Taskbar meters are incredibly cool but simple applications that add live-updating resource meters to your Windows 7 taskbar. Available on CodePlex as a free download, you get two different meters in the provided .zip file – one for monitoring CPU utilization and another for monitoring memory. Each meter uses the special effects available in Windows 7 to make the background behind the icon “glow” according to how many resources are being utilized. For those who like to keep an eye on this sort of thing, it sure beats minimizing the task manager to the system tray, for example, or using a desktop widget which remains hidden all day behind your open windows.
Based on your use of resources, the meters will glow red, yellow, or green accordingly and these settings are user-configurable if you want to change the defaults. You can also adjust the update frequency, if desired.
If your resource usage spikes, you can right-click on the meter to access a jump list that lets you quickly open Task Manager or the Resource Monitor to see what may be bogging you down.
The applications are available for download from here. Taskbar Meters are for Windows 7 only.
(via Life Rocks 2.0)