single notification (system tray) icon. It's designed to give you an at-a-glance idea of what your computer is currently doing that may be slowing it down, without being the answer to that question itself.


Performance Hare v1.0.0.2, for Windows 2000 and newer. Licensed under the MIT license (it's free and open source).

Performance Hare v1.0.0.2 Static Build. Use this if you get an error about "incorrect configuration" or missing DLLs. Alternatively, you can install the 32-bit Visual C++ runtime: download it from Microsoft.

Version disables error reporting about icon timeouts, which are just noise when Explorer is busy. It has also been recompiled with aggressive size optimisation, so the static build is now 90% smaller.

Source code r1825, should you wish to build it yourself or make modifications. Contains a project for Visual Studio 2005. Doesn't build with Dev-CPP/MinGW as they don't provide the headers for the performance API. If you fix or improve things, send me a patch!


There are two controls. Left-clicking the icon will (try to) launch the Windows Performance Management Console, which you can use to see actual values. Right-clicking will bring up a menu you can use to see the version, and to exit. Otherwise, it's entirely passive: looking at the icon is the interface.

Plain grey Everything is quiet.
Red with bulb Your CPU load is over 80%. Note that on a multiprocessor machine this only counts one core—reasonable if it's a single-threaded application being slow, which is still likely to be the case for now, less so otherwise.
Green with thought bubble The system is paging memory aggressively (hard page faults). This means that it's having to swap out to disk, or the file cache can't do its job because there's not enough free memory. Due to the way Windows records performance information, this may show up for some heavy disk reads.
Yellow with floppy disk Your disk drives are over 80% loaded, or the disk queue has grown long, which means that requests for disk activity are building up faster than the drives can cope with them.

Known issues


Performance Hare is only intended to let you see at-a-glance roughly what kind of load is happening on your computer. For detailed information, you're better off with more extensive tools: