The GPU Observer gadget for Windows 7 gives you a constant look at your video card's temperature, fan speed, and more.
GPU Observer shows the GPU temperature and, if reported by your card, the PCB temperature, fan speed, GPU load, VPU load, memory load, and system clocks.
Most NVIDIA and ATI desktop cards are supported by GPU Observer, plus some NVIDIA mobile cards. No Intel, S3, or Matrox GPUs are supported.
Multiple cards are supported but not simultaneously. You'll have to choose which video card you'd like stats displayed for in the GPU Observer options.
If keeping tabs on your GPU is important, as it is to most serious gamers, then you'll love GPU Observer.
CPU Meter III is, you guessed it, a CPU resource meter gadget for Windows 7. In addition to tracking CPU usage, CPU Meter III also tracks memory usage.
There's nothing that special about CPU Meter III - it only tracks one CPU and meter display isn't quite as polished as other similar gadgets.
However, there is one redeeming feature - it's responsive. Very responsive! It appears to be live and not a one or two second update like other gadgets. This I love. The other thing I like is how big the gadget is. Some CPU meter gadgets are so small it's hard to see what's going on.
Definitely try CPU Meter III out. I think you'll like it.
The Drive Activity gadget for Windows 7 graphs the workload of your hard drives. Seeing how hard your hard disks are working could be useful in determining where you might have performance issues.
There are a few options in the Drive Activity gadget - you can choose the type of graph to display (polygon or lines) and also which of your hard drives to include in the display. My biggest issue with this Windows gadget was the inability to change colors. Blue on black is unlikely to satisfy many users... personally, I find it hard to see.
The Drive Activity gadget is a free download from Sascha Katzner.
14. Uptime Gadget
The Uptime Windows gadget keeps track of how long your Windows 7 system has been powered on. That's all it does. It resets every time the system is restarted.
The Uptime gadget is also available as a free download from Medownloads.
System uptime trackers are useful to show how stable (or unstable) an operating system is since an unstable or error-prone system will usually need restarted on a regular basis.
15. AlertCon Gadget
The AlertCon gadget is a unique one. AlertCon provides a visual representation of the current state of security across the Internet. Large scale issues like fast spreading malware and major security holes would prompt an increase in the threat level.
IBM's Internet Security Systems group operates the AlertCon system.
The AlertCon gadget is a free download from Softpedia and installs on your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
If you'd like a DEFCON-style representation of Internet-wide issues right on your desktop, the AlertCon gadget fits the bill. Just don't expect it swing up and down regularly - the Internet as a whole isn't typically under serious threats.