Checking Your Computer’s Performance on Windows 8

Playing around with Windows 8, I’ll admit I’m the geekier tech minded user. I love to see stats about usage, how good the system is working and just how it can be improved. That is why under the hood of Windows 8 there are some pretty interesting tools to allow you to see just what is going on. One of these things is the redesigned Task Manager.

Using Windows 8 on a desktop computer is a strange experience at times, it’s obvious that it’s been designed to run on a tablet or at least a laptop that has touchscreen capabilities. The mouse works just as good though, so it’s like being trapped between both worlds so to speak at times. The more you use it the more you get used to it, and then you learn to play. The task manager as said has gone through what appears to be quite an overhaul, and all for the better for you to understand what is going on with your computer.

Looking at the Performance of Your Computer

The first thing to do is to get to your desktop on Windows 8 (you should find the desktop tile easily enough). Right click on the task back and click on Task Manager, this is just like it’s always been on Windows. When the Task Manger opens you’ll notice the big change, but for now ignore that and click on the Performance tab, this is what we are looking at for the moment. You’ll notice that to the right of the Performance area are new items “CPU, Memory, Disk, Wi-Fi, Ethernet”, it’s important to note that these items change based on your own computer. Click on each of these and you’ll see the different information.

CPU is obvious, it’s the performance information about your processor and what the load is like on it at the moment. This is very much like it’s always been. Memory is similar, it shows how much memory is being used, how much virtual memory has been created and the stats for it. Disk information shows the transfer rate, how active the disk is and other stats. The more fun item is Wi-Fi (or Ethernet based on your settings).

One of the most important things in the “internet age” is the speed of your internet and how it’s performing at the moment. The information provided here include such details as IP address, signal strength (for Wi-Fi) and other information, but what is the most use is just what throughput you are getting from your connection. Be aware that this won’t show your top speed, rather how much information is being sent to and from your computer.

One of the most cynical comments made by new users of Windows 8 may be that other than the interface little has changed, but looking at the Task Manager as an example I believe this shows that quite a bit has changed. The Operating System itself feels lighter, and like in the Task Manager we now have easy access to be able to get a lot of details about how our systems are behaving. Through using the details you see in the Task Manager you can see if something is not right (for example high usage of the Wi-Fi connection when there should be little usage at the time. The more details we get about how our systems are working, the better.

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