Open Hardware Monitor is a software, which allows users to perform common hardware monitoring such as monitoring of fan speeds, temperature sensors, clock speeds ,voltages, and loads. This software is open source which means that the codes are freely available for any developer to enhance or improve the application. The computer hardware, the ones being tracked by this software, refers to the physical elements of the computer system. This includes the computer monitor, keyboard, hard drive disk, mouse, and printers, among others. Hardware monitoring is a process by which the hardware is tracked with the objective of ensuring that its state is kept within the normal limits even with extensive use. When the hardware is kept within normal limits, there is a higher probability that it will be used for an extended amount of time.
Open Hardware Monitor has a simple user interface. In the Menu bar are functions for File, View, Options and Help. On the main interface are four columns that stand for the sensor, value, minimum, and maximum. The Sensor displays the hardware being monitored on a tree view. Users can expand or shrink the selection by clicking on the icon on the left of the Sensor name. The values are displayed with the relevant units. Temperature, for instance is displayed in degree Celsius, while fan speeds are displayed in rate per minute. The minimum and maximum values are the range of values in which the actual value should fluctuate so that the hardware is maintained in good condition.