Extremely configurable, awesome resource meters anywhere on your desktop
Pros & Cons:
Rainmeter just achieved the top position in this category. Rainmeter concentrates on design features and gives the user full control over what and how it is displayed on your desktop. In fact, it offers much more features than just system resouce monitoring so that you can actually redesign your complete desktop with it. Examples are application launcher, weather info or RSS feeds.
Rainmeter has been redone completely and is an excellent choice if you want to do some skinning yourself and want to have control over the looks of your meters. The gadget-like components, called skins, can be started separately and moved freely to wherever you want them on your desktop. Rainmeter functions as a host application for which you can design all kinds of skins in any shape and form.
Skins can be edited via *.ini files. Working with these INI files is not easy and some reading is required to learn it. But don't worry, there are beautiful and ready to go skins available on most skinning sites. The screenshot show the quite popular "Enigma" skin. Skins are easy to install, just doubleclick the dowloaded file and Rainmeter will install it for you.
Rainmeter comes with a 32-bit and 64-bit version so with XP and up you should be fine running it in any Windows version.
While Rainmeter was not supported for a while, the team around it now has a new website and is offering new releases since July 2012 again. They also host a very useful user forum where you can get help for your own skin projects or for existing skins. Check the details section for the link. On that site, check out the "Discover" link to find some awesome skins for Rainmeter.
I played with an own Rainmeter skin called "Grayhound". Check it out here if you like.
Rainmeter was reviewed by George on based on version 3.3.1.